Misinterpretation and distortion of facts on Gambian killings unfortunate – Alhaji Mumuni

Mohammad Mumuni - Minister, Foreign Affairs

Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has described the misinterpretation of the parliamentary debate on expenses relating to funeral, burial and compensation for the Ghanaians killed in the Gambia in 2005 as unfortunate.

Alhaji Mumuni, addressing the press, said, the distortions and negative reportage about the summary of expenditures, had created the impression of financial impropriety and misapplication of funds on the part of the ministry, thus the need to clarify issues in order to dispel these impressions.

He, however, stated that his ministry was not averse to a probe into the application of the funds should there be any lingering doubts after the clarification.

He said the total expense of GH¢420, 330.00 was taken out of the $500,000 given to the government of Ghana as contribution towards the funeral and burial of the victims as well as compensation to the families.

Alhaji Mumuni noted that honorariums paid included expenses incurred over the three month period of meetings and screening of persons claiming to have to have family and other ties with the Gambia killings as well as those activities held prior to, during and after the burial service.

He emphasised that the press had only been paid GH¢600 on the day of the funeral and not the whole GH¢5000.

“The amount indicated in the summary of expenses include announcements and notices placed in the media as a whole, as part of the screening exercise, rentals and purchases in respect of the funeral and burial services including marquees, carpets, potted plants, chairs, wreaths, wooden stands and skirting for eight coffins, fabric draperies for marquees and artificial floral arrangements among others things,” he said.

Alhaji Mumuni stated that the compensation paid to the bereaved families was guided by the recommendation of the in-house committee, which was endorsed by the government. The recommendation was that families of all three categories established: deceased, missing and presumed dead and survivors should be paid GH¢10, 000 each as compensation.

So far, 27 families have been compensated with three of them yet to collect their money. The minister said there was still GH¢280,170 in the account at the Bank of Ghana which would be used to cater for any other victims who might eventually show up.

“It may interest you to know that the ministry’s accounts covering the work of the In-house committee, the funeral and burial service and compensation paid has been fully audited by the Auditor-General and have been found to be in order,” he said.

Source: GNA

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