March 19, 2023
Former Minister for Central Region Kwamena Duncan 1

Former Minister for the Central Region, Kwamena Duncan, has castigated the Minority over their allegations against the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, during the ad-hoc committee hearing on the vote of censure filed by them.

The censure motion sitting began on Tuesday with the former Deputy Finance Minister and Member of Parliament for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam Constituency, Cassiel Ato Forson, and two others from the Minority Caucus serving the Committee with seven grounds of accusations directed at the Finance Minister to validate their call for his removal.

During the proceedings, Mr. Ato Forson and the Chairman of the Committee, K.T. Hammond, engaged in heated exchanges while the former was presenting his facts.

Ato Forson indicated that instead of the government seeking fiscal consolidation, it is only engaging in frivolous expenditures and compounding Ghana’s debt.

“Instead of government cutting down on frivolous expenditure such as the building of the National Cathedral and the size of government, they decided to go on overdraft,”  he said.

Kwamena Butchers Minority’s Allegation

Tackling the accusations, the former Minister noted that the censure motion sounded more like they “placed the Minister at the bar of Parliament”.

Narrowing his analysis to what Ato Forson’s claim of government frivolous spending, Kwamena Duncan argued that the Minority has been against the construction of the National Cathedral from the day it was announced and have kept fighting it aggressively.

To him, they referring to the government expenditures as ‘frivolous’ is ridiculous.

“If you say frivolous, who determines frivolous? For others, do you call it frivolous? Who determines frivolous? Tell me who determines it?”, he asked.

He also questioned the Minority’s claim that the government has sourced money from the Consolidated Fund to facilitate the building of the Cathedral.

“Who tells you that this money couldn’t have come from the vote given to the President, that is the office of the President? Who tells you?”

Minority Attacking President Akufo-Addo

Kwamena Duncan also found the Minority position on the Finance Minister a way to get back at the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

“His focus was not even on Ofori-Atta. His focus was on government but go to the constitution, (Article) 58, it says the executive authority shall vest in the President and shall be exercised in accordance with the provisions of this constitution. But the part that is important to me is 58(4) which says except as otherwise provided in this constitution or by law not inconsistent with this…all executive acts of government shall be expressed to be taken in the name of the President. This is the constitution”

“The constitution that forms their basis for this vote of censure indicates that every step that a Minister takes, unless of course he’s gone out of his authority, unless that could be traced to his personal doorstep but otherwise, if they are functions or if they are acts that he took as his official functions; the constitution says that all those are purported to be taken in the name of the President”, he stated.

He defeated the Minority’s argument that the Minister acted unconstitutionally, particularly on the funding of the Cathedral.

He argued; “We have placed the authority to run the affairs on behalf of this country in the President. That is not to say that the President can do anything at all he likes and he wants; that is not to say so. It is the President who gave the Minister the said letter. So, with this accusation, is that the point of the Minority that the Minister should have contended with the President?”

“It was the President who was voted for. In fact, he could decide not to appoint any Minister because the constitution says that all these functions [ministerial functions], all of them, he could do them directly. But the constitution is magnanimous enough that he can appoint some people to help but what they do is done in your name. You go and you want to take this against the Minister and then the point is that they refer to parliamentary approval.”

Kwamena Duncan made these comments on Peace FM’s “Kokrokoo” show Wednesday morning.

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