There is a groundswell of calls from a section of the Ghanaian public for Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, to resign or be sacked over his handling of the botched Sputnik V vaccine purchase.
On social media platform Twitter over the weekend, Ghanaians expressed discontent with the deal and the findings of a parliamentary probe into the vaccine purchase as major media houses discussed the matter on their news analysis programmes.
The Health Minister has been cited for breaching a series of protocols in the purchase of the Russian-produced vaccines to shore up ongoing vaccination against COVID-19 in Ghana.
The lid was first blown off the controversial deal by the report of a Norwegian newspaper.
Subsequently, a parliamentary committee was instituted to probe the deal.
The recent report of the parliamentary committee on the botch deal has tasked the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to take steps to recover the $2,850,000 expended towards the purchase of several doses of the Sputnik-V vaccine.
Although the Minister has said he did not pay any money on behalf of the state to obtain an initial 20,000 doses supplied to Ghana from a shady middleman, the committee found that 50% of the total contract sum was actually paid
“According to the Bank of Ghana, in its letter of 31st March 2021, out of the total amount of US$5,700,000.00 owed to Sheikh Al Maktoum, an amount of US$2,850,000.00 representing 50% has been paid to him and that translates into a Cedi equivalent of GH¢16,331,640.00 converted at the exchange rate of US$1 to GH¢5.73,” excerpts of the report stated.
The committee also found that the Ministry of Health did not comply with the requirements of Article 181(5) of the Constitution in respect of its agreement with an intermediary, Messrs Al Maktoum, the controversial middleman.
Parliament has since deferred action on the report.
Meanwhile on Twitter and mainstream media, ordinary Ghanaians, experts and lawyers say Agyeman Manu must resign or earn a sack.
“We need not let the Health Minister go home and rest, we need to find out the systemic issues that caused all of these,” said private legal practitioner, Kofi Bentil, said on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show.
He also said the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, should have sacked the Health Minister by now.
Professor Agyeman-Duah, a former UN Advisor on Governance also told Starr FM that “We don’t know what has transpired between the President and the Minister in question so let’s just wait and see what pans out.”
On Twitter, the comments are a bit harsher.
“South African health minister was sacked over COVID. Akuffo Addo has to show some balls for the safety of all Ghanaians and sack Agyeman Manu,” retorted media personality, Bridget Otoo.
Another commentator stated, “Does Agyeman Manu have Akufo Addo’s nudes? Cos this doesn’t make sense. Why is the ‘mentally unstable’ man still at post?”
Many of the posts on Twitter were critical of the Minister’s handling of the deal and the President’s silence on the matter.
Source: Prime News Gh