I respect World Cup Commission but I was sad yesterday – Afriyie Ankrah

Former Youth and Sports Minister, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, says even though he respects the Commission of Inquiry investigating Ghana’s participation in the 2014 World Cup, he was gravely unhappy with the conduct Tuesday’s proceedings.

Mr. Afriyie Ankrah who himself appeared before the Justice Senyo Dzamefe Commission two weeks ago, told Joy FM  Super Morning Show Wednesday that the reference to the quotes submitted by one catering as representative of the amount quoted as feeding by all three companies contracted to feed fans in Brazil was most regrettable. 

According to him, the very document from which the Commission Chairman discovered the daily feeding fee of 34 cedis per fan were quotations by other catering companies which were much higher.

Many were taken surprised by accounts given by Chairman of the Events, Grounds and Logistics Sub-Committee, Horace Nii Ayi Ankrah Tuesday, to the effect that a Ghȼ34 proposal by caterers who were contracted to feed Ghanaian supporters airlifted to Brazil, was later changed to $35.

But speaking on the Super Morning Show, Mr. Afriyie Ankrah stated that the witness (Horace Ankrah) was not allowed to explain the issues properly.

“I have great respect for the commission but I shudder to say that yesterday [Tuesday], I was not happy at the way things went,” he added.

Mr. Afriyie Ankrah said the apparent ‘heckling’ from members of the Commission possibly, had an impact on Horace’s account at the hearing.

 “When you go to the Commission you are told the Commission has powers of a High Court; you are under oath, so sometimes people get there and they are intimidated…

“Sometimes people feel intimidated [by the environment] depending on the circumstances. When you are told that ‘you are under oath’ when you are told that this is a court of law; it has the powers of a high court, you feel intimidated…” Mr. Afriyie Ankrah told host of the Show, Francis Abban.

According to him, the World Cup Committee settled on $35 after three shortlisted caterers- Kenkey Boutique, Monees Foods and Amber Foods –presented separate proposals for cost of $10, $62 and $68 respectively, to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner to the fans each day.

“Mr. Horace tried unsuccessfully to explain to the Commission that other caterers quoted in dollars, and after extensive analysis and deliberations with the caterers, and subsequent discussions by the Operational Team, we finally arrived at $35 per head per day,” Afriyie Ankrah, who is now reassigned to the Presidency as a Minister of State clarified.

He said: “Even if you strike an average of the total charges of the caterers, we have $68+$62+$10 divided by three is equals $46.666. The $35 per supporter per day we negotiated, agreed and paid the caterers is significantly less than this figure [$46]”.

Things appeared murkier when he was forced to admit that the caterers were not paid the $35 to provide the meals.

The organisers paid for any food bought, he explained.

The caterers only cooked and served and the money that was left after buying the food items was shared amongst the three caterers. 

Mr. Afriyie Ankrah also complained bitterly that an unfortunate impression is being created that members of the World Cup Committee shortchanged the state to satisfy their personal interests.

“We are innocent; that’s the fundamental law of this land. Even criminals, they have rights. We are not criminals; we worked our hearts out [and] that’s why people sometimes get emotional and they weep. I took people from their work, people left their jobs for four months and worked.

“Things didn’t go well, yes we know [and] I accept responsibility but we shouldn’t treat people as criminals [and] that is what breaks my heart,” he regretted.

Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Jerry Tsatro Mordy | [email protected]

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