Castigate not Kwame Owusu – Maritime Authority workers defend ex-boss

General News of Saturday, 20 July 2019



Newly appointed GRA Board Chairman, Kwame Owusu

Workers of the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), have mounted a strong defence of their embattled former Director-General, Kwame Owusu.

According to them, he is probably the best thing that ever happened to the Authority as they claim he chalked a lot of success while heading the organisation.

Citing examples, they lauded him for improving the Authority’s financial performance for 2017/18 as well as helping to acquire vessels for monitoring activities within the country’s maritime jurisdiction.

The also praised him for improving a lot of general maritime activities across the country as well as their working conditions.

Mr Kwame Owusu made the headlines recently after his appointment to head the management board of the Ghana Revenue Authority.

Civil Society Organisations, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) as well as some individuals, have called on the President to revoke his appointment until he is cleared of corruption allegations.

In 2017, Mr Owusu, as head of the Ghana Maritime Authority organised an end-of-year dinner for staff at a cost of ?135,123.

He explained that the Authority budgeted for 500 people despite a staff strength of 200 to allow for stakeholders, wives, girlfriends and dependants.

He also organised a lunch for eight people at ?10,000. Both events were organised at a hotel which he owns, raising conflict of interest concerns.

Again, Mr Owusu also renovated his two-bedroom official residence and expanded it into a four-bedroom house fitted with 11 air-conditioners all at the cost of ?1million.

These expenditures deemed profligate attracted public bashing and later a Transport Ministry promised to probe the president’s appointee.

There is also corruption investigations ongoing at the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).

Critics say President Nana Akufo-Addo’s avowed fight against corruption has been dented by his appointment of a man previously accused of corruption as a board chair.

But the workers say all the allegations are untrue.

Clearing him of any wrongdoing, they fell short of talking about the allegations regarding the 11 air conditions.

Refusing to take any question from the media, the workers said they were stating the facts as they are which need no questioning.