Ghanaians woke up to a damning revelation from a leaked audio recording that confirms the widely held perception from the general public about government’s mismanagement of the funds allocated towards the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The audio which is widely circulated on social media and verified by DFS Live News has the voice of madam Felicia Tetteh, the current second vice chairperson of the NPP in the Northern region who was also the 2020 parliamentary candidate for the Sagnarigu constituency admitting to huge sums of money shared to the governing party’s functionaries instead of the purpose for which the funds were allocated. According to madam Felicia Tetteh, “The COVID fund came. My quota was 50,000 as a regional 2nd Vice. I was given another 50,000 because I doubled as the Parliamentary candidate for Sagnarigu. The constituency was given 200,000. MCE was given 30,000. Chairman was given 20,000. Other executives were given 10,000 each”.
The NPP stalwart was reacting to allegations that she had previously misused funds meant for some party executives for her private benefit. The audio was made and sent to a Whatsapp group of NPP executives and loyalists in the region in response to those allegations. It is however not clear as to who leaked the audio to the public and what the intention could be.
The government has come under intense pressure from the general public for an audit of its use of the COVID-19 funds extended to it by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund(IMF) as well as the utilization of the nation’s Stabilization Fund set up for mitigative purposes. The IMF has extended $1billion to the government for the management of the pandemic while the World Bank granted the government’s request for a $100m facility for the same purpose. The Stabilization Fund meanwhile has made available an amount in excess of $250m to the Akufo-Addo led government towards the containment of the disease aside the millions donated by private groups to special accounts set up by the government. The minority caucus in Parliament has called for an independent audit of the the Covid-19 relief fund as well as some civil society organizations but the government appears far from yielding to this demand for obvious reasons.
This confirmation gives credence to the widespread believe that the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government used the Covid-19 pandemic as an avenue to enrich government officials and party functionaries across the country since there’s little platform for accountability with the president himself exonerating some of his appointees who have come under public scrutiny for their involvements in shady deals. The Health minister, Hon. Kweku Agyemang Manu who admitted to wrongdoing and certain infractions of the law in relation to the procurement of the Sputnik V vaccines on the floor of Parliament was surprisingly given a clean bill of health by the president and rather chided the public for overreacting in calling the minister out for the sack. Government officials and party executives were allegedly reported to have hoarded cash and items earmarked as Covid-19 stimulus packages for their own use and this revelation from the regional executive member lends credence to such allegations. Ghanaians await the government’s response to this damning exposé.