It is no news if you save $50m on AMERI renegotiation – Adam Mutawakil suggests

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The Minority is adopting a wait and see attitude as Energy Minister John Peter Amewu brags over a supposed $50million savings made after a second attempt at renegotiating the controversial AMERI deal.

Ranking member on the Energy Committee Adam Mutawakilu said it will be no news at all if indeed it is true that government had saved $50million from the original agreement.

However, they are waiting patiently for the minister to bring the renegotiated deal to Parliament so they can scrutinize it and draw their own conclusions.

According to him, the former Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko had made similar claims of savings in the Novation agreement-the first attempt at renegotiation- only to lose his job after it turned out that the renegotiated deal was a rip-off.

He said once Amewu brings the new Ameri deal to Parliament they will be able to make objective assessment of the content.

John Peter Amewu had told Joy News Editor Evans Mensah that his office had had a successful renegotiation of the $510m Ameri power deal signed under the erstwhile John Mahama government in 2015.

He said the new deal will be taken to cabinet and will be brought to Parliament to replace the Novation agreement which the former Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko had brought to Parliament under an executive order.  

The novation agreement was the NPP government’s first attempt at renegotiating an Ameri deal it criticized while in opposition and accused the then government of inflating the price of the contract by over $150million.

Not long after Novation agreement was submitted to Parliament came criticisms from civil society organization some of whom said the renegotiated agreement was worse than the original agreement which was bad enough.

This forced the government to make a u-turn but not without a casualty. Agyarko had to lose his job after allegedly presiding over a bad renegotiation.

Even before the new deal will receive Cabinet and Parliamentary approval, the new Energy Minister is touting government’s achievements claiming it has saved $50 million from the original contract.

“This savings that we are doing now is just for two and half years. And so if we are saving almost $ 60 million in two and half years, if we are to work [for longer periods of time] it should tell you that we could be saving more than $100 million,” he justified the new deal.

But Mutawakilu is urging caution and at the same time downplaying any potential savings made out of the renegotiation.

He said Amewu must first bring the agreement to Parliament for scrutiny. It is only then that they can make an independent assessment of the new deal.

No news

He was categorical that even if government were to have saved $50million of the ameri deal it will be no news.

According to him, companies who wish to continue doing business with a new government make concessions by agreeing to a review of old contracts.

He said in 2009 when the NDC government came to power it renegotiated some contracts by the Kufuor led government, saved some 9 million cedis which they used for some development projects.

“Let the agreement come we will look at it. There may be other clauses in the addendum whereby government does not act that $50m will come to knot.

“If he is making some savings he should come with it and we will see how it goes because that is the same thing the former Minister made mention of over $400m will be saved with the Novation agreement and it came out that it was an agenda to rob the nation.

When he was asked if the $50million savings is not a testimony that the original deal signed by his government had been inflated, he stated: “That is not the case, if you follow politics [you will know] once a new government comes into power because these business people want to continue do business they might be concessions to certain review agreements,” he said.

“When we came in 2009 there was this power agreement, we renegotiated it, saved $9 million and that was used to construct the Kintampo sub-station.

He said in 2021 if the NDC comes into power it will renegotiate previous agreements and make savings.

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Top Kenyan news anchor to be charged with murder

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The Director of Public Prosecutions has ordered criminal charges against TV anchor Jacque Maribe and her boyfriend Joseph Irungu alias Jowie over the murder of Monica Kimani.

DPP Noordin Haji says there is sufficient evidence to warrant charges against the two.

“I have independently reviewed the evidence so far on record and I’m satisfied that there exists a prima facie case to warrant criminal prosecution against the following individuals (Maribe and Jowie) for the offense of murder contrary to section 203 as read with section 204 of the penal code,” he said.

Haji said that he came to the decision after reviewing a copy of the police file forwarded to him by a team of prosecutors investigating the killing.

“I have therefore directed that they be immediately be arraigned before the High Court and charged accordingly,” he stated.

Monica was killed in her apartment in Kilimani on the night of September 19 on arrival from Juba, South Sudan where she operated their family business.

After reviewing CCTV footage, police indicated that they are following crucial leads that may lead to identification of the second suspect whom they believe was with Jowie on the night of the murder.

 

Monica was killed in her Apartment in Milimani on the night of September 20, on arrival from Juba, South Sudan where she operated their family business/FILE

Multiple witnesses have since affirmed to detectives that Jowie was at Monica’s apartment in Kilimani on the night she was killed.

Detectives have also established that Jowie, who was wearing a kanzu, used an ID card belonging to a security guard to gain entry to the apartments at Lamuria Gardens.

Jowie was using Maribe’s car on that night and according to images captured on CCTV cameras, he was not alone/FILE

The guard who has since been questioned said his ID card went missing at a construction site a few days before Monica was killed.

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3 years after Joy News’ Jungle Poor: Dev’ment gradually getting to Nyitavuta

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Three years after Joy News’ documentary Jungle Poor highlighted widespread poverty in the Volta regional town of Nyitavuta, residents continue to enjoy the goodies that followed. They have a constant supply of potable water as well as a source of power now.

In 2015, Nyitavuta was featured in a Joy News documentary Jungle Poor as a deprived community where basic amenities including pipe borne water, light, and sanitary facilities were missing.

The documentary sought to review Ghana’s efforts at meeting the Millennium Development Goals and Nyitavuta was highlighted as one of the communities where progress towards development had been slow.

The residents had to walk very long distances to fetch water which was not even clean.

“The water was mixed with dry leaves, cow drops and others. It was not good for our health,” a resident Forgive told Joy News. Philanthropists and NGOs responded positively.

“Based on your documentary, philanthropists came to their aid by providing this water and a public toilet for them. GETFund is also putting up a teacher’s bungalow and three unit classroom block.

It is ongoing,” Member of Parliament for Akatsi North Peter Nortsu told Joy News.

The women in the community say the borehole has served them well ever since. “We are so happy about it. When it is the dry season, we don’t have much problem with water. The school children too, it is helping them a lot. When they wake up, they come here to fetch water and then they go to school on time,” Forgive explained.

US Electrical Engineer Prof. Tode Cumberbatch upon seeing the story provided the community with solar lanterns and a solar panel.

Assembly member Cephas Veto says it’s changed the lives of the people.

“Let me use this opportunity to congratulate Joy news. It was the last two years when they came here and through their documentary named Jungle Poor, we got a lot of NGOs coming here. And they brought us solar panels,” he explained.

The residents are now at least able to charge their phones with the solar panels. “This solar panel has helped this community a lot. At first, before they charge their phones, they go to Agormor or there is a community behind us, Kpoxe, but as at now, they are charging their phones here,” the assembly member said. “They got some light too. It helped our students a lot. They are using it for learning,” he added.

The chief of the community says they are grateful. “Because of the work you did at Joy news, we have also gotten clean water,” he said at a durbar held to receive the Joy news team that visited.  

The community is, however, appealing for the completion of the road network and extension of electricity, as well as a health post. “There is no health post. The road too is not good. Before they get to the hospital nearby, it’s not easy. So we are appealing,” the assembly member said.

The change in the community as a result of the Joy News story was also rewarded at the 2018 MTN Heroes of Change awards.

Development is gradually getting to Nyitavuta. But a lot more needs to be done to lift it above the poverty line.

Below is the video link to the story: 

 

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Oct 2: Joy News’ Special Assignment premiers ‘Who killed the judges?’

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It was dark in the night on June 30, 1982, and a curfew instituted by the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) government was in place.

Some three homes heard strange and persistent knocks on their doors, and when they opened…

Days later, news had broken that three superior court judges and an ex-military officer had been abducted by unknown men.

Initial investigations revealed Justices Kwadwo Adjei Agyepong, Poku Sarkodie and Mrs Cecelia Koranteng-Addow were killed and later their bodies found burnt miles away from the capital, Accra.

The people arrested and executed for the heinous crime said they were carrying out a national assignment.

36 years after the horrifying episode, Joy News goes out to find out WHO KILLED THE JUDGES?

The documentary airs Tuesday, October 2, 2018, at 8:30 pm and you don’t want to miss it.

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Cristiano Ronaldo denies rape claim as ‘fake news’

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Cristiano Ronaldo has dismissed as “fake news” accusations by a US woman who alleges she was raped by the Portuguese footballer in 2009.

In an Instagram video, Ronaldo said: “They want to promote [themselves] by [using] my name. It’s normal.”

Ronaldo’s lawyers say they will sue Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine, which originally reported the allegations.

The magazine wrote that Kathryn Mayorga had claimed Ronaldo, 33, raped her in a hotel room in Las Vegas.

Ms Mayorga, 34, is reported to have filed a rape report with Las Vegas police shortly after the alleged incident.

In 2010, she reportedly reached an out-of-court settlement with Ronaldo involving a $375,000 (£288,000) payment for agreeing never to go public with the allegations.

Her lawyers are now seeking to declare the non-disclosure agreement void.

In a statement, Ronaldo’s lawyer Christian Schertz said “the reporting in Spiegel is blatantly illegal”.

He added that he had been instructed to seek compensation for “moral damages” over “probably one of the most serious violations of personal rights in recent years”.

Ronaldo joined Italy’s Juventus from Real Madrid for £99.2m earlier this year.

The Portuguese international is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.

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What is monkeypox? – BBC News

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The arms and legs of a 4-year-old girl with monkeypox in Liberia

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Symptoms of monkeypox include a rash which starts on the face and spreads to the body

As the third case of monkeypox is reported in the UK, we take a look at this rare, little-known disease.

How common is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus, a member of the same family of viruses as smallpox, although it is much less severe and experts say chances of infection are low.

This is the first time the disease has been seen in the UK.

It occurs mostly in remote parts of central and west African countries, near tropical rainforests.

There are two main strains of virus – west African and central African.

Two of the infected patients in the UK travelled from Nigeria, so it is likely that they are suffering from the West African strain of the virus, which is generally mild, but this is as yet unconfirmed.

The third case was a healthcare worker who picked up the virus from one of the patients.

What are the symptoms?

Initial symptoms include fever, headaches, swellings, back pain, aching muscles and a general listlessness.

Once the fever breaks a rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body, most commonly the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

The rash, which can be extremely itchy, changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab, which later falls off. The lesions can cause scarring.

The infection usually clears up on its own and lasts between 14 and 21 days.

How do you catch it?

Monkeypox can be spread when someone is in close contact with an infected person. The virus can enter the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract or through the eyes, nose or mouth.

It can also be spread by contact with infected animals such as monkeys, rats and squirrels, or by virus-contaminated objects, such as bedding and clothing.

Image copyright
Science Photo Library

Image caption

Monkeypox virus particle

How dangerous is it?

Most cases of the virus are mild, sometimes resembling chickenpox, and clear up on their own within a few weeks.

Monkeypox can sometimes be more severe, however, and has been reported to have caused deaths in west Africa.

How common are outbreaks?

The virus was first identified in a captive monkey and since 1970 there have been sporadic outbreaks reported across 10 African countries.

In 2003 there was an outbreak in the USA, the first time the disease had been seen outside of Africa. Patients caught the disease from close contact with prairie dogs that had been infected by a variety of small mammals imported into the country. A total of 81 cases were reported, but none resulted in deaths.

In 2017, Nigeria experienced the largest documented outbreak, approximately 40 years after the country had its last confirmed cases of monkeypox. There were 172 suspected cases of monkeypox, and 75% of victims were males aged between 21 and 40 years old.

What is the treatment?

There is no treatment for monkeypox, but outbreaks can be controlled by infection prevention.

Vaccination against smallpox has been proven to be 85% effective in preventing monkeypox, and is still sometimes used.

Should the public be concerned?

Experts say we are not on the brink of a national outbreak and, according to Public Health England, the risk to the public is low.

Prof Jonathan Ball, professor of molecular virology, University of Nottingham, said: “The fact that only one of the 50 contacts of the initial monkeypox-infected patient has been infected shows how poorly infectious the virus is.

“It is wrong to think that we are on the brink of a nationwide outbreak.”

Dr Nick Phin, deputy director, National Infection Service at Public Health England (PHE), added: “It is important to emphasise that monkeypox does not spread easily between people and the overall risk to the general public is very low.”

PHE is following up those who have had close contact with the patient to offer advice and to monitor them as necessary.”

Sources: PHE England and World Health Organization.

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Kenyan Waihiga Mwaura wins BBC World News Komla Dumor award

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Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionWaihiga Mwaura says he want to tell the African story in a different way

A Kenyan journalist and TV presenter has won this year’s BBC World News Komla Dumor Award.

Waihiga Mwaura presents Kenya’s most-watched evening news bulletin on Citizen TV.

As part of the prize, he will spend three months at the BBC in London and travel back to the continent to report on a story there.

The award was created to honour Komla Dumor, a presenter for BBC World News, who died suddenly aged 41 in 2014.

Mr Mwaura is the fourth winner of the award, after Ugandan Nancy Kacungira won the inaugural prize in 2015, followed by Nigerians Didi Akinyelure and Amina Yuguda.

He is a well-known journalist and a respected face across Kenya, who covers a wide array of topics from sports to politics.

“Komla Dumor meant a lot of things to me as a journalist and as an individual,” he said. “If I can only achieve just 10 or 20% of what he did, I feel like I would have made my contribution to journalism.

“As an African, I feel proud to have the opportunity to be able to tell the African story to audiences across the world.”

He impressed the panel with his story-telling ability and on-screen presence.

His passion for giving Africans a voice and his investigative journalism set him ahead of other entrants, the panel said.

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Audio: Menzgold workers manhandle Joy News reporter, pregnant TV3 journalist

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Three Menzgold workers have manhandled two journalists as they tried to get reactions to the directive to the gold dealership company to cease gold trading activities by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Joy News reporter Karen Dodoo and a pregnant TV3 journalist, Nana Akua, were confronted by the workers in suit and tie.

The journalists were standing across the street by the Menzgold office in East Legon in Accra on Wednesday to prepare for the 12-noon bulletin.

They had gone there hours after SEC had announced a directive which had triggered panic withdrawals at the gold dealership company.

Miss Dodoo said she was preparing to speak to customers who had besieged the company in their hundreds. But she was shoved in the shoulder and accused of taking photos without permission. Her two phones were snatched along with the microphone.

The TV3 reporter, Nana Akua Mensah Aborampah, spotting a bump tried to resist the aggression. In charged exchanges, she began complaining about pain in her abdomen and was left by the workers.

But the Joy News reporter still had to contend with the workers as one of them grabbed her by the wrist and pulled her into the Menzgold office. 

A manager at Menzgold, Pious, apologised to her even though the assaulting worker showed no remorse.

He accused the Joy News reporter of trying to bring down the company and threatened to ‘bring Joy FM down’.

Karen Dodoo retrieved her microphone and mobile phones and was escorted out of the company’s premises.

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Disregard ‘fake news’ on Dr. Bawumia – Eugene Arhin

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Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, is urging the public to disregard a press release purported to be signed and issued by him claiming that Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia would no longer speak to issues on Ghana’s currency and economic issues.

It is a “fake statement”, he says to queries by Graphic Online whether the statement was official and indeed emanated from his office.

“Kindly disregard this false statement. No such decision has been or will be made by the President of the Republic. Any statement from the Presidency can also be found on www.presidency.gov.gh”, he explained on Facebook.

MORE: 14 teacher trainees in police custody over licensure exam leakage

The ‘fake’ statement printed on a presidency letterhead and dated September 12, bears Mr. Arhin’s signature and directs that all queries on currency issues and the economy be forwarded to the offices of the Finance Minister or to the Senior Minister.

“The President has with a heavy heart and with immediate effect appointed Senior Minister Mr. Yaw Osafo Marfo (sic) to chair the meetings of the Economic Management Team.

“The President is hopeful that this measure will bring back investor confidence and shore up the deteriorating state of the economy.”

A number of journalists commenting on the statement had concluded that the fakeness was evident even from a mile away. “The language is horrible and the whole piece, including the obviously superimposed signature, lacked quality to be linked with the presidency”, said one of the journalists.

READ: 2 dead, 45 injured in gory accident at Cape Coast

Meanwhile, reactions to Eugene’s Facebook post have been mixed, with some claiming it is not fake after all while others link it to the largest opposition, the National Democratic Congress.

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JOY NEWS ANALYSIS: Sylvester Mensah for NDC 2020

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The former Chief Executive of the National Health Insurance Authority, Sylvester Mensah ticks many of the boxes. He is charismatic, well-spoken, good-looking and accessible. He typifies a socialist party leader – a superstar.

Sylvester Mensah started his political career as a foot soldier in the heady days of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).

When the military grouping transmogrified into a political party in 1992, he became the first Greater Accra Regional Youth Organiser and later Regional Secretary in 1994.

In 1996, at the age of 33, he contested the Dadekotopon parliamentary seat and won and served as one of the young MPs in that Parliament. He left Parliament in 2001 and four years later, he vied for the General Secretary of the NDC at the Koforidua Congress but lost to current chief scribe, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, alias General Mosquito.

When the NDC came into office in 2009, he was appointed CEO of the National Health Insurance Authority, a position he held until 2015 when he was removed amidst allegations of financial impropriety.

Sylvester Mensah

Late former Vice-President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur ordered Mr Mensah’s arrest which was quite unusual. It is said that Mr Amissah-Arthur, himself interested in the presidency, believed the then CEO of the NHIA to be using the authority to further his ambitions and therefore ordered his arrest for alleged financial malfeasance. These have not been proven. It has been rumoured that his presidential ambitions played a part in his removal from office NHIA CEO. But they remain that. Rumours!

Sylvester’s ethnicity – Ga father and Ewe mother – makes his candidature an interesting one. This diversity certainly makes him acceptable to the core base of the NDC. Nonetheless, no notable persons from the party in these two traditional strongholds of the NDC have declared their support for him.

In fact, within NDC circles, Sylvester Mensah has actively tried to court the support of some influential persons, particularly in the Ga communities. He has not been successful. It would seem many both in Ga areas and Volta region are backing Prof. Alabi. 

Party delegates may see him as too young for the nomination given the comparative ages of the other major contenders and this will negatively impact perceptions about him and dim his chances.

He may have to fight for the nomination another time. The odds are against him. Clearly.

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