Sunday, July 31, 2016

MONTIE GANG WEEP AT NSAWAM PRISON

By William Yaw Owusu
Saturday, July 30, 2016

Details are emerging of how the three National Democratic Congress (NDC) activists convicted for contempt by the Supreme Court now known as Montie 3 were whisked away to the Nsawam Medium Security Prison to start their respective four month sentences.

The three Salifu Maase aka Mugabe host of “Pampaso” political programme on an Accra-based Montie FM together with Godwin Ako Gunn, 39 and Alistair Tairo Nelson, 41, apart from the four month sentence were ordered to pay a whopping GH¢10,000 each as fines or in default serve an additional month in jail for scandalizing the courts.
 
Alistair was said to have sobbed as they were carried to Nsawam.

The Journey
Immediately the five-member panel presided over by Justice Sophiah B. Akuffo handed down the sentences, Mugabe, Ako Gunn and Allistair were handcuffed and put in a police bullion van.

DAILY GUIDE learnt that the gang of three were first sent to Adentan Police Station, Accra to await the warrant to Nsawam and when the Prisons authorities confirmed the arrival of the detention warrants, they were driven straight to the prisons from Adentan.
At Nsawam they were searched thoroughly as the rules demand before being admitted.

Sad Episode
While in the bullion van, the NDC convicts were said to have made ‘touching’ phone calls to their respective families, asking them to put their personal effects and other belongings in safekeeping.

DAILY GUIDE sources said Alistair appeared to sob while Ako-Gunn was in somber mood but Mugabe looked shell-shocked and seemed frustrated at what had befallen him after boasting that he was not afraid of prison.

Montie Owners
The apex court had slapped Kwaku Kyei Attuah, Edward Addo, both Directors and shareholders of Network Broadcasting Limited operators of the station, lawyer Kwaku Bram-Larbi, Secretary to the board of directors and Harry Zakour, a vice Chairperson of the NDC and Zeze Media owners of the frequency with a GH¢30,000 fine or in default be individually held liable.

The Network Broadcasting Limited parent company of Montie Fm and Radio Gold was also fined GH¢30,000 bring the total amount of money to GH¢90,000.
 They had since paid the GHC90,000 fine according to court sources.

Death Threats
Apart from scandalizing the courts, the panel of judges was not happy with the Attorney General for refusing to press criminal charges against the convicts when it was cleared that they had cross the red line with death threats and criminal attack on judges particularly Supreme Court justices.

Mugabe had told his panelists to ‘open fire’ on the Justices and they in turn did so with threats of deaths in addition to allowing a certain Nash of Mataheko to ‘marry’ Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood.

The NDC communicators had threatened to kill the Justices sitting on an election related case, thereby incurring the wrath of the Justices who cited them for criminal contempt.

NDC Protest
Since their cionviction, the NDC has been thrown into disarray with a call by party footsoldiers and gurus for President John Mahama to veto the sentenses by activing the perogative of mercy by freeing the convicts.

The sentencing of the three have been condemned strongly by the ruling NDC who are putting pressure on President Mahama to invoke Article 72 of the 1992 Constitution to release the convicts.

Lawyers of the trio have already said they have petitioned the President to pardon the convicts while a desk has been set up by the NDC at the premises of Radio Gold which also houses Montie FM to get as many signature as possible to get the President to trigger Article 72 but other sections of the public have said it will be suicidal for President Mahama to pardon the convicts who threatened to take the lives of the Lord Justices.

The book, opened by a group calling itself the Research and Advocacy Platform (RAP) believed to have been formed by Felix Kwaky Ofosu, has received several signatures including those of high-profile government officials including a deputy Minister of Education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare and an official at the presidency, Valerie Sawyerr, who was a former deputy chief of staff.

Apart from the signatures, some angry NDC members besieged the party headquarters in Accra, Thursday to put pressure on leaders to call on President Mahama to use his powers to grant pardon to the trio.

GIBA’s Caution
The Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) meanwhile has asked its members to Be ‘circumspect’when commenting on national issues.
“The Supreme Court has sent a clear signal that within the freedom of expression guaranteed under our constitution, there are lines that ought not to be crossed and there is the need to make it universally unacceptable for anyone to engage in such conduct.”

“We will continue our engagements with various stakeholders such as the National Media Commission, the Judiciary, Parliament, National Communications Authority, and Ghana Journalists Association, to ensure the media remains free but the industry is well regulated,”GIBA president Akwasi Agyeman, President said in a statement.

GJA Warning
The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) cautioned the public not to interpret the sentencing of the trio to mean an attack on media, press freedom, and free speech.

GJA General Secretary Dave Etse Agbenu said after the sentencing that“The Supreme Court did not go after the Montie three because they did something that is lawful. The charges were read to them, they contested the charges and they were finally jailed. We must be careful not to confuse that with a media attack.”
 “I am not sure the law courts were dealing with them because they are media practitioners. They were dealing with them because they were in contempt of court,” he added.

Expert’s Advice
Veteran Communications expert, Professor Kwame Karikari counseled President Mahama not to accede to pressure to release the convicts since it would send a dangerous signal and wreck his chances of retaining power in December.

Professor Karikari who has been championing media and journalists’ rights through his Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) for decades said “There’s no serious president in a democracy that will cede to a call like that under our circumstances. It will be politically suicidal for the president to accede to the call of his party.”





Thursday, July 28, 2016

AMERI PLANTS PREVENTING RAINS

Kofi Anokye

By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, July 28, 2016

An advocate for cheap alternative source of energy has made an astounding assertion that the positioning of the AMERI Plant in the Western Region is preventing rains in the country.

According to Kofi Anokye, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Koans Building Solutions, if the plant, which was procured under controversial circumstances, was not re-positioned immediately it would negatively affect the rainfall pattern of the entire country and put Ghana in danger.

The 10 General Electric TM 2500 aeroderivative gas turbines, which cost Ghana over $510 million, has been installed at the Aboadze Power enclave, near Takodai.

The CEO claims that the plants are directly blocking the path of the major winds that blow directly from the Atlantic Ocean onto the country to form the rains.

The plants are expected to ensure the generation of 250mw of power to augment the country’s energy capacity, but the plant appears to have been shutdown due to the lack of gas currently.

Mr. Anokye told DAILY GUIDE exclusively on Tuesday that there would be no intensive rains which would lead to possible draught in the coming years if the plant continues to be positioned there.

“Have you not noticed that Ghana is supposed to be in a rainy season but we are not experiencing the usual rainfall pattern? We are almost ending the month of July and there are no rains. I am throwing a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ghana Meteorological Services Department to investigate my claims,” he said.

He said that the rains that came in a couple of days ago were due to the fact that the AMERI Plants had been shut down due to the unavailability of gas to power turbines, saying “the shutting down of the machines opened the way for the rains to come.”

He predicted that should the gas plants be restarted it was going to be very difficult for rains to fall, saying “if July ends and we don’t experience the usual rainfall, Ghana will be doomed.”

The CEO said he does not believe that a serious environmental impact assessment was done before the plants were brought into the country.

Mr. Anokye’s claims are expected to provoke heated debate in the country.


COURT REJECTS LANDS C’SSION OBJECTION

By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Land Court in Accra has dismissed a preliminary legal objection raised by the Lands Commission in the case in which some claimants listed to be paid compensation in the Volta Basin Flooded Area are jointly suing the government, demanding a release of the rest of the packages.

The court presided over by  Justice Anthony Oppong described as ‘misconceived’ the argument by the Lands Commission which has been sued alongside the Attorney General by the claimants that the court did not have jurisdiction to pursue the case.

The court ruled on Tuesday that Article 280 of the 1992 Constitution which Lands Commission held onto in its preliminary objection “does not oust the jurisdiction of this court.”

“In effect the preliminary legal objection is misconceived but there will be no order as to cost not so much that the plaintiffs are not entitled to cost but the court thinks that plaintiffs will be understanding not to press for cost out of sympathy for the government,” Justice Oppong ruled.

He said “It must be mentioned that the High Court has general unlimited jurisdiction to deal with all matters be it civil or criminal unless that particular jurisdiction is taken away by the 1992 Constitution or by an Act of Parliament,” adding “Anytime a person raises objection to the High Court in dealing with a particular matter, that person must quickly point to a provision in the 1992 Constitution or an Act of Parliament that clearly takes away that jurisdiction.”

Leading Claimants
The claimants include chiefs and people from Krachi, Pai, Tapa, Afram Plains, Nkomi-Sene, Makango, Apaaso and their action cites the Attorney General and the Lands Commission as defendants.

They are suing because the government since 2013 has allegedly abrogated the payment schedule contract it had with the claimants and as a result, no payment has been made since 2013.

Claimants Reliefs
The plaintiffs want a declaration that the negotiated settlement concluded in 2008 between them and the government under E.I. 98 of 1974 as amended by E.I. 67 of 1975 in pursuance of certain tranches of compensation payment which were made by the government to them was still valid and legally binding.

Lands Commission’s Fight
The Lands Commission had raised preliminary legal objection on grounds of want of jurisdiction of the court to entertain the case and cited CI 79 with regards to adverse findings made against them by a commission of enquiry and added that the findings of the commission of enquiry ‘assumed’ the judgement of the High Court.

The commission insisted that those the adverse findings were made against should have gone to the Court of Appeal to seek redress instead of the High Court.



CLOGSAG STRIKE INTENSIFIES

Isaac Bampoe-Addo declaring the strike last week

By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG) has intensified its strike action that began yesterday.

Members of the association insist that if the government, through the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), does not include their inputs in the payment of premium to qualified personnel in the services, they would not return to work.

In Accra, CLOGSAG executives were said to have met the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations Haruna Iddrisu, but the meeting ended in a deadlock.

A source told DAILY GUIDE that the ministry was going to have subsequent meetings with the leadership of the association.

Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG, Isaac Bampoe-Addo, at a news conference last week, accused government of refusing to include them in the process to determine the Interim Premium and ordered its members to stay at home if it failed to address their grievances by the assigned date.

“The national secretariat of CLOGSAG wishes to state that negotiations with government on Interim Premium have not been conclusive and because of that all our members are supposed to be on strike.”

According to the association, it sighted a draft report of the presentation of a sub-Committee of the FWSC on the ‘Transition from Interim Market Premium to implementing Market Premium but they were not included even though the committee had made some findings in relation to CLOGSAG.

Dr. Bampoe Addo said that the committee had made a compelling statement to the effect that in determining the skills that qualify for Market Premium, it had focused on “the health and education sectors as these formed the priority areas of government.

“To say the least, this statement is provoking and improper as regards the Civil and Local Government Services.  Based on current expertise at the FWSC, CLOGSAG is of the view that the output of this Committee would be misleading, unprofessional and above all mischievous.”

He said a critical look at the purported presentation “would justify such an assertion,” adding “CLOGSAG is of the opinion that a more competent, responsible and efficient team should be put in place to undertake this task.”

In Tamale on Monday, the National 3rd Trustee of CLOGSAG, Ernest Tagoe, reportedly said at a news conference that they had directed all members in the Northern Region to embark on the industrial action.

In Sunyani, a top official of the assembly told the paper that only skeletal staff of the Sunyani Municipal Assembly reported for work yesterday even though CLOGSAG directed its members to embark on a full strike by July 27, this year.

This was after negotiations with government failed to produce positive results on 19th July.

He said because some workers also belonged to other sister unions like Local Government Workers Union, its members probably would report to work.

Checks from other assembly assemblies in the region indicated the same trend.

At Dormaa East Assembly, all heads of department reported to work while their subordinates were absent.




Caption: Isaac Bampoe-Addo (middle) declaring the strike last week



Wednesday, July 27, 2016

AFOKO IN COURT WITH POLICE

Paul Afoko being escorted by the police to his vehicle

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The case in which suspended New Patriotic Party (NPP) Chairman Paul Afoko is seeking to overturn the party’s decisions is expected to be decided on Monday, August 15.

This follows the submission of written addresses by lawyers representing both parties in the case.

However, the Human Rights Court presided over by Justice Anthony Yeboah indicated yesterday that the judgement date could be brought forward before the August 15 if he was able to ‘finish’ his judgement ahead of time.

“We may have to abridge the date if I am able to finish writing my judgement ahead of time and will get the registrar to serve you hearing notices,” he said.

Mr. Afoko is suing the NPP and its Acting National Chairman, Freddie Blay who is also the First National Vice Chairmen after he was suspended indefinitely in October last year by the party.

The party’s Disciplinary Committee (DC) had recommended his suspension from the NPP after a petition by two members of the party and Mr. Afoko wants to the court to order his re-instatement as the National Chairman because he alleges that the party’s action was unconstitutional.
Mr. Afoko among other things is contesting the issue of whether Gifty Eugenia Kusi, MP for Tarkwa Nsuaem was validly appointed to the National Disciplinary Committee which recommended his suspension to National Executive Council (NEC).
A similar case instituted by Sammy Crabbe the suspended 2nd Vice chairman was thrown for lacking merit.
Witnesses in the case
During the entire trial, Mr Afoko had listed two people as the witnesses he was going to rely on in the case.
The witnesses included his lawyer in the initial stages of the case Martin Kpebu as well as Kwabena Agyei Agyapong who has also been suspended by the party.
However, Mr. Agyapong chickened out of the case and this was confirmed by Mr. Afoko’s lawyer on June 16 when the prospective witness was to be called to testify.

 “You will realize that we have Mr. Kwabena Agyepong as part of the witnesses to be called by the plaintiff but he is unavailable so that will be the end of the plaintiff’s case,” Mr. Buaben told the court.
The NPP on the other hand brought two witnesses including the party’s Disciplinary Committee Chairman Rt Rev. Samuel Asante Antwi, a former Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, Ghana and Peter Mac Manu, a former NPP Chairman to testify in the case.
Court Proceedings
Mr. Afoko was not in court when the case was called at exactly 9:04 am yesterday and he was represented by Daniel Dugan, a former deputy minister during the Kufuor-led NPP administration.

Godfred Yeboah counsel for both the NPP and Freddy Blay was present in court while Mr. Afoko’s lawyer Osafo Buaben was represented by Reynolds Twumasi.

Since the case commenced, Mr. Afoko has been coming to court, escorted by fully armed police officers reportedly drawn from the Monitors Unit.







Friday, July 22, 2016

PLOT AGAINST NPP CANDIDATE EXPOSED


Bright Wireko-Brobby


By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, July 22, 2016

DAILY GUIDE has uncovered an attempt by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Central Region to frustrate the efforts of Bright Wireko-Brobby to contest for the Hemang-Lower-Denkyira (HLD) Constituency seat on the ticket of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The NDC sees Mr. Wireko-Brobby as a threat to its candidate, Forster Andoh, and are therefore scheming behind the scenes to get a circuit court in Cape Coast to prolong a case involving the NPP candidate over fertilizer stealing allegation leveled against him by the DCE of the area, Francis Korankye Sekyi - even though the Attorney General says prosecution cannot be sustained.

As a result, the NDC has succeeded in getting the Attorney General’s Department to delay a fiat the department was supposed present to court exonerating the NPP candidate, so that it could drag the case until at least after the general election for its candidate - who is the incumbent MP - to have a smooth sail.

No Evidence
The fiat, reportedly prepared on June 3 at the AG’s Department (Prosecution Division), has advised the police to drop the charges because there was no evidence to sustain conviction of the NPP candidate and his 17 co-accused persons.

“There is nothing in the docket to show that he (Bright Wireko-Brobby) stole or conspired with any of the suspects to steal fertilizer. It cannot be said that any of the suspects dishonestly appropriated bags of fertilizer. There is no evidence to that effect in the docket.

“After carefully perusing the docket, it is my opinion that charges of conspiracy to steal and stealing cannot be sustained against any of the suspects. I do not recommend their prosecution,” the AG representative said.

Court Proceedings
The AG’s advice was supposed to be presented before the court, presided over by Kofi Seshie Amatewee last Wednesday, but a chief state attorney, John Ofori Tulasi, appeared before the judge to claim that the Central Regional Criminal Investigation Department (CID) received fresh evidence and they had asked the AG to hold on with the fiat as they prepared to present the new evidence for them to study and advise the court.

The chief state attorney therefore, pleaded with the court to adjourn the case until August 3, 2016 to enable them make the necessary additions.

Underhand Tactics 
DAILY GUIDE has stumbled on a scheme plotted by some stalwarts of the NDC in the region to get the AG to rescind her already prepared advice to the police that there is no evidence to charge the NPP candidate and that the case would collapse if the prosecution persisted.

The diabolic plan was hatched on Monday by the NDC bigwigs in the region at about 3:22 pm.

One of the NDC gurus allegedly sent a message to the AG’s Department over the case to which the officer at the Department replied, “….will follow up on it please… Kindly text me title of case. So many cases (sic) and need specific title please.”

One powerful NDC man in the Hemang-Lower-Denkyira Distirct stated, “Please Hon. AG, do something about the FERTILIZER theft case at HEMANG-LOWER-DENKYIRA BEFORE THE VERDICT ON WEDNESDAY, WHICH THE NPP CANDIDATE IS CELEBRATING. My people are at my neck as if I prosecuted the case. We thought the case could tarry till after the elections, even if the state had a bad case.”

The man, who appeared to have initiated the whole move, said, “She has requested for the title of the case and has given an indication that she will look into it so please, drop the Case Title for her.”

The recipient replied with the case title: The State v Wireko-Brobbey & Ors (in a matter of Over 1,000 Cocoa fertilisers stolen from Cocobod), which is before the high court in Cape Coast.

The party wanted the AG’s intervention in looking into the case suspecting that “They may be one of the many 'yaanom’ State Attorneys who worked on it so let's be patient whiles Hon Marietta comes to our aid.
At least, if truly the AG’s office has no interest in it as we are being told, then they can drag the issue till after the general election before discontinuing. Anyway, the AG and her team know best. Thank you Mama Marietta.”

Constituency Data
The HLD parliamentary seat is largely a traditional seat for the NPP until 2012 when the NDC snatched it with only 31 votes difference.

In the 2012 elections, the NDC’s Forster Andoh polled 13,178 votes as against NPP candidate Lawrence Agyensem’s 13,147.











CLOGSAG ON STRIKE


Isaac Bampoe-Addo (middle) at the news conference 


By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, July 22, 2016

The Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG) has announced the commencement of a strike action from Wednesday July 27 over the government’s failure to get their input on the payment of premium to qualified personnel within the service.

Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG, Isaac Bampoe-Addo at a news conference on Wednesday accused the government of refusing to include them in the process to determine the Interim Premium and ordered its members to stay at home if the government failed to respond to them by the assigned date.

CLOGSAG insists that the government through the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) has failed to get their input on the payment of the premium.

According to the association it sighted a draft report of the presentation of a sub-Committee of the FWSC on the ‘Transition from Interim Market Premium to implementing Market Premium.’

The presentation was made in Accra on May 26 to the National Committee on the implementation of decisions in the Takoradi Forum Committee which had been constituted and inaugurated by the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations.

“CLOGSAG would wish to emphatically state that it was neither requested to submit justification for payment of premium to qualified personnel within the Civil and Local Government Services nor was the association invited by the sub-Committee, describing the committee as ‘incompetent.’

Dr. Bampoe Addo said that the committee had made a compelling statement to the effect that in determining the skills that qualify for Market Premium, it had focused on “the health and education sectors as these formed the priority areas of government.”

“To say the least, this statement is provoking and improper as regards the Civil and Local Government Services.  Based on current expertise at the FWSC, CLOG SAG is of the view that the output of this Committee would be misleading, unprofessional and above all mischievous.”

He said a critical look at the purported presentation “would justify such an assertion,” adding “CLOGSAG is of the opinion that a more competent, responsible and efficient team should be put in place to undertake this task.”


Dr. Bampoe Addo emphasised that having considered all issues pertaining to the implementation, as well as the content and import of the presentation, CLOGSAG had decided that the Interim Market Premium should also be extended to its members and the effective date should coincide with the implementation date of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS), which is January 1, 2010.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

IEA RELEASES LATEST SURVEY REPORT

By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Unemployment, poverty and unreliable power supply known in local parlance as ‘dumsor’ are the top three problems confronting Ghanaians according to an Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) survey released yesterday.

Corruption and high prices of goods and services also featured prominently in the survey that looked at “Most Important Problems Confronting Ghana” between November and December last year.

Releasing the report under the IEA’s socio-economic and governance survey, Samuel Manu, Research Officer and Head of Survey Unit at the institute said the project covered 1,500 respondents all over the country and 25.8 percent said the unemployment situation had reached unimaginable proportion.

He said 23 percent responded that poverty was widespread while 16 percent said unreliable electricity supply is their major concern for Ghanaians and 9.9 percent for corruption as well as 7.9 for high prices respectively.

Mr. Manu said the survey results indicated that crime, ethnicity and clashes between the ruling NDC and the opposition NPP were not too much of a concern for Ghanaians at the moment.

According to him, 26.7 percent of female respondents expressed concern about the unemployment situation as against 24 percent of males and 24.8 percent of females complained about poverty as against 20.1 percent of males.

He said 16.4 percent of female respondents complained about unreliable power supply as against 16.2 while 13.4 percent of male respondents complained about corruption as against 7.5 percent with 9 percent female respondents saying prices of goods and services were too high as against 6.3 percent of males.

Mr. Manu said unemployment was of more concern to urban dwellers while those living in rural areas were interested in how poverty can be reduced.

He said respondents from the three Northern regions and those in Brong Ahafo as well as Central regions were concerned about poverty while those in Ashanti and Greater Accra complained about dumsor which is wreaking havoc to the economy.

He said the respondents in Western, Eastern and Volta regions complained about unemployment. 




UHAS STUDENTS THREATEN LEGAL ACTION OVER UNACCREDITED COURSES

By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Graduating Students (regular) of University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) are considering legal action against the university over what they claim to be graduation anomalies at the newly-established institution.

A statement issued by the students titled ‘Graduation anomalies’ was signed by representatives from the various departments and colleges from the university, who claimed some of the courses offered at the university in Ho in the Volta Region did not have accreditation.

The students, who signed the statement, included Abigail Yanda Yempew (School of Medicine), Theophilus Kusi Nuamah (School of Nursing and Midwifery), Paul Nyarko (School of Allied Health Sciences), Sophia Stevens (School of Public Health Rep).

The rest are Mark Hammond (Group Spokesperson), Sabastian Sydney Asare (Group Convener), Felix Dimado (Group Legal Rep) and Gabriel Agbanyo (Asst. Group Legal Rep).

The students said, “In October 2012, the university admitted its first batch of students to pursue various programmes leading to the award of degrees in various health and allied science fields.

“We were made to believe that since our institution is new, we shouldn't expect so much but compromise when we can as we support in developing the university into a prestigious one which will be recognised worldwide.”

The students said “on several occasions, we petitioned management but we were told things were in the pipeline and will be resolved soon. We took these words as gospel truths, hoping that these challenges will be tackled with all the urgency they deserved but unfortunately it wasn’t so!”

They said “we are set to graduate in four days, yet we have not even seen the results and grades we are graduating with.”

“The previous results which were made available were full of mistakes.  We petitioned the authorities but nothing has been done as we speak.”

Additionally, the students said “a graduating list was released which did not capture the names of some of our colleagues though they had sat for and passed all their papers.”

“Further probe revealed that some courses have not been accredited, hence such students cannot graduate.

“Similarly, the negligence and failure on the part of management to incorporate hard-earned results of some students has resulted in disqualifying such students from making the graduating list.

“Why should a university of such high standard do such to students who have put so much trust in her only to compel us to take blame for the negligence of management?” they queried.

The students further said that “the license to practice as health professionals vary but one common thing is that your institution must be recognised so that the regulating bodies can allow such students to sit for the licensing exams.

“As we speak now, some programmes do not have accreditation and/or recognition from such regulatory bodies, hence the fate of the students have been left hanging. Management has turned a deaf ear to our many petitions to know the steps being taken to get these issues resolved.”

They cautioned the university not to go ahead with the graduation programme since “the students they intend to present as graduands have serious issues ranging from anomalies in results to accreditation.

“We will be forced to take legal action against the university if our concerns and petitions are not addressed by close of work today.

“The University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho is a state asset, set up by an act of parliament, hence its students who are the major stakeholders must not be relegated to the background with such disregard to our ambitions of becoming excellent health professionals,” they concluded.





Monday, July 18, 2016

EIU TIPS NANA, CLINTON… TO WIN 2016 POLLS

By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, July 18, 2016

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) of the London-based Economist Magazine is predicting victories for Ghana’s opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and former US Secretary of State Hilary R. Clinton, as the two countries go into crucial general election later this year.

Ghanaians are expected to cast their ballots to either retain or change incumbent John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on November 7, while the US general election is slated for the following day when Mrs. Clinton, a Democrat and former first lady, will battle it out with Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Eventual Winners
The EIU special reports concluded last month, separately prepared on country-by-country analysis ahead of the elections and released from London over the weekend, said Nana Akufo-Addo will become the eventual winner and President of Ghana after an ‘acrimonious’ contest in the November general election, while Mrs. Clinton will defeat Mr. Trump in the US polls.

An opinion poll conducted by the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) early this year also indicated that Nana Akufo-Addo is in a poll position to run away with victory in the November elections, confirming the EIU report. Earlier EIU report in the year had also recorded the elections in favour of the opposition NPP leader. 

According to the report, which tackled almost every sector of the economy in Ghana, President Mahama’s supervision of an economy in shambles was going to cost him power as he loses grip of the fundamentals with rising inflation and debt burden.

No Time For NDC
“There is little time for Mr. Mahama and the NDC to turn the economy around before the November elections,” the report indicated, adding, “We therefore expect Mr. Akufo-Addo and the NPP to be victorious.”

The report however, cautioned the NPP of complacency, saying “The outcome is by no means a foregone conclusion, however, with the results likely to be close. The NPP will need to work hard to attract votes from outside its heartlands in central Ghana while maintaining internal unity.”

It said that the NDC “will continue to enjoy strong support in the east and north of the country, owing to historical and tribal allegiances,” and predicted that “Greater Accra, historically a swing state, will be a key battleground, and so tensions in this economic hub could disrupt business operations.”

Hilary vs Trump
The report said “EIU expects Hillary Clinton to win the 2016 presidential election. The Democrats are likely to win back a majority in the Senate, but the Republicans will retain control of the House of Representatives.”

It predicted that policymaking in the next presidential term in the US “will remain sluggish and adversarial.”

“Ms Clinton will benefit from the broad unpopularity of her opponent, Donald Trump. She will make successful attacks on his suspect temperament, bullying manner and mixed business record,” adding, “She will receive very strong support from African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American voters. The   stabilisation of the economy under the Democratic administration of Barack Obama will also be a supportive factor”

Ghana’s Future
Turning to Ghana’s future elections, the EIU said whichever party wins in 2016 is expected to preside over an improving economic situation “and this will bolster its support in 2020, making re-election the most likely outcome.” It added, “However, Mr. Mahama would be constitutionally barred from standing again if victorious in 2016, so the NDC could face a damaging internal battle over who will succeed him, which may play into the hands of the NPP.”

“If Mr Akufo-Addo is victorious in 2016, he would be eligible to stand again in 2020, but would be 76 years old by then and so could face challenges from within his party,” it said further.

Acrimonious Contest
It further predicted an acrimonious contest between the ruling NDC and the opposition NPP in November saying, “Ongoing economic weakness at a time of approaching elections will expose Ghana to a notable risk of political and social instability early in the forecast period.”

“The NPP goes into the election period unhappy with the management of the Electoral Commission, which it believes is biased in favour of the NDC. The NPP is therefore likely to dispute the results, if the NDC is victorious. A disputed election would be decided by the courts, as happened in 2012. At that time all sides accepted the verdict. However, in 2015 the judiciary was hit by major corruption allegations (albeit unrelated to political judgements).”

The report said, “Mistrust in the judiciary makes a refusal to accept any 2016 election case verdict more likely, increasing the risk of instability. Given these political tensions, there is a notable risk of significant political instability and potentially even social unrest during late 2016 and early 2017.”

NDC Concern
NDC National Organizer Kofi Adams last Friday pointed out what he called ‘inconsistencies’ in the report and said President Mahama and the ruling party were not perturbed about the EIU’s prediction.

Moustapha Hamid, an aide to the NPP flagbearer, reacting to the report, said he and his party did not need the report of EIU to know that the governing party would be humiliated in the upcoming elections.

He said he just returned from a five-day regional tour with the party's vice presidential candidate and can say without any equivocation "that there is no way the NDC will beat us."

He continued, "I have been involved in political campaigns since 2004 but have never seen this groundswell of support for the NPP…this is the year the people of Ghana are ready to change course," he told Joy FM.














  


DHL BOSS TOUTS GHANA’S GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES


Hennie Heymans (Middle) interacting with journalists.  With him are Kader O. Coulibaly (left) and Randy Buday (right)

By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, July 18, 2016

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa, Hennie Heymans, says Ghana’s growth opportunities make the country a preferred destination for doing business on the African continent.

He said, “Ghana is one of the fastest growing markets for DHL Express. A recent report has confirmed that it is one of the top five hotspots in terms of goods and services. Although the declining commodity prices have presented some challenges, along with severe electricity challenges, the outlook remains positive for Ghana.”

Mr. Heymans said this while addressing journalists in Accra yesterday after rounding off his tour of the country which saw him offer courier services to local drivers in Accra to get firsthand experience in DHL services in the country.

He announced that DHL Express is embarking on an initiative called ‘Growing Beyond Borders’ to give entrepreneurial training opportunities to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country to look beyond the borders of Ghana.

He said the initiative, to be launched in the end of the year, has been specifically designed to help SMEs to understand the economic potential of international trade and the subsequent benefits to their businesses.

“We consider SMEs as the engines for growth and our highly trained certified international specialists in Ghana are committed to connecting the SMEs with global opportunities.

“DHL’s own research, conducted with HIS Global Insight, has shown that SMEs who trade internationally are twice as successful as those who trade only within their own market.

He said, “Ghana from a sub-Saharan perspective is very important for us. The economy is diversifying and what our local office keeps achieving consistently give us so much hope.”

Mr. Heymans reiterated that employee engagements are critical to business success, saying “our people are the lifeblood of our organization, and we believe in fostering a continuous learning and development culture.”

He gave the assurance that DHL Express will continue to motivate its employees to enable them to provide and retain loyal customers.

Randy Buday, DHL Express Regional Director for West and Central Africa, said the company’s investment in people, equipment and facilities is to help them to meet the needs of the customers.

He said they were adopting what he called conservative approach to improve their existing infrastructure and work continuously to get people to believe in their brand which is known in over 200 countries.

Kader O. Coulibaly, Country Manager of DHL Express, disclosed that “as the first and largest express logistics company in Africa, we are well-positioned to service the growth of Ghana, ensuring its accessibility and attractiveness on a global scale.”