The dust is yet to settle on the approval of the Bono Regional Minister whose vetting opened a can of worms, with more questions than answers by the Minority in Parliament.
According to the Minority, the President passing Evelyn Kumi Richardson does not end the matter, as some investigations are still ongoing including one by the Auditor General.
Opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) legislator, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, told Joy News’ Evans Mensah that the Minority Caucus is still discussing the matter.
“This matter is not presented as the usual NDC and NPP one because some members of the Majority who went with their conscience, voted against her,” he said.
The Minority MPs on Parliament’s Appointment Committee did not want the new Minister’s nomination approved over what they described as perjury.
According to them, the nominee reportedly defied a government directive for appointees not to travel out of the country without approval.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is one of the MP’s who was against Richardson’s approval
She was also accused of allegedly spending $54,000 of state funds on a private trip to Canada while serving as Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Sunyani in 2017.
Doubts were also cast on her doctorate degree (Ph.D.) qualification.
Minority members on the Appointment Committee claimed she had bestowed on herself the academic title although she failed to provide proof of such on her curriculum vitae (CV).
It is not known whether or not, she has provided documents to back her claims on the academic qualification.
But the new Minister disagrees arguing, the Auditor-General’s report vindicates her.
“Apart from that, with the Ph.D., I really went to the school and I did the programme. Everybody in Sunyani including my former institution will testify to that.
“I went through that programme and you will say the institution is not accredited? That is not my fault…and I have never used the Dr. title, it is people who saw me take the programme who were calling me that,” Mrs. Kumi Richardson told Joy News.
According to her, the decision by the Minority not recognise her, will not affect her determination work to project and develop the Bono region.
Evelyn Kumi Richardson is the new Bono Regional Minister
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But the founding President of IMANI Africa, a policy think tank, Franklin Cudjoe says she should have let the position go.
He said, “If the processes we heard were all abused, I really think the president has too much faith in her and there is nobody equally qualified to represent the region than her.”
Mr. Cudjoe said ordinarily she should not have gone through the process, to begin with, considering all the issues hanging around her neck.
The IMANI founding president believes it sets a bad precedent for Mrs. Kumi Richardson to have defied the Chief of Staff’s order and travelled out of the jurisdiction as well as using public funds to pursue her personal agenda.
“These and other matters do not seem to be quite normal for someone who wants to occupy such a high office. If not for the sheer bravado of politics she herself should probably not be considering taking the position,” he added.
The IMANI President said it will be a fruitless exercise to challenge her approval but it does not speak well of the office of the president. He doubts the president has the full facts before approving her.