Former Minister for Women and children’s Affairs Hajia Alima Mahama has in a rejoinder to our story of Tuesday August 18, 2009 confirmed that some members of the Mancell family have raised issues with the purported government purchase of the Mancell Vocational Institute in Kumasi.
According to the rejoinder, some members of the family requested through a lawyer that their share of the proceeds be paid to the children. They also “specifically directed that a deceased sister’s share be paid directly and individually to her children” but according to Hajia Mahama government decided to make the payment in bulk through Mrs. Salma Fanny Egala.
The dailyEXPRESS had confirmed that the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs is unable to take possession of the Mancell Vocational Institute after paying out a total of thirteen billion, five hundred and forty-six million, three hundred and twenty-six thousand old Ghana Cedis [¢13,546,326,000]. This follows a controversy with some members of the Mancell family who insist that they have not received any payment for the facility.
Hajia Mahama had been accused of not conducting due diligence before purchasing the property and also ignoring a legal representation made by a section of the family to the ministry and government. But the former minister says the negotiations and discussions which followed an offer made by the owners started in 2002.
The rejoinder also noted that Rowland Modey of the ministry’s Finance and Administration Department had denied confirming the difficulty he ministry has in taking over the property. The dailyEXPRESS insists that it spoke to Rowland Modey and he made the statements attributed to him. Indeed, Hajia Mahama’s rejoinder has confirmed the story so what is Rowland Modey denying.
We note however her concern that we did not speak to her before the story was published but wish to state that it was not out of bad faith.
Below is the rejoinder from the former minister.
I refer to your front page story on the above heading in your paper, Daily Express of Tuesday 18th August 2009 and make the following remarks;
• Your story exhibits bad faith because I was not contacted by your paper before publication and further more its has yawning gaps and contradictions.
• The process toward the take over of Mancell Vocational Institute, Kumasi covers the period 2002 to 2008.
• There is no contrary information to the transaction as reported but it was the owners of Mancell Vocational Institute that invited government through MOWAC to take over the Institute and accredited Mrs Salma Fanny Egala to represent the family in the negotiations.
• Government indicated its commitment to the take over, and directed for valuation to be carried out on the property for compensation to be paid and gave the final approval given for the valued sum to be paid.
• There were no dissenting issues with regards to willingness of the family to handover the Institute to government.
• The lawyers letter at the instance of some members of the Mancell family referred to in your story requested that the compensation should be paid individually to the children and specifically directed that a deceased sister’s share be paid directly and individually to her children. The government for consistency and to avoid leaving out anyone who has rights to payments decided to issue the cheque for the family in the name of their accredited representative, who was also at the time, the chairperson of the board of directors of the Institute.
• The fact that a party wrote requesting a particular mode of payment cannot constitute financial loss under the laws of Ghana if that request was not adhered to. Neither does adjudication on the mode of payment in court constitute a financial loss to the state.
• My enquires with Mr. Rowland Modey of MOWAC reveal that the statement attributed to him in your story are false and only a figment of the writers imagination.
• I wish to add that, government agreed to take over the school/Institute because of its commitment to women empowerment and interest to establishing a center of excellence for all categories of women in Ghana.
HAJIA ALIMA MAHAMA
FORMER MINISTER OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN AFFAIRS.