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General News | Apr 24, 2004

"Rejected Minister" in Trouble

Chronicle

... challenger accuses him of enriching himself at the expense of constituents Mr. Benjamin Osei Kuffour, Member of Parliament (MP) for Asunafo South, who declined to take up the position of Deputy Minister for Lands and Forestry, following allegations by the minority in parliament during his vetting, is facing series of fresh allegations, this time leveled by his own party members in his constituency.

Mr. Kuffour is being accused of enriching himself at the expense of his poor constituents.

He is accused of collecting various sums of money from them before supplying them with electric transformers and dual desks for some schools in the constituency.

His accuser also alleged that the MP had gone round the constituency bragging that he could "buy" the executives with only ¢100 million to vote for him in the party's primaries.

In an open letter to the NPP headquarters in Accra, signed by one Mr. George Owusu and Charles Arthur from Goaso and copied to the press, it was revealed that Mr. Kufuor brought four electric transformers to some communities in the Asunafo South, who were in urgent need of them.

According to the letter, one of the transformers was sent to the hometown of the MP, Mim, and another to a village called Fateagya, where he allegedly demanded ¢5 million as transport fare for each transformer, but the people pleaded with the MP that since the four pieces of equipment were brought in as one consignment, they should be made to pay something less than the ¢20 million.

According to the letter, Mr. Kufuor would not listen to them and this created a lot of financial burden and confusion in the community, dragging thus the name of NPP into disrepute.

The accusers, in their letter, alleged also that Mr. Kufuor had taken over ¢40 million from some of his party members, when he awarded a contract to them to manufacture some dual desks to be supplied to some schools in the area.

Revisiting the episode that prevented the MP from become a minister, they feared that the NDC at this time was prepared to use those allegations that were never denied by Mr. Kufuor to campaign against him in the forthcoming electioneering campaign, and according to them, this was going to cost the elephant party in the Asunafo constituency.

According to the letter, when Mr. Kufuor was appointed a deputy minister, Mr. Aseidu Nketsia of NDC fame objected to the appointment on the grounds that Mr. Kufuor had been dismissed from Mim Timbers on allegations of stealing.

They as well said the leadership of the party in the Asunafo South had vowed to make sure that Kuffour was returned to power.

These people, as stated in the letter were of the view that if the MP was imposed on the party, it would make them lose massively to the opposition NDC, adding that it was the prayer of the NDC to let Mr. Kuffour re-contest for the seat, so they could recapture it.

When Mr. Kuffour was contacted, he denied ever giving any contract to any person to make dual desks.

According to him, he had never collected any money as alleged by his accusers, adding "I challenge them to come out with any contract documents as evidence of their allegation."

He told The Chronicle that such a contract did not exist and the people were only interested in damaging his hard-won reputation.

The MP also told The Chronicle that whatever he was doing as an MP, whether in Accra or in the constituency, the DCE, Mr. George Boakye, had knowledge of it.

But Mr. Boakye told The Chronicle that what he was interested in was to get the dual desks and light for his people and all these had been provided.

Mr. Kufuor told this reporter that anytime anyone made a complaint against him (the MP), he would try to come to the office of the Asunafo DCE, to meet the person, if he or she would be available.

On the ¢20 million collected for the transportation of the transformers, the MP could not confirm or deny the allegation.

On whether the people in the constituency still liked him, he had this to say; it was only one Sarfo Mensah and a few people who were against him.

According to him, he was still the people's choice and there was nothing to prevent him from contesting for the seat.

Sarfo Mensah is contesting for the candidacy of the NPP in the Asunafo South against Mr. Kufuor.

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