Parliament Passes Mahama Trust Fund Bill

The Major Mahama Trust Fund Bill, 2017 was on Thursday passed by parliament with a seed money of GH¢500,000 to support the widow and the children of the late Major Maxwell Adam Mahama.

The army officer was brutally lynched by some residents of Denkyira-Obuasi (now New Obuasi) in the Central Region on May 29, this year, claiming he was an armed robber.

The bill was laid in parliament on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 by the Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul, and was referred to the joint committee of Finance and Defence and Interior for consideration and report to the plenary.

During the consideration stage of the bill, there was divided opinion on a clause which states that the widow of the late Major will not benefit from the fund again if she re-marries.

Some MPs, including the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs for Ho West, Adaklu and Afadjato South, Emmanuel Bedzrah, Kwame Agbodza and Angela Alorwu-Tay respectively argued strongly that depriving the widow of benefitting from the fund when she re-marries could defeat the purpose for which it was set up.

According to the three MPs, the widow could get married to someone who is not well established or resourced to take care of all her needs and therefore she should continue to enjoy the fund, even if she re-marries.

However, other MPs said once she gets married the new husband must be in a position to support her in every way but the children must continue to benefit from the fund.

There would be a Board of Trustees for the fund which would be chaired by the minister of defence.

Other members would be the chairman of the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament, the ranking member of the Defence and Interior Committee, a former Government Statistician, Dr Grace Bediako and the chief of Tumu, Tumu Kuro.

President Nana Akufo-Addo, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, after the sad death of the young army officer, promised to establish a Memorial Trust Fund with a seed money of GH¢500,000 donated by himself

Under the new bill, the Trustees have a duty to account for the Trust Fund regularly as prescribed by law. They are also to keep account of the trust property and to produce them to any beneficiary when required, as well as to provide all reasonable information regarding how the trust property has been dealt with.

According to the memorandum accompanying the bill, for the purpose of achieving the object of the Trust Fund, the Board of Trustees shall apply the moneys for the Trust Fund for the acquisition and furnishing of an appropriate three or four-bedroom house for the widow of the late officer, Mrs Babara Mahama and the children she had with Major Maxwell Adam Mahama namely, Jaden Mahama and Jeremiah Boressah Mahama, at a location to be determined by Mrs Mahama

The memorandum also explains that the fund will take care of the two children of late Major Mahama up to a standard that the Board of Trustees may determine, having regard to the ability and the aptitude of each of the children and for the purpose of ensuring that each of them is adequately equipped to earn a living, among other things.