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Dec 1, 2010 | Politics

Girl Not Muntaka's Lover

By Daily Guide

Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, the embattled former Youth and Sports Minister, can heave a sigh of relief having been cleared of the allegation of being the boyfriend of Edith Zinayela, with whom he is said to have embarked upon official trips to both Germany and La Cote d'Ivoire, courtesy of his position.

Even though the ex-minister travelled with Edith at least two times outside the country, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) said there was not enough evidence to suggest that she was his girlfriend.

Muntaka admitted that he introduced the girl to his former Ministry as his secretary but he denied having any romantic or amorous relationship with the lady who was a secretary to Alban Bagbin, the then majority leader in Parliament, at the time they travelled to Germany together.

The clearance is the culmination of an investigation conducted by CHRAJ on one of the several allegations leveled against him following a report lodged with it by a pressure group, Progressive Nationalist Forum (PNF).

DAILY GUIDE has gathered however that the clearance is limited to the allegation that Edith Zinayela was the Asawase MP's girlfriend who he acquired a German visa for and accordingly travelled with her for an official engagement to the European country.

PNF had made allegations of abuse of office and conflict of interest against the Asawase MP when he took office as Minister of Youth and Sports.

The group further accused Alhaji Muntaka of fraud, after he allegedly used false information to secure a German visa for Edith, a staff of Parliamentary Service, and also using the Ministry's resources to finance their trip to watch the CHAN tournament held in Cote d'Ivoire in 2009.

In a petition dated January 1, 2010 and signed by its spokesperson, Richard Kwesi Nyamah to CHRAJ, the PNF said Alhaji Muntaka had failed to produce receipt of US$10,000 he received from some government officials, upon his request to settle landing charges for the aircraft the locally-based national team used for the CHAN tournament in Ivory Coast.

However, CHRAJ could not go into this allegation because the witnesses could not be available during the hearing, owing to other engagements.

CHRAJ, we have also learnt, has told the petitioners that should they have witnesses to provide for the other charges they leveled against the former minister, they might provide same for further investigations to open.

There are about 16 other charges hanging on the neck of the Asawase MP.

The former Sports Minister was put on the spot for a long time when documentary revelations provided by a whistleblower within the ministry suggested impropriety and abuse of office against him.

He was subsequently probed by the national security apparatus upon the directive of the President.

The state security apparatus, although to a large measure, cleared the youthful minister, it did not do so for his acquisition of a German visa with false data for the lady who was touted as his girlfriend.

The whistleblower, the then Principal Accountant of the Ministry, Adim Odoom, was interdicted but a court reversed the order and ordered his reinstatement, with his then Chief Director, Albert Ampong.

Among the other charges levelled against Hon. Muntaka was the one regarding his alleged escapades with Edith, an allegation which made front page headlines in the media and prompted lengthy discussions on the airwaves.

He was also alleged to have facilitated her trip with him to watch the 2009 CHAN tournament in Abidjan, La Cote d'Ivoire, in addition to spending colossal amount of money on consuming khebab and diapers for his kid, receiving the nicknames Muntaka Kebab and Muntaka Pampers.

His failure to also produce receipt for an amount of $10,000, being the cost of landing fee for the aircraft which ferried the Ghanaian team to the neighbouring country for the tournament, was also an issue which entangled the former minister.

By A.R. Gomda

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