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31.05.2003 General News

Why VRA workers didn’t appear at Nduom's C’ttee

By Gye Nyame Concord
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AGGRIEVED workers of the Volta River Authority (VRA) declined to appear and testify before the Nduom-instituted investigative committee because Dr. Wereko Brobby the VRA chief at the centre of the controversy was still at post.

Contrary to media reports which suggested that the ringleaders of the revolt avoided the committee because of lack of evidence, the workers say their refusal to appear was in fulfilment of the threats they had sent to government.

Sources within the VRA senior staff told Concord that the workers' refusal was in fulfilment of their pledge that the CEO and members of the Board be removed from office to prevent them from interfering in a probe into VRA, else they would not collaborate with the Committee.

According to the workers, by the time the Committee first met, Tarzan was still in office as the substantive CEO. He stepped aside temporarily later that same day and directed that his deputy Mr. Jabesh Amisah-Arthur, be appointed to act in his stead.

But the workers, insiders say, met over the weekend to consider whether to appear before the Committee in the light of the presence of members of the Board and the acceptance of Tarzan's chosen heir at post by government.

The workers say the practice by both government and the VRA has been to interdict officer under investigations, arguing that they would not accept Tarzan being excepted from this practice.

They say their step-aside CEO could influence investigations and the conduct of witnesses at the Committee through management decisions through his chosen heir.

“Why are people interested in not creating a real enabling environment that would lead to the truth at the VRA?” asked an insider.

Tarzan has however argued that he has nothing to hide and expressed the belief that the Committee would exonerate him of the allegations of corruption, abuse of office, and mismanagement.

Indications are that the workers have resolved that nothing shot than resignation or interdiction of the Chief Executive would convince them to co-operate with the committee.

The voluntary stepping down of the CEO for his deputy to take over the day-to-day running of the authority has not changed their position vis-à-vis the appearance to the committee, Concord sources have confirmed.

They described the stepping down as a window dressing meant to throw dust in the public's eyes.

Meantime, the Ministry of Energy on Friday urged members of the public who have any information on the Volta River Authority (VRA) to send it to the Committee investigating allegations against the Chief Executive.

A statement signed by the Public Relations Officer, Ms Florence Boakye said the Ministry has noted with concern a statement issued by the Minority asking among other things, for the interdiction of the Chief Executive, Dr Charles Wereko-Brobbey.

The statement said the VRA is a strategic national organisation and that all and sundry should all act with extreme caution when it comes to issues pertaining to the VRA.

The Minority in Parliament accused the government of being passive and offering weak responses to the crisis at VRA.

The Minority Spokesman on Energy, Mr Paakuna Seidu Adamu told a press conference in Parliament that the Minister of Energy, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom has so far misled Ghanaians on the true state of affairs at the VRA. But the statement said the critical role of VRA in the nation's life cannot be gainsaid and any issue that adversely impacts on the organisation has dire consequence for the economy of Ghana and the people of Ghana.

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