Kwaku Agyemang Manu, Minister of Health
The story about the torching of the Central Medical Stores is no longer an enigma; details emerging from the aftermath of the arson have established so.
Interesting and eye-opening details about what happened are sufficient to launch whoever learns about them into the complexities of official intrigues and cover-ups in Ghana.
The kneejerk reactions following news about the fire included the setting up of a probe among others but in the end nothing of value emanating from it. We, for instance, as citizens with a stake in such assets of state should have been offered full disclosures about what happened – not so however as were left in the dark with nothing to learn. Eventually, like other fires before it, we were denied this essential knowledge and suspects left off the hook without even questioning them.
When medicinal drugs worth millions of Cedis went up in flames, the ordinary man in the street could only think about the incessant power outages as being the responsible factor because, after all, he could not think about any other cause.
Now the cat is out of the bag. Development partners, concerned about what happened and given the volume of their investment in the health sector in the country, were compelled to undertake their parallel and more credible investigations into what at first looked like an enigma – the results from which are startling.
That there are Ghanaians who would do to a state asset what they did to the CMS is a baffling experience beyond comprehension. What white collar thievery and destruction have done to this country is worth investigating. It is horrendous and beats imagination that so-called elites would stoop so low to satisfy their individualistic interests leaving the state to wallow in avoidable financial challenges.
A group of Ghanaians were responsible for the act and from information gathered, it was not difficult to arrest them for questioning yet nothing was done to them.
Little has come out of the so-called investigation by government let alone the arrest of suspects. Criminal machinations were used to run down the CMS and the torching of the place inured to the interest of such persons hence their resort to the dirty act.
We have learnt about how a controlled narcotic drug in the stores was traced to a pharmacist just before the place was set ablaze. As if that was not enough some boxes of anti-malarial medication went missing from the CMS – according to records the investigations have established.
There is a lot of investigation to be undertaken about the CMS if the authorities care to do so. If an exhaustive probe has already been done, it is our take that these should not only be made public but action taken.
That nothing is being heard about the CMS and how it went up in flames is indicative of the moral challenges we face in our country. The development partners have cause to fret because the tax payers’ monies they expend on our budgets are enormous and our poor protection of these, glaring and regrettable. We shall return.