Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu succumbs to pressure, takes two-week leave

Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu succumbs to pressure, takes two-week leave

Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has gone on a two-week leave, Citi News reports.

This comes barely two days as Ghanaians push for his removal fowlloing his involvement in an alleged vaccine corruption scandal.

Earlier reports suggested that the Minister had resigned from his position, but this claim has been debunked by persons close to Agyeman-Manu.

The Health Minister has come under intense criticism for breaching procurement processes while trying to secure Sputnik V vaccines for Ghana.

He signed the agreement without parliamentary or cabinet approvals. He also did not seek approval from the Public Procurement Authority (PPA).

The Attorney General is on record to have advised against the deal.

Kwaku Agyeman-Manu’s two-week request was granted by the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare.

Background

The Health Minister had admitted that he did not conduct adequate due diligence before contracting with the private office of one Emirati Sheikh, H.H Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, for 3.4 million doses of Sputnik V at a unit cost of $19.

A Norwegian journalist, Markus Tobiassen, who works for the tabloid Vergens Gan, discovered that the deal had been inflated by $9, citing the ex-factory price of the vaccine as $10.

Following the exposé, there was uproar in Ghana, with the minority demanding that the deal be investigated. Following that, a parliamentary committee was formed to investigate the deal.

Mr Agyemang-Manu testified before the committee that the demands of the Covid-19 impaired his ability to carry out his normal duties.

“Those were not normal times and I was seriously in a situation that didn’t make me think properly, the way you think that now I will actually abreast myself with the situation”, he told the committee on Monday, July 19.

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