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General News Mon, 30 Sep 2013

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World Bank's ban of Zoomlion embarrassing to Ghana - Vitus Azim

Anti-corruption campaigner, Vitus Azeem, says the debarment of Zoomlion Limited from applying for contracts sponsored by the World Bank group in Liberia, is an embarrassment to Ghana as a country.

The company was cited in a World Bank report to have paid bribes to facilitate contract execution and processing of invoices in respect of an Emergency Monrovia Urban Sanitation (EMUS) project being financed by the World Bank.

The World Bank has consequently announced the suspension of the waste management giant which has its Headquarters in Ghana, from executing projects financed by the bank. Communication Manager at Zoomlion, Mr Robert Coleman, said disciplinary action had been taken against the Ghanaian official who paid the bribes.

But speaking Monday on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM, Mr. Azeem said the fact that Zoomlion admitted to paying bribes to secure contracts in Liberia, means the company "allows and probably provides funds" for bribery. According to the Country Director for Ghana Integrity Initiative - global anti-corruption agency - the unnamed official who paid the bribe did not do so "from his personal pocket".

He insisted that, the World Bank must ensure that the Liberian government must ensure that proper action is taken against the officials who benefited from the bribe. He said the development lends credence to the fact that Zoomlion may have been paying their way through to securing government contracts, which he described as embarrassing to the leaders of the country, coming on the heels of the 'dubious' manner in which Zoomlion is awarded government contracts .

"It is not just an embarrassment to Zoomlion, it is an embarrassment to this country and the leaders of this country who have awarded these contracts and who are refusing to terminate these contracts. "If they admitted doing it in Liberia...how sure are we that this has not been happening in this country? Do we know what is involved? Do we know who the beneficiaries are," Mr. Azeem quizzed.

Source: Joy Online

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