World Cup Cooks Want More Cash

CEO of Kenkey Boutique (left),with two other CEOs of  Monees Foods and Amber Foods 

The three caterers, who were hired and ferried to Brazil during the 2014 FIFA World Cup to cook for Ghanaian supporters, are demanding more money.

According to the caterers, who had been paid a staggering $19,200 each as honorarium by the government, the amount was not commensurate with the services they provided to the supporters for the 15 days they stayed in Brazil.

Each of the caterers went with assistants, all at a cost to the state.

The three caterers that were engaged by government to cook for the supporters were Kenkey Boutique at Adabraka, Monees Foods in Osu and Amber Foods, Trade Fair.

Each of the three cooks pocketed $17,200 as service fee, totalling $51,600 and an additional $6000 was shared among them. The amount, though staggering, was far below the $321,300 government agreed to pay them, they claimed.

Mercy Amina Sackey, CEO of Kenkey Boutique, when she appeared before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the Brazil 2014 scandal yesterday, said, ‘We are not happy with the money the Committee gave us for the services we provided.

‘We told the Committee this when we returned from Brazil in a meeting and they promised to call us but up till now, we have not had any call from them.’

She said the stress they went through in Brazil made her grow lean, explaining to the commission that ‘I am now regaining my weight.’

Madam Sackey appealed to the commission to intervene on their behalf, so the ministry would pay them some additional money for the suffering they went through in providing food for the supporters.

Horace Ankrah Explains Cooks Cash
The Chairman of the Grounds, Events and Logistics Sub-committee for the 2014 World Cup, Horace Nii Ayi Ankrah, a former NDC Chairman for UK and Ireland branch, told the Justice Senyo Dzamefe Commission that the caterers were paid $51,600 instead of the agreed $321,300 because government provided them with cooking items for the whole 15 days.

He said even though in the initial agreement the caterers were supposed to buy their own items in Brazil to prepare the food, things changed when they reached the South American country.

‘I do not know why things changed when they reached Brazil. I was not in Brazil so I cannot speak to that issue,’ Mr Ankrah told the commission.

Commissioner Accused
He accused Justice Dzamefe, Chairman of the commission, of being judgmental on the issue of the cost per meal of each supporter airlifted to Brazil.

Mr Ankrah made the statement in reaction to negative media reports generated from his accounts at the commission’s hearing on Tuesday, which suggested that the committee deliberately changed proposed quotations from caterers from GH¢34 to $35 per head for each day.

According to Mr Ankrah, he was not given the chance to explain how GH¢34 changed to $35 when he appeared before the commission on Tuesday, adding that proceedings on Tuesday actually contradicted the posturing of the commission as a fact finding entity.

‘My Lord, I don’t think that I was given any fair chance because you were insistent that GH¢34 had been changed to $35 and then my Lord, you went on to say that I have more questions for you tomorrow; you’ll see.

‘You kept on saying that this is a fact-finding commission but yesterday, at the tail end of what happened you were judgmental and that is my pain,’ he lamented.

Mr Ankrah said, ‘I was judged straight away of changing GH¢34 to $35. I think that what happened on Tuesday was actually a different picture of what probably the commission has been painting that they are a fact finding commission.’

However, Justice Senyo Dzamefe explained that he (Ankrah) cannot blame the commission for what the newspapers had reported, asking Mr Ankrah why he could not provide answers to questions he was asked on Tuesday as he did yesterday.

Mr Ankrah then replied angrily: ‘It’s your attitude.’

The chairman immediately demanded a withdrawal of the statement, which the witness subsequently withdrew and apologised.

‘My Lord, I sincerely apologise and withdraw that statement. But I’m trying to get over what I went through yesterday. I am sorry,’ he begged.

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 By Cephas Larbi

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