Asabee defends Deputy MASLOC CEO, says loans to NPP delegates not abuse of office

Stephen Asamoah Boateng   Asabee Stephen Asamoah Boateng

Tue, 14 Jul 2020 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Stephen Asamoah Boateng (Asabee), the Director-General of State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA), has come to the defence of the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) over the latter’s alleged involvement in vote-buying during the recent NPP parliamentary primaries.

According to Asabee, MASLOC is not a profit-making organization and the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) did not give evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that Hajia Abibata Shanni Mahama Zakaria’s action amounts to corrupt practices.

“MASLOC is available to every Ghanaian and if they apply and they qualify, they are offered. I’m not sure…unless there’s evidence to prove that, unless you tell me that the people in Yendi do not have the right to apply; unless you tell me they’re not paying back unless you tell me it's... free money,” Asamoah Boateng told Joy News on Monday.

He indicated that tagging the loan receivers as NPP delegates can’t be factual because they are Ghanaians who may have applied and got the loan.

“People in Mfantseman both NPP and NDC got MASLOC [loans] last month during the primaries. Why are you not bringing that in?” he quizzed.

Asabee, an information minister under the erstwhile John Agyekum Kufuor administration stated further, “No, it’s not abuse of office…there’s no evidence that she gave it to NPP delegates not to pay back and that those people who got the loans are not Ghanaians. They are Ghanaians like the people in my constituency who are Ghanaians or in my father’s constituency who are Ghanaians and I’ve evidence that a lot of people got the money.”

He added that as a Deputy MASLOC CEO, Abibata Zacharia doesn’t approve the loans because MASLOC loans pass through some processes before it is approved and so CDD or anyone for that matter should not jump to conclusions without evidence.

Asamoah Boateng noted that the Deputy MASLOC CEO might have given the names of the delegates as a way of protecting her little empire or circle “but the process goes through the top, to management, to board. Part of those who also benefited are also not in her constituency.”

He added that he will be contacting the CEO of MASLOC to even thank him for giving those in his constituency the loans.

Hajia Abibata Shanni Mahama Zakaria during the incumbent NPP’s primaries allegedly induced delegates in the Yendi Constituency with MASLOC resources ostensibly to influence them to vote for her. She lost the election.

The CDD’s Corruption Watch report stated that Abibata Zakaria reportedly distributed GHC1,000 state cash to each NPP delegate in Yendi under the guise of MASLOC loans.

She told the NPP delegates in a video available to CDD Ghana that although MASLOC loans were not yet to be distributed, she had ensured that as deputy CEO of MASLOC, loans to her constituents were not only distributed to them faster but also the number of recipients had been increased above what was permitted.

She added; “whoever comes to seek your mandate as MP, his or her links with people in government will put development to his or her people”.

“Though this gathering is not a political rally, for me, there is no way we will do this without letting you know why we brought [it] here,” Hajia Abibata Zakaria said. “Here is my Northern Regional Manager, he’s aware that MASLOC gives to a maximum of five groups in the Northern Region, but I’ve not regretted the fact that Yendi alone has been honoured with 35 groups. If I’ve not done so, you have the right to blame me because I can’t have such an opportunity and not help you my people.”

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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