General News of Monday, 27 June 2016
Former First Lady and flagbearer of the National Democratic Party (NDP), has waded into the Ford Expedition gift saga, chastising President John Mahama for accepting the gift.
Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings also says the Mahama-led administration has failed to effectively fight corruption.
“If it is a gift that he is sitting in his Bole somewhere and someone says ‘oh I am giving you a car,” then, according to the former First Lady, allegations of conflict of interest would not have cropped up.
Mrs Rawlings was speaking to Francis Abban in an interview on Pulse, a current affairs programme on the Joy News channel on Multi TV, Monday.
The President has come under severe criticisms following Joy News’ exposé that he accepted a Ford Expedition from Burkinabe contractor, Djibril Kanazoe.
Mr Kanazoe had previously been awarded two contracts by the state. He was in line for a third one when he voluntarily withdrew following the revelations.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) have accused President Mahama of abuse of office, bribery and conflict of interest for receiving the vehicle.
Civil society organisations and legal experts say the President violated laws governing public office holders when he accepted the gift.
Nana Konadu said although she is not certain if the Burkinabe contractor presented the gift in 2012 as a token for the two contracts he was awarded, the vehicle presents legitimate suspicion.
“It is wrong. Anything in exchange for something is wrong. I think he [President Mahama] should have been the first person to say ‘hey you were looking for a contract, go through my [aides] don’t bring anything to me,’” she said.
She said like her father did, all statesmen and people in the position of power must ensure that they conduct themselves to remove suspicions of bribery and conflict of interest.