Kokoo Pa, a Farmer Association has issued a rejoinder unequivocally denying any wrongdoing pertaining to JoyNews’ undercover documentary ‘Robbing the Poor’ which sought to expose corrupt practices in Ghana’s cocoa industry.
In a rejoinder issued by the Association to the Multimedia Group, they stated that Kokoo Pa has been grossly misrepresented in the documentary.
“We wish to unequivocally place on record that the context in which Kokoo Pa is mentioned in the documentary is false, malicious and fabricated”.
In the ‘Robbing the Poor’ documentary produced by JoyNews’ Kwetey Nettey, the Executive Director of Kooko Pa, Fred Amponsah is recorded in a meeting with some members of a fictitious cocoa exporting group discussing a deal, which includes the fictitious company using Kokoo Pa’s certificate to export cocoa.
However, speaking on the matter, Kooko Pa says their boss was framed, and the story was twisted to sway the narrative of the documentary.
“It is worthy to note that there is nothing wrong for an organization like Kokoo Pa to share a copy of its certificate with partners and/or prospective partners as it is even a requirement for certified organizations to display their Certificates openly at their offices.
“The group further requested a budget from Kokoo Pa during the meeting and in response, Kokoo Pa later submitted an indicative budget to Hope Wordu for onward transmission to the said group which we are now learning was a fictitious Licensed Buying Company, created purposely for this documentary.
“We suspect that it was at this meeting that our Executive Director was filmed secretly as part of the grand ploy to mischievously connect him and our reputed organization to a chain of activities to suit the objective of the documentary’s storyline,” they said.
The Association maintains “that the answers provided by our Executive Director were simply a standard industry practice where time, costs and logistics utilized by all cocoa certification training organizations are compensated for in order to get farmers certified”.
They stated that the use of “a copy of Kokoo Pa’s Certificate and the indicative budget submitted as basis to support their storyline and twist it to suit their own editorial purposes is surprisingly wrong.”
They have, therefore, demanded that the Multimedia group render an unqualified apology and retract the said documentary or face the full rigours of the law.
They have “since instructed our lawyers to write to Multimedia Group demanding a retraction and apology, failing which, under advisement, we shall avail ourselves of all remedies afforded by and at law to protect and preserve our hard-won reputation.”
They are however willing to cooperate with any enquiry or investigation into the matter to prove their innocence.
“Kokoo Pa will offer its maximum cooperation to any such enquiry as it is strongly convinced that it has not engaged in any unethical conduct to cheat the very farmers for whom the organization has worked so hard for more than a decade to enhance their livelihoods and welfare.”