The London South Branch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has impressed on the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, to resign voluntarily and with immediate effect or otherwise be sacked by the President over his role with respect to the procurement of the Sputnik V vaccines.
“[He must go] for failing to exhibit leadership, display of corrupt practices, failing to follow laid down approval processes and failing to account to the people in respect of the procurement of Sputnik V,” a statement signed by the organiser of the Branch, Malik Dramani Mahama, reads.
The branch laments that recent events and revelations clearly indicate that the Minister and the Health Ministry have not been honest with citizens of Ghana whose taxes government appointees use to manage the country.
“One such revelation is when the Minister of Health told the whole country that he had been trying to procure the Covid-19 vaccines through government to government with the Russians but it turned out that he signed the agreement with middlemen in March and in April approached the Russians through its Foreign Ministry, a clear display of dishonesty. The Minister of Health had also indicated that it was the Sheikh who acted as the middleman who approached the Ministry of Health but recent revelation indicates that it was rather the Minister of Health who rather approached the Sheikh.”
The statement recounts that Mr Agyeman Manu categorically denied that government had made any payment when he appeared before the ad hoc parliamentary committee set up to look into issues with respect to the purchase of Sputnik V.
“But once again it turned out that the minister was not being honest. Before appearing before the committee, the minister had paid 50% of the total contract sum of $5,700,000 which is $2,850,000 for the purchase of the vaccines to Messrs Al Maktoum. The minister had said that because of the situation that the country was in because of the corona virus he signed a deal with the Sheikh to purchase 3.4 million doses of vaccine at the peak of the pandemic, and quoting him, “to the best of my knowledge, we haven’t done any payment.”
The branch finds as untenable the minister’s justification why he did not inform Parliament before signing the contract.
“There is precedence where parliament has been summoned under certificate of emergency, which begs the question why the minister did not see the need to involve parliament if not for other ulterior motives. This is clearly a demonstration of someone who does not have the necessary leadership skills do deal with situations of such magnitude.”
The London South branch wants to “hold the President Nana Akufo-Addo to his words when he said he shall protect the public purse by insisting on value for money in all public transactions.”
“The time to get the Minister of Health, Kweku Agyeman Manu to resign for full scale investigations to commence and possible prosecution is now.”