Chiefs of Axim in the Western Region are set to set the records straight over an Auditor-General’s report on how some GH¢200,000 Marine Drive project money was misapplied by former Minister for Tourism, Catherine Afeku.
The audit report, which covered the period ending 31st December 2020, stated that an amount of GH¢ 387,196.00 meant for the Marine Drive Project was misapplied by the Ministry because it was instead spent on the Kundum festival and other initiatives.
According to the report, GH¢200, 000 was drawn from the Marine Drive Project and spent on the Kundum festival in 2018.
After the report was made public, the Chiefs have debunked the claims, saying they never received such a huge amount from the former MP for Evalue-Gwira.
Speaking to Kwame Minkah on Tonton Sansan on TV XYZ, the Chairman of the Axim Kundum Festival Planning Committee, Nana Osei Nkwantabisa, stated the amount could not have come to them, saying the Chiefs were disappointed.
“Catherine Afeku gave us only GHS 7,000 cedis to support the festival within the period the report said we had received the money. I remember that day she gave us the cash at her dining hall,” he disclosed.
He told Minkah that they were initially given GHS 5,000 but they had to demand for more until the former minister asked one of her officials to add GHS 2,000.
Debunking claims that they had received misapplied cash, he noted that the Chiefs of the area have decided to tell their side of the story.
Madam Catherine Afeku.
“The other paramountcy Catherine Afeku claimed to have given money to for the celebration of the Kundum festival will all speak to unravel the truth,” Nana Nkwantabisa noted.
He also added, the Omanhene of Axim will speak to the media on Thursday 26th August, 2021 because he was appalled at the kind of allegations leveled against him.
Meanwhile, the former Minister has given further details on how the GH¢200,000 Marine Drive project money the Auditor-General claimed was misapplied was expended.
Speaking on Eyewitness News on Friday, August 20, 2021, Catherine Afeku said the money was used to pay artistes who performed at the Axim Kundum Festival in 2018.
“We had artistes and I have a list of all of them [who performed and were paid]. Everybody can go to YouTube, and they will see the performances,” she said.
“I didn’t go round dishing money into people’s hands. Ask anybody who does events. [We used the] GH¢200,000 to take care of the likes of Medikal, Stonebwoy, Wisa Greid, Kuami Eugene, KiDi, Kwesi Arthur, among others. I was promoting our local artistes, and it was not a crime,” she insisted.
But in his argument, Nana Nkwantabisa observed that the expenses of such programmes are not borne by the Traditional Area, hence the amount Afeku claimed to have spent on the ‘jams’ could not be accepted.