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19.02.2009 Politics

Govt. Transition Team dismiss allegations of former Chief of Staff


The Government Transition Team on Thursday dismissed claims by former Chief of Staff Kwadwo Mpiani of non-involvement of the former administration in the team's activities saying the government team had “at all times acted in good faith”.

“(The Government side of the Transition Team) will make details of its report available to the people of Ghana after submitting it for the attention and consideration of His Excellency the President,” it said in a statement signed by Mr Alex Segbefia, Secretary to the Transition Team.

The statement said it considered some of the comments and allegations of Mr Mpiani as “most unfortunate”.

It said compared to the treatment given to the NDC in 2001, “the Government Transition Team has behaved with circumspection and decorum”.

“Our President (John Evans Atta Mills) was both a victim and an observer of the developments in the first transition exercise and thought through the pain and anguish experienced by his colleagues in 2001.

“In order not to allow for a situation where people might wish to pay back for treatment previously meted out to them, he gave strict instructions against a replay of the 2001 scenario.”

Providing details of its work, the government's team said in the first transition exercise in 2001, when the NDC handed over to the NPP, the NPP side received “very comprehensive and detailed handing over notes”.

On receipt of the handing over notes, the NPP Administration did not see it fit to contact members of the previous administration to seek clarification on any issues unclear to them.

“Rather, they commenced criminal investigations and commissioned forensic audits into projects and programmes executed by the previous administration.

“Many members of the previous NDC administration were hauled before a series of inquisitorial bodies namely police investigators, BNI officials, the Serious Fraud Office and finally some were prosecuted before the law courts.”

The statement said the approach of the NPP, in addition to the shabby manner in which they handled the exit arrangements for the outgoing NDC officials, brought about hardship, inconvenience, harassment and embarrassment to many former NDC office holders and held them up to ridicule and contempt in the public eye.

The statement said the government transition team used the very conciliatory framework for effecting transitions that was proposed by the IEA, adding that these arrangements “further tempered by fellow feeling and charity has brought tremendous criticism of slowness to act and weakness in victory upon the administration of President Mills”.

It said the NPP side gave its handing over notes to the government side, which indicated that it would need time to study them and contact them for further discussion.

“However, because the handing over notes submitted were not very detailed and also were not clear on some issues…the government side sought and obtained additional details from civil servants and heads of various MDAs to obtain more details.”

It said this additional information was what the government team wished to discuss with the former government side and they have now indicated that they were not ready to do so.

The government side stressed that it would not take responsibility for the consequences of their choices as the government made conclusions based on factual information that had been made available.

It said guided by the desire to have a transition “without tears” it decided to limit personal contacts between political office holders as much as possible to avoid needless friction.

“That is to say their participation was deliberately limited but where it was possible to obtain the same information from public servants in the MDAs this was what was done.”

It said the former government's side had seen it fit to condemn a report which had not been completed, adding that, this perhaps suggested that “they wished to save themselves the embarrassment of being confronted with the lapses in their own stewardship”.

The statement said the Transition Team and its committee did not function as tribunals but simply carried out the business of obtaining information and fact-finding.

“What the side representing the previous administration is rejecting is the participation in an honest and sincere process that adds to the growth of Ghana's democratic culture and transparency,” it added.