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08.10.2002 General News

Cadres Demand ¢9 billion From Rawlings

By Dispatch
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A sizeable number of members of the Progressive Voluntary Organisations (PVOs), popularly known as cadres have declared their intention to get in touch with former President Rawlings to demand ¢9 billion he promised them when he was in power. According to a spokesman for the group, “the ex-President said he had sourced ¢9 billion (at that time $3.6 million) to resettle us. By sourcing, we understood that the money was not coming from government coffers. We really need to know where the money is”. A member of the group also said he was present in Tamale when the President made that promise in July 1999. Another member said he was present at Tema, a few days later when the then Presidential Staffer for PVOs and a Member of Parliament, Nii Adjei Boye-Sekan said the then National Democratic Congress (NDC) government would spend ¢10 billion to rehabilitate 50,000 cadres, of which 15,000 were militiamen. Nii Boye Sekan repeated the proposed ¢10 billion expenditure on a Radio Gold Friday programme, Rejoinder. The group had press cuttings, which quoted officials of the Ministry of Finance as saying that they had checked their records and that there was no money in government coffers. The then Finance Minister said it was possible that the ex-President might have personally sourced money externally. The cadres present at the July 2000 meeting addressed by Nii Boye Sekan showed newspaper cuttings on the meeting. According to some of the press cuttings, Nii Boye Sekan told the meeting that “the NDC government after addressing itself to the needs of the cadres had come to realize that majority of them preferred to work in the formal sector such as the Police Service and Armed Forces without the requisite qualification. Consequently, he added, the government was putting in place a mechanism to enable them to acquire skills and vocational training for enhanced self-employment. When a very senior official of the Kufuor administration was contacted on whether the government intended to investigate to find out where the money was, he replied “well from all accounts, the former President might have sourced the money privately. Unless he was perhaps, deceiving the cadres, the money must be with him somehow”, the Dispatch quotes the source as saying

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