…As $60,000 claimant returns as a vindictive witch-hunter, courting serious legal problems for setup

Chaos is looming at the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), where sources say the reappointment of a boss, who assaulted the finances of the Fund in 2009, has led to a vandalism of workers’ rights.

Abraham Kofi Asante has, allegedly, been courting serious legal problems for GIFEC, since his recent appointment as the acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), as he stomps about like a bull in a china shop, dismissing and transferring staff of the Fund without regard to labour laws.

Just weeks into his appointment, the man is said to have dissolved the Corporate Affairs outfit of GIFEC and sacked the Human Resource Manager, among others.

He has also transferred most of the staff from the headquarters to remote areas of the country and allegedly replaced them with New Patriotic Party (NPP) sympathizers and supporters.

The situation is said to have left a tetchiness hovering over GIFEC with lawsuits looming. Mr. Abraham Kofi Asante has not been available to speak to the issues.

Interestingly, The Republic has learnt that Mr. Kofi Asante is technically unqualified to serve in any position at GIFEC because, in 2009, he officially undertook disunion with GIFEC that barred him from ever working with the Fund.

Communication Minister, Mrs. Ursula Owusu Ekuful, recently appointed Mr. Kofi Asante as the Acting Administrator/CEO of GIFEC.

That appointment was a comeback for Mr. Asante, who had been relieved of his position as GIFEC boss in 2009 by the erstwhile Mills government.

The 2009 removal from office had led to a nasty tango with government, with the man exacting a whopping $60,000 by way of Separation Benefit.

According to sources, the Separation Benefit that he had taken from the government had effectively been an everlasting divorce from GIFEC.

However, the NPP’s victory at the 2016 polls brought Mr. Asante the opportunity to return to the same GIFEC that he had disconnected himself from in 2009, as Mrs. Ekuful appointed him as Acting CEO.

Apparently, Mr. Asante has not managed to move on from his 2009 misunderstanding with the NDC government; sources say, immediately he assumed office he started sacking and transferring staff that had been employed by the predecessor NDC government.

Among others, he has dissolved the Corporate Affairs desk of GIFEC and sacked all the staff there. Head of Corporate Affairs, Veronica Commey, is said to have since been paid only one month’s salary after her sack and abandoned to her fate.

Mr. Kofi Asante is said to have since also sacked the Human Resource Manager, and he who demanded and received Separation Benefit in 2009, has not paid any of the victims of his sacking spree suchlike Separation Benefit.

Mr. Asante is believed to perceive all staff that had been employed at GIFEC during the erstwhile NDC Government as NDC supporters and sympathizers and is said to have so far transferred most of them to very remote areas.

Others have also been demoted. In this regard, the former head of Monitoring has been transferred from Headquarters to Ghana House, where he has been reduced to monitoring telephone calls.

The former Chief Monitor’s Deputy is also said to have been transferred to Tamale.

While sacking, demoting and transferring staff perceived to be pro- NDC, however, Mr. Kofi Asante has also been recruiting NPP supporters and sympathizers, with eight people said to have already been employed to the Human Resource Department.

So far, an alleged deliberate recruitment of NPP sympathizers and members has seen Mr. Asante filling GIFEC’s head office with as many as 60 recruits, even though under the erstwhile Mahama administration, GIFEC had run with 48 employees.

Allegedly, amidst the witch-hunting of perceived NDC sympathizers and the recruitment of NPP supporters, a very important project that the predecessor government had embarked on has been abandoned.

The project, said to be called 112, which has to do with toll booths meant for the security agencies, is said to be in limbo because the Head of Monitoring, who is supposed to be in charge, has been demoted to monitoring phone calls at the Ghana House.

The Republic made several attempts to get Mr. Kofi Asante to speak to the issues, but they all proved abortive, as his contact never got through by the time of going to press.

Sources say that the alleged maladministration and witch hunting by Mr. Asante are largely unknown to the Board of Trustees of GIFEC, which is chaired by the Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu Ekuful.

Interestingly, Mrs. Ekuful only recently advised against witch- hunting of perceived NDC sympathizers, saying it was wrong, as part of an address to some supporters in her constituency, Ablekuma South.

The goings-on at GIFEC are also said to be on the blind side of other stakeholders, especially telcos, whose tax money funds GIFEC. GIFEC is not funded with money from the Consolidated Fund, but with 1% of taxes paid by telcos.

Sources say the foregoing has left some of the former employees of GIFEC, contemplating lawsuits.



Source: Fiifi Samuels

The Republic News Online

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