Wikileaks fallout: Hannah Tetteh to be fired?
The Minister for Trade and Industry, Hannah Tetteh, could lose her job as a Minister of State in the Mills government for, in the words of Castle sources, opening her mouth too wide, and making potentially damaging comments about the Speaker of Parliament, Justice Bamford Addo and her first Deputy, Edward Doe Adzaho, information reaching Citifmonline.com indicates.
Speaking to Citifmonline.com, CitiNews Parliamentary Correspondent Richard Sky quoted senior Government sources as saying “Hannah is facing strong pressure to either resign” from the Mills administration or “be shown the door by the President.”
Our reporter said while the issue of Cabinet reshuffle had been pending even before the NDC went for the Sunyani Congress, “it is now clear, at least from what the talk is in government, that President Mills’ hands are being forced by the Wikileaks dossier to do something about the Ministers who have been quoted as having made potentially damaging comments to foreign government agents about his government.”
The Minister has been quoted in one of the leaked cables as having told a US Embassy official that the choice of Justice Joyce Bamford Addo as Speaker of Parliament was purely because, among other things “she is seen as someone who would take orders and be malleable to party discipline.”
Ms Tetteh, who once served as a Member of Parliament for Awutu Senya, said of the Speaker in the leaked cables: “…First of all, she is a woman, and the NDC has a long way to go on gender balance in high office.
“Secondly, and most importantly, it was clear that the NPP could find no grounds to object to her. Lastly, she was seen as someone who would take orders and be malleable to party discipline. She said that for important votes, the party would remove Addo and put the First Deputy Speaker Edward Adjaho into her place as a stronger enforcer.”
Richard Sky reports that the comments attributed to Hannah Tetteh in the leaked Cables have provoked strong objection and condemnation from the Speaker, who is currently outside the country.
One source said, “The Speaker and her Deputy feel so damaged by this false assertion by Hannah that I am aware they have even been threatening to resign if the President does not discipline her,” adding “Hannah’s comments are not only bogus and unguarded but are very irresponsible. The comments also appear to deepen the unfortunate view that Parliament is an appendage of the Executive and this is certainly not good.”
Although President Mills is said to have been seriously angered by Hannah’s comments, as captured by the Wikileaks Cables, which – a Castle Source said – “sought to attack the integrity of both the respected Speaker and her hard working first Deputy” the President is, according to our source, also “seriously thinking through his options in order to decide what to do with the Minister.”
But, according to one source, it is the growing pressure from party chiefs that may compel the President to throw out his former chief communication’s officer in the run up to and immediately after the 2008 polls.
Meanwhile, CitiNews is reliably informed that the Office of the President and that of the Chief of Staff are working with speed to get Hannah Tetteh to render an unqualified apology to the Speaker and her Deputy, Doe Adjaho before close of day today.
A letter, according to our sources, has since been drafted and undergoing review.
The letter, Richard Sky quoted one source as saying: “is an attempt to prevent a possible Parliamentary action that could see her dragged to the Privileges Committee for undermining the integrity of the Speaker, her first Deputy and the entire House.”
But, our reporter said “the source could not tell if government intends to release details of the planned apology letter to the media.”
The leaked US Embassy Cables also quoted Hannah Tetteh as saying the national chairman of the ruling NDC was likely to be replaced at the party’s post-election congress to elect party leaders, most probably because Dr Kwabena Adjei “...lacks maturity -- and I don't mean because of his age.”
The embattled Trade Minister has not publicly commented on the content of the leaked cables since whistle-blower-website, Wikileaks, on Friday dumped its entire archive of 251,287 unfiltered and unedited secret US diplomatic cables online, drawing an angry response from its media collaborators, including London’s Guardian newspaper.
Media analysts say the latest cables are even more explosive than earlier ones because of their unfiltered and unedited nature.