General News of 2014-08-16

'Chop chop' man at Agric Ministry confirms story he arbitrarily transfers CDM staff

...leading to loss of institutional memory

The man at the centre of the alleged misappropriation of external donor funds from the Capacity Development Mechanism (CDM) project at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) has confirmed Public Agenda's story by arbitrarily transferring eight staff working on the CDM project. The transfer of the officials at the CDM has led to loss of institutional memory as they are versed in the details of the project.

The Director of Human Resource Development and Management (HRDM) Directorate of MOFA, Mr Benjamin Gyasi, in a letter dated 14th July, 2014, posted all employees he suspects may have revealed his illicit dealings with the donor money to this paper out of the HRDM.

According to our impeccable sources, Mr Gyasi had travelled outside Ghana when the Monday, June 30 – Thursday, July 3, 2014 edition of Public Agenda published the story headlined, “'CHOP CHOP' AT AGRICULTURE MINISTRY … millions of donor money misappropriated … but audit of CDM money may not reveal wrongdoing.” When he returned and read the story, he immediately set in motion a strategy to kick out staff on the CDM project.

“Mr Gyasi has posted out of HRDM the remaining professional staff who incidentally are members of the CDM Implementation Committee. He also posted out of the HRDM, two secretaries and a Records Officer who also work with CDM.

“Are these postings a case of 'House Cleaning exercise' or one can say that the recent postings have come as a result of the publication of the 'Chop Chop in Agriculture Ministry' by the Public Agenda Newspaper and carried by with regard to an alleged financial impropriety in the implementation of the CDM which obviously indicts the Director and his Accounts Officer,” the sources stated.

Public Agenda tried to contact Mr Gyasi, but to no avail. This paper called the Public Relations Officer of MOFA but there was no response to our phone call.

The transferred staff includes Ernest Mallet, who has been transferred to the Office of the Head of Civil Service; Joseph Sarpong, who has been transferred from Adidome to the Kpeve Agricultural Station; and Dora Ankrah, who has been posted to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA). The others are Agyie Fofie, who has been transferred to Asuasi Agricultural Station; Fred Twum, transferred to Koforidua; and Abigail Kpogo, who has been posted to the Women in Agriculture Department (WIAD). The rest are Gertrude Ageyei, to APD; and Raymond Tachie, who has been transferred to Nungua Farms.

The sources said: “It is also strange that, for the second time in less than twelve months, Mr Gyasi has reposted Mr Joseph Sarpong now from Human Resource development subject area for which he has trained, to Crop Services Directorate. Similarly, the posting of Rev. Raymond Tachie to Animal Production without considering his area of specialisation may indicate a desperate attempt to collapse the Directorate and also to cover up SOMETHING with regard to the CDM project.”

Mr Sarpong, an Assistant Director, was the Co-ordinator of the CDM project before Mr Gyasi assumed office as the Director of HRDM in 2012. He then hijacked the CDM project from Mr Sarpong and transferred him to the Adidome Farm Institute under the pretext that it was a temporary step to prevent an imminent problem.

In the early report, this paper published that: “A letter from MoFA dated 27th June, 2013 with the heading: 'REQUEST FOR FUNDS WORKSHOP ON GENDER MAINSTREAMING FOR MOFA STAFF' sought to obtain GHc15, 000 for the workshop.

Source: Public Agenda
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