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10.06.2005 General News

JAK failed to act on hotel saga on time

Ghanaian Chronicle

“President Kufuor has been the cause of the unending debate on the controversial hotel saga as well as the damning ramifications that the ongoing debate has so far had on the image of the presidency and his person,” Collins Dauda, Member of Parliament (MP) for Asutifi South, has opined.

The legislator in an interview, says the controversial hotel saga had assumed the current dimension because the president had failed to act decisively on the matter, to forestall all the debate, media analysis and the political propaganda that had bedeviled the issue since it came up about a month ago.

“Why did the president run away from setting up an independent committee of enquiry to investigate the matter since he had been alleged to have been involved in the issue, which of course, casts a slur on his image as the president?” he queried.

Mr. Dauda was of the opinion that “if the president had been bold enough to set up an independent presidential committee of enquiry, to go into the matter, such a step would have obviated what he termed, “the contradictions, inconsistencies and vague pronouncements that have come from spokespersons of the president and from within the circles of government, which worsened the issue.”

The MP says for failing to set up a committee of enquiry on the matter, had provided a fertile ground for the perpetration of the debate on the matter, a situation which he said goes a long way to mar the reputation and integrity of the presidency.

“The president should not blame any one for any form of denigration in the image of the presidency, following the debate and exchanges on the hotel matter because he has been the cause of all that has happened with regards to the hotel matter,” he says.

Touching on the decision of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to launch preliminary investigations into the matter, the legislator says it is a good step and the Commission should be given the benefit of doubt.

The commission, he says, must be allowed to carry out its constitutionally mandated responsibility.

Mr. Dauda, however, stated that the final report of the commission on the matter should be dispassionately looked at to ascertain the credibility and authenticity of the work done by the commission.

“If we find the final report of CHRAJ to be biased and lacking credibility, we would criticize and reject it. So I think we should allow the committee to go on with the task it has set out to do,” he says.

On corruption, the Asutifi-South MP says, though the current government was voted into power on a promise of zero tolerance for corruption policy, the social canker had rather been on the increase since the government assumed office in 2001.

When asked how best the government could tackle the problem of corruption, he suggested that government needs to, first, have the commitment to investigate all allegations of corruption to the fullest to, as he put it, serve as a deterrent to people who might want to indulge in any act of corruption.

He says there is the need to strengthen all anti corruption institutions such as CHRAJ, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Auditor General's Department to make them capable of dealing with corruption in the system.

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