Several thousands of cocoa farmers in cocoa-growing regions in Ghana have commended the new management and Board of Directors of Kuapa Kooko Limited (KKL) and Kuapa Union for their efforts in protecting the farmers’ hard-earned income.
“We have never seen such seriousness in our leaders in the Kuapa fraternity, and such moves are reassuring and give us hope for a brighter future,” the farmers declared.
It would be recalled that the District Manager of KKL at Akontombra in the Western Region, Eric Fiifi Cudjoe, was arrested by the Ashanti Regional police for allegedly embezzling GH¢4,850,700 belonging to the company.
Cudjoe was remanded into police custody by the Ejisu-Juaben circuit court, presided over by Abdul Yusuf Assibey, on April 6, 2018.
The Akontombra District Manager was subsequently arraigned before court for fraudulent breach of trust following a complaint lodged by the new Managing Director of KKL, Samuel Adimado, for failing to purchase 10,212 bags of cocoa beans with the said amount of money.
The money, according to the Managing Director, was transferred through the ARB APEX Bank in Kumasi into the account of Cudjoe at the Amenfi Rural Bank Limited between September 2017 and February 2018.
Although the accused is a relative of the President of Kuapa Kooko Cooperative Farmers and Marketing Union Limited (KKFU) – the parent company of KKL – he was not spared at all.
According to reports, the president equally expressed shock at the action of his relative and called for thorough investigation and prosecution.
Cudjoe allegedly presented false reports to the company on numerous occasions in relation to the purchase of cocoa beans.
But the cocoa farmers, who are overwhelmed by the situation due to the relationship between Cudjoe and the President of KKFU, said that the bold action taken by their leaders had renewed their confidence in their leaders.
“We were overly excited at her insistence that the said amount be retrieved at all cost. We are so amazed and pleasantly surprised about the courageous manner in which our lady leader and the management have taken to deal with the issue in a dispassionate manner, devoid of fear and intimidation. This is worthy of commendation. Initially we had doubts because in Ghana when a relative of someone in high ranking position does something wrong, they treat that person with kid gloves but management has blazed a new trail to prove us wrong. Their action is so reassuring that in them we see a better future for Kuapa Kooko. We are now confident that our little contributions, accrued over the years, will not go waste,” Agya Kwasi, a cocoa farmer in the Sefwi Akontombra area, said.
“Now we, the farmers, are very confident and our trust has been boosted by the action of management. We want to thank them all for not allowing one person to embezzle that huge amount of money at our expense. This goes to prove that nobody can take us for a ride,” said Adwoa Adoma, another cocoa farmer at Ankaase in the Ashanti Region.