Saturday, June 7, 2008

PRESIDENT KUFOUR NOMINEES GOES THROUGH VETTING



Dr.Kwame Addo-Kufuor, Interior Minister Designate, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Minister Designate for Trade, Industry and Private Sector Development and Presidential Initiatives and Minister Designate at the Presidency has gone through the vetting process carried out by the appointments committee of parliament headed by Hon Freddie Blay. During the vetting proceedings, Dr Addo-Kufuor assured political parties and Ghanaians that the Police would be neutral and non-partisan in the maintenance of law and order before and after the December general elections. He told the Appointments Committee of Parliament that he would take a decision on whether to serve as Interior Minister cum Chairman of the Security Committee of the Flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) if he were given the nod.


The Nominee had resigned last year after serving for almost seven years as Minister for Defence for an unsuccessful bid for the flag bearer position of the ruling NPP and was subsequently made the Chairman for the Security Committee of the party towards election 2008. Dr Addo-Kufuor expressed worry about the nation's poor image for becoming a drug transit point and the menace of armed robbery that plagued the country in recent times.He said the incident of cocaine was undermining the nation's democracy and called for measures to halt the floating of monies from cocaine and other illicit drug trafficking to finance the development of individual properties.The Minister Designate said he would ensure that through the Executive, laws are put on the statute books, as in other [advanced] jurisdictions to check the source of monies for the springing up of buildings and other projects and in areas that were hitherto not noted for such.Dr Addo-Kufuor said he would continue the joint military and police operation, which he started when he was Defence Minister for the physical presence of the two agencies to be felt in the communities during both day and night as a way of checking armed robbery. He assured Ghanaians of pursuing effective weapon handling by the police as they would go for more training at the Bundase, adding that adequate compensation would be sought for families that had lost dear ones through police indiscriminate firing.


Dr Addo-Kufuor also decried the maintenance culture within the Ghana Police Service.He said he would team up with the IGP and the Ghana Police Council for regular monthly checks on buildings in Police Stations and barracks to ensure their effective maintenance.


Papa Owusu-Ankomah suggested that Members of Parliament (MPs) and other stakeholders, as farmers should be involved partnership agreements and trade negotiation and refuted the suggestion that such agreements brought no economic gains at all to Ghana.He said trade without the the support of European Union (EU) would make impossible for Ghana's non-traditional export to get into the EU market.The Minister Designate welcomed government's relief of GH¢ 38 million but noted the likely decrease that the measure would have on local vegetable oil production.For this, a Committee member, Mr Abraham Ossei-Aidooh announced that the Committee on Investment was reviewing the rate on import tax. Papa Owusu-Ankomah rejected a suggestion that the PSI on cassava had failed and argued that it was an infant industry that naturally would face a teething problem like capital injection to develop the infrastructure need to maintain such projects.


Questions for Mr Mensa-Bonsu, a Diplomat and Legal Practitioner hinged mainly on factors that led to his incarceration for contempt charges against him in respect of the late Mr Justice Isaac Abban, former Chief Justice who Mr Mensa-Bonsu was accused of calling a liar in 1993.Mr Mensa-Bonsu told the Vetting Committee that the late Chief Justice lied by stating that former Prime Minister, Kofi Abrefa Busia had justified coup d'etats, which he found out to be false in a newspaper that purportedly reported that statement. Mr Mensa-Bonsu explained that the case termed "the page 28" was because that page of the judgement was later found out to have been tampered with.He said he copied a submission he wrote on the statement of Mr Abban who was rather later appointed Chief Justice.The newspaper described Mr Abban as a liar, for which he (Mr Mensa-Bonsu) was subsequently charged for contempt of the late Mr Abban despite the fact that he never called him a liar.According to Mr Mensa-Bonsu forensic test proved that the page in question was changed from the original after the newspaper publication. The nominee until recently Ghana's Ambassador to Togo announced that grants for Ghanaian students studying French on tour in that country had been released for up to June 2008.
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