All posts by Kwame

What actually pushed KNUST student to commit suicide

By | Education | No Comments

The death of a first-year Chemical Engineering student of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has left some students in fear as information trickle in over the cause of her death.

Adwoa Agyarkowaa Anyimadu-Antwi, 18, was found hanged in her Independence Hall room on Friday, February 24.

Though the cause of death is yet to be established, many suspect suicide.

This stems from a note found in the room of the deceased, who was the daughter of Asante-Akyem Central Member of Parliament.

The note read: ‘Sorry mummy and daddy for not been (sic) the girl you want me to be.’

The suicide note said to have been left by the deceased

Some explained the whole incident to be a fallout from the recent academic results posted by the Academic Board of the university. Reports say she hanged herself as a result of failing one subject.

However, sources on campus say the cause of death may be spiritual.

They claim the deceased was a very brilliant student and did not show any sign of being bogged down by the results.

The sources say she has not looked depressed since the results were released a couple of days ago.

The incident is under investigation.

Roommates of the deceased have been relocated as the room has been under lock since the incident. They are also undergoing counseling to minimise the effect they may suffer from the trauma.


Brazil: Footballer Pele’s son Edinho in jail over drug trafficking charges

By | Sports | No Comments

Both Pele (left) and Edinho (right) played for Santos Football Club during most of their careers

The son of Brazil’s footballing legend, Pele, has handed himself in to complete his sentence for money laundering and drug trafficking.

Edinho, a former professional goalkeeper, was first arrested in 2005 over the charges, but appealed.

He remained free during the appeal but was sentenced in 2014 to 33 years.

The court has reduced that sentence to 12 years and 10 months, but ruled that he must be imprisoned while he appeals. Edinho denies all the charges.

As he arrived at a police station in the city of Santos, he said there was not a shred of evidence against him.

“I’m frustrated because I’m being massacred by the legal system,” he said.

“I never had any involvement with money laundering.”

Four other people have also been sentenced in the same case, including a man accused of controlling much of the drug trafficking in the Greater Santos region – Ronaldo Duarte Barsotti, known as Naldinho.

‘Justice will be done’

Edinho, whose real name is Edson Cholbi do Nascimento, admits that he once had a drug problem but says he has been clean for many years.

He played as goalkeeper in the 1990s for Santos, where his father spent all his professional career in Brazil.

He had been working as a manager of a small club in the state of Sao Paulo.

Pele, or Edson Arantes do Nascimento, retired in 1974, but made a comeback a year later for New York Cosmos.

Playing for Brazil, he won the World Cup in 1958, 1962 and 1970 and was acclaimed as the greatest footballer of his generation.

Edinho was five when Pele was signed to play for Cosmos and the family moved to New York. He is now 46.

When he returned to Brazil he decided to pursue a career in professional football – as a goalkeeper, much to his father’s surprise.

He was Santos’s goalkeeper in 1995 when the team reached the Brazilian league final, losing the title to Botafogo.

His detention and alleged involvement with drug gangs took most people in Brazil by surprise.

Pele, who is now 76, went to visit his son several times in jail.

“God willing, justice will be done. There is not a shred of evidence against my son,” he said in 2006.

Source: BBC

PROVOCATIVE CONSCIENCE: The Heritage Fund and the solemn promise

By | Features | No Comments

“Our political class introduced something they call free education that is free indeed–free of knowledge. It is because they are so suspicious of those institutions that the typical African politicians will not dare take their children to those schools”―P.L.O. Lumumba

The debate about the appropriate funding model for the much-marketed education policy, fee free education, continues even days after the Finance minister, Mr. Ken Ofori Atta, has come out that the government wouldn’t fund the policy with the Heritage Fund contrary to comments made by the senior minister, Yaw Osafo Mafo. Others like Nana Akomea thinks the chatty senior minister ‘was thinking aloud’, whatever that means.

Attempts to dispel the use of Heritage Fund did not end the debate, it rather reminds us of two famous and fateful questions from Stephen Sackur of BBC’s HARDtalk program—‘where exactly is the money going to come from…have you costed it’?  In answering, the then leader of opposition NPP did not actually mention the cost but mentioned that oil revenue was going to fund his promises. He also stated that it was a solemn promise and it was going to be solemnly kept. I am amazed the old man has kept his promise and I am sure his doubters must be very uncomfortable that the old man is unfolding as a man of his words.

Honest Discussions

The policy is a good one especially for many poor children whose parents struggle with three square meals, not to talk of school fees. When, for instance, I completed Junior Secondary School in 2003, I had to stay home for one academic year even though I was qualified for Senior Secondary School because my single mother could not afford the admission fee. The options for me were to either learn automobile mechanics or work for a year, save money and go to school the following year. Indeed, I chose the latter since I like education. I had worked and saved money for one year which was used to pay my admission fee the following year.

Indeed, it is not a comfortable experience when you are the only one sacked for school fees even though you may be in ‘a comfortable lead’ in your class. But such, unfortunately, is the fate of many poor children who lack financial support to pursue their dream of education.

There are other friends who couldn’t make it to school at all because of poverty and the result of this is predictable.

So let the Free SHS policy be rolled out. If the politician can find money to backdate his salary increment to 2013 in addition to his GHȻ 300,000 ex gratia for engaging in partisan debates, we also deserve our share of the national ‘booty’! I believe we can fund this policy if we are committed to it and it shouldn’t matter whether it is from taxes or Heritage Fund.  Why keep money in an investment instrument that is doing 2% in interests and call it an investment for the next generation?

Nevertheless, I still do not think it should be free for all students.  The National Health Insurance Scheme is currently reeling under  the curse of its ‘whole sale’ implementation and I am worried about how government intends to reduce corruption that might be associated with the implementation, knowing how every social intervention program becomes  a vehicle for corruption.

Currently, there are government and private scholarship schemes that fund the education of some brilliant-but-needy students. What will be the fate of such schemes especially the ones that are provided by private and multinational firms as part of their corporate social responsibility?

President Akufo-Addo announced the start of ‘Free SHS’ at Okuapeman SHS

We should move the ‘Free SHS’ debate from the door step of political expediency and assume different and honest discussions that would consider and exhaust all arguments about funding and sustainability while taking into account structural reforms and quality of products.

A government which boasts of having the men should be bold enough to do some segregation: it should have no business paying the fees of children whose parents are able to pay not less than GH¢2000 as bribes in order to gain admission into schools like, Wesley Girls, St. Augustine’s and so on. The argument that rich parents pay more in taxes is pedestrian because, when government uses monies that would go into funding the education of rich children for job creation, the rich benefit.

Policy Options

There are many progressive policy options that government can take in order to have its cake and eat it: the introduction of new taxes to cater for the free SHS policy as suggested by other Civil Society Organizations and AFAG are just in place.

Just as President Akufo-Addo has been bold in announcing Free SHS, he should also boldly scrap the now defunct National Service Scheme and invest NSS recurrent expenditure in education. The NSS is a cash cow for corrupt officials and the cost of its existence outweighs the benefits.

Also, government can, for the start, make technical and vocational education as well as STEM and its related programs free, while subsidizing fees for mainstream Senior High Schools and programs. This would increase enrollment into vocational and STEM related programs and prepare the youth for the government’s industrialization agenda and towards solving real problems.

Feeding and boarding for instance, should be the concern of parents. Ghana needs ‘Free SHS’ but not one that would be ‘free of knowledge’. And it should be one that the children of politicians would enroll in.

By Frederick K. Kofi Tse

Email: [email protected]

Kids of New Horizon Special School feted

By | Education | No Comments

Some pupils of the New Horizon Special School were over the weekend taken on mind-soothing tour initiated by Lionize Tourism Consult.

The tour dubbed ‘Intellectual Disability Tour’ saw the pupils taken to Golden Tulip Hotel-Accra, where they had breakfast with the owner, Paul Kavanagh, and taken around the facility by the human resource officer.

They were also taken to the Legon Botanical Gardens, where they engaged in a number of recreational activities.

Chief Executive Officer of Lionize Tourism Consult Ohene Obiri lamented the neglect of special kids in the Ghanaian society.

“Often the nation doesn’t factor them in decision making so the Intellectual Disability Tour is designed to create awareness for people to see them as part of us,” he said.

He said those with autism tend to be intensely isolated and often bullied especially when found among normal students.

He called for a collective effort to help make special kids feel welcome.

Principal of New Horizon Special School Vanessa Adu-Akorsah was full of praise after the tour, calling for more of such programmes for the kids.

“We need more of such programmes for the children to feel part of society.”


ECG’s power purchasing agreements to be scrutinized; some to be cancelled

By | Business | No Comments

ECG is undergoing a process to include private participation

Government says the over 40 power-purchasing agreements signed by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) will come under scrutiny in the days ahead.

A number of these agreements may have to be cancelled, the leader of government has said.

As at the end of 2016, the Company is said to have signed 43 agreements with a further 23 under discussion.

But President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says his government will review the agreements in an attempt to reduce cost in the energy sector.

Addressing Parliament on the state of the nation, the first for him, on Tuesday, February 21, President Akufo-Addo said his government has inherited a heavily indebted energy sector.

He noted that a net debt of $2.4 billion was left by the previous government.

“I have to point out that $800 million is owed to local banks that threaten their stability and the whole of the financial sector.”

The president therefore announced that stringent measures will have to be adopted to ensure stability in the energy sector.

One of the measures is to review the over 60 power-purchasing agreements by ECG.

“Government is conducting a review of all the power agreements entered into by the previous government in order to prioritise, renegotiate, defer or cancel outright, if necessary, in the national interest.”

But in an interview with TV3’s Evelyn Tengmaa, Former Minister of Energy and Petroleum Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah dismissed the president’s assertion, saying the agreements span as far back as 2002.

He said what government has to do is to prioritise the agreements since the former president, John Dramani Mahama, signed them due to his foresight to make Ghana energy sufficient.


I won’t allow economy to collapse under my watch – Akufo-Addo assures

By | Business | No Comments

President Akufo-Addo was at Parliament to deliver the State of the Nation address for the first time

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has given the strongest indication yet that “tough, prudent and innovative” measures will be adopted to restore the country to its economic viability.

According to him, the last eight years have seen Ghana’s debt stock rise to 74 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), a situation that leaves the economy on the brink of collapse.

“There is practically no fiscal space left,” he stressed.

But the president assured that: “I will not allow the economy to collapse under my watch.”

President Akufo-Addo gave this assurance in his maiden state-of-the-nation address to Parliament on Tuesday, February 21.

He was in the House as per Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution.

The President, who relished returning to a Chamber he spent “12 memorable years” in, was concerned government’s expenditure has extensively been consumed by wages and salaries, interest payments and amortization and statutory payments in the past eight years.

“These three account for 99 per cent of government revenue,” he observed, noting that borrowing has become the first port of call in getting funds for projects.

“We cannot continue this way with our public finances,” he pointed out.

He explained that resorting to borrowing “for any additional expenditure to meet the aspirations of our people is also not sustainable”.

He therefore outlined measures mapped out to turn the tide.

“We will reduce significantly the fiscal deficit this year,” he mentioned, among others such as embarking on institutional reforms and cutting waste.

“I am absolute in my confidence that we have the programme, the competence, the commitment, and the goodwill of the people to turn things round [and] by the grace of God we will succeed.”


SONA 2017: Atuguba is ‘Chief Justice’

By | News | No Comments

Justice Atuguba was the President of the nine-member panel that adjudicated the landmark Election Petition in 2013

Supreme Court judge Justice William Anaam Atuguba acted in the stead of Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood on Tuesday at the maiden State of the Nation address by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Her Ladyship Wood is said to be in Cairo, Egypt, attending the Conference of Chief Justices.

She has attended every single State of the Nation address since becoming Chief Justice in 2007.

Wood JSC attended the sessions under John Agyekum Kufuor, John Evans Atta Mills and John Dramani Mahama, whose last address was on January 5, 2017.

Curiously, Justice Atuguba acted as Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana between May 25, 2016 and June 3, 2016, when Wood JSC travelled out of Ghana.

He was also the President of the nine-member panel that adjudicated the landmark 2012 election petition, which was eventually dismissed much to the chagrin of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, one of the three petitioners then.


N/R House of Chiefs moves to bring Bimbilla chieftaincy factions together

By | News | No Comments

The delegation was led by Tule Wura, Alhaji Rashid Mahama

The President of the Northern Regional House of Chiefs, Yagbonwura Sulemana Tumtumba Boresa, has sent a delegation to Bimbilla to console the families of the deceased from the recent disturbances in the area.

They also appealed to the feuding factions to use due process of the law to resolve any differences.

The delegation was made of representatives of Ya Na, the over lord of Dagbon, and Nayiri, the overlord of the Mamprugu Traditional Area.

The delegation was led by Tule Wura, Alhaji Rashid Mahama.

The delegation met with the two feuding factions at their respective palaces on Saturday.

At the palace of the Bimbilla regent, Nyalinbohaga Dasana Andani Yakubu took a swipe at both the Regional House of Chiefs and the security.

He said both the court of law and the National House of Chiefs recognized his late father as the legitimate overlord of the Nanumba Traditional Area and was surprised that since his murder about three years ago, the Regional House of Chiefs did not utter word on the issue.

He said the whole world was aware of the incident of butchers failing to honour traditional sending of meat to the palace which led to mayhem in the area.

He said the Chiefs are aware of the consequences of the tradition and yet were quiet on the issue.

On the blame of security agencies, Na Yakubu said after the murder of his father, some people were arrested for the crime but were released in less than three months.

He said the same people are the ones threatening with impunity the peace in the area, adding that they are living in the same neighborhood.

The regent of Bimbilla blamed both the Northern Regional House of Chiefs and the security

The regent, therefore, urged both the Regional House of Chiefs and the security agencies to be proactive in their duties.

He said if somebody feels uncomfortable with his traditional performance, the aggrieved party must resort to the use of law instead of resorting to violence.

On the recent enskinment of the warrior chiefs in the area, Na Yakubu said a five-day notice was given to the police for the purpose and was approved by them only for the police to come on the eve of the event to inform them that it has been postponed.

The regent said it was unfortunate that the area is the first to experience violence in the new administration of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) under President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

He said he had challenged the police for a documentary proof instructing him not to go ahead with the enskinment though they later told him it was orders from the Regional Coordinating Director.

At the palace of Nakpana Salifu Dawuni, the other faction, he said they recognized him as the legitimate Bimbilla Na and did not take kindly to the delegation for addressing him as Nakpana, Chief of Nakpa.

The delegation pleaded with him to use legal means to address the problem.

Meanwhile, the case is at the Supreme Court for the final verdict.

The National House of Chiefs and the Appeals Court ruled in favour of Na Andani Salifu, whose mortal remains are yet to be buried after three years.

The family wants him buried as Bimbilla Na.

Bimbilla town is under curfew after the communal violence that led to the killing of ten people most of whom were women and children.

By Zakaria Abdul-Kadiri||Ghana

Bechem Utd knocked out of Caf Confed Cup by MC Algers

By | Sports | No Comments

Ghana Premier League side Bechem United have been eliminated from the 2017 Caf Confederation Cup qualifiers.

The Hunters were beaten 4-1 at the July 5 Stadium in Algiers by MC Alger, who qualify on a 5-3 aggregate.

The Ghanaian side had beaten the Algerians 2-1 in the first leg of the preliminary round played at the Accra Sports Stadium.

That match was the first continental outing for the Brong Ahafo Region club, who had made it to represent Ghana after winning the 2016 FA Cup.

Two goals from Abdulrahman Hachoud and one each from Mohamed Segeur and Zakaria Mansouri ensured that MCA overturned the first leg defeat.

Ahmed Toure got the consolation for Bechem United.

MCA will play Renaissance du Congo of DR Congo next in first round qualifiers.


Shake-up hits senior police officers; SP Kofi Sarpong et al transferred

By | News | No Comments

Acting IGP is David Asante-Apeatu

The Acting Inspector General of Police, David Asante-Apeatu, has rung yet another shake-up within the senior ranks of the Ghana Police Service.

Among the changes, which took immediate effect upon a press release on Friday, February 17, sees the Public Relations Officers (PROs) of the Ashanti, Eastern and Northern regional commands making moves.

Popular gospel musician SP Kofi Sarpong has also been transferred from the Ashanti Regional Command to the National Headquarters to be in charge of Procurement.

Find the changes below: