As Gov’t Cooks NewVisa Request Letter But Omits Health Expert
The government, has generated another visa request letter to kill the controversy surrounding Second Lady, Samira Bawumia’s bloated delegation to the first-ever World Health Organization (WHO) Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health in Geneva, Switzerland.
The new letter dated October 8, says that five people are to accompany the Second Lady to Switzerland from October 29, 2018 toNovember 2, 2018.
The new letter has the same signature as the earlier one dated October 10, 2018.
Interestingly, although the event is about health, none of the Ministry of Health or the Ghana Health Service, is part of the delegation to the WHO programme, raising questions about its benefit to the country, especially in these “hard times” as said by President Akufo-Addo.
The five were mentioned as; Emmuanl Kwame Twum Asiamah; Projects Coordinator, Zelia Amsat Osman; Aide, Kwame Ofori-Danso; Press Secretary, Joyreen Adubea Gyewu; ADC and Nasiru Salifu; Security.
Eyebrows had been raised about the total number of delegation being led by Mrs. Bawumia, to the first-ever WHO Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health in Geneva, Switzerland.
Deputy Information Minister, Pius Enam Hadzide, who made public the new letter wrote “We should all be worried about this new trend of “fake news”. The 2nd lady’s entourage to the WHO Conference in Geneva is just six (6) and not twenty”.
The Herald, had come across a letter dated October 10, 2018 addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, requesting for Schengen Entry Visas for members of the delegation.
The letter captioned “Request for Schengen Entry Visa” which provided names of all the members of the delegation, was signed by Head of Protocol at the Office of the Vice President, Enoch Nana Osei-Mensah.
Mrs. Bawumia, is attending the 3-day conference which is slated for October 30-1 November 2018, with a shocking twenty-member delegation.
It is themed “Improving air quality, combating climate change-saving lives”. The Conference will be held at World Health Organization’s headquarters in Geneva in collaboration with the United Nations (UN).
There are names and designations such as Samira Bawumia, Joyreen Adubea Gyewu Lady-in-Waiting, Fawzy Ramadan, Special Assistant, who is alleged to be sister of Mrs. Bawumia, Jamila Adams, as Senior Aide, Mary Boammaa Wilson as Health Advisor, Frederick Abeku Wilson, Health Logistics Advisor, Kwame Ofori-Danso, who is head of Programmes.
Others are; Emmanuel Appiah Gyan, as Photographer, Ebenezer Donkor as Media Aide, Zelia Amsat Osman, also as Aide, Samuel Apiah Gyan, as Videographer, Shakiratm Larteef, as Protocol Officer, George Yaw Bawuah, Samuel Owusu, as Logistics Officer.
There are six Security Officers being; Nasiru Salifu, Mohammed Kaba, Sgt/Elizabeth Boakye, CPL/ Andrew Yidana Abudu, Sgt/ Leslie Kwabena Ofori Debrah and CPL/ Edward Sarpong Ofori
Curiously, the names which were provided with designations, had no one coming from the Ministry of Health, nor Environment, even though according to this paper’s search on the Conference, it specifically stated that participates will include Ministers of Health and Environment and other national government representatives, representatives of intergovernmental agencies, health professionals, other sectors (e.g transport, energy, etc) as well as from research, academia and civil society.
The first two days of the Conference, will present evidence, identity gaps and solutions, and will be targeted at practitioners and other technical and political representatives from the health sector, and other sectors, relevant to the discourse. The third day will be High Level Action Day.
Meanwhile, the governing party’s Communicators, are going about on social media, tagging the list as fake. But the unfortunate part is that, they have failed to release the credible list.
It comes barely 24 hours after her husband; Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, was similarly accused of leading another boated delegation to the world body’s Trade and Development Conference in the same city Geneva, Switzerland.
Many have questioned how the government of President Akufo-Addo, could be said to be protecting the public purse, when these huge numbers are allowed to travel at the expense of the taxpayer.
On the Bawumia led Conference, while other member countries, presented an average of five participants, Ghana lined up delegates, including Protocol, Official Cameraman, Official Photographer, Valet and Chief Security Officer, as well as several officials at the Office of the Vice President.
After Ghana, the subsequent highest number of delegation submitted by an African country was Mauritius, with five officials.
The list of participants at the fourth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UCTAD) contained 93 delegations from member states.
The conference was held from September 11-22, with key issues deliberated on including; -High-level dialogue: Is the world integrating or disintegrating?
A list which captures the names of a 21-member Ghanaian delegation to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 2017, has caused mixed reactions on social media with some citizens trolling the Vice President, for leading such a huge entourage to Geneva at the expense of the state.
Those trolling the Vice President, say they do not understand why a lot of people were on the trip, especially when other countries were represented between one and five officials.
Dr. Bawumia according to the list, had his personal photographer, videographer, ADC and protocol among others. On the whole, Ghana is reported to have sent the biggest delegation to the conference.
Dr. Gideon Boako (Economic Adviser/Spokesperson) and Prof. Joe Amoako-Tuffour (Secretary to the Economic Management Team) were all captured on the list as part of the delegation.
Former Deputy Communications Minister, Felix Kwakye Ofosu on his Facebook wall said the number is “quite frankly, a disgrace.”
“Even more disgraceful is the ‘explanation’ being circulated by government sources. There can be no justification for such irresponsible waste of State resources,” he added.
But Dr. Bawumia’s Economic adviser and spokesperson, Gideon Boako, while addressing the issue in an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show on Thursday, said the list was not exactly accurate.
According to him, not all the names on the list ought to have been there, and that they were 16 and not 21.
He said they have asked UN authorities to correct the mistake.
“UNCTAD, have admitted that they made an error by adding persons based permanently in Geneva who did not travel
with the vice President…Our Vice President was invited as the special guest for the UNCTAD,” he said.
“Prof AmoakoTuffuor and I were in Zurich and not Geneva on a separate mission, something to do with the IMF, so we were not officially with the delegation.
An official photographer, official cameraman and official security, were necessary for the Vice President’s trip,” he added, but his explanations for the numbers were discounted by many listeners.