General News of Sunday, 23 July 2017
Ghana’s former president, John Dramani Mahama, may be breaching aspects of the 1992 Republican Constitution in carryng out what appears to be his new role as a leading lobbyist, pursuing the investment interest of companies in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, in the energy sector in Namibia.
Former President Mahama is said to be having some commercial interests in Dubai, where some of his children are domiciled.
The former president was accused of being deeply involved, and having special interest, in the controversial $510 million Power Purchase Agreement entered into by his government with the Dubai-based AMERI Energy.
Even out of power, he was said to be making some negotiations in respect of the deal said to have been over-priced by some $150 million.
His special interest in Dubai-based energy companies appears to have served as the driving force for his ongoing effort at lobbying the government of Namibia to consider the United Arab Emirates for investment in the country’s electricity sector.
Indeed, former President John Mahama Wednesday communicated the interest of the government of the United Arab Emirates to the President of Nanabia, Hage Geingob during a visit to the country.
“FORMER Ghanaian president John Mahama yesterday relayed United Arab Emirates’ interest in investing in Namibia’s electricity sector to President Hage Geingob during a visit to the State House,” The Namibian, a newspaper in Namibia, reported yesterday.
Former President Mahama was reported to have “brought UAE representatives to Namibia after they identified the country as one of the most attractive destinations for electricity infrastructure investment.”
Mr Mahama was quoted to have told President Geingob: “Because of Namibia’s strategic geographical location, it has been identified as one of the countries to produce energy.”
The former president, who appeared to be well-armed with information about the proposed investment, explained that the electricity production plan included renewable energy, gas-to-power and even nuclear energy.
It is not clear what the interest of the former president is, just as it is unclear what he stands to benefit from this ongoing lobbying.
But what is clear is that he may be breaching Article 67(2) of the 1992 Constitution, which states that: “The President shall not, on leaving office as President, hold any office of profit or emolument, except with the permission of Parliament, in any establishment, either directly or indirectly, other than that of the State.”