Ghana’s Minister for Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu has come under pressure to resign, as many are calling for him to be jailed.
The Dormaa Central Legislator, who is been hounded by analysts, made headlines within the week for signing a contract for COVID-19 vaccines without a Parliamentary approval.
He also admitted failing to seek cabinet and approval before engaging a private individual for the procurement of Sputnik V vaccines in a bid to manage Ghana’s COVID-19 cases.
Answering questions from the bi-partisan parliamentary committee probing the controversial Sputnik V vaccine procurement, Mr. Manu said the urgent and critical nature of the circumstances at the time, did not permit him to use the right channels.
“I relied on the Executive Instrument 61 which was passed by Parliament to hide behind the emergency clauses that had been invoked to try to see that if I could do that [procure the vaccines], and later inform Parliament that this is what I had done, and I needed regularisation,” the Minister explained.
According to him, he engaged Sheikh Al-Maktoum before making attempts to get the vaccines from the right source.
“I was seriously in a situation that could not make me think properly… I dealt with the Sheikh before the frantic efforts to get the vaccines from the right source. I made efforts, but I did not juxtapose the timing with the efforts that I made. I made that error and in hindsight, it won’t happen again,” Manu said.
Reacting to the development that has out the Akufo-Addo administration under bad light, a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Communication Team, Wonder Madilo, chastised the Minister for his negligence.
As has been suggested by most political analysts and health experts, Madilo called for the incarceration of Agyemang Manu.
“The attitude of the Health Minister is not surprising because of how this government has ruled this nation. Everything has been a scandal and the president doesn’t seem to be worried. It’s so embarrassing,” Madilo told Morning Update host Eric Ahianyo.
“This minister must be jailed,” he stated “the Health Minister is the former Chairman of public Accounts Committee so he should have known better. Russia cut off supply to the middle man not because Ghana pulled out. This minister must be jailed.
The Minister of Health has already told the bi-partisan committee that the company that agreed to supply Ghana with the overpriced Sputnik V vaccines has terminated the contract it had with the country.
Under the said contract, Ghana was to receive 3.4 million doses of Sputnik V Vaccines at a unit cost of 19 dollars as against the ex-factory price of 10 dollars per dose. Appearing before the nine-member committee in Parliament on Thursday, July 15, 2021, Agyeman Manu said the contract was terminated because Sheik Al Makhtoum could not supply the vaccines as promised.