Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Monday June 25, 2018
The senior and junior staff unions of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) have jointly apologized profusely to their Chairman, Peter Mac Manu, after making unfounded allegations against him recently.
The two unions at a joint news conference at the TUC National Headquarters in Accra, with the support of the Maritime Dockworkers Union (MDU) of TUC on Friday, appealed passionately to Mr. Mac Manu to forgive them because they were withdrawing “the allegations against Mr. Mac Manu in particular, his wife and sons, and unreservedly apologise to them.”
They accused him of obtaining a contract of about GHȼ4 million to wire the newly constructed electrical and materials block at GPHA, and facilitating a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project.They also accused him of asking the authority to pay $200,000 for 25 years as part of the project.
“He has seven companies at the ports - five stevedore companies and two cleansing companies. He is using his position to circumvent the procurement process in order to acquire a tug boat (Tema Manhean); the spare parts have been procured to refurbish this tug boat,” they alleged.
Mr. Mac Manu hit back exposing the union for what he called their ‘lies’ and threatened to take legal action against the chairman of the senior staff union of the authority and the members if they failed to retract and apologise for defaming him.
He described the allegations as “highly defamatory and toxic to his reputation, which he, as a businessman and politician, has worked tirelessly over many decades to build.”
He even held a news conference challenging the union members to mention the names of his children, who are major suppliers to the authority as they claimed. He asked his solicitors to serve notice to the leadership of the workers’ union to retract the baseless allegations and apologise for impugning his reputation.
“As you may be aware our client has served and continues to serve in various high-profile capacities both in private and public service locally and internationally. Your malevolent and unwarranted allegations have therefore caused him a great deal of reputational damage,” his lawyers had said.
“By this letter, should you fail to meet our client’s demands within 10 working days from the date of this letter, we have unequivocal instructions to take all necessary legal steps, including but limited to commencing legal action against you and the unions involved to salvage our client’s reputation,” it added.
Unable to provide proof for the allegation, the workers held the news conference to apologise to Mr. Mac Manu.
The statement read by John Aseeph, Chairman of the Senior Staff Union of GPHA in Tema said, “At the press conference, we levelled allegations against Mr. Peter Mac Manu, Chairman of the Board of Directors of GPHA and some members of his family. We of the Union want to put it on record that we did not call the press conference and level the allegations against the chairman out of malice.
“As a Union and social partner with a common objective of working together with management towards achieving the objectives of GPHA, we had some serious concerns about the happenings in GPHA which we were not happy about.”
They added, “After the press conference, it has come to our notice that we did not engage management the more as we should have done before holding the press conference.”
Mr. Aseeph said, “Some facts have come to our notice which on hindsight, we would not have brought into the public domain against Mr. Peter Mac Manu and his family at our press conference. We therefore withdraw the allegations against Mr. Peter Mac Manu in particular, his wife and sons and unreservedly apologize to them.”
He made an assurance that “nevertheless, we as a Union with a role to protect public interest will not shirk our responsibility as watchdogs of accountability in the governance of public institutions. We think there must be peace and solidarity with our social partners at the workplace to achieve our goals.”
“We are sorry for the embarrassment and inconvenience our press might have caused Mr. Peter Mac Manu and members of his family and once again we apologize unreservedly.”