Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ghana is a nation of disappointments - Otabil




Dr Mensa Otabil
Founder of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) Dr Mensa Otabil has said Ghana has become a country of disappointments. He, nonetheless believes there is hope for the future.

Speaking at the opening of this year's springboard national convocation in Accra, the motivational speaker who was recently voted as Ghana's most influential personality said his generation had a lot of hope in Ghana but all that has been blunted with time.

'For most people of my age, we have always had hope of greatness for our country, but unfortunately the older we get the more that hope gets dimmed,' Dr Otabil bemoaned.

'When I was young I believed Ghana will be great, as I get older I pray Ghana will be great, I pray so because we keep disappointing ourselves.

'We disappoint ourselves. We have the great opportunities and we disappoint ourselves: we had gold we disappointed ourselves; we had cocoa we disappointed ourselves; we have oil, we are disappointing ourselves,' he observed.

Dr Otabil, however, said all hope is not lost. '...There is hope for the future because there are young men and women who, hopefully will build a better life.'

'Your generation must determine that you will be different and to be different you must be different now. You have to determine: 'I will not bow to pressure, I will not lie, I will not cheat, I will not steal...'

Source:starrfmonline




Novotel partners Miss Ghana Foundation for 'Food for the Needy' project




A signing ceremony between the Miss Ghana office and the Novotel Hotel in Accra for a mutually beneficial relationship has taken place in Accra.

First and immediate is the collaboration between the two parties for the Miss Ghana Foundation's 'Food for the Needy' project.

On the sidelines of the signing, the hotel has donated healthily prepared meals towards the project.

Present at the ceremony were officials of the hotel as well as representatives of the Foundation.

The project, which took off last Friday, is aimed at among other things feeding the needy in society.

It also seeks to raise funds to support the foundation's other efforts at creating a socially responsible society.

The Miss Ghana Foundation is the social arm of the Miss Ghana beauty pageant and is positioned to help bridge the many gaps that exist in the society including but not limited to education and health.

The Food for the Needy project is one of several exercises it is championing.




Ghana needs integrity, trust to progress - Otabil




General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), Pastor Mensa Otabil, has attributed Ghana's slow pace of development - despite its numerous opportunities - to the absence of trust and integrity among citizens.

"Ghana needs integrity. We need it. And we need it not from our leaders, we need it from every citizen", he said.

Pastor Otabil was speaking at the Grand Convocation of the 2015 edition of the human development event, Springboard organised by Legacy and Legacy in Accra.

The preacher and motivational speaker also said trust is the product of integrity which must be built into a character.

"Image is great but  character  is always greater than  image. Because if you put a white shirt on a pink - its character is pink its image is a white shirt - and you leave that pink long enough and go to inspect the white shirt its character would have transformed the image because it will go and soil the white shirt. Because your character is who you always are. Your image is how you present yourself", Paster Otabil said.

He said it was important for people to align their character, image and reputation in order to have integrity.

However, despite Ghana's challenges, he said the country still has hope because the younger generation can make a change.

"When I was young I believed Ghana would be great. As I get older I prayed Ghana would be great, I pray so  because we keep disappointing ourselves. We have the great opportunities and we disappoint ourselves. We had gold we disappointed ourselves. We had cocoa we disappointed ourselves. We have oil we are disappointing ourselves. But there is hope for the future. Because there are young men and women, who hopefully, will build a better life".

The Grand Convocation was attended by over one thousand people, predominantly youth.




Rejoinder: Ashanti Regional Education Director Justifies Appointment Of Head To St. Jerome S.H.S.




It is a pity to react to the issues raised by the Ashanti Regional Director of Education, Mr. Kofi Safo Kantanka. The Catholic Archdiocese of Kumasi has no axe to grind with the GES, Ministry of Education or the Regional and Metropolitan Directorates of Education. The Church has always believed in a holistic formation of people through education. The means to achieve this is the provision of accessible, affordable and open education to the citizenry. Such mission is founded on the principles of non-discrimination of people.

Education, as one of the socio-religious responsibilities of the Church, is a must for the Catholic Archdiocese of Kumasi. Every local church is therefore mandated to place education as a priority in evangelization - for evangelization is the holistic development of people to achieve freedom, fairness, justice and finally, salvation. Much as the Church makes the effort to achieve its mandate, it does not do so alone but in collaboration with the society and the State. This calls for a partnership between the State and the Church and this is well understood through the years from the colonial times to the present. This partnership or collaboration between the partners is in mutuality not in servitude.

The Catholic Church in Kumasi is therefore demanding nothing but a respect to the terms of the partnership where the various educational Units have over the years been actively involved in the management of the Unit schools. This demand is not a privilege but a right to the people who also contribute to the governance of the State through taxes and other commitments that the social contract between the citizenry and the government of the people have.

Issues we have raised against the unjust situation in Ashanti Region are not only about St. Jerome Senior High School but also schools under the management of the Catholic Educational Unit. In the case of the St. Jerome, the Church would want to state in no uncertain terms that if anything went wrong with the appointment of a non-Catholic as head of St. Jerome S.H.S., then it is the machination and the uncanny acts and attitude of Mr. Kofi Safo Kantanka. The Church would have ignored the statements of the Regional Director in the Daily Graphic newspaper of February 24, 2015, page 44, but fairness and justice demand a response.

The Directorate of Education and Religious Affairs of the Catholic Archdiocese was informed by the Priest-Chaplain of St. Jerome SHS in April 2014 of the retirement of the Headmaster of the school. Sometime in May and June in 2014, the Directorate scouted for potential replacement as soon as the Headmaster retired.

In May, the Chaplain together with Mr. Bagbin, the immediate retired Municipal Director of Education, Offinso South under whose jurisdiction St. Jerome falls and the Priest Chaplain of St Jerome went to the office of the Regional Director to inform him of the situation on the headship of the school. The Archdiocesan Directorate in May as a follow-up presented Mr. Stephen Manu (DDE), to the Regional Director. The Director advised the Archdiocesan Director and the Chaplain of St. Jerome to add at least two other names for consideration. The Regional Director himself directed that the Church could recommend those of the rank of Assistant Directors of Education. For the record, he gave the example of Ms. Anna Osei Duah as one he himself recommended to take over the headship of St. Joseph Catholic Technical Senior High School at Ahwiren, near Asante Bekwai.

It was on account of the assurance he gave that the two - Mrs. Regina Edusei and Mr. Samuel Twumasi-Ankrah - were suggested for the position. The documents of all three were submitted personally to the Regional Director in May 2014 by the proactive initiative of the Archdiocese and not on the fact that the position had been vacant since May! The Headmaster was at post until the end of the academic year.

We are stating emphatically that the Regional Director has been disrespectful to the Church in our initiative towards a smooth transition of headship. Why would the Archdiocesan Director and Chaplain meet the Regional Director three times after the submission of the documents of the suggested candidates for the position? Why would the Regional Director ignore a simple courtesy of informing the Church that people proposed by the Church on his suggestion were unqualified? Who has been deceptive in this sense? To this day and date, the Regional Director has not found it courteous enough to accord the Church the simple recognition of our role in the management of our schools. What happened between May to October 2014 until Mr. Seth Boadu Kwakye was appointed as Headmaster of the school? Would it have been wrong for Mr. Kantanka to inform the Church of the appointment of Mr Seth Boadu as the preferred head over the candidates presented by the Church?




Special committee formed to investigate leaked video of SRC President aspirant




A special committee has been set up by authorities of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) to investigate leaked nude videos of a Student Representative Council (SRC) President aspirant of the university.

The committee comprises mental health experts, clinical psychologists, gender experts and counselors.

Members are expected to conduct their investigations under utmost confidentiality to protect the rights of the young lady, according to school authorities.

The leaked nude videos of the young lady went viral on social media a few weeks ago -- the public condemned both her  and the school as a result.

Some people even said the lady, Naa Korkor Addo, may be suffering psychological problems.

Senior Assistant Registrar in charge of Public Relations for Cape Coast University said the institution will conduct the investigation meticulously and professionally.

Major K. Baah-Bentum (Retd) said contrary to views by a section of the public that the school was not taking steps after the video went viral, UCC was working behind the scenes.

Mr Baah-Bentum disclosed that the welfare of its students was of paramount importance adding "we, therefore, refuse to be a part of the current social commentary occasioned by mere sentiments and feelings."

He asked for sympathy from the general public for the young lady and her family in these trying times and added that the family obviously required privacy as they went through the current challenges.  




Honour veterans who served the nation - KB Asante




Former Diplomat, K.B. Asante, says the commemoration of today's February-28 shooting incident must be used to honour the remaining veterans who served the country but, are currently living in abject poverty.  

The incident is celebrated every year to honour defenceless ex-servicemen who were killed in 1948 at the instruction of a colonial police officer during a peaceful march to the Osu Castle.

They had intended to send a petition to the then Governor on their living conditions.

More than fifty years after the incident, most surviving veterans and relatives of the three who died, are living in extreme poverty.

But Mr. Asante told Joy News the political leadership of today, must learn lessons from the selflessness exhibited by the veterans.




MIHOSO International Organizes Public Expenditure Tracking Survey Training in Sunyani and Berekum




MIHOSO International a reputable organization committed to providing Public Health, Social Advocacy, Capacity buiding Training, Sharing of Resources, and Provision of Livelihood Empowerment programmes to target women, Youth and Children in Ghana have organized a Public Expenditure Tracking Survey in Sunyani and Berekum in the Brong Ahafo Region.

The program which targets all artisans and associations within the municipality is funded by World Bank and The Government of Ghana with partnership MIHOSO International and SNV Ghana under 3years duration.

Program Coordinator, Mr. Thomas Benarkuu said it's organized once a quarter to train SPEFIA Members on developmental issues and how citizens can contribute as well as engage the assembly in developmental issues.

According to him, the Pubic Tracking Survey (PETS) is a quantitative survey of the supply side of public services. "The unit of observation is typically a service facility and/or local government i.e. frontline providers like schools and clinics. The survey collects information on facility characteristics, financial flows, outputs (services delivered), accountability arrangements, etc."

He added that, Budget allocation alone can be a poor indicator of the quality and quantity of public service delivered in countries with weak institutions.

"While shifting of budgetary resources to priority sectors like education and health is a good first step, it is crucial to ascertain where and how the allocated sum gets spent. They highlight not only the use and abuse of public money, but also give insights into the concepts of capture, cost efficiency, decentralization, and accountability."

In a related development: The Sunyani Municipal Assembly has built 24 administration projects, 53 education projects, 77 bole-holes, 15 KVP's, 8 water closet, Provision of 18 waste containers, 11 Health projects, 2 Security projects, 18 dump sites cleared, 16 electricity projects and 226 road projects under the development of Urban Projects.




I Don't Know Ruby Girls -Alhaji Dawud




Alhaji Dawud  Mohammed ,  the businessman  arrested in  connection with the controversial  Nayele Ametefeh  Heathrow cocaine saga, has  denied being part of any  'gang' as speculated in the  media.

A day after his freedom  from prosecution, Dawud  Mohammed stormed the  offices of DAILY GUIDE at  Nima to emphasise that he  did not know any of the  other accused persons in the  case.

In the interaction with   DAILY GUIDE on Wednesday,  Alhaji Dawud expressed  concern about attempts to  link him to any gang in  respect of the cocaine case.

He stated, 'There was no  gang; I'm not part of any  gang. I don't know the two  ladies in the case anywhere.'

He said he had only  done Ruby a favour but was  in no way involved with any  other person or business of  that nature.

According to the businessman,  he could only bethankful to Allah that the  case had finally come to an  end after several months of  emotional and psychological  torture and he was looking to  go back to his international  business partners.

Nolle Prosequi
The Attorney General's  Department on Tuesday,  February 24, 2015, filed a  Nolle Prosequi seeking to  drop a charge of abetment it  had levelled against the businessman  for allegedly aiding  Ms Nayele Ametefeh aka  Ruby Adu-Gyamfi to export  12.5kg of cocaine to the United  Kingdom contrary to section  56(c) and 1(1) of the Narcotics  Drugs Control Enforcement  and Sanctions Act of  1990.

State prosecutors had  alleged that Alhaji Dawud on  November 9, 2014 used his  influence to help Ms Ametefeh  pass through the VIP  lounge at the KIA airport  ostensibly to evade detection  by security officers. State  prosecutors added that  Dawud, relying on his influence  at the VIP lounge, called  one Abiel Ashitey Armah, a  Foreign Service Officer in  charge of the VIP lounge at  KIA, and two others to assist  Ruby and her friends to use  the VIP lounge

However, an Accra Circuit Court  presided over by Francis Obiri discharged  Alhaji Dawud and five other suspects,  clearing them of any wrongdoing after  the prosecution filed for discontinuation.

The freed suspects, Abiel Ashitey  Armah, Foreign Service Officer in charge  of the VVIP Lounge at KIA; Ahmed  Abubakar, Protocol Officer; and  Theophilus Kissi, a Civil Servant, were  charged for allegedly aiding Ruby Adu-  Gyamfi to smuggle 12.5kg of cocaine valued  over $3 million to the UK.

Also in the dock were Sadala Nuhu  and Nana Akua Amponsah, both businesswomen  who the prosecution said had  travelled with Ruby but managed to  escape from London back to Accra.

Alhaji Dawud Mohammed was said  to have facilitated the use of the VVIP  lounge by the three ladies and was  charged for abetment.

Vincent Aikins, counsel for  Theophilus Kissi, said the state ought to  have taken the decision a long time ago.

He added that 'they should have  thrown in the towel much earlier,'  because there was no foundation for the  charge, especially when Ruby who had  been convicted did not mention the  names of her alleged accomplices.

By: Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson
jeffdegraft44@yahoo.com




Efutu MP charges A-G to hold EC for causing financial loss




The Member of Parliament for Efutu, Alex Afenyo Markins is calling on the Attorney General to hold the Electoral Commission responsible for causing financial loss to the state over the botched district level elections.

The elections originally slated for next Tuesday has been cancelled after the Supreme Court ruled that the process was unconstitutional.

The move has raised issues about the financial implications because of the funds invested in the preparatory process.

The EC had earlier been cautioned that its preparations were illegal but the elections governing body ignored the warnings.

Mr. Afenyo Markin who represented a disqualified aspirant to challenge the EC in court says, it is up to the Attorney General to file a case of wilfully causing financial loss to the state.

"Every criminal matter emanates from the Attorney-General and it is for the Attorney-General to consider the facts (of the case) and take action on it," he said.

The Efutu MP said he personally wrote to the Chairman of the EC, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, cautioning him about the illegality of what was going on but the commission did not listen.  

Meanwhile, local governance analyst, George Kyei Baffour says the implications are dire, but most importantly, the EC's integrity will suffer.

He said the EC must do more to repair its battered image.

The Electoral Commission would not comment on when the elections would eventually be held.

The Commission said in a statement issued in Accra that, "In view of the Supreme Court's decision in the matter of Benjamin Eyi Mensah v The Electoral Commission, on Friday, 27th February 2015, with regard to the maturity of  C.I 85, the District Level Elections and all activities connected with them have been suspended forthwith until further notice."




Wicked Mum Jailed




An Accra gender-based violence  circuit court yesterday handed Mary  Timah, a six-year jail term for burning  the hands of her 14-year-old son  over an alleged GH ¢20 theft.

The court, presided over by Mrs.  Rita Agyeman- Budu, found the  accused guilty of causing harm contrary  to Section 69 of Act 29/60 - an  offence she denied.

Sentencing Timah, aged 40, the  trial judge noted that according to the  law the maximum sentence for the  offence was 10 years.

She said the harm was caused  intentionally, adding that Timah did  not feel anything wrong with the act.

Victim Intervention
Mrs. Agyeman-Budu indicated  that although the victim had written  a letter of mitigation praying the  court to pardon Timah because he  had missed the mother, she was not  obliged to accept the request of the  victim.

The judge however, added that  she had decided to reduce the sentence  of Timah in respect of the said  letter from the victim.

Mrs. Agyeman-Budu accordingly  sentenced her to six years' imprisonment  to serve as a deterrent to others.

Facts

At the initial stages of the trial,  Inspector Kofi Atimbiri had told the  court that the accused is the mother  of the child (name withheld) living  together with the victim's two other  siblings at Osu, Accra.

He stated that on February 7,  Timah returned from town and  noticed that someone had broken into  her wardrobe and stolen the aforementioned  amount and that the  accused strongly suspected the victim  to be the one who stole it.

Inspector Atimbiri indicated that  as a result, Timah called the victim  into their room, locked the door and  asked the victim who it was that stole  the money.

According to prosecution, when  the victim denied taking the money,  Timah heated an electric iron and  burnt the victim's hand and cheek  with it. He maintained that the victim  managed to escape to the police station  to report his ordeal.

Inspector Atimbiri disclosed that  the victim was rushed to the Police  Hospital where he was admitted,  treated and discharged after some  days.




2 Lynched For Stealing Sheep




Two people were lynched yesterday, with another badly beaten, near a spot at the Cape Coast Polytechnic in the Central Region, for allegedly stealing three sheep at Ekroful in the Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese District.

The bodies of Godwin, also known as Dauda, 24, and one Kwaku, 21, had been deposited at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, while Richard Mensah, 21 - the third suspect - is on admission at the same facility.

Briefing the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Chief Superintendent Samuel Winful, Cape Coast Metro Police Commander, said the police had a distress call about 15:30 hours on Wednesday from a radio station located within the Cape Coast Polytechnic that two people were being beaten by a mob near the institution.

He said when the police got to the area, they found two people lying near a drinking spot close to the polytechnic with multiple injuries.

Chief Superintendent Winful said the suspects were rushed to the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, but Dauda was pronounced dead on arrival. Kwaku, who had multiple wounds also died later.

Preliminary enquiries, according to him, revealed that the suspects who were in a RIO Aveo taxi, with registration number GW 7327 Z, went to Ekroful near Asebu and stole three sheep.

However, luck ran out on them when some inhabitants of the town spotted and trailed them in another taxi to a location near the polytechnic and raised an alarm, which attracted a mob to the scene.

Kwaku managed to escape but the mob attacked and killed Dauda, leaving Richard with various degrees of injury.

Kwaku was said to have come back to the same area later, thinking the mob had left, but was also seized and beaten to death.

Chief Superintendent Winful said the cab in which the suspects were, was vandalized and had some of its parts stolen.

Richard was responding to treatment under police guard and would be arraigned before court on Monday, March 2,  2015.

He advised the public not to mete instant justice on suspects since it distorts police investigations, but should rather hand them over to them (police).

GNA




Friday, February 27, 2015

Russia issues Ukraine gas ultimatum





Moscow/Brussels, Feb. 27, (dpa/GNA) - Russia on Friday issued a fresh ultimatum to Ukraine, saying that it will cut off gas supplies if Kiev does not make prepayments by Monday.

"If Gazprom does not receive money by the end of Monday, we will have a situation in which gas supplies could be stopped by Tuesday," Energy Minister Alexander Novak said, referring to the Russian state energy company.

Novak added that 15 million dollars which Ukraine paid Gazprom on Friday would last for just one day, the Interfax news agency reported.

The minister also stressed that gas supplies to other European countries were not threatened. Gazprom has said earlier that the dispute puts gas transit to Europe at risk.

Novak and his Ukrainian colleague Volodymyr Demchyshyn are to attend EU-mediated crisis talks over the dispute in Brussels Monday.

GNA




Assemblyman-Aspirant Shot Dead In Wa




An aspirant in the upcoming district assembly elections has been shot dead in Wa in the Upper West region. He was attacked and shot several times while on his way home after a meeting with other aspirants.

The assailants also absconded with his motorbike leaving behind the number plate.

The body has since been deposited at the regional hospital morgue.

DSP Daniel Kwantwis, the Upper West regional Police Crime Officer said investigations have already commenced into the murder adding that the killers of the assemblyman-aspirant would be arrested.

'We are going on with investigations...we want to extend investigations to the group and the leadership who conducted the meeting,' DSP Kwantwis said.

Source:starrnews




Mexican police arrest top drug boss





Mexico City, Feb. 27, (dpa/GNA) - One of Mexico's most wanted drug cartel bosses, Servando Gomez Martinez, was detained in the city of Morelia, police said Friday.

Gomez Martinez, known as La Tuta, is considered the leader of the Knights Templar cartel, a powerful drug and trafficking organization in the western state of Michoacan.

Police said Gomez Martinez - who was wanted for organized crime, kidnapping, homicide and robbery - would be transferred to Mexico City.

He was a rural schoolteacher prior to rising through the ranks of one of Mexico's biggest cartels. The Mexican prosecutor had offered a reward of 30 million pesos (2 million dollars) for information that would lead to the arrest of the 49-year-old.

Gomez Martinez had often posted video messages online and gave interviews to local broadcasters. In 2009, he called a television station that was broadcasting live to say that cartels were a "necessary evil."

"I will never let anyone capture me on this earth and I hope God gives that opportunity," he said. In videos posted in recent months, he accused the authorities of harassing his family.

Gomez Martinez began selling drugs in 2001, and went on to join the La Familia cartel, then run by drug boss Nazario Moreno - known as El Chayo, who was killed by police in 2014.

Gomez Martinez formed the Knights Templar in 2010.
Before his arrest, security forces had intensified their search, arresting several politicians in the state of Michoacan with alleged links to the cartel, including one acting mayor.

Murders, extortion, kidnappings and attacks on police have been attributed to him.

GNA




KATH coughs out GHC700,000 judgment debt to ex-CEO




The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) has finally paid the judgment debt of over GHC 700,000 it owed its former Chief Executive Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare, StarrFMonline.com  can confirm.

The payment was made after a Kumasi High Court issued a garnishee order for the money to be withdrawn from the hospital's official account with the Universal Merchant Bank.

The court in September 2014 ordered the hospital to compensate Dr Nsiah Asare who was wrongfully dismissed in 2009.

A copy of the initial court order obtained by   StarrFMonline.com  outlined the following details

1.That the appointment of the plaintiff as CEO of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital KATH was regular.

2.That the termination of the plaintiff's and appointment by the 1st defendant on the instructions of the president was unlawful.

3.That the stoppage of the salary of the plaintiff by the 3rd defendant was unlawful

4.That the plaintiff be paid all his entitlements as at 31st January 2012 together with interests which are calculated as follows:

a.Salary from Apirl 2010 to January 2012(CEO salary, 1 house help, I driver, 2security guards)- GHC 81,119.05

b.Market premium for the same period -GHC 68,275.92

c.Allowances for the same period -GHC 104,582.45
d.End of service benefits for 11 year -GHC 111,014.15

Total entitlements - GHC 364,991.56
Source: Starrfmonline.com
e.Interest from January 2012 to September 2014 - GHS282.260.12

Total entitlement with interest - GHC 647,251.68
5.That plaintiff be paid nominal damage of GHC 50,000.00

6.That plaintiff be paid cost of GHC 10,000.00
7.That accordingly, judgment is made hereby entered against defendants/ judgment debtors in the sum of GHC 707, 251.68

8.Further post judgment interest from 30/09/2014 until date of final payment




Codec Challenge Dr. Osafo Marfo To Produce Tape




A Leading member of the New Patriotic party (NPP) Dr. Yaw osafo Marfo has been challenged to produce the un- doctored version of the tape which was alleged to have made ethno-centric comments.

Convener of the Coalition for the Defence of Equal Citizenship (CODEC) Godwin Edudzi Tamaklo disclosed that Dr. Yaw Osafo Marfo's Comment were captured during a meeting with the Eastern Regional Council of Elders of the NPP on January 29, at the Oyinka Hotel afiduase in Koforidua.

At a news conference in Accra, Mr. Tamaklo urged Dr. Osafo Marfo to admit his wrong doings and desist from making his party members cast doubt over the authenticity of the tape.

Mr. Tamaklo said it was sad that after alleging that the tape was doctored, Dr. Osafo Marfo failed to indicate which portions had been tampered with.

He said the comments represent a major setback to the effort made by their forbears, and the current generation of citizen's in this country, to build a country in which tolerance, unity, togetherness and respect for diversity exist.

He said they are committed to all the equality of all Ghanaians and all person liberty.

The Convener therefore pledged the readiness of CODEC to remain totally committed to the principles of equity and fairness in the extension of opportunities to the people to aspire to the leadership of the country, irrespective of their ethnic background.

"Dr. Osafo Marfo strategy to cast doubt over the tape has only strengthened our resolve to create even a greater awareness through series of activities about the dangers inherit in hated speeches,"

"We are resolved and determine to defend the 1992 constitution of the republic of Ghana which provides that all people should be equal before the law.

By Anita Frimpong




Judge dismisses charges against Argentinian president





Buenos Aires, Feb. 27, (dpa/GNA) - A judge dismissed Thursday the charges against Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her Foreign Minister Hector Timerman over the alleged cover-up of any Iranian involvement in a 1994 attack on a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires that claimed the lives of 85 people.

Federal Judge Daniel Rafecas did not think the charges that were formally filed by public prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita on February 13 was founded and opted to dismiss them, the Argentinian daily La Nacion reported, citing court sources.

"It is clear that neither of the two criminal hypotheses presented by prosecutor Pollicita in his complaint minimally stand at all," Rafecas reportedly said.

The judge reportedly said there was a lack of evidence to support the allegations.

Pollicita had charged Fernandez de Kirchner in connection with the complaint that special prosecutor Alberto Nisman filed on January 14.

Nisman, who had been investigating the attack on the community centre for 11 years, was found dead in his apartment just four days later under mysterious circumstances.

The government staunchly denied the allegations and insisted that "there is no evidence whatsoever, not even circumstantial in nature," that the president or her aides committed any crimes.

Fernandez de Kirchner has explicitly dismissed Nisman's allegations in recent weeks and suggested that both the allegations and his subsequent death constitute an attempt to destabilize the government.

Nisman and Pollicita alleged that Fernandez de Kirchner and others had plotted to pardon the Iranian suspects in the attack in order to improve commercial relations with Tehran.

Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral, who is in charge of the investigation of the 1994 attack, cast doubt on Nisman's allegations.

Earlier this month, Timerman told the Washington Post in an interview that the 2013 deal, which later fell through, sought only to get over legal hurdles, since Iran does not allow extradition and Argentinian law does not allow suspects to be tried in absentia.

"That is why we decided it might be a possibility, maybe, to convince the Iranians, the government of Iran, to allow the judge to go to Tehran to investigate suspects," Timerman said.

But critics had long suspected an illegal and secret deal that would have allowed Argentina to export agricultural produce to Iran and import Iranian oil in exchange for having the charges dropped.

Nisman was found dead on January 18 in his Buenos Aires apartment with a handgun and a bullet casing beside his body.

His death came a day before he was expected to testify before Congress about his accusations against the president and her aides.

GNA




MTN builds capacity of online journalists




MTN, the leading telecommunications company in Ghana has organized a capacity building seminar for a cross section of the online media in Ghana at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Accra.

Veteran journalist Mr. Kwasi Gyan Appenteng, a resource person with rich experience treated a topic on Feature Writing and advised the media men and women who write for internet sites to do more research and come out with interesting news stories that can earn them money.

He noted that the digital space is very wide, hence the creators of news on the social media must work very hard to feed the millions of consumers worldwide.

Gyan Appenteng who is a media consultant as well as regular columnist of The Mirror newspaper urged the journalists to use the social media to effect positive change in the lives of Ghanaians such as attending functions late.

He cautioned online media men and women to be creative and have an Ideas Bank for storage of information and a source for information.

The experienced media practitioner thanked MTN for organizing the forum and prayed that it would be held frequently for Ghana to have a bunch of very good online reporters.

Maximus Ametorgoh CEO of Pop Out, another resource person talked about the advantages of the Social Media and noted that the world is changing very fast due to the internet and it is up to Ghanaian journalists to catch up and be abreast with modern trends.

He praised the participants who are all hooked on the social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linked in, You Tube, WhatsApp and others, and instructed them to do news stories that can sell on the international market.

Gina Fiagbenu, an executive of MTN commended the participants and assured them that the forum would be organized frequently.

Participants who were drawn from the popular online Media houses in Ghana.

By Sammy Heywood Okine




AngloGold Ashanti Announces Management Changes At Its Ghana Office




Accra, 27th February, 2015 - AngloGold Ashanti (Ghana) Limited, is pleased to announce that Mr. Fred Attakumah, Managing Director of the Obuasi Mine, has assumed additional responsibility for Corporate Affairs at AGA.

Mr. Attakumah will also lead the company's stakeholder engagement activities and will have full responsibility for managing the reputation of the company.

Mr. Attakumah has worked with AngloGold Ashanti for over 20 years. He rose through the ranks by dint of hard work and strong capabilities to become the Managing Director of Obuasi Mine.

Mr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor, VP Corporate Affairs of AGA has expressed the desire to move on to pursue other professional interests.

Remarking on this recent appointment, Mr. David Noko, Executive Vice President Sustainability of AngloGold Ashanti said he is pleased to have Mr. Attakumah supervising Corporate Affairs and relationships building with stakeholders of AGA.

"I have no doubt that Mr. Attakumah's deep knowledge of the industry and years of experience at AGA, qualify him distinctly to manage our reputation with our stakeholders".

Mr. Noko also described the outgoing VP Corporate Affairs of AGA, Mr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor as "an outstanding member of the team who will be missed" and wished him well in his future endeavors

Mr. Addo-Kufuor expressed delight at the opportunity to have served the company for 18 years, saying his stay at AGA was very eventful and fruitful.

"I am moving on full of very fond memories of AGA and I feel glad to have been able to make my contribution to the company," he said.

The Senior Vice President of AGA Ghana, Mark Morcombe, expressed the company's gratitude to Mr. Addo-Kufuor for selflessly leading the corporate affairs team and working with senior management and the board to position the company positively in the minds of its stakeholders.

"Kwame has given the company the greater and, I will add, the best part of his working life and we wish him the best in his future endeavours," he said.

About AngloGold Ashanti
AngloGold Ashanti is a global gold mining company and the world's third largest gold producer. Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, AngloGold Ashanti has 20 operations on four continents and one of the gold industry's most successful exploration teams which work across both the established and new gold producing regions of the world. This includes land positions in Colombia, Guinea and Australia, among others. AngloGold Ashanti employed 61,242 people, including contractors, in 2011 and produced 4.33Moz of gold, generating $6.6bn in gold income. Capital expenditure in 2011 amounted to $1.5bn. As at 31 December 2011, AngloGold Ashanti's Ore Reserve totalled 75.6Moz.

The primary listing of the company's ordinary shares is on the JSE Limited (JSE). Its ordinary shares are also listed on stock exchanges in London and Ghana, as well as being quoted in New York in the form of American Depositary Shares (ADSs), in Australia, in the form of CHESS Depositary Interests (CDIs) and in Ghana, in the form of Ghanaian Depositary Shares (GhDSs).




Man, 46, Commits Suicide At Kitase




The usual hustle and bustle  that characterizes the Kitase township,  near Aburi in the Eastern  Region, was interrupted at about  4pm last Wednesday when a gunshot  was heard at a certain portion  of the town.

The assembly member for the  town, Elder Asomaning Koranteng,  who was among the people  who rushed to the place where the  gunshot was heard, narrated that  they found a man identified as  Yaw Ofori - who was also popularly  known in the community as  Super and Alan Cash - lying back  to the ground with a single barrel  gun he was alleged to have used in  committing suicide, lying on his  chest.

They also found bullet wounds  at the right side of the chest.

Kwadwo Boateng, an elder  brother of the deceased, told   DAILY GUIDE that his brother in  recent times had taken to drinking  alcohol which he suspected was as  a result of frustration caused by a  motor accident involving his taxi,  which was badly damaged.

Sources in the town however,  believe that Yaw Ofori, who is a  steel bender by profession, sold  his house located near the Peduase  Lodge, to multiple bidders and  which resulted in his being heavily  indebted as the bidders wanted  their monies refunded.

The source also confirmed the  issue of his mangled taxi which  according to them, is currently  parked at the Aburi Police Station.

They added that such pressures  could have pushed him into what  they described as his dastardly act.

Yaw Ofori, whose corpse has  since be taken to the Tetteh  Quarshie Memorial Hospital for  autopsy by the Aburi police, left  behind five children and a wife.

BY Solomon Ofori




Micro Enterprises To Enjoy Solar Meters



Government is working on a proposal
that will make solar power available
to barbers , hairdressers, and other
micro entrepreneurs, President
Mahama has revealed .
A prepaid solar meter scheme that
would enable residents of remote off
grid communities own and enjoy solar
lighting would be launched as a
private sector activity facilitated by
government .
Addressing Parliament at the 2015
State of the Nation Address on
Thursday , President Mahama pointed
out that government will soon be
rolling out new initiatives on solar
energy this year .
Key stakeholders in the energy
industry have suggested that
government provides households with
solar panels to help solve the energy
crisis Ghana is battling with .
He stated prepaid solar meters will be
rolled out in the rural areas , with
micro enterprises including
hairdressers , barbers all expected to
benefit .
Small scale businesses have
complained of feeling the pinch of the
erratic power supply.
The President added that the " new
Ministry of power is working on
proposals to restructure the power
sector beginning with the VRA and
the Bui Power Authority . "




Cut Down On Sex – Woyongo Warns Superstud officers




The Minister for Interior, Mike
Woyongo , has called on security
officers not to overwork themselves at
night after a stressful day at work . He
said there was no point having plenty
children if one was unable to take
good care of them.
" Security officers like having plenty
children , why? After doing overtime at
work , you go home and do another
over time ?" The minister ' s comment
attracted laughter from both guests
and prisons officers who he was
addressing.
Mr . Woyongo made the remarks when
one of the officers drew his attention
to the accommodation problems
being faced by personnel of the
service . The officer said it was
appalling to see personnel with about
seven children sharing a single room,
and appealed to the minister to do
something about their plight .
In response the minister shared his
frustration about the conditions of
the prison service but also advised
officers to keep small families. He
noted that government was doing a
lot to mitigate the problems being
faced by the service and its
personnel.
Mr . Woyongo said he was aware that
the conditions in the prisons " were
not the best " but appealed to officers
to treat prisoners humanely . He said
the Attorney- General has been tasked
to draft a proposal for a discussion .
He noted that it would be tabled
before parliament if it is accepted by
the Chief Justice.
The Interior Minister said the bill
would be looking at non - custodian
sentences like community service for
persons who are not able to pay fines
or for those that commit
misdemeanors . He was surprised the
Koforidua prisons had an inmate who
was jailed 12 years for stealing a
fowl . He said that was unacceptable
and sentences like that adds to the
congestion in the prisons .
The Koforidua Prisons was originally
built to accommodate 400 convicts ,
but it is temporary home to almost
800 prisoners today, causing serious
congestion at the facility. The
minister promised that his ministry
would soon take delivery of some
buses including two donated by the
British High Commission for the
Prisons Service.
He said plans were far advance to
also build confortable residential
accommodation space for officers of
the security agencies .
The minister observed that the guns
being used by prison officers were
outmoded . He promised to resource
them with modern weapons in order
to make them responsive and
efficient .
Immigration officers to use guns
The Interior minister said it was quiet
dangerous for immigration officers to
pursue criminals at the various entry
points without guns. This he noted
made them less effective as their lives
are endangered . He said he would
therefore ensure that immigration
officers were allowed to carry
firearms . He warned that the guns are
not to be used to threaten people's
life but to be used effectively as a
protective measure for controlling
crime and self- defense in face of
danger .
Recruitment into Security Agencies
The Ministry of Interior , according to
the minister , would soon begin
recruitment of personnel into the
security services. The holdup has
been due to financial challenges
occasioned by the huge wage bill .
He said it was therefore waiting for an
approval from the Finance Minister to
begin recruitment .
He warned the public to be weary of
fake recruitment as any official
recruitment exercise would be
announced publicly, and not done in
secret.
" The ministry needs to boost the
strength of all the security services,
especially the prisons service which
is overly understaffed , to ease the
burden of officers , " Mr. Woyongo
said .
Transfers
He said personnel who stayed at one
place for more than five years tend to
lose their significance and promised
that such persons will be respected .
Further , he said persons from different
professional background heading the
immigration service may be a
demotivating factor for staff . He
would therefore ensure that after the
current director of immigration Dr .
Peter Wiredu , professional
immigration officers take up the
mantel .
He was however not happy that
opposing blocks have been formed
within the services with each group
antagonizing the other. He called for
unity and oneness amongst officers of
the security services in order to move
the country forward .
He urged that the security services
share information to promote effective
communication . He observed that if
there is effective communication
amongst them, there would be no
need for police personnel to carry
AK47 everywhere they go . He
therefore urged that immigration
officers are trained and retrained
when the guns are delivered to them
and be disciplined in their handling of
the weapons he explained that
currently the ministry is considering a
proposal brought before it by the
immigration director , that the service
be allowed to retain 40 percent of its
Internally Generated Funds. He
promised to give a positive response
but urged that personnel of the
service to a lot more to generate more
IGF so that the 40 percent would be
significant enough to support the
service .




Lupita's $150,000 Oscar dress stolen


$150,000 custom-made Calvin Klein Collection
by Francisco Costa dress, worn by actress
Lupita Nyong'o at the Oscars, has been stolen
in Hollywood.
The dress, studded with 6,000 natural white
pearls, was taken from the London Hotel in
West Hollywood when Nyong'o was out of the
room.
The Kenyan won best supporting actress last
year for Twelve Years a Slave and was a
presenter at Sunday's ceremony.
People magazine named her the most beautiful
person of 2014.
Sheriff's Lt William Nash said the dress
appeared to be stolen on Wednesday evening
and officers were checking CCTV footage.
On the red carpet on Sunday, Nyong'o, 31, told
Associated Press: "I'm just wearing my
diamonds and pearls. My homage to
(musician) Prince."
She added of the dress: "We talked about it
being fluid and liquid. I wanted it to be an
homage to the sea."
No arrests have been made.
Calvin Klein has not commented.

Source: BBC





British Embassy Fires Ghanaian Staff Over Visa Fraud


A Ghanaian national working with the
British Embassy in Accra has been
sacked over visa fraud allegations.
The identity of the suspect is yet to
be made public .
Jon Benjamin , The British High
Commissioner , wrote on his twitter
handle yesterday , Thursday February
26 : " Today we dismissed a Ghanaian
employee of the British High
Commission for gross misconduct
related to visa fraud ".
The Commission later released a
statement saying: " Though such
cases are extremely rare , it takes
allegations against any of its staff
extremely seriously and will always
take the strongest possible action.
" This issue came to light precisely
because of the strong internal audit
and control mechanisms we have in
place to monitor our entire visa
operation ."




Photo of the week: Wanted: Traffic light repairers




Two MTTU officers had come to direct traffic at the intersection just before Circle in Accra. But before they could do this, the ailing health of the traffic light had to be fixed.

The hanging traffic lights were working but faced the wrong direction threatening to create chaos for drivers to obey its instructions and for pedestrians to cross the intersection safely.

By their own ingenuity, the police officers had to improvise using ropes and a bench, to do some impromptu repair works.

After some time their ingenuity stabilized the traffic light post and they returned to their original duty of overseeing the traffic on the road.

While keeping an eye of the post - in case it gives up again.

Congratulations to the officers. Shame on our maintenance culture.




Fake Evangelist Nabbed




A 24-year-old self-styled evangelist, Emmanuel Kwaakye, who succeeded in defrauding two people at Asinadze near Cape Coast in the Central Region, has found himself in the grip of the law.

Kwaakye, who was charged with the offence of conspiracy to commit crime by false pretences was granted bail to the sum of GH ¢10,000 with two sureties; one to be justified.

Kwaakye, who appeared before a Cape Coast magistrate court, presided over by William Baffour, pleaded not guilty on count one, pleaded guilty with explanation on count two and not guilty on count three.

Prosecuting, Chief Inspector Christiana Sampong said the first complainant, Eric Ashong, is a taxi driver residing at Asinadze while the second complainant, Felicia Arthur, is a trader and resides at Budumburam near Kasoa.

Chief Inspector Sampong told the court that Kwaakye and his accomplice, Kweku Joshua, now at large, were both evangelists preaching at Abura taxi station.

The prosecution said during the month of October and November last year, Kwaakye during the course of his preaching made an appeal for an accommodation since he claimed the hotel bills were unbearable for him.

The prosecutor said Mr Ashong, who was touched by his story, introduced him to his mother who gave Kwaakye a room in her house at Asinadze to occupy freely.

Chief Inspector Sampong added that Kwaakye immediately after the introduction told Ashong he has had a vision that Mr Ashong's late father was killed by 'juju' because the deceased had planted some bars of gold at the back of their home.

Chief Inspector Sampong also disclosed Kwaakye asked the rest of the family to dig the gold out else they would perish.

The culprit then asked for an amount of GH ¢240 from the family which was to be used for the purchase of anointing oil for the rituals.

The prosecutor stated that on the following day around 7:30pm, Kwaakye Kwakye led Mr Ashong and his family to the back of their house and with a shovel, dug out a small pot tied with red thread, red pieces of cloth and some cowries containing small pins and small arrows and handed it over to Mr Ashong.

Kwaakye later invited Joshua to the house and introduced him as his colleague who was coming to help him dig out the gold.

Kwaakye and Joshua succeeded in collecting an amount of GH ¢600 from Ashong and the mother under the pretext of buying them oil from Kumasi to be used for the rituals but bolted away.

Chief Inspector Sampong said a search conducted in the room of Kwaakye revealed a piece of red cloth, red and black sewing thread, small pins, small mirror, a Bible tide with black sewing thread with keys inside, suggesting that the suspect made the pot himself and planted it at the back of the house.

The prosecutor hinted that during the same period, Ashong had introduced Kwaakye to Felicia Arthur who had been duped of a GH ¢1000 under similar circumstances.

On February 18, Kwaakye ran out of luck as he was spotted at Yamoransa near Cape Coast and was arrested, and during police interrogation, he said it was his accomplice who bolted with Mr Ashong's money.

She said Kwaakye added that in Ms Arthur's case, he bought the oil but left it in a VIP bus.

From Sarah Afful, Cape Coast
Email:affulsco@gmail.com




Today's Front Pages




I'LL FIX 'DUMSOR'
 In the midst of erratic power supply, President John Dramani Mahama, used his State of the Nation Address to Parliament yesterday to assure Ghanaians that he would not to manage the problem but fix it.

MIXED REACTIONS GREET STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS
The Minority and Majority sides in Parliament have expressed different views on the President's State of the Nation Address delivered in Parliament yesterday.

GHANA, IMF REACH $940 MILLION AGREEMENT
Ghana has reached a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for and aid deal worth around US$940 million.

FOR ONCE, NO HECKLING IN PARLIAMENT
For once there was decorum in Parliament John Mahama delivered the State of Nation Address to the House yesterday.

MAHAMA CRIES OVER 'DUMSOR' ATTACKS
President John Mahama yesterday used his State of the Nation Address to lambast persons he perceived to be 'enemies' of his government, particularly politicians and members of the academia.

SOLDIER NABBED FOR ROBBERY
Six armed robbers, including a serving military officer, have been arrested by the Sunyani Police patrol team after allegedly robbing a macro-finance company at gunpoint at Wenchi in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

ANGRY DRIVER RUNS OVER POLICE
The enthusiasm exhibited by a police officer on duty to ensure that driver of Toyota Hiace but with registration number GE 9902-09 abide by safety regulations on the road and does not unnecessarily endanger the lives of other road users has caused him his life.

FROM MILLIONAIRE TO HOMELESS BUT...
In extraordinary unfortunate circumstances, she moved from being one of the few young Ghanaian self-made millionaires in the United States of America (USA) o become homeless.

ALL IS NOT WELL WITH GHANA
The Minority Leader in Parliament and Member of Parliament for Suame , Hon Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu says the decision by the government to bring to parliament "a review budget" is a sign that all is not well with the State of the Nation, contrary to what President Mahama would want Ghanaians to believe.

MAHAMA'S INCOMPETENCE IS LEGENDARY
The 2016 vice presidential candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, says the current state of the nation's economy, which has rendered majority of Ghanaians helpless, is due to the fact that President Mahama is clueless about how to solve the myriad of problems confronting the nation under his watch.

PRESIDENT MAHAMA TEMPERS ENERGY CRISIS WITH PROMISES

The President, John Dramani Mahama on Thursday delivered his third State of the Nation Address with a promise to solve the country's energy supply challenges that have and continue to ravage business confidence and outlook in the country.

EXPERTS PRESCRIBE 'NOW' SOLUTIONS
Energy experts have prescribed a workable home-grown solution to address the current power crisis within months as industry, hospitals and micro enterprises struggle to cope.

IMF BACKS ROAD TO RECOVERY US$940M PACKAGE
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is backing the country's economy to rebound after announcing a US$940 million three-year economic programme - pending approval of its management and Executive Board

SOCIALIZE WISELY ON SOCIAL MEDIA - IT EXPERT ADVISES

An expert in Information Security Management, Mr Eric Afanu, has cautioned users of social media platforms to the careful of the kind of information they put about themselves since such information could be used by fraudulent people for mischievous purposes.

50-YEAR-OLD JHS STUDENT DREAMS OF JOINING POLICE
"Never say die until the bones are rotten," is a popular slogan of Accra Heart of Oak, one of the well-known football clubs in this country.




Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mahama rehashed old promises on energy crisis -ACEP




African Center for Energy Policy (ACEP) is unimpressed by the President's steps to solve the current power crisis, saying he provided no immediate solutions.

ACEP's Ben Boakye told Joy News, the elaborate plans by the president are only achievable in medium and long terms but not ones that will provide relief within three months.

President Mahama at the 2015 State of the Nation address says his approach to the current power crisis is not to manage it as past governments have done, but to fix it once and for all.

"I do not intend to manage the situation as has been done in the past,  I intend to fix it. I, John Dramani Mahama will fix this energy challenge", he told an attentive Parliament Wednesday morning

The President is promising to add 3,665megawatts by 2016.The most immediate plan which is a reliance on emergency power barges expected in April is not realistic, the energy expert said.

The 450 megawatts power barges from Turkey and 220 from Dubai were announced by government as emergency reliefs.

But ACEP puts the addition of a combine 670megawatts to the national grid as realistic only by August - not April as government has been insisting.

He said although the power barges is expected to be located at Tema, the berthing place of the power ships have not been prepared two months to government's promised deadline of April.




GH¢3 billion for healthcare in 2015




President John Mahama has announced that GH ¢3 billion will be dedicated to healthcare delivery in the country.

He indicated that since a "good economy resides in the health of the people", the Mahama-led administration finds it prudent to invest in the sector.

The President announced this while delivering the State of the Nation Address in Parliament Thursday.

He said the number of projects being executed nationwide will add about 6000 new hospital  beds between 2015 and 2017.

President Mahama noted that 13 district hospitals are being constructed to bring healthcare to the people, naming Salaga, Twifo Praso, Madina as some of the districts to benefit from the project.

He also disclosed that a second Military Hospital will be established in the Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi this year.

President Mahama added that the 500-bed Military hospital is likely to be named 37 Military Hospital, Kumasi.

He stated that 15 Polyclinics will be started this year with 10 in the Central Region and five in the Greater Accra region.

Furthermore, President Mahama said Government has completed some district hospitals across the country.

These include a 120-bed facility at Dodowa, Fomena, Kumawu, Abetifi, Garu Tempane and Sekondi-Takoradi.

He added that a 60-bed hospital is currently underway at Tepa, Nsawkaw, Konongo, Madina, Salaga and Twifo-Praso.

According to President Mahama, the provision of modern diagnostic and treatment equipment under the National Medical Equipment Replacement Programme has been expanded to cover 150 hospitals across the country.

Teaching Hospitals, all Regional Hospitals, 125 District Hospitals, 14 Health Centers and 8 mobile clinics have benefited from the programme.

Hospitals on the National Health Insurance Scheme can now heave a sigh of relief as the President indicates that a portion of outstanding claims is being disbursed to health providers this week.

He also indicated that the fraud detection capacity of the scheme will be strengthened in order to eliminate, detect and sanction facilities and personnel who take advantage of the system.

He said the cause of the fire that destroyed drugs worth GH ˆ »356 million is being investigated, while short-term measures have been put in place to mitigate the impact of the blaze.

The Ministry of Health, according to the President is reviewing the Health Sector Supply Chain Master Plan with a view of improving the system of procurement.




KHARIS Media to host 2015 edition of spiritpreneurship summit




The Second gathering of Christian Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders for networking and learning has been scheduled for Saturday March 28 at the Holiday Inn Airport Hotel in Accra.   This unique event will start at 9:00 AM and end at 3:00 PM.

The event dubbed, Spiritpreneurship (spiritual entrepreneurship, for short) will assemble chief executive officers, managing directors, politicians, business professionals, aspiring entrepreneurs, enterprising young leaders, ministers of the gospel as well as individuals who sense the calling of God to go into the field of business and entrepreneurship.

The summit will provide Christian entrepreneurs the opportunity to network with key and business leaders as well as create exposure to groundbreaking business ideas and concepts.

Delegates would also discover bible-based secrets to entrepreneurship excellence and timeless secrets to successful spiritual entrepreneurship.

The maiden edition of the summit was a huge success, attracting an overflowing number of business executives and entrepreneurs who went home with a life-transforming experience. This year's edition promises a greater experience according to the event organizers.

The theme for the 2015 edition is "Kingdom Secrets To Perpetual Wealth" and will examine some of the time tested biblical strategies for creating trans-generational wealth.

Spiritpreneurship 2015 takes inspiration from Isaiah 48:17 which says "...I am the Lord your God who TEACHES YOU to profit, who leads you by the way you should go".  

A special highlight of the event would include honouring twelve (12) "Marketplace Apostles" whose character and commitment to excellence has exalted Christ and the Kingdom of God in the marketplace.

Dr. Randy Osae Bediako, CEO of Kharis Group and Founder/Host of the Spiritpreneurship Summit, revealed that the idea behind the annual event is to serve as a catalyst for marketplace revival and to encourage Christian excellence in character and work that will lead to exalting Christ in the marketplace.

"Spiritpreneurship embodies synthesizing spirituality with the art of creating wealth. If you are Christian, every aspect of your life should be rendered as worship to God", he said.

Randy is convinced that God is raising a new breed of entrepreneurs and corporate executives and empowering them to create substantial wealth through business and entrepreneurship. This new breed sees wealth, not as an end to be sought after, but as a tool to do the work of God and promote the agenda of Jesus Christ in the market place.

Confirmed speakers for the event include: Bishop Gideon Titi-Ofei, CEO, Almond Institute &The Pleasant Place , Mr. George Kojo Addison, MD StarLife Assurance Company, Mr. Samuel Sakyi-Hyde, CEO, Unicredit Ghana, Mr. Kojo Addae Mensah, CEO, Databank Group, Mr. William Ato Essien, Founder, First Capital Plus Bank, Mr. Kojo Ohene-Kyei, Founder & CEO, IFS Financial Services, Mrs. Dzigbordi Dosoo, Founder & CEO, Allure Africa, Dr. Joyce R. Aryee, CEO, Salt & Light Ministries and Mr. Stephen Ato Eshun, General Manager, Sunny FM.

Some thematic areas to be treated in the summit include: Biblical strategies for creating perpetual wealth, What does it take to become a spiritual entrepreneur? Pursuing business as a calling, operating the business anointing, The role of business people in national transformation, How vital is perpetual wealth? Biblical principles for successful branding, The influence of salt and light in the marketplace, The power to create wealth, The benefits of financing the gospel amongst others.  




Governments on Track to Reaching Paris 2015 Universal Climate Agreement




Another key step towards a new, universal climate change agreement has just been taken as the negotiating text for the agreement was officially issued by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The text was agreed at the UN Climate Change Conference in Geneva earlier this month, and covers the substantive content of the new agreement including mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology, capacity building, and transparency of action and support.

"I'm delighted that the negotiating text from which the Paris agreement will be constructed has now been officially published. This will allow early consideration of the text on the part of governments," said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres.

The negotiating text will be formally communicated to all governments that are Party to the Convention as soon as it becomes available in all six official languages of the UN.

The expectation is that this could be achieved by the end of March, thus amply fulfilling procedural requirements for adoption of the agreement at the end of the year.

This milestone kick-starts a year of intense negotiations and political efforts focused on completing the new agreement and building broad-based momentum across all levels for a unified and lasting response to the challenge of climate change.

"I welcome the broad-based engagement of Heads of State and Ministers ranging from finance to health to energy. The new agreement will not only be of relevance to Ministers of environment, but will be of key relevance across all government ministries and departments committed to the triple intertwined agendas of 2015: namely climate action, the realization of a suite of Sustainable Development Goals and progressing on disaster risk reduction," Ms. Figueres stated.

Negotiators will reconvene at the Climate Change Conference in Bonn from 1 to 11 June to seek convergence, find ways to bridge positions and reach common understandings.

"The June session will be of crucial importance," Ms. Figueres said. "I would like to call on all governments to empower their negotiators to come prepared to make choices in June and to converge on outcomes all Parties can accept," she added.

Additionally, negotiators will identify elements within the negotiating text that are of a durable nature and therefore need to be enshrined in the agreement, and aspects that are more suitable to be contained in decisions at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.

This could mean, for example, that the establishment of a mechanism that boosts the response to climate change would be enshrined in the agreement, but the details of how this mechanism would operate would be captured in an accompanying decision.

Following the June conference, two further formal sessions have been scheduled in Bonn, from 31 August to 4 September and from 19 to 23 October.

Meanwhile, the 5th session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) holding in Cairo, Egypt from 1-6 March, will provide an opportunity for ministers and experts to review and analyse the outcomes of the twentieth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP20) that held in Lima, Peru in December 2014.

The on-going climate change negotiations have entered a critical stage towards the 2015 legal agreement and this session will be an opportune platform to review issues at stake for the continent and agree on a roadmap in preparation for the twenty first session of the UNFCCC (COP21) to be held in Paris later in the year.




NDC Man Busted For Cocaine




Officials of the Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) are not forthcoming with information on the arrest of the assemblyman for Annumle electoral area in Achimota - a suburb of Accra - Kodzo Hamenya Keglo, for allegedly dealing in narcotic drugs.

Keglo is also the secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Okaikoi North constituency.

Another NDC executive, David Tettey Kwame,Lower  Manya Krobo constituency youth organiser,  is already standing trial for narcotic-related offence.

Credible information gathered by DAILY GUIDE indicates that policemen on visibility duty at the La Polyclinic area accosted Keglo's vehicle Tuesday afternoon following a tip-off by an informant that a man carrying substances suspected to be Indian hemp (popularly called wee) and cocaine was driving towards their (policemen's) direction.

Upon reaching the spot, the police were said to have stopped the vehicle and searched it, leading to the purported discovery of the narcotic drugs - some pellets of cocaine and wee concealed in a compartment of the car.

The police officers were subsequently said to have taken the suspect to the police headquarters and handed him over to the narcotics unit of the CID.

Influence Peddling
DAILY GUIDE sources said on the way to the police headquarters, the suspect started making frantic calls to some key and influential persons in society and that no sooner had they arrived at the place than a senior officer of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) pulled up to intervene for his release.

This was said to have been followed with a series of calls from some government officials, demanding the immediate release of Keglo.

According to sources, the suspect was subsequently granted bail by an official (name withheld) of scandal-infested MASLOC.

Set Up
The police even though are tight-lipped and claim investigations are still ongoing, have come to the conclusion that Keglo was set up but would not disclose who set the gentleman up.

Even as the person who allegedly set the NDC secretary up had not been arrested, the police went ahead to free the suspect.

When DAILY GUIDE visited the police CID headquarters yesterday, officers were tight-lipped.

Instead, Director of Operations of department, Chief Superintendent John Asare Naami, requested that DAILY GUIDE disclose its source before he would give any details about the case.

That was when Narcotics Unit Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Daniel Hukporti, had taken the paper for briefing.

At the first instance he said, 'We have so many of those cases so we don't know what you are talking about.'

Hostility
DAILY GUIDE gave the information it has for verification but Asare Naami proved extremely hostile and not forthcoming, making the paper to narrate the whole information.

When the paper declined to name its source, the police chief became insistent saying the suspected the NDC man was set up.

Confusion
Even before DSP Hukporti would take DAILY GUIDE to Chief Superintendent Asare Naami, ASP Odame Okyere and another senior officer at the department had all said the case was a    frame-up.

Head of the public relations unit at the CID headquarters, ASP Benefo Darkwa, was brought into the meeting at a point but nothing good came out of it, claiming not to have any knowledge about the case.

Strings
The issue then changed from the journalist giving information to ASP Darkwa to inspecting the identity card of the reporter on the instruction of Mr Asare Naami.

When the journalist pulled the ID out and showed it to him, he complained of the card fading.

Even though he took the reporter's mobile telephone number with the promise to call back and give the full details of the case, that promise of ASP Darkwa had not been fulfilled as at press time yesterday.

By Charles Takyi-Boadu




Cholera Outbreak Challenges Relief Efforts In Malawis Flood-Affected Communities




26 February 2015, Malawi - A cholera outbreak is further jeopardizing the health of 230,000 people recently displaced by floods in Malawi. The majority of those affected are living in temporary camps where access to safe water and improved sanitation, both essential for the prevention of an epidemic, is an immediate challenge. The Red Cross, through its solid network of volunteers, is on the ground, constructing new latrines and repairing damaged boreholes, however, without an influx of resources, there is concern that the caseload will increase, increasing the vulnerability of already fragile families.

"The Red Cross is extremely worried that this cholera outbreak will put flood-affected communities at further risk," said Erin Law, regional health delegate, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). "This outbreak makes it essential that we secure safe water and sanitation facilities for everyone who was left homeless by the floods as soon as possible. It is also vital that we establish detection and referral mechanisms for cholera patients and promote proper hygienic behaviour."

The Ministry of Health has confirmed 24 cases of cholera in Nsanje district, with one death attributed to the outbreak. Nsanje has been the region hardest by the recent floods which began in early January. Flash flooding and storm damage have destroyed crops, buildings, latrines and water sources, leaving over 146,000 people in the district, homeless.

Displaced communities have gathered in makeshift camps where the high water table has made it almost impossible to excavate latrine pits which are also liable to collapse given the saturated state of the soil. Because the latrines are not always safe or are not available, open defecation has become commonplace in flood-affected areas.

This, combined with rising flood waters, provides an environment rich for the spread of cholera. It is extremely difficult for affected people to ensure their waste water is kept separate from water used for drinking and cooking.

"Basic hygiene practices, such as hand washing, become essential life-saving measures in an emergency like this," said Law. "The administration of simple oral rehydration therapy to those infected with cholera becomes more important than any other medical intervention."




Free SHS To Begin This YearMahama


President Mahama has stated that government’s progressively free Senior High School policy is set to begin in September this year.

Delivering the State of the Nation Address in Parliament Thursday February 26, 2015, the president said about 375,000 “day” students will benefit from the policy, which was the main campaign message of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) during 2012 general election.

The governing NDC vehemently opposed the message, insisting that, quality was more important as against free education. The government however made a “U- turn” after retaining power and promised to implement the policy in 2015/2016 academic year.

The president further said the construction of 200 community day senior high schools has already begun and that, some of the structures are almost complete and will soon accomodate students.

President John Dramani Mahama also stated that his administration was planning to provide about 30,000 computers to basic schools in order to improve ICT education in the country and that about 15 million exercise books will also be provided to basic schools aside free school uniforms.






African Union Applauds Liberia For Opening Borders And Returning To Work


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia â€" Thursday, 26 February 2015; The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, applauds 20% of Liberia’s households for returning to work after the Ebola outbreak, lifting its night-time lockdown and opening its international points of entry as announced by Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf last week.

The announcement was made shortly after the schools in the country reopened.

“These improvements are an encouraging sign of a shift toward economic normalization; even though the country just announced the confirmation of four new Ebola cases in the Margibi County, we are still witnessing an overall decline in the disease,” explained Dr. Dlamini-Zuma.

“There is still a lot of work to be done in Liberia and the African Union remains committed to assisting all three affected countries in West Africa to boost recovery on a socio-economic level. While food insecurity and self-employment numbers in Liberia are still disturbing, economic recovery has certainly begun. A good example of this is that the country has the lowest out-of-work numbers since October last year,” continued Dr. Dlamini-Zuma.

A week ago, the US government announced it is withdrawing troops from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia as local governments, local and international aid agencies and bodies are successfully mitigating the risk of future infections and are effectively treating those infected.






Pastor Arrested For Killing Albino


Pastor Emmanuel Abedzir, founder of Paradise Saviour Church of Christ at Amanase-Boketey near Suhum in the Eastern Region, has been nabbed by the Suhum police for allegedly murdering a 30-year-old carpenter, Kofi Red.

As at press time yesterday, the body had been deposited at the Suhum Government Hospital awaiting autopsy, while the suspect was in police custody assisting in investigation.

Sources indicate that the albino carpenter was a friend of the pastor with whom he exchanged visits.

Reports said last Sunday at 4pm the carpenter went to the pastor's house for some chats. The deceased was said to be drunk and so he allegedly slept on a bench in the pastor's veranda around 9 pm.

According to sources, Kofi Red woke up and purportedly slapped the pastor for waking him up from his sleep. The pastor allegedly returned the slap which ensued in a fight between them.

The pastor, who didn't control his temper, was said to have mercilessly assaulted Kofi Red, leading to his death at his doorstep.

Pastor Emmanuel, upon realizing that the carpenter couldn't breathe anymore, reportedly ran away from his house, while his wife and the children were asleep.

The following day Kofi Red was found dead at the doorstep in a pool of blood.

The Suhum Police Commander, Chief Supt. Yahaya Mushiraru, confirming the incident to DAILY GUIDE , said a resident (name withheld) in the area came to the police station to lodge a complaint.

Supt. Yahaya posited that the pastor, upon hearing that the police were hunting for him, went into hiding.

According to the police officer, his outfit managed to arrest the wife of the pastor, and Tuesday morning the pastor himself came to the police station with intent to bail his wife when he was arrested.






minority to present true state of the nation, wednesday


The Minority in Parliament has said it will present a true State of the Nation address on Wednesday March 4, 2015.

This is to counter President John Mahama's version of the State of the Nation which was presented in Parliament today.

Minority leader in Parliament Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu said the content of the president's message will “be certainly discussed but the true state of the nation will be unveiled on Wednesday.”

The minority members were sombre in their black and red attires, a turnout which the minority leader would later confess was to protest the dire power crisis and the poor state of the nation.

Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu indicated that his side was not impressed with the president's address because he made these same comments during the 2014 State of the Nation address.

“The president told us that we have been here before, last year he said the same things. We wanted to hear from the president that we were there before and we have put it behind us.”

Government for the first time announced plans to review the 2015 budget and the Minority Leader said was an indication that all is not well with the nation and more needs to be done.

Speaking on the loud silence of the minority throughout the president's  presentation â€" which is quite an unusual position taken by them, Mr Kyei Mensah Bonsu said the decision to remain quiet during the president's delivery was a sign of respect to the House and the president.

He said “for the avoidance of doubt, it is important to state for the record that we [Minority] in this House have agreed to listen to the president's insight. This self imposition is to protect the dignity of the house and indeed the presidency.






bunkpurugu/yunyoo assembly confirms dce


Bunkpurugu (NR), Feb. 26, GNA - Assembly Members at the Bunkpurugu/Yunyoo District of the Northern Region, on Wednesday endorsed overwhelmingly Mr Sampoa Timothy Laari as the District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area.

Mr Laari polled 41 votes out of the 45 Member-Assembly, representing 91.1 per cent of the votes cast, in the election which was supervised by officials of the Electoral Commission (EC).

Mr Laari expressed gratitude to President John Dramani Mahama for the appointment, and thanked the Assembly Members for their sense of purpose and his overwhelming endorsement.

He pledged to work harder to justify the confidence reposed in him, and appealed to all to discard negative attitudes that would divide the people, saying, 'We need unity, peace and togetherness to steer affairs of the district'.

He pledged to run an open administration, to ensure that people with great ideas were brought on board, to facilitate the development of the area.

Mr Laari appealed to Assembly Members to give him the needed cooperation, by coming together as one family with a common purpose for the interest of the people, saying, 'We need to work hard to improve the living conditions of our people especially in areas of poverty reduction, agriculture improvement and health'.

Alhaji Limuna Mohammed-Muniru, Northern Regional Minister, commended the assembly members for their wisdom and voting overwhelmingly to confirm the nominee, which was an indication that they were poised for development.

Alhaji Mohammed-Muniru said government was interested in ensuring that the lives of the people improved through the execution of the 'Better Ghana Agenda,' and gave the assurance that development would never elude any part of the country.

He, therefore, appealed to chiefs, opinion leaders, and all other groups in the area, to come together and seek peace, saying, 'Riots would continue to deter investors because the district has the potential in agriculture, which is the backbone of the economy'.






IPCC press conference after session in Nairobi / Access details and new time


NAIROBI, Kenya, February 26, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will hold a press conference on Friday 27 February at the end of its 41st Session in Nairobi, Kenya.

When: 14.00 Nairobi time on Friday 27 February 2015

(0600 ET, 11.00 GMT, 12.00 Geneva, 16.30 New Delhi, 19.00 Beijing, 20.00 Tokyo)

Where: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Headquarters, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya

NB This press conference was previously scheduled 3 hours later at 17.00 Nairobi time.

The Acting Chair of the IPCC, Ismail El Gizouli, and the Secretary of the IPCC, Renate Christ, will take part in the press conference.

The live-streamed webcast of the press conference can be followed at: https://www.youtube.com/user/IPCCGeneva/ or on social media at the links below. A recording of the webcast will be available on the same YouTube channel shortly after the end of the conference.

Reporters following the live webcast can send questions to ipcc-questions@wmo.int

Media representatives in Nairobi can attend the press conference in person. Journalists are requested to bring a copy of their press card and an identification card/passport.

Among other questions this week, the Panel is considering the recommendations of the Task Group on the Future Work of the IPCC, and taking decisions on the size, structure and composition of the IPCC Bureau and any Task Force Bureau. The Panel is due to elect a new Bureau, including a new Chair of the IPCC, at its next Session, planned for October 2015.

Information about the work of the Task Group on the Future Work of the IPCC, including relevant documents, can be found at: http://ipcc.ch/apps/future/

The full agenda of the meeting and other relevant documents can be found here:

http://ipcc.ch/scripts/_session_template.php?




Gov't Is BrokeNapo


The National Democratic Congress (NDC) government is cash-strapped, according to Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the Manhyia South Member of Parliament (MP.)

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) lawmaker, who is affectionately called 'Napo,' said the unpleasant situation has hampered significant infrastructural development lately.

He disclosed that the NDC government has deferred payment of MPs Common Fund on grounds that the government is cash-strapped.

Napo therefore urged the populace not to expect any meaningful development in their localities from until 2016.

He disclosed this during the 'Meet Your Constituents' programme at Mbrom where he interacted with the residents of KO and OI.

'The Mahama government initially said the meat is finished and it is left with only bones, apparently referring to the Ghana's economic situation at that time,' Napo told the crowd on Sunday.

'Now they have chewed the bones as well, leaving the country with no money for any developmental project. This is how hopeless Ghana's situation is at the moment my brothers and sisters.

'The NDC government has even deferred payment of MPs Common Fund from half of 2014 to 2017 simply because the government says the country is broke and therefore cannot pay the common fund.'

He attributed the economic crunch to corruption by government officials and mismanagement, which has been the hallmark of the Mahama administration.

According to him, since MPs were not getting their common funds to promote developmental projects, the growth of the various localities in the country would be retarded.

Napo said MPs in the country have to adopt ingenious ways of raising funds to embark on developmental projects to improve the lives of their constituents.

The Manhyia South MP expressed sadness about the deplorable state of the school feeding project started by the NPP administration, noting that the social intervention programme would be revived if the NPP captures power in 2016.

The 'Meet Your Constituents' programme forms part of efforts by Napo to educate constituents about parliamentary work.






with single spine there is no justification for bribes in ghana- mahama


President John Mahama has said there is no justification whatsoever for any public official to collect bribes under his administration.

Presenting the state of the nation address to Parliament, Thursday, the President said the country has come a long way from the days when the state pretended to pay its public officers, to a period of significant salary adjustment.

He said if "illegal tips" were taken by officials as a result of poor salaries in the past, that justification is no longer valid because of the introduction of the single spine salary structure.

The president said bribery and corruption appear to have littered every facet of national life; a phenomenon he finds appalling.

He does not understand why public officers would resort to taking bribes for services they are paid to render.

John Mahama said for every corrupt act in any public institution is an official who exercises oversight responsibility, and those officials will now be held responsible.

"If these were our private businesses will we be managing it this way?" he questioned, adding, "Ghana is bleeding" from all these acts of corruption.

"Leadership at all levels must take responsibility," he indicated.

In a presentation that lasted for close to two and a half hours the president touched on a number of issues including health education and water delivery.

On education, he said the country will from the 2015/16 academic year begin the implementation of the free SHS policy.

The policy is set to cover over 340,000 day students, he stated while glowing over the resit policy for basic education students.

According to him, a total of 1181 candidates had the chance to resit their exams this year, candidates who would otherwise have had their education truncated.

The President admitted the country was facing a huge power crisis and outlined a number of policies that are meant to increase the generation capacity to some 3,000 megawatts.






With Single Spine There Is No Justification For Bribes In GhanaMahama


President John Mahama has said there is no justification whatsoever for any public official to collect bribes under his administration.

Presenting the state of the nation address to Parliament, Thursday, the President said the country has come a long way from the days when the state pretended to pay its public officers, to a period of significant salary adjustment.

He said if "illegal tips" were taken by officials as a result of poor salaries in the past, that justification is no longer valid because of the introduction of the single spine salary structure.

The president said bribery and corruption appear to have littered every facet of national life; a phenomenon he finds appalling.

He does not understand why public officers would resort to taking bribes for services they are paid to render.

John Mahama said for every corrupt act in any public institution is an official who exercises oversight responsibility, and those officials will now be held responsible.

"If these were our private businesses will we be managing it this way?" he questioned, adding, "Ghana is bleeding" from all these acts of corruption.

"Leadership at all levels must take responsibility," he indicated.

In a presentation that lasted for close to two and a half hours the president touched on a number of issues including health education and water delivery.

On education, he said the country will from the 2015/16 academic year begin the implementation of the free SHS policy.

The policy is set to cover over 340,000 day students, he stated while glowing over the resit policy for basic education students.

According to him, a total of 1181 candidates had the chance to resit their exams this year, candidates who would otherwise have had their education truncated.

The President admitted the country was facing a huge power crisis and outlined a number of policies that are meant to increase the generation capacity to some 3,000 megawatts.






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