Home Politics Pressure mounts on Health Minister to resign following botched Sputnik vaccine contract
Politics - August 9, 2021

Pressure mounts on Health Minister to resign following botched Sputnik vaccine contract

Pressure mounts on Health Minister to resign following botched Sputnik vaccine contract

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Pressure is mounting on Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, to resign following revelations in the report of the Parliamentary Committee that probed the Sputnik V vaccine contract.

Parliament took a break on Saturday, August 9, without taking a decision on the report.

After the report went public, a cross-section of the public, including the Minority, called for the Minister to go.

Minority MPs chanted war songs after 2nd Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Andrew Amoako Asiamah, called off a vote on the fate of the Health Minister.

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, says his side of the aisle will not back down on their push to get the Health Minister out of the job.

“We will not abandon this matter. If the President does not revoke the appointment of the Minister for Health, we will request him through a vote of censorship to consider that matter,” he said.

The committee concluded that the government paid Dubai-based businessman Sheik Al – Maktoum GHS16 million for the vaccines despite claims by the Health Minister under oath that no money has been paid.

The report also concludes that the Minister breached constitutional provisions on prior parliamentary approval and the Public Procurement Act.

Private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu also says the Minister “should have gone a long time ago.”

“You see that the report has made matters worse for him,” he explained.

The New Crusading Guide newspaper editor-in-chief, Kwaku Baako Jnr, says the minister has to resign.

“If he is minded to… resign, I will endorse it; I will vote for him if he were to do the honorable thing and just quit. You cannot defend this.”

But Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Alexander Afenyo Markin, says justice should be tempered with mercy.

“To the extent that that decision was to save lives, we must commend him,” he told the House.

Meanwhile, the 28-page report further recommended that the Finance Ministry retrieves GH¢16,331,640 paid to Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum.

This amount is said to have been paid by the government in the Health Ministry’s bid to procure the Russian vaccines through the middleman.

“The Committee found that the amount of $2,850,000.00 (representing 50% of the contract sum of $5,700,000.00) has been paid to Messrs Al Maktoum and this translates into the cedi equivalent of ¢16,331,640.00 converted at the then prevailing exchange rate of $1 to ¢5.73 whereas the Minister said he had no knowledge of payment under oath,” the report revealed.

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