Vetting: Ursula Owusu and Dan Botwe face tough questions on Kelni GVG, COVID tracker, creation of new regions etc today

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful and Dan Botwe Ursula Owusu-Ekuful and Dan Botwe

Today promises to be yet another judgment day for two of Akufo-Addo's retained ministers as they appear before the Appointments Committee of Parliament to justify their suitabilityas ministers, as well as account for their stewardship in the last four years, when they served in the same capacity.

Barring any last minute changes, the Minister-designate for Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development, Dan Kweku Botwe and the Minister of Communications and Digitalization-designate, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful are to justify their competence, thinking capacity, as well as temperament for the jobs assigned them.

Of the two, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful could have the toughest grilling in the whimsical manner she had managed the Ministry of Communications.

From the closure of radio stations among others. She had been more powerful than everybody, including ignoring advice and directives from Parliament's Select Committee on Communications chaired by Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for Assin Central in the Central Region.

She is expected to be questioned on the engagement of Kelni GVG as replacement for the SUBA info Solution and COVID tracker.

Her love affair with the Chinese in the controversial StartTimes deal which the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) has said threatens Ghana's security and independence is likely to be questioned.

StarTimes is owned by Chinese and GIBA feels allowing them to handle the entire DTT infrastructure would be inimical to Ghana's security. GIBA, has been in court over the issue.

The mismanagement at the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) under the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abraham Kofi Asante. Computers, printers, air-conditioners have been stolen and investigations by the Police Criminal Investigations (CID) have been abandoned. This is likely to be dealt with.

Her many utterances on radio, suggesting some Ghanaians were second class citizens in her famous ''ye agyi yen man to wit ''we are taken back our country'', among others will be dealt with.

Additionally, The Herald has also landed a letter showing a request for the payment of USD $9. 9 million for a project that never happened beyond a demo.

According to insiders, a cursory check with most government workers will indicate a platform for the management of COVID, which was never available for use. In effect, Ursula who was given control of the IT budget for the COVID-19 response, did not work and the whereabouts of the taxpayers' money is also unknown.

The letter indicates that more money was paid than recorded for what has been described as a ''phantom network''.

A certain company, SMARTINFRACO Limited, said to be owned by a Nigerian was to build the platform.

Same Nigerian, was said to have been given the contract for the Kotoka International Airport COVID-19 test at US$150 per person.

In the case of Dan Botwe, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Okere in the Eastern Region, is also billed to have a tough time speaking to the regional demarcation he presided over which forced people who did not want to be part of certain regions pushed under those regions.

Concerns raised by some residents through petitions addressed to the Justice Brobbey Commission on the creation of six new regions in many cases were snubbed.

Of particular interest is the case of the infamous Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe (SALL) case where deliberate efforts were made to push them under the Buem Constituency of Oti Region, although the residents, chiefs and other opinion leaders, had insisted that they preferred being part of Hohoe in the Volta Region, both for their geographical and economic interests.

Aside the petitions which were ignored, suits filed by them in the courts were sat on by the judiciary, even petitions to the Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah on the same matter inquiring about why the court was sitting on the writ was also ignored, until the media took it up.

The reasons for the frustrations of the petitions, the court cases among others manifested when on the eve of the 2020 election, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa, issued a statement, saying the people of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe (SALL) will not be allowed to vote under Hohoe Constituency in the Parliamentary Election, but only Presidential.

This denied some 17,000 electorates their right to vote, thus enabling John Peter Amewu of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to win the Hohoe seat having bussed people into the constituency in STC buses.

Dan Botwe, an ex-General Secretary of the NPP, is seen as an expert in gerrymandering and believed to have plotted against Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe (SALL).

Source: The Herald