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Tuesday, 06 February 2018 02:50

Government takes delivery of 34 ‘Mahama luxury cars’

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Citi News can confirm that government over the weekend took delivery of Thirty Four [34] cars for the presidency, ten of which have bullet resistant exterior.

Our sources say the luxury cars arrived on a Global African Airlines cargo plane. The presidential fleet contract was awarded by the John Mahama administration barely a week before they left office.

The original number of cars ordered was Forty Three [43]. The New Patriotic Party administration, which had attempted to cancel the entire contract but failed due to certain clauses in the contract, managed to reduce the number to 34.

By so doing, it saved the country Three Million Dollars, from the initial cost of Nine Million dollars for the 43 cars. They also avoided incurring a judgement debt, by deciding not to cancel the contract.

Background

Back in June 2017, some NDC officials accused the NPP administration of playing double-standards, after news about the presidential fleet emerged, despite an order by President Nana Akufo-Addo, halting the purchase of new vehicles.

The government then explained that it could not be blamed for the presidential fleet because the order had already been placed by John Dramani Mahama before he exited office after the elections in 2016.

43 new cars were purchased on NPP’s request – Apaak

Former NDC appointees including Dr. Clement Apaak, who worked at the presidency, suggested that the cars were ordered upon the request of the NPP government during the transition period, a claim the government vehemently denied.

Dr. Apaak noted that, the Mahama administration agreed to the request by Nana Akufo-Addo’s side of the transition team because they had raised concerns about the incoming President’s security.

Contract was signed before transition team was formed

As the back and forth went on between the two parties, Citi News sighted a letter signed by the then Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, authorizing the purchase.

This letter was signed two days before then President; John Mahama, inaugurated the Presidential transition team, which he co-chaired with then President-elect, Nana Akufo Addo.

This revelation thus defeated the NDC’s claims that the NPP made the request during the transition period.

Earlier documents sighted by Citi News revealed that, the contract for the new cars for the Presidency was specifically awarded by the Mahama government on the 3rd of January, 2017, to Amalgamated Security Services LTD.

The two-paragraph letter authorizing the purchase was dated December 9, 2016, whereas the transition team was officially inaugurated on December 11, 2016.

Deal authorized by Terkper

The letter noted that, the deal was authorized by the outgoing Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, to take note of the decision to purchase the 43 vehicles “for necessary action accordingly.”

The letter also clearly stated that, the outgoing government had “decided to acquire some vehicles for the incoming administration”.

Ras Mubarak WeddingMember of Parliament (MP) for Kumbungu in the Northern Region, Ras Mubarak, has asked the public to ignore reports that, he has married a second wife.

Ras Mubarak married daughter of Asawase MP, Muntaka Mubarak in Kumasi over the weekend, but reports suggested that the new bride was his second wife.

However, the lawmaker in a Facebook post Monday, disputed the claims, saying he has only one wife.

Ras Mubarak posted:

“… “I've just woken up to news that I married an additional wife yesterday. Let me put it on record that – though I am unapologetically a believer in polygamy and my religion, and my proud Dagbon tradition and culture permit polygamy, – I just remarried yesterday after my wife then, packed out and sued for divorce a few weeks before the 2016 election.

While we appreciate the media interest in reporting what is news, we wish to encourage the media to report what is factual. Mrs. Huseina Mubarak, – my new and only wife – and I, are very grateful to colleagues from the NDC and NPP, friends, family and everyone who supported us in diverse ways.

According to reports, the new wife of the former Reggae presenter is a student nurse at the Tamale Nursing and Midwifery College.

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 02:31

Togo capital hit by anti-govt protest despite dialogue deal

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Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Togo’s capital Lome on Saturday, against President Faure Gnassingbe and his government.

The protest came the day after mediators from Ghana and Guinea said that Togo will enter talks on controversial constitutional reform February 15, in a move aimed at ending a crippling political stalemate.

A rolling series of demonstrations against President Gnassingbe have been unfolding for several months, and the country has been rocked by striking teachers and health workers.

The opposition parties want to restrict presidents to a maximum of two, five-year terms of office, and introduce a two-round voting system.

Gnassingbe has been in power since 2005. He took over from his father, who ruled the country for 38 years.

While the mediators said Friday that the leaders of the 14 opposition parties had agreed to “suspend” the public protests, the leaders themselves carried on with Saturday’s protest.

“It’s our constitutional right to protest. If we want to protest then we will, ” said opposition leader Jean-Pierre Fabre.

The marchers clogged up several main roads in the capital, chanting slogans against the regime.

Such demonstrations have become an almost weekly event since early September.


Togo records huge turnout at anti-govt protest despite internet setback

“I don’t expect anything from the upcoming dialogue, because the regime in place is not sincere,” said one of the marchers, Kossi Djivo.

West African leaders in November called for both sides in Togo to enter talks mediated by President Nana Akufo-Addo, from neighbouring Ghana, and Guinea’s Alpha Conde.

The opposition coalition has demanded “measures for de-escalation”, including the release of detained prisoners and the withdrawal of security forces.

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 02:23

Botswana's economy seen expanding at faster pace this year

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Botswana’s economy is projected to expand at a faster pace this year compared to last year as the mining sector benefits from a recovery in the global economy, Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo said on Monday.

Presenting the 2018 budget to parliament, Matambo said GDP growth was projected at 5.3 percent in 2018 from an estimated 4.7 percent expansion in 2017.

Matambo said Botswana’s budget deficit was projected to widen to 3.59 billion pula ($372 million) or 1.8 percent of GDP in the 2018/19 fiscal year from an estimated deficit of 2.42 billion pula or 1.3 percent of GDP in the prior year.

The country’s fiscal year runs from April to March.

“Although the economy is expected to improve in performance, our fiscal position remains tight and government will continue to manage expenditure,” Matambo said.

“Government sees the expected deficit to be temporal and will, therefore, be financed by a combination of drawing down on existing loans and cash reserves.”

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