Veteran statesman and a founding member of the New Patriotic Party, Joseph Henry Mensah, has died, 3news.com can confirm He died at the age of 89. Born in October 1928 in Sekondi in the Western Region, he died at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra on Thursday. He was the senior minister under the John Kufuor-led government and was the first to take up that controversial portfolio created in 2005, now occupied by former finance Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo. Mr. J.H Mensah who worked at the United Nations prior to engaging actively in politics, spent four-and-a-half years as political prisoner in Ghana having been on a 13-year political exile. His interest in politics developed at a time that he was in secondary school at Achimota; a period that the nationalist movements started. The political career of the seasoned politician dates back to the 1960s when he was in charge of planning in Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s government. He was also a Commissioner in the National Liberation Council and Minister in charge of Finance, until Gen. A.A. Afrifa handed over power to a civilian government. J.H Mensah was for a very long time, the Member of Parliament for Sunyani beginning from the Busia regime.He became the Finance Minister until 1972 when he was replaced by future head of state Ignatius Kutu Acheampong after the military coup He played active role for the Popular Front Party in the 1979 elections. Mr. Mensah contested in the December 1996 elections as parliamentary candidate for the New Patriotic Party in Sunyani East which he won and became the minority leader in parliament. He was re-elected in the 2000 elections which was won by John Kufuor. He later became the Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission.