International cable TV giants, Al Jazeera, have suggested that they do not owe President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Ghana government an apology for the contents of the fourth installment of its Gold Mafia documentary.
Government via an April 25, 2023 letter signed by Nana Asante Bediatuo, demanded that Al Jazeera retracts and apologizes for portions of its documentary that suggested that Akufo-Addo had dealings with a self-acclaimed money-launderer and gold smuggler, Canadian Alistair Mathias.
Following the publication of the letter, a journalist with Accra-based TV3 wrote to the Doha-based channel seeking among others responses to whether the channel had received the letter demanding a retraction and apology from government and whether they would respond to same.
In a response shared on the May 4 edition of the News Day programme, TV3 published an email response from Al Jazeera which suggested that the channel had taken care of all concerns raised by Akufo-Addo before the said documentary aired.
“We have responded to the letter from the president of the Republic of Ghana, correcting some parts of its content and clarifying various points.
“Prior to the publication of Gold Mafia, we wrote to the president outlining the claims made by Alistair Mathias. The president’s response appears at the end of the documentary,” their response noted.
Sammy Gyamfi claims Akufo-Addo’s letter didn’t reach Doha
National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Sammy Gyamfi alleged last weekend that government was only throwing its weight about in a letter threatening legal action against Doha-based international news channel, Al Jazeera.
The letter dated April 25 was in connection with the Gold Mafia serialized documentary in which president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is mentioned by a self-confessed money launderer, one Alistair Mathias; as a friend and one-time lawyer.
Sammy Gyamfi had sometime last week described the letter as ‘COMIC RELIEF’ but in his latest jibe at government he claimed that the said letter to Al Jazeera had yet to reach their team in Ghana let alone the headquarters in Doha, Qatar.
“The letter that Nana Asante Bediatuo has written and has brandished over social media and they are doing guy-guy, we have threatened Al Jazeera, we have given them seven days, I just checked and the letter has not reached Doha.
“The letter has not even reached the Ghanaian team here in Ghana representing Al Jazeera. So they are just throwing their weight about,” Sammy alleged on the April 29 edition of The Key Points, a political talk show on TV3.
“Can you intimidate Al Jazeera?” Sammy added before challenging the show host to also call the channel and confirm whether or not they had indeed received the said letter signed by secretary to the president, Nana Asante Bediatuo.
Gov’t to restrict importation of rice, ‘yemuadie’ and other products
The government is set to lay before Parliament today, November 21, a Constitutional Instrument (C.I) seeking to restrict the importation of selected strategic products into the country.
The items, numbering over 20, will include rice, tripe (popularly called “yemuadie” in Ghana), and diapers.
The government said the move is part of efforts to enhance local production.
Speaking during a press briefing in Parliament, the Minister of Trade and Industry, K.T Hammond said, “Stomach of animals, bladder and the chunk of intestines (yemuadie), the country had had to put in an amount of about $164 million towards the importation of these items. We are taking steps to ensure that in terms of rice, there’s no poverty of rice in the country.”
He emphasized, “By these restrictions, we are not going to ensure that there’s no food in the country at all; that is not the point at all. There have to be some efforts by the government to ensure that we go back to Acheampong’s operation feed yourself. There are about 22 items on the list, one of them, I think, is diapers.”
He announced the introduction of the Ghana Standards Authority Regulations 2023, which also seeks to streamline the manufacturing of cement to ensure competitive pricing.
Mahama doesn’t understand 24hr economy; don’t vote for him – Bawumia
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says former President John Dramani Mahama does not understand the 24-hour economy policy he is proposing.
According to the Vice President, that policy is already being implemented in the country, as hospitals, fuel companies, among others, operate a 24-hour system.
Dr. Bawumia, therefore, urged Ghanaians to ignore Mahama during the 2024 polls since he has nothing new to offer and vote for the New Patriotic Party.
“John Mahama says he has a new idea. What is the idea? He says he wants a 24-hour economy. He doesn’t even understand that policy. Today in Ghana, our hospitals work 24 hours, our electricity company works 24 hours, our water company works 24 hours, our fuel stations work 24 hours, and many chop bars work 24 hours. Today because of digitalisation, you can transfer money 24 hours, you can receive money 24 hours… So he doesn’t understand his own policy. It doesn’t make sense.”
“So I want you to vote for me in 2024 because I will bring a new vision, I will bring a new policy. Mahama is the past, Dr Bawumia is the future. If John Mahama was there, we would say we have a dumsor economy, you can’t have a 24-hour economy in dumsor. So, you want to vote for Dr Bawumia in 2024, we will take the country to new heights,” Dr Bawumia stated.
Bagbin rebukes IMF over alleged pressure to pass some bills under certificate of urgency
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has accused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of pressuring the House to pass a number of bills under a certificate of urgency.
Mr. Bagbin cited bills such as the Affirmative Action Bill, which is allegedly being pushed by the IMF as part of the conditionality for the balance of the $3 billion credit facility for Ghana.
Speaking at the Speaker’s Breakfast Meeting on Monday, Alban Bagbin insisted that the House will not be coerced by the IMF to pass the bill.
“Even in this budget, you can see the arm of the IMF in a lot of provisions in the budget. A critical bill like the Affirmative Action Gender Equality Bill has come to Parliament under a certificate of urgency. Please, it won’t happen; we won’t pass it under a certificate of urgency.”
“There are critical stakeholders we must consult and make sure we go together. We will not be dictated by the IMF; that one, you can be assured. This is a very critical bill that the IMF should know that we need the buy-in of the stakeholders to be able to implement it,” Alban Bagbin said.
The Affirmative Action Bill, when passed into law, would seek to expunge the historically low representation of women in decision-making spaces and promote democracy and development through all-inclusive participation.