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11.03.2009 Politics

'Hotheaded' Fifi Kwetey, others grilled

By The Statesman

Accusations, insinuations and personal arguments characterised the vetting of Franklin Fiave Fifi Kwetey last Monday when he appeared before the Appointment Committee of Parliament.

Indeed, almost all the questions that he was asked in the over four hour vetting exercise were centred around his pronouncements and write ups in some pro-NDC news papers before, during and after the run up to the December general elections rather than on the finance ministry to which he was being vetted as a deputy.

But tried as members did to get him to be civil and accept that some of his pronouncements, write ups and allegations against some political figures and the government of the day was inaccurate, he remained adamant, cheered on by his supporters who thronged the Sir Quist Hall of the Parliament House to witness the vetting of their hero.

According to the nominee, whatever pronouncements he made were based on evidence supplied by NDC members on the ground and he was convinced they were correct. "I don't do insults, what I do is to state my candid opinion and given the same circumstances and opportunity I would do the same things again'.

When asked by Samuel Atta Akyea, (NPP, Abuakwa South) whether he did not think that some of his pronouncements and write ups in the Crystal Clear Lens, where he served as Editor, and the Palaver where he worked as Features Editor, his response was that "insulting is relative, what one might consider insulting will be considered by the other as a compliment.'

But, while his answer drew the ire of some MPs on the Minority side, Felix Twumasi Appiah (NDC, Sene) and Enoch Teye Mensah (NDC, Ningo Prampram) quickly jumped to his rescue insisting that, 'this is not the platform to settle personal scores.'

Atta Akyea however insisted he had no personal scores to settle with the nominee. In fact I don"t know the nominee, I have never met him any where so I can't have any scores with him,' he added.

Despite the back and forth, the nominee was adamant: 'Mr Chairman, I still stand by my earlier statement'.

On the accusations that, he was not an indigene of Ghana but rather hails from Togo, he explained in detail his roots tracing it from Ningo in the Greater Accra Region to Nogokpo in the Volta Region and to buttress home this point, he attended the vetting process with all his uncles, grandparents and uncles who he claims are chiefs in the areas he hails from.

He however admitted before the committee that because his parents wanted him to learn a second language, he attended school in Togo till he obtained his ordinary level certificate.

Mr Kwetey told members of the committee that, though, he has not really worked in a financial setting in a long while, he is prepared to learn under the able leadership of the substantive minister.

'I see this opportunity as a call to duty because it not often that young people like me are afforded this opportunity so I will add lots of freshness, desire and determination to my minister'.

Seth Emmanuel Tekper, who was also vetted as deputy for finance showed his prowess in that sector having worked with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank for a number of years.

He told members of the committee that beside a reduction in public sector spending, government will also review all existing taxes and revenue laws to raise enough revenue to support its agenda of making Ghana a better place.

Mr Tekper also told them that as part of achieving structural transformation, the NDC government will modernise agriculture and add value to cocoa and some other traditional crops.

Rashid Pelpuo, Seidu Amadu and Kwajo Tawiah Likpalimor, MPs for Wa Central, Yapei/Kusawgu and Kpandai respectively were also vetted as Minister of State.