Minority initiates another censure motion against Health Minister

Story:  Reuben Sackey

The Minority in Parliament has reintroduced a private members’ motion for the removal of the Minister for Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, over his role in the Sputnik-V vaccines procurement scandal.

According to Parliament’s Order Paper, the motion was backed by James Avedzi, Mubarak Muntaka, Ahmed Ibrahim, among others.

The first motion was filed in February 2022.

The Speaker of Parliament called for a vote of censure against the Minister over allegations of perjury among others when he misrepresented to the ad-hoc committee on oaths that no payment was made under the agreement to the private office of His Highness Shiek Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, a Dubai based businessman contracted by the Health Ministry for the procurement of vaccines.

The controversy over the vaccines began when a Norwegian newspaper, VG, reported that the government was using the services of middlemen to procure 3.4 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik-V COVID-19 vaccines. 

But this was at a higher cost of $19 other than the original factory price of $10 and prompted calls for the abrogation of the procurement contract.

Mr. Agyemang-Manu had earlier claimed that the state had not made any payments for the vaccine.

The Health Committee in Parliament had also said the government was not being ripped off in the deal with its chairman, Dr. Nana Ayew Afriyie saying that the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the procurement of the Sputnik-V vaccines require the use of middlemen whose activities will lead to an increase in the original price.

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