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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

British diplomat urges contract abrogation in VRA, Zakhem deal

Mr Craig Murray
Mr Craig Murray

The former Deputy British High Commissioner to Ghana who has published an article suggesting the government of Ghana has entered into contract deals with conmen has urged the government to abrogate the contract.

Craig Murray alleges that a British company Zakhem International Limited entered into a contract with the New Patriotic Party government to build the Kpone Power Project for the Volta River Authority (VRA).

VRA, according to him, bought the turbines from the manufacturer, Alsthom for $70 million and then paid an American company Zakhem $80 million upfront to install them and provide ancillary equipment.

The turbines are said to be currently badly damaged by neglect.

Mr Murray, who describes himself as an international anti-corruption campaigner, wonders why the government of Ghana would enter into such contracts and fail to ensure the investment is working for its people.

According to him, his motives is a genuine concern for the people of Ghana, adding that most tax payers in the country are poor people struggling to make ends meet.

“I love Ghana, I love Ghanaian people,” he said.

The former diplomat will avail himself to help with investigations into the matter, he told Joy Midday News anchor Matilda Asante Asiedu.

Meanwhile Energy Minister, Joe Oteng-Agyei says the government has already initiated investigations into the contracts with Balkan Energy and Zakhem International amongst others.

“We have to find out what happened to the $80 million... Zakhem has already received."

Mr Murray keeps a web blog where he has over the years published a series of articles on various issues in the world.

Here in Ghana, the former British diplomat has written several articles on drug smuggling, Ghana’s oil discovery and the 2008 elections including alleged electoral fraud in the Volta Region.

The anti-corruption campaigner says the government must launch criminal investigations rather than the commercial probe that seems to have started.

Story by Fiifi Koomson/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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