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Latest Ghana Web News - 21.06.2012

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June 21.06.2012 - All Latest GhanaWeb-News -

- Veep Hands Over 100 Tractors To Northern

- Child Prostitution Soars In BA
- 18 suspected robbers swooped up in Kumasi
- CADA questions Government’s creation of

  42 new districts
- Italian Entrepreneur Killed In Ghana Ambush
-  Confusion in Mills’ Home
-  Asiedu Nketia Is An Ungrateful Man –

   Teye Nyaunu
-  Ghana ranked a less peaceful country on

   global peace index
-  ABOUT 91.8% of victims of sexual abuse

   in Junior High Schools (JHS) are between

  15 and 18
- 5 dead in road accident in Tamale
- Drivers, Porters clash in Sunyani


Veep Hands Over 100 Tractors To Northern Farmers
* Source: Al-Hajj


The vice president John Dramani Mahama has reiterated the government’s commitment to revamping agriculture in the northern sector to offer not only job opportunities to the unemployed youth but also help improve on the socio-economic conditions of the people.
Northern sector which includes, Upper East, Upper West, Northern and part of Brong Ahafo regions is said to be poverty-stricken and lacks basic infrastructure such as good roads, quality education, clean drinking water among other things that could support the development of people’s socio-economic conditions.
The government, he said, was opening northern sector to investment through the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), the government’s programme established to bridged the development gap between the north and south.
The Vice president reiterated this when he handed over 100 farm tractors and implements to farmers in northern sector to support this year’s farming activities.
The tractors which were imported by the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority and aimed to help realize northern sector agriculture development dream set by the government would benefit about 16, 000 farmers within the SADA operational zone.
The Vice President said the government was doing all that it could to ensure the revamping of northern agriculture which he described as the backbone of Ghana’s economy.
“The development of agriculture in the northern sector is still the most important dream of the government. This tractors we are handing over today is to support the government’s initiatives aimed at improving sustainable agriculture that will ensure food security in the country”, the Vice president said.
He was optimistic that the government’s initiatives including the activities of SADA would turn northern Ghana into an investment destination to deal with poverty, unemployment and youth migration. He however advised farmers to handle the tractors well and adopt regular maintenance culture to ensure high efficiency and effectiveness of the tractors.
The Vice president assured Ghanaians of the government’s support to improving socio-economic wellbeing of the citizenry. He appealed to Ghanaians to co-exist peacefully and support the government to create enabling environment to ensure development and progress of the entire country.
The Board Chairman of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), Mr. Alhassan Andani said the tractor distribution is the third largest initiative by SADA aimed to propel agriculture sector in its operational area.
He said that SADA was developing agriculture after it was identified as leading driving force for the country’s economy and that when the sector is well developed, it would not only solved the food insecurity problems facing the country but also would create jobs, and reduce youth migration from the north to south in search for non-existing jobs.
The programme brought together farmers, Ministers of State, MMDCEs, and other stakeholders to witness the handing over ceremony held at the premises of Ghana Cotton Company in Tamale.


Child Prostitution Soars In BA
* Daily Guide

Information reaching DAILY GUIDE indicates that the number of children, who are engaged in commercial sex in five municipalities and districts in the Brong Ahafo regions, has increased.

A survey conducted by the Mission of Hope Society (MIHOSO), a child centered Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in the Brong Ahafo regional capital, Sunyani disclosed this information.

According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MIHOSO, Gabriel Benarku, the six-month survey was conducted in Techiman, Kintampo, Sunyani, Asutitfi, Pru and Jaman North Districts and Municipalities.

He said the diverse culture of the people hindered attempts by the NGOs to eliminate the practice and called for a national campaign against it.

Mr. Benarku said this during the celebration of International Labour Organization’s (ILO) World Day against Child Labour.

He refused to disclose the main towns and villages where the study was conducted, explaining that the disclosure might affect the study.

He however said the findings of the study would soon be published after completion.

The CEO expressed worry about the ages of the girls, which ranged between 15 and 17.

“At the individual level, many of the children we spoke to have experienced poor health, including being anemic and stunted growth,” he lamented.

Mr. Benarku said in some of the communities, especially in the cocoa and cashew growing areas, school children were involved in the worst forms of child labour and sustained injuries due to the lack of protective wear.

He mentioned that other forms of child exploitation had assumed alarming proportions in some parts of the region since several Municipal and District Assemblies had failed to set up panels to discuss issues affecting children.

Mr. Benarkuu used the opportunity to call for a national policy and programmes to ensure the elimination of all forms of child labour, stating that sexual exploitation of children was a serious human rights violation that gravely compromised the integrity, health and development of victims.

“There is no room for complacency when a large percentage of Ghana’s population, especially children, are still labouring to survive with many of them exposed to the worst forms of child labour,” he opined.

The CEO called on the government to urgently intervene to protect, rehabilitate, penalize those found culpable and change certain social norms to ultimately prevent child labour.


18 suspected robbers swooped up in Kumasi
* CitifmOnline

About 18 suspected armed robbers have been arrested by the Ashanti Regional Police Command at Railways, a suburb of Kumasi.

The arrest, according to the police is to clamp down on the increasing spate of armed robbers in the region.

Betty Ohemaa Agyeman of Citi Fm’s partner station, K-FM in Kumasi reported that the operation was undertaken by the Buffalo Unit of the Ghana Police Service.

She added that the robbers normally hide around the Railways and rob people of their belongings at night. The Police Service are still searching for more suspects as others who spotted the swoop took to their heels.


German remanded for allegedly taking nude pictures of young girls

A 79-year-old German pensioner, Gerlard Kusterer, who allegedly abducted and defiled a 15-year-old girl at a hotel in Accra, on Thursday appeared before an Accra Circuit Court.

The accused, who also took nude pictures of the girl and other victims in a hotel room, pleaded not guilty to abduction of an unmarried female under 18 years and defilement.

Kusterer, however, pleaded guilty to obscenity but the court presided over by Ms Sedina Agbemava remanded him and deferred sentence to July 3.

Emelia Nortey, a receptionist of Mascot Hotel, where the alleged incident took place, was joined with Kusterer for allegedly permitting defilement in the hotel.

However, the court noted that Emelia could not be held for the offence, rather the owner of the hotel.

The court advised the prosecution to drop charges against Emelia and hold the owner of the hotel liable.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sarah Acquah, withdrew the charges against Emelia and she was discharged pending the substitution of the charge sheet.

ASP Acquah told the court that the complainant, Mr. Kwabena Boakye, is a security officer residing at Korle-Gonno, and the victim is his sister who lived with her parents at Amrahia, Accra.

The prosecution said on May 25, this year, at about 1400hours, the victim visited the complainant at Korle Gonno and they both went to the beach.

The victim informed the complainant that she was hungry so the complainant left the victim and went to buy food for her.

ASP Acquah said while eating, a man whose name was not known, joined the victim at her table and engaged her in a conversation.

The prosecution said Kusterer also joined them and bought a bottle of Guinness for the victim and bought a bottle of beer for himself.

ASP Acquah said the unknown man sent the victim to town and bought various items for her and lured her to Mascot hotel at North Kaneshie and the unknown man left leaving the victim and Kusterer in the hotel.

The prosecution said Kusterer defiled the victim and kept her in his hotel room and on June 13, this year, Kusterer again defiled the victim at about 1735 hours and took nude pictures of the girl with his digital camera.

Two days later, the victim fell ill and escaped from the hotel and disclosed her ordeal to the complainant.

ASP Acquah said the complainant on June 19, reported the case to Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), Accra, and a medical form was issued to the complainant to send the victim to the hospital for examination and treatment.

The prosecution said the same day; the Police in the company of the complainant went to Mascot Hotel and met Emelia at the reception, who told the Police that Kusterer had left his hotel room.

The Police persisted and entered the room and arrested Kusterer, who in his caution statement denied defiling the victim but maintained that he took nude pictures of her and other girls and saved them on his camera


CADA questions Government’s creation of 42 new districts

The Centre for African Democratic Affairs (CADA), an Accra-based civil society organization committed to the promotion of democracy and good governance on the African continent, has challenged Government’s recent creation of 42 additional districts in the country, saying that the move has not been made in accordance with the law.

In a press release signed by Mr. Benjamin Osei-Bugyei, Executive Secretary of CADA and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Thursday, the Centre observed that in spite of the justification by the authorities that the exercise was carried out for the purpose of deepening democracy, promoting development and bringing governance closer to the people, facts remained that it did not take into account the legal provisions under the Local Government ACT, Act 462 of 1996, and could therefore not be said to be democratic.

“The rule of law constitutes one of the four basic elements of democratic governance” CADA emphasized, and outlined factors that the Electoral Commission (EC) should take into consideration before making any recommendations to the President on the creation of Districts and District Assemblies, as enshrined in Act 462.

According to the release, the factors include the existence of a minimum population of 75,000 inhabitants; a municipality in the geographical area that consists of a single compact settlement with a minimum of 95,000 people; a metropolis with a minimum population of 250,000; and the economic viability of the area, “namely the ability of an area to provide basic infrastructural and any other developmental needs from the monetary and other resources generated in the area”.

The release cited population figures of some of the areas in question from the 2010 Census, and contended that if those districts were split, the new ones that would be created would not be able to meet the minimum population threshold for qualification as viable districts as required by law.

“If the law was ignored, then the exercise cannot deepen democracy in the country as is being claimed by the Government”, CADA further contended, and stressed the need for such exercises to be carried out with the utmost transparency and integrity.

It noted that if the rush to create new districts without recourse to the existing laws was meant to compel the EC to cede constituencies to such areas, it would “not wash” since the Commission must of necessity adhere to laid down regulations whenever constituency boundaries were reviewed.

“If the Commission accepts to cede constituencies to the new districts that do not adhere to the existing legal provisions, it will amount to gerrymandering and therefore unconstitutional and undemocratic”, the release stated.


Italian Entrepreneur Killed In Ghana Ambush
* Kojo Frimpong

An Italian entrepreneur in Ghana was on Monday shot dead after what seemed like an ambush. Paola Badalassi 49, is from Pontedera in Italy and moved to Ghana in April with her partner Lorenzo Donnini to operate a distribution office.

The 49 year old was shot at close range in the head when a bus she was traveling in from Asankragua to Accra was ambushed and robbed.

Paolo before her death was working with Herbalife, a global company that operates in the food sector, in Viareggio and had opened an agency for distribution on the Spintex road in Accra.


Confusion in Mills’ Home
* Daily Guide

TENSION IS mounting in the Mfantseman East constituency of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), the home constituency of President Mills as a result of the sharp division between the rank and file of the party there.

Currently, the NDC Constituency Chairman, Kwame Nkrumah and some of his executives are sharply divided against themselves, with the two sides either supporting incumbent Member of Parliament for the area, George Kuntu Blankson who lost his re-election bid or the new parliamentary candidate, Abeiku Crentsil.

Constituency Vice Chairman, James Eghan, Secretary, Alexander, Fiifi Essuman have confirmed the strained relations to DAILY GUIDE.

Though the chairman claims there is no confusion between him and his executives, his vice and secretary insist there is bad blood between them. They said due to this no meeting has been held for the past four or so months.

Several allegations are being made against the chairman and the regional executives including allowing a questionable candidate to allegedly use fictitious documents to file his nomination and pass vetting to eventually become the parliamentary candidate.

There is also a claim that Kwame Nkrumah had failed to account for GH¢15,000 given to him to conduct the parliamentary primaries in the area.

“There is a division,” Eghan admitted adding “as vice chairman of the constituency it has become a serious burden for me because my chairman does not want to make things open for the constituency to move on; he hasn’t held a meeting for the past three to four months because myself, the chairman and other executives are sharply divided.”

Furthermore, he said “whenever I call a meeting they say I belong to the other side so have decided not to call for any meeting so that we all sit by and watch.”

In view of the frustration he was going through, the vice chairman said “I am even fed-up with the NDC.”

“Some of us have decided that until he comes to account for the money for the primaries whenever he calls for a meeting, we will not go; if he thinks he can solely manage the party, we hand it over to him to do whatever he likes,” he noted.

Out of the GH¢15,000 voted for the primaries, he alleged the chairman used only GH¢5,000, a claim Nkrumah has vehemently denied saying he expended the entire amount.

Mr. Nkrumah was not forthcoming with information, describing the claims as frivolous.

He has also denied being at loggerheads with any of his constituency executives let alone not organizing meetings, adding “so far as the new candidate is working, there is no problem.


Asiedu Nketia Is An Ungrateful Man – Teye Nyaunu
* Source: Radio XYZ

The NDC Member of Parliament for the Lower Manya constituency, Michael Teye Nyaunu has slammed the General Secretary of the party, describing him as an “ungrateful man”.

Hon. Teye Nyaunu said it is shocking and very disappointing for Mr. Asiedu Nketia to publicly offend Mr. Rawlings who catered for him and his family when the party was in opposition.

Mr. Nyaunu’s comment comes after the NDC firebrand urged party faithful who believe in the principles of June 4 to positively defy any suggestion by the Rawlingses which will send the NDC into opposition.

He added that utterances and recent actions by the Rawlingses are aimed at sending the party back to opposition. According to him, one of the principles of the June 4 Revolution was ‘positive defiance’ and said it was prudent for all to uphold that principle and act accordingly.

At a Press conference on Tuesday, Mr. Asiedu Nketia reiterated his stance and stated that the NDC is matured and ready to win the 2012 elections without ex President Rawlings.

However, speaking to Citi News on Wednesday, Mr. Teye Nyaunu stated that the NDC scribe is not being objective about the style of governance of President Mills because he is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the current administration.

According to him, Mr. Asiedu Nketia popularly known as General Mosquito is exercising the positive defiance wrongly and urged him not to be ungrateful to the founder of the party, who he said provided provisions and money for him during his times of hardship.

Mr. Nyaunu added that former President Rawlings will continue to criticize President Mills’ administration when necessary.


Ghana ranked a less peaceful country on global peace index
* JoyOnline

Ghana has been ranked a less peaceful country on the Global Peace Index.

In the 2012 ranking released just yesterday, Ghana is ranked the 50th most peaceful country in the world, having dropped eight points from its previous 42nd position last year.

Published by the Institute for Economics & Peace, the index tries to measure what it calls peacefulness.

This is the sixth report by the Institute for Economics and Peace.

According to the institute, the world has become more peaceful for the first time since 2009. But it appears Ghana failed to follow suit.

The current ranking is the worst since the immediate aftermath of the 2008 elections when the country was ranked 52nd in 2009.

Ghana had since been improving steadily on the ranking and was ranked 42nd last year but retrogressed markedly this year.

It is unclear if the researchers took into consideration the recent communal clashes in some parts of the country which have claimed as many as fourteen lives.

Iceland was ranked the most peaceful country in the world and Somalia, the worst.


ABOUT 91.8% of victims of sexual abuse in Junior High Schools (JHS) are between 15 and 18
* PeacefmOnline

ABOUT 91.8% of victims of sexual abuse in Junior High Schools (JHS) are between 15 and 18, a report of a study on sexual abuse in Ghanaian schools has revealed.

The report says a sizeable proportion of 31.8% of the children indicated that they knew of cases of sexual abuse in their schools which took place mainly outside the school premises and that those acts that took place on the premises of the school occurred in the classroom (16.9%), in the teacher’s room (1.5%) and at the garage (0.7%).

Mrs. Aisha Sitsofe Agbana at the Domestic Violence and Victims Supports Unit (DOVVSU) Division of the Ghana Police Service revealed this at a programme organized by Resource Link Foundation, a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) as part of the commemoration of World Day against Child Labour.

She revealed that the main perpetrators of the act were given as boy/girl friends, representing 38.9%, school and playmates represents 16.4%, neighbors represents 14.9% while teachers represents 9.7%.

The report indicated that the punishment meted out to the perpetrators but majority of 50.5% were of the view that practically nothing was done to punish the perpetrators, which she said was because nothing was done to deter the perpetrators from committing another sexual offence (31.5%).

The issues she said, was kept secret, and handled quietly at home represented (14.0%) and the perpetrator left either unpunished or absconded also represents (11.6%). Only 15.7% indicated that the perpetrator was handed over to the law enforcement agencies.

She said majority (52.7%) of the respondents were of the view that action taken by the school authorities in cases of sexual abuse was far from being satisfactory. It was indicated that while 29.8% say the authorities did not take any action, 22.9% were not sure that the incidents were even reported to the law enforcement agencies, the GES, or the parents of both the perpetrators and the victims.

They, however, intimated that while some of the perpetrators were suspended or dismissed only 13.0% were punished by the authorities while 6.1% were warned and reprimanded by the authorities; 5.3% were reported to the police or DOVVSU, 3.1% were reported to the parents of the victims and 1.5% were reported to parents of the perpetrators.


5 dead in road accident in Tamale
* CitifmOnline

Five people are reported dead in a terrible accident that occurred on the Tamale – Yapi road in the Northern region.

The accident which occurred a few minutes ago involved a Neoplan bus bound for Bolga.

Ten other people have been severely injured and have been rushed to the Tamale General Hospital.

The regional police have arrived at the scene to investigate the cause of the accident.


Drivers, Porters clash in Sunyani
* Source: GNA

The Police on Thursday intervened and averted a clash between some drivers and porters at the Nana Bosoma Market in Sunyani.

Three suspected porters, Salaam Ibrahim, 20, Issa Alhassan and Aminu Alhassan, were arrested whilst some others who sustained minor injuries in the “free for all fight” were taken to the hospital.

Chief Superintendent of Police Eric Amoako, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Crime Officer, told the Ghana News Agency that at 0830 hours on Thursday, Mr. Thomas Okyere, driver of a bus was loading passengers at the lorry park when a porter, now at large, dented the right side of his vehicle with a wheelbarrow.

Mr. Okyere confronted the porter and asked him to accompany him to the station master for an amicable solution but the porter refused and this led to a misunderstanding between them.

“The argument drew the attention of other drivers and porters and an argument between the two groups resulted in the clash”, Chief Superintendent Amoako said.

He said a police patrol team was dispatched to the scene and the three suspects were arrested and calm was subsequently restored at the market.

He said though the prime suspect had bolted, the police are investigating to bring the perpetrators to book in order to maintain law and order.

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