The Deputy Minister of Information, Pius Enam Hadzide, has fled from the expensive food party held by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to celebrate “recent economic successes”, saying that a flyer which claimed that, the event was party, was the creation of a troll or an overzealous staff. He said the event was actually christened a “Staff Durbar” not a food party.
The flyer, announcing the event had specifically mentioned “Kenkey Party” fixed for Friday, March 22, and stated that it was to celebrate what it termed “Ghana’s hat-trick” of a successful Eurobond, completion of the IMF-ECF Programme and cedi appreciation.
However, Mr Hadzide, says his personal checks at the MoF, found that the event was a staff durbar to review the work being done at the Ministry.
Speaking in a radio discussion programme on Accra based Peace FM Monday morning, Mr Hadzide, said an internal memo posted on the notice board of the MoF, described the event as a staff durbar and perhaps an overzealous staff member or a troll, created the flier for mischievous reasons.
The Akufo-Addo government, last Friday, shocked the nation with an expensive food party at the Ministry of Finance to celebrating the borrowing of a total of US$3billion saying it a significant economic successes.
Interestingly, now Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, at height of the 2016 Presidential election while in opposition, had conveniently condemned borrowing saying it was a lazy man’s approach to governance, adding “You cannot borrow yourself out of bankruptcy” he said to the Mahama government.
But a poster announcing the Ministry of Finance event dubbed “Kenkey Party”, which has been sighted by The Herald, the government said it was celebrating “Ghana’s Hat-Trick” of successes namely; a successful Eurobond, Completion of International Monetary – Extended Credit Facility Programme and the slight appreciation of the Cedi which had depreciated against all the currencies including the CFA.
Not minding the complaints and cry of spare parts dealers at Abosey Okai in Accra and Suame Magazine in Kumasi, importers and exporters, the sector Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta led in the celebration, as he was spotted in one of the photos with a plate of Waakye all smiles at the inner court of the Finance Ministry.
The party which has raised eyebrows, with many trolling government on social media, comes on the back of the worsening economic hardship, abject poverty, increasing youth unemployment, high school fees, hikes in fuel prizes, skyrocketing prices of goods and services across the country as well as rising national debt.
Some of the Ministry’s officials were seen also enjoying local staples; Kenkey and Waakye in what appears to be a well-planned expensive celebration.
The Ministry has been pushing for the promotion of made in Ghana products so at the Durbar, it was decided to serve only Ghanaian local dishes including “Waakye” and “Kenkey.”
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta was pictured eating Waakye (a rice and beans dish) at the event in a photograph on social media.
A section of Ghanaians on social media had shown their government red card for uncharacteristically holding a party to celebrate economic ‘hat-trick’ scored in the midst of challenges.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Friday morning pulled out all the stops to celebrate what his Ministry tagged as Ghana’s hat-trick; a successful eurobond, completion of IMF credit programme and a slight appreciation of the cedi against major international trading currencies.
On a morning that Ghanaians woke up to the news of a ghastly accident that claimed at least 50 lives including children, the minister and his staff gathered to have a kenkey party, but in the view of some Ghanaians, ‘this is so wrong!’.
Photos of the celebration surfaced online Friday afternoon showing Mr Ofori Atta eating ‘waakye’ in traditional leaves, and has since triggered divergent views, with many people expressing anger at the government.
A close government associate, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, has further explained the rationale behind the ‘kenkey’ party in a Facebook post Saturday.
“Perhaps, if we all eat more kenkey and fish (made in Ghana) and use and wear more made in Ghana goods and even, errm, drive made in Ghana car all like our Finance Minister does, we may be helping the Cedi in our own little ways,” he posted.
But on social media, particularly Twitter, some Ghanaians are literally roasting the government for celebrating what in their view, is mediocre, and for being ‘insensitive’ to the families of those who died in the accident.
For most of the people, it is unthinkable for the government to jubilate over a loan it has secured which the taxpayers will eventually pay. More mind boggling to some of them is the celebration over the marginal appreciation of the cedi, which for them, it is just temporary.
However, not everyone is bashing the government for the celebration of the hat-trick; some find nothing wrong and think the celebration is justified.