Showing posts from December, 2012

PPP sues EC, August 15, 2012

The Progressive Peoples Party (PPP) has dragged the Electoral Commission (EC) to court for failing to make a provisional arrangement that would have enabled voters in the Kwabre West and Wulensi constituencies to elect Members of Parliament in a by-election, following the demise of their Members of Parliament (MPs).

Following an injunction placed on the two by-elections by an Accra High Court in the wake of a joint court action by the general secretaries of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Convention Peoples Party (CPP), the PPP filed the suit at the Supreme Court seeking an order to set aside the injunction.

The High Court had ruled that it was illegal for the EC to use the old voters register to conduct by-elections at the two constituencies because the law which created the old register had been revoked.

The Kwabre West and the Wulensi seats became vacant after the death of their MPs, Alhaji Saani Iddi and Emmanuel Owusu Ansah respective…

The NPP evidence can't pass legal proceedings anywhere

The National Democratic Congress says the evidence gathered by the NPP for its petition to the Supreme Court cannot stand the test of any legal proceedings anywhere.

“They want to find something to hold their party together. There is no way they are going to be able to sweep the problems in their parties under the carpet,” the General Secretary of the NDC said at swift press conference in reaction to the another one held by the NPP after it filed its petition at the Supreme Court today.

Even before the Electoral Commission declared President John Mahama of the 2012 polls, the NPP raised red flags about the credibility of the polls.

According to the NPP there evidence of over-voting - when the votes in the ballot box exceed the ballots issued to voters; voting without verification, duplicated serial numbers and several other irregularities that undermined the credibility of the elections.

The party, therefore, petitioned the Supreme Court today to look into the matter in a landmark cas…

What Excuse Can We Give? ---Nana Konadu, October 18, 2012

The flag bearer of the National Democratic Party (NDP), Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, has urged Ghanaians to avoid destructive political banter while basic social amenities continue to be a challenge.

“We cannot engage in destructive political banter while the people of Ghana are not certain whether their lights will be on today or not,” she said.

According to her, there was no excuse for some of the problems facing the country, including joblessness, inadequate water supply and poorly maintained schools.

“What excuse can we give for badly maintained and ill-equipped hospitals? What excuse can we give to patients in hospitals who are forced to sleep on the floor because hospital beds are not available?” she asked.

The NDP flag bearer threw a challenge to presidential hopefuls in the December elections to declare their health status.

“Everybody who wants to take the highest servant position of the people of this country should let the people know about his or her health status. It is …

Macho men say no to violence, December 4, 2012 (Front oage)

AN association of body builders has made it categorically clear that machomen will not become instruments of violence and intimidation during and after Friday’s elections.

Christened Machomen for Good and Justice, the association admitted that politicians had, in the past, misled some of them into committing atrocities across the country during elections, only for those politicians to avoid them after the polls.

The members, however, expressed disappointment in the security services in their failure to involve the machomen in security plans for the December polls.

The association had requested that its 6,000-strong membership be part of security activities for the polls but the police warned to deal ruthlessly with any machoman who dared cause trouble at polling stations during the elections.

Speaking at a forum organised by the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) for the men of muscle to share their experiences, the Founder of Machomen for Good and Justice, Nana Kwabena Boakye, s…

Expose politicians who use machomen for violence-Ashigbey

THE Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited, Mr Ken Ashigbey, has urged members of the Machomen for Good and Justice, an association for body builders, to expose politicians who approach them to intimidate electorates before, during and after Friday’s elections.

“Expose the charlatans who want to push the country to the brink of chaos, he said at a programme organised by the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) for the group to share their experiences in past elections and ways to protect the country’s peace.

The Graphic MD commended the group for their stance against intimidation during elections saying “what you have started is a good venture and the beginning of an advocacy and good commitment into the future.”

He said the company would continue to make its platform available to project the work of the association.

He, however, urged the security agencies to find innovative ways of working hand-in-hand with the muscle men to promote peace and security in th…

Korle Bu hit by blood shortage, December 18, 2012 Spread

Shortage of blood at the Korle-Bu Blood Centre has compelled the management of the blood bank to roll out an emergency programme to get more blood for patients in and outside the hospital.

Under the programme, the hospital is appealing to churches, organisations, schools, companies and individuals to donate blood to the centre, which is struggling to cope with the daily blood requirement.

Currently, the bank needs an average of 100 units (pints) of blood daily to satisfy the needs of patients of the hospital and those of major private healthcare facilities, including the Nyaho Clinic and the Trust Hospital.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the Deputy Donor Recruiter of the centre, Mr Samuel Nunoo, said so far, a number of churches had responded to the appeal.

The situation, he said, had improved slightly but was quick to add, “We need more people to come and donate blood.”

The blood shortage was reported in the media last week, with fears that the centre could close down if the situation di…

Ghana,model of democracy says Nigerien Ambassador, page 12

The just-ended elections have proven once again that Ghanaians have long understood the vital importance of peace and stability.

“Ghana is surely a model of democracy in Africa and the recent elections have proven the maturity of Ghana’s democracy,” the Nigerien Ambassador to Ghana, Hajia Hajio Abdoulmoumine, said at a cocktail event in Accra to celebrate the National Day of Niger.

The ambassador also congratulated President John Dramani Mahama and all the newly elected members of  the sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic.

On August 3, 1960, Niger gained full independence from France, after having been a colony since 1922. The country had voted to become a republic on December 18, 1958. August 3 is a national holiday celebrating Independence Day, while December 18 is a Republic Day.

The event attended by diplomatic corps marks the establishment of a republic and the presidency in that country. The main celebrations are held in the capital Niamey, which is also the largest city of t…

NDC strengthens control over parliament, Dece 11, 2012 BACK PAGE

THE National Democratic Congress (NDC) has strengthened its control over Parliament by grabbing 148 seats.

The swell in the NDC’s seats has  been boosted by the creation of the 45 new constituencies and the fall of a number of New Patriotic Party (NPP) stalwarts in the current Parliament.  

In the legislative race between the two political heavyweights, the NDC’s 148 seats in addition to two independent candidates from its fold in the Volta and Northern regions,  gives the party a comfortable majority in a Parliament expected to be dominated by partisan debates.

The NDC is also expected to have on its side, Mr Alhassan Azong, the Builsa South Peoples National Convention (PNC) Member of Parliament and  current  Minister of State in charge of Public Sector Reforms, who was retained by his constituents.

Ghana’s Fourth Republic is replete with independent candidates who have broken away from their mother parties and coming back to work with their parties whether they are in power or not.

Odododiodio constituency: a constituency to watch

All eyes will be on Ododiodio in the December election as the country wraps up its preparations towards election 2012.

The reason is not rocket science, the Odododiodio Constituency, from results of parliamentary elections since 1992, has an interesting record.  With the exception of 2004, any party that won the Ododiodio seat  sends the President into the Castle.

Undeniably, this year’s election seems to be a two horse race between Presidential Aide, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye of the National Democratic Congress (NDC)  and a retired military officer, Captain Victor Okaikoi of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).But the growing popularity of the Progressive Peoples Party in the constituency should be a cause for concern for the two parties.

 Signs of how important the constituency is to both sides manifested during the biometric registration exercise, which was plagued with skirmishes .

Even before the 2012 race took off, the constituency came on the national political radar with concerns about vio…

GIFEC To Construct 50 ICT Centres Nationwide

The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) has begun the construction of 50 Community Information Centres (CICs) throughout the country.

The CICs will serve as community ICT centres to help bridge the digital divide between rural and urban Ghana.

Twenty of the 50 CICs are expected to be completed for inauguration by December.

The GIFEC is funded with one per cent after-tax profit of all telecommunication companies in the country.

Speaking at the launch of the GIFEC Week celebration in Accra yesterday, the Minister for Communications, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, urged the board and the management of GIFEC to ensure that the centres were connected to the Internet, so that they could be of use to young people for research and development.

Programmes highlighting the three-day event, meant to highlight the activities of the organisation, include forums on ICT and education in Ghana, exhibitions and lectures.

The GIFEC was established in 2004 as an implementing age…

Media Foundation condemns attack on journalists

THE Media Foundation for West Africa has condemned the wave of New Patriotic Party (NPP) sympathisers’ attacks on journalist and is calling on the leadership of the party to instruct their followers to desist from any harassment of media persons performing their normal functions.

According to the foundation, “it was unfortunate that while discharging their duties, sections of the media and some journalists had reportedly been harassed by some aggrieved NPP supporters.”

Ever since the result of the 2012 election was announced last Sunday, reports of some radio and television stations reporters—Metro TV, TV3 and Joy FM - have been  physically or verbally abused have traversed the media landscape.

Civil society organisations including the Ghana Journalists Association have condemned the attacks, urging the NPP to apologise to the media houses that were attacked by the irate party supporters.

Addressing a press conference is Accra to digest the conduct of the media during 2012 elections, the…

ATL resumes operations after closure

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has given Akosombo Textiles Limited the green light to resume it operations, days after the company   was closed down for failing to meet its tax obligations.

The decision to allow the company to resume production followed a substantial payment of it tax indebtedness to the GRA and a commitment to spread the remaining amount for  not more than six months.

The Daily Graphic of December 13, 2013 reported that the GRA had closed down ATL and its sister company, Akotex Synthetics Limited  (ASL)– for failing to live up to their tax obligations for the past four years.

The two companies, which are under the same management owe the Value Added Tax (VAT) and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax close to GHC 9 million in taxes, penalties and interest since 2009.
While ATL’s indebtedness was GHC 5,714,560.65, ASL owed GHC 3,187,718.24.

Even though he declined to give the exact amount paid by the company, a Principal Revenue Collector of the GRA, Mr Wisdom K. Xetor said the t…

Akosombo Textiles closed down: for non-payment of taxes

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has closed down two textile manufacturing companies — Akosombo Textiles Limited (ATL ) and Akotex Synthetics Limited — for failing to live up to their tax obligations for the past four years.

The two companies, which are under the same management, owe the Value Added Tax (VAT) and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax close to GH¢9 million in taxes, penalties and interest since 2009.

While ATL’s indebtedness is GH¢5,714,560.65, ASL would have to cough up GH¢3,187,718.24.
According to the GRA, the two companies had breached all agreements aimed at keeping them in business while they fulfilled their tax obligations .

Acting on a distress order issued by the Commissioner-General of the GRA on November 28, 2012, officials of the GRA arrived on the premises of ATL at Accra Central  at 10:30 a.m. yesterday to lock up the premises, but employees at the company’s front desk pleaded for time to contact their bosses at Akosombo.

That was granted, but after almost an hour when…

Ghanaians demonstrated maturity-Israeli Ambassador

Ghana has demonstrate again to the world that it is a country that has accepted democracy as part of its culture, the Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, Ms Sharon Bah-Li has said.

“Ghanaians have demonstrated that democracy is part of their lifestyle and their culture,” she stated.

She noted that there was no question about the country’s belief in democracy anymore as the electoral system was not in the hands of the government but in the hands of the people.

Ghana went to the polls on December 7 to elect a President and 275 parliamentarians. After the declaration of results, which had the imcumbent John Dramani Mahama winning, the opposition New Patriotic Party, is hearding to court to challenge the results.

The Ambassador observed that while there was political tension and dedicated support for the respective candidates in the elections, the matured nature of the Ghanaian society just like in other jurisdictions meant that in Ghana“people agree to disagree”.

She said her expectation from the e…

Meat inspection laws for review to improve standards

Back from Atlanta Georgia, USA
Courtesy: USA Poultry and Egg Export Council

THE Veterinary Services Department of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has begun work on recommendations towards the review of  the Animal Diseases Act of 1961 to ensure that meat inspection in the country meets international best practices.

The Director of Veterinary Services, Dr Mark Hanson, told  the Daily Graphic that a review of the law had become necessary to safeguard public health and safety.

According to him, while no law existed to regulate meat inspection in the country currently, the Animal Disease Act , a backbone of the Veterinary Service which was passed in 1961, was outdated.

He said a new meat inspection law would spell out clearly how slaughter houses should be like, who qualified to operate one and also ensure that animals were examined before being slaughtered to ensure public safety.

He said under the existing practice, such inspections were limited to imported meat products.

In the …

Two elections, one result: postmorterm of the Ghana/US elections pg 11

From a misty, miserable fog, the rain thickened to torrents. The sidewalks were deserted.  The only sign of life in the already quiet neighbourhood was the cars and the occasional police sirens that broke the silence.

The lobby of the Hyatt Place hotel, my temporary place of abode, was filled with whispers and murmurings of the patrons. My strained ears picked up Obama and Romney in the barely audible conversations. It is Election Day in the US and I am in Atlanta, Georgia.

I had the American election flu even before I left Ghana, but the fact that I was just about witnessing history in the making - whether Obama, America’s first black president, retains or loses the elections, peaked  my fervour.  The two debates further increased my interest in the process.

The debates

From all indications, Americans take their Presidential debates very seriously, a reflection in the slump in Obama’s lead in  polls in which he  was leading prior to the October 3 debate. Mitt Romney’s performance on the…

No more intimidation, snatching of boxes - Machomen pledge, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2012

An association of body builders, Machomen for Good and Justice, says macho men will not become an instrument of violence and intimidation during and after Friday’s elections.

Speaking at a forum organised by the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) for the men of muscle to share their experiences, the Founder of the 6000-member- association Nana Kwabena Boakye said the days of macho men being used as instrument to visit mayhem on innocent citizens during elections was over.

“We are pledging our commitment for peace during and after the elections and would not allow ourselves to be used by politicians to pursue their own agenda,” he said.

The programme attended by traditional rulers, independent presidential candidate, Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah and representatives of the Progressive Peoples Party and the Independent Peoples Party, had regional representatives of the association pledging their commitment to uphold the country’s peace before, during and after Friday’s election.

The mac…

When machomen are let loose...

It is a hot afternoon on December 7, 2004. The sticky hot air notwithstanding, long queue of voters snake across the dusty school park, anxiety written over their faces.

Not far away, Mad Lion, the leader of the muscled men, sits restlessly on the edge of the concrete pillar holding up the wooden bridge. He chuckles to himself with satisfaction as he monitors the rowdy behaviour of the group he calls “The Boys”.

Occasionally, they would stop a voter suspected to likely cast the ballot for the party they are opposed to. Angered or intimidated, the potential voter would turn around and head home. The few brave ones who dared to ask questions get away with a bloodied mouth or a twisted arm.

Mad Lion would occasionally intervene but not without advising the victim to vote for ‘honourable,’ his preferred candidate.

That is not all, electoral officers  are occasionally forced to allow some voters  to jump the queue.  With shirts off and their bulging muscles on display, the strictest presid…