Flagstaff House Stirs Confusion

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Sacked CEO Refuses To Go

The seat of government, appears to have failed to do the right thing by not communicating the dismissal of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) to her in writing, although the same Flagstaff House, has quickly moved to appoint one Afua Asabea Asare to take over the institution.

Gifty Kleman, insists that, although President Nana Akufo-Addo, is reported to have relieved her of her post, she is still at work, because no formal letter has been addressed to her communicating her dismissal, she will do her work as is required and will not move until the right thing is done.

A letter dated  June  7, 2018 signed by Nana Asante Bediatuo, Secretary to the President to Afua Asabea Asare, had said: “Pursuant to Sections 2 (1) (L) and 9 (2) of the Ghana Export Promotion Act 1969, (N.L.C.D) I am pleased to inform you that the President has appointed you as the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority.

“I take this opportunity to congratulate you formally on your appointment. Kindly indicate your acceptance or otherwise of this appointment within 14 days of receipt of this letter.”

But Gifty Klenam, who is to vacate her office for Afua Asabea Asare insists “I don’t have any letter to that effect.”

Interestingly, one of her deputy, Eric Twum Amoako, has publicly confirmed the dismissal, and announced his preparedness to take up any other challenge the in Akufo-Addo government, if offered another opportunity.

Gifty Klenam, speaking to Joy FM’s Kojo Yankson at her home on Saturday explained that she has been silent since her dismissal because she wants to save the government’s face.

According to Gifty Kleman, speaking about circumstances surrounding her dismissal would have been embarrassing to the government, a situation she wouldn’t want to put the president through.

“It is a very young government as such we cannot do anything that will tarnish the image of the government…so for me, the reason why I haven’t spoken is that it is a very fragile government and we cannot destroy it,” he said.

This is the first time Klenam has spoken since news broke she has been dismissed last week by President Akufo-Addo.

She told the reporter although there are a lot of things she’d have loved to say about her struggles at the GEPA, the timing is not right.

“It has taken us so much time and strength to get to where we are and we must uphold it with dignity and that is why I haven’t spoken.

“I am having certain challenges but I will not talk about it now. There is a lot I might not be able to point out today because the president appointed me and I respect him,” she added.

She said none of the accusations leveled against her – a ¢65,000 salary and $1,500 monthly accommodation allowance – are true.

Klenam said until her supposed dismissal, her salary and other allowances were yet to be fixed although she had invested “a seed money of ¢13,000” in the Authority to revamp it.

The allegations, for her, are a “concoction” aimed at tarnishing her image and to make nonsense of everything she has done since her assumption of office.

The June 7, letter signed by Nana Asante Bediatuo, Secretary to the President, said “I take this opportunity to congratulate you formally on your appointment. Kindly indicate your acceptance or otherwise of this appointment within 14 days of receipt of this letter.”

The appointment of Ms Afua Asabea Asare comes a week after the president sacked GEPA Executive Secretary, Gifty Klenam and her two deputies.

Ms Klenam, as well as the Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Paul Asare Ansah; BOST CEO, Alfred Obeng, and Korle-Bu CEO, Dr Felix Anyaa, were sacked on the same day by the president, who claimed it was part of the restructuring of parastatal agencies.

Ms Klenam on Monday insisted that she was still at post and was yet to receive a letter of termination from the presidency.

She said: “The president appointed me and I give him the highest respect. I haven’t received any letter from the president. Thursday, the chief of staff called me and we went to have a conversation as a mother and daughter; that’s it.

“I’m still in office, I haven’t received any letter and I’ve been in office working as normal, so, I don’t know where that news came from but so long as I’m concerned, nobody has given me any letter to that effect. It is not correct.”

Meanwhile, the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) has officially taken over the alleged corruption scandal GEPA, and it has consequently extended an invitation to the sacked CEO to appear before it.

EOCO has also asked Ms Klenam’s sacked deputy, Eric Twum Amoako, to report before it for questioning.

EOCO is looking into the allegedly misappropriated $132,000 or GH¢580,800 during their tenure at GEPA, are to appear before the Executive Director of EOCO, K.K. Amoah, by June 12.

Ms. Klenam and Mr. Amoako, it would be recalled, reportedly collected $132,000 or GH¢580,800 for rent covering a period of two years in gross violation of state procurement laws.

A statement was issued later by the Public Relations Department of GEPA, denying the allegations.

The statement indicated at the time that “the Ghana Export Promotion Authority by this release denies the allegations as put in the media.”

It is not clear, if per her dismissal, she would be made to refund the rent advance paid to her and Eric Amoako.

 

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