Ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor
Ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor

…..And talks about Woyome at Taifa Rally*

Ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor and ex-Finance Minister Yaw Osafo Marfo, would have come across as first-class acrobats had they decided to go into athletics and not politics where they are exhibiting crass ineptitude.

The two men, last Monday, cleverly dodged their individual roles in the ?50 billion paid to the 31st December Women?s Movement by the state following their unilateral decision to seize a US$1.8 million Chinese Loan belonging to the Movement, for 8 years, and instead speak about the controversial GH?51 million paid to Alfred Agbesi Woyome, .

At the campaign launch of Sara Adjoa Sarfo in Taifa-Accra, the two men who, some have argued should be prosecuted for causing a ?50 billion financial loss to the state, suggested that the John Mills administration was criminally minded in making the payment to Mr. Woyome.

They, however, completely ignored the ?50 billion paid to the 31st December Women?s Movement, one of the numerous judgment debts left behind by the Kufuor regime, and settled by the Mills administration upon assumption of office in 2009.

An Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Margaret Insaidoo, on March 5, 2008, said in her judgment on the case that ?It is sad to say the least that Public Officials who are entrusted with the public good and who are expected to act with utmost good faith will so create a situation which will result in creating financial loss situations for this country.?

But at the Taifa rally, which was to kick-start the New Patriotic Party?s (NPP?s) Dome-Kwabenya Constituency campaign, the former president, rather reprimanded the Mills administration for authorizing the GH?51 million judgment debt paid to Mr. Woyome, although it had claimed it inherited a shambolic economy from the NPP.

Apart from Mr. Kufuor and Mr. Osarfo Marfo, speakers after speaker attacked the Mills Administration for the payment made to Mr. Woyome.

They include the NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo Addo, his running mate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Anthony Kabo, Atta Akyea who all spoke about the Woyome scandal, suggesting that the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) had no message for the voters, apart from the Woyome scandal.

Whilst Nana Addo, was emphatic that the payment made to Mr. Woyome could not have occurred under him as the president of Ghana, his running mate Dr. Bawumia stated that the NPP would move the economy of Ghana from ?Woyomization to Jobiliazation? when elected.

Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, several times screamed: ?we want our money back?, ?we want our money back?, ?we want out money back? in reference to the GH?51 million paid to Mr. Woyome.

The Herald last week revealed how the 31st December Women?s Movement led by ex-First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, creamed nearly GH?5 million, the equivalent of ?50 billion (old cedi), off the state as a result of a reckless decision by ex-President John Kufuor to seize a US$1,800,000.00 Chinese Loan facility belonging to the Movement.

It started in 2001, when newly elected President Kufuor instructed his first Finance Minister, Osarfo Maafo, not to release the US$1,800,000.00 loan to the wife of his arch-rival, Mr. Rawlings. And nine years later, Ghanaians who are crying for good drinking water, roads, hospitals, schools and other social amenities had to cough up a massive GH?4, 991,655.00 by way of judgment debt.

According to documents intercepted by The Herald, the Mills administration had to cough up a massive GH?4, 991,655.00 on June 3, 2009, to settle Calf Cocoa International Limited in which 31st December Women?s Movement, through Caridem, has 45 per cent stake.

The Kufuor regime was to make payment to Mrs. Rawlings? movement in 2008, according to a court judgment given by Her Ladyship Justice Margaret Insaidoo of an Accra High Court, on March 5, 2008, but the payment was not done till the Mills administration assumed office in 2009.

Insiders say the US$1,800,000.00 Chinese Loan was not only frozen by the Kufuor regime, but the ex-president also made several unsuccessful attempts to personally hijack the loan for his private benefit.

Mr. Kufuor is said to have once summoned some Chinese officials of Calf Cocoa International Limited into his hotel room in China, during a visit to that country, and told them to abrogate their agreement with Caridem and give him the money to set up a private company which will process raw cocoa beans, and export the products to the Chinese market.

With the Chinese refusal, Mr. Kufuor also refused to release the money to the 31st December Women?s Movement, and instead deployed the state machinery, to engage in a fight with Mrs. Rawlings? Movement which had legal luminary Tony Lithur, as its lawyer, while Joe Ghartey represented the state.

The Mills government made the payment to Calf Cocoa in respect of an order by an Accra High Court, in March 2008, that the state pay an amount of US$3,550,000.00 including accumulated interest to Calf Cocoa over the decision of the Kufuor government not to pay the US$1,800,000.00 to Calf Cocoa, being the working capital portion of a Subsidiary Loan Agreement (SLA) between Calf Cocoa and the Government of Ghana for the establishment of the cocoa factory.

The SLA was based on an agreement between the Government of Ghana and the EXIM Bank of China in which the Chinese government agreed to give to the Government of Ghana interest subsidised concessionary loan for the purpose of financing industrial projects in Ghana through joint ventures between Ghana and nominated Chinese companies in identified areas.

Calf Cocoa and two other companies were granted this facility. China International Cooperation Company for Agriculture Livestock and Fishery which was nominated by the Chinese Government is the majority shareholder in Calf Cocoa.

The factory was primarily established to add value to Ghana?s raw cocoa through the processing of cocoa beans into cocoa oil, cakes and aromatic products.

The judgment debt was used to replace obsolete equipment, those stolen and other materials required to make the company operational; the company is located at Kpone near Tema, with the capacity to employ thousands of Ghanaians when it is fully operational.

Her Ladyship Justice Margaret Insaidoo in her ruling on March 5, 2008, also said: ?Value addition to raw cocoa beans has always been on the economic agenda of this country. The objective of this company is to process Cocoa Beans into Butter and other value added products. The country has recently commissioned cocoa processing plants such as Barry Callibaut and Cadbury and Fry in furtherance of this objective. So why should this project not meet the light of day? Whose fault is it? What went wrong??

Source:?The Herald

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