Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wereko-Brobby: We Bought 300 Cars For Ghana@50
The former Chief Executive Officer of the defunct Ghana@50 Secretariat, Dr. Charles Yves Wereko-Brobby on Wednesday told the presidential commission inquiring into the programmes and activities that marked Ghana’s golden jubilee celebrations that 300 vehicles were acquired for the occasion and other events after which 167 were sold.
The rest of 133 were retained by the state, and from the number sold, about GH¢6.3 million was realized. Appearing on his second day as a principal witness at the commission’s hearing of how programmes and activities were executed to mark the 50th anniversary of Ghana’s independence, Dr. Wereko-Brobby said Ghana, as host of the African Union Summit, was obligated to provide a minimum of 216 vehicles, while security wanted another 100 vehicles “to be able to provide security and proper protocol services.” He said based on just the basic minimum, 352 vehicles were required for government official delegations alone.
“And so we took this as the starting point and then knowing that the independent celebrations would also attract the presence of many heads of state, the following year CAN 2008, UNCTAD and a few others, government decided that it would establish a fleet, which would service all the conferences and international events that Ghana had agreed to host in 2007 and 2008.”
Among the cars were 50 Mercedes Benz saloon out of which 45 were sold; 25 Mercedes Benz buses; 50 BMW series out of which 37 were sold; 40 Peugeot 607 saloon; 35 Chrysler 300 all retained; 35 VW Passat out of which 24 were sold 25 Zonda buses which were all sold to the Ministry Of Education.
According to Dr. Wereko-Brobby, of the 40 Peugeot 607 cars, one was sold out but he could not tell if the state had not retrieved it because some others who purchased some of the vehicles were requested to return them by the transition team that ushered in the Mills administration.
He explained that in-between the official programmes for which the fleet was established, some of the vehicles were given out to public and private organisations on hire, so that there could be some income generated to assist with the payments. The Commission, with the powers of a High Court is tasked with looking into the activities of the Ghana@50 Secretariat after widespread allegations of malfeasance and claims of unpaid contract sums by businesses that were contracted to provide services. It is headed by Justice Isaac Duose of the Court of Appeal, with Mr. Osei Tutu Prempeh, a former Auditor General and Ms. Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, an Accra-based lawyer as members.
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