Records on activities of Ghana @50 Anniversary Celebration in the Ashanti Region, which were reportedly missing following the death of the supply officer, S.E.A Taylor, have been found. The former Ashanti Regional Coordinating Director (ARCD), Ernest Yaw Kwarteng, yesterday appeared before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the activities of [email protected] 50 in full flight with the records.
He told the Commission that during his handing over notes, he handed over every document in connection with the jubilee celebration to his successor, Samuel Okyere Kusi Appiah, who could not take pains to go through the documents. According to him, he did not send the documents home as alleged but left it in the office before proceeding on retirement. “My Lord, it was unfortunate that they said they could not trace the report. May be it was because my reliever was new and could not see the records. More so, it was on a different file and the accountant was also on transfer,” he enunciated, adding that if his successor had taken pains to go through the files, he would have seen the documents.
It would be recalled that before the suspension on July 28, 2009, of the public hearings, the current Ashanti Regional Coordinating Director, Samuel Okyere Kusi Appiah, told the Commission that the supply officer who received the [email protected] items for the region, S.E.A Taylor, died a year ago and therefore there were no available records on the activities of [email protected] 50 in the Ashanti region. “My Lord I took over from my predecessor one month ago, last June 3, 2009, but there were no records because the supply officer who received the items of Ghana at 50 died last year.
I only managed to gather pieces of information when I assumed office,” Mr. Kusi stated, pointing out he was not able to gather all the needed information for the Commission. Following the exposition of Mr. Kusi, the Chairman of the Commission, Justice Isaac Douse, subpoenaed former RCD, Ernest Yaw Kwarteng, to give accounts of his stewardship. When quizzed by the Chairman what he would have done assuming he was dead, witness replied that other officers who were on transfer could have rallied around to provide the documents, stressing, “My Lord I am a seasoned officer and cannot leave the records anyhow. It was in the office before I proceeded on leave”.
Mr Kwarteng told the Commission that RCD received GH˘780,000 from the [email protected] 50 Secretariat for the regional celebration. Part of the money, he related, was used for the construction of five main projects, namely, durbar grounds, amphi theatre at the National Cultural Centre, renovation of the museum, external works at the cultural centre and lay-out of the cultural centre gate. During cross examination as to whether the Jubilee Park had been completed, Mr Kwarteng replied it was 80 per cent complete and that there was an outstanding balance to be paid to the contractor.
Mr Kwarteng admitted to using proceeds from the sales of souvenirs for other purposes and using part of the anniversary grants to purchase fuel which amounted to GH˘10,000 to dispatch security personnel and school children to the parade grounds for a one-week rehearsal before the Golden Jubilee anniversary. Acknowledging the receipt of 625 pieces of T- shirts and 250 Polo T-shirts, which RCC distributed it free of charge without the authorisation from the Secretariat, as a result of the high price, the witness averred that they had not accounted for the region’s activities to the Secretariat, arguing that they had been directed by the Ministry of Finance not to open any special accounts for Ghana @50.
Akoto Apaw, Counsel for Dr Charles Wereko-Brobbey, Chief Executive of the Secretariat, queried witness for not using his discretion to reduce the price of the T- shirts instead of distributing them free of charge.Mr. Kwarteng was however quick to explain that they did not have the mandate from the Secretariat to reduce the price, to which counsel argued that “but you used your discretion to distribute them free of charge without any mandate from the Secretariat”. Taking his turn, the Krachi West District Coordinating Director, Gado Musah, told the Commission that the district received a total cash amount of GH˘10,000 from the Volta Regional Coordinating Council for the [email protected] 50 Anniversary Celebration.
He said out of the money, the District Assembly spent GH˘9,972.60, saving the remaining amount of GH˘327.40 in one of the accounts of the district.According to him, the disbursed amount was used to pay sitting and transport allowances of officials engaged in the Jubilee activities; and for the welfare of senior citizens during the celebrations. Mr. Musah stated that in addition to the cash amount, the Assembly also received various quantities of Anniversary clothes and souvenirs including T-shirts, baseball cups and plastic cups for distribution to the general public.
He informed the Commission that 120 pieces of the T-shirts got missing from 2500 pieces, which the District was supposed to receive, adding that the Assembly however managed to find the items. Mr. Musah pointed out that all the cash generated from the sale of the some of the souvenirs and cloths have been lodged in the Assembly’s accounts.
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|