Refunding Botched Sputnik V Money Not Enough; Kwaku Manu Must Be Penalized - Vitus Azeem
Anti Corruption Campaigner, Vitus Azeem, has insisted that the refunding of all the monies paid in the botched Sputnik V deal by Sheikh Al Maktoum is no excuse to back down on calls for the resignation or dismissal of the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu. He wants Ghana to also follow the example of other countries
that have dealt with officials for misuse and abuse of office in the spending of the COVID-19 related funds and also in an interview on the Thursday, August 12, 2021, Vitus Azeem stressed the need for the Health Minister to be held accountable for his actions. I also don’t think this should be over yet. If you steal money
and the money is recovered, it does not mean you have committed no crime. The fact that they have refunded the money does not clear the Minister of the crime he has committed. He has breached the PPA Act, he lied under oath, among others. He should be penalised to ensure such issues do not come up in the future. Again,
we are not really sure the Minister was in this alone. We also need to further probe the case too. Speaking to the media on the same issue, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Social Equity and the Public Accountability (ASEPA), Mensah Thompson, also maintainsed that the latest move also does not justify the Minister’s action. Getting the money back does not remedy the violations
also in respect of the Public Procurement Laws, the Financial Administrations Act, and also the usurping of article 181 (5). The money has been refunded, but then there are other issues that have to be looked into. This is not just with the Health Minister but also the Finance Minister, the Accountant General, and even officials from the Bank of Ghana, attempted murder is murder.
The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, has faced intense criticism after an ad hoc committee of Parliament concluded that he entered into the Sputnik V deal without approval from the relevant institutions. It also recommended, and among other things, that the Finance Minister takes steps to recover over $2 million
paid to Sheikh Ah Maktoum for the undelivered vaccines. Meanwhile, documents sighted by the media indicate that the Sheikh has returned the monies to Government of Ghana. Other groups and individuals have asked the Attorney General to initiate criminal proceedings against the embattled minister.