Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader in Parliament, has accused the government of deception saying it has failed to honour its pledge of providing a seed money for the Zongo Development Fund (ZDF).
He said allocations to the ZDF contained in the 2017 and 2018 budget statements was GH¢100 million, which fell short of the $50 million seed money promised by the government to support the operations of the ZDF.
Mr Iddrisu made the accusation on Sunday when he inaugurated electrification project for the Dalinbila community in the Tamale South Constituency, where he represents in Parliament, bringing electricity coverage in the Constituency to 99.5 per cent, leaving one more community in the area to be connected to the national grid.
Mr Iddrisu said “The whole budgets for 2017 and 2018 for ZDF is GH¢100million, so President Akufo-Addo, honour your word; this is deceptive if you say that you are setting up a seed money, no seed money has been provided for ZDF neither was it provided for in the legislation.”
He said the ZDF Law, recently assented to by the President, and “Is welcome news but nothing to celebrate because the solution to the problems, which affect the Zongos, does not lie in the creation of new bureaucracies.”
The ZDF was a manifesto promise by the New Patriotic Party during the 2016 electioneering campaign, and a law to ensure its implementation was passed by Parliament, which was recently assented to by the President.
Mr Iddrisu also spoke about the Special Prosecutor Act and the Office of the Special Prosecutor saying, “Legal fixes to dealing with economic criminalities such as corruption is always not an adequate mechanism but arguably is welcome that we want to have a Special Prosecutor to combat corruption because of its debilitating effects.”
He said “The greatest threat to the success of the Special Prosecutor Act and the Office of the Special Prosecutor remains political bias, whether or not the person appointed to the office will exercise justice in a manner, which is impartial, which is a requirement of law”.
He said “If it is used only as an instrument to check the past, it will become an instrument for witch-hunting, if it does not focus on the present issues, then it will fail as an impartial watchdog to combat corruption.”
He said there would be issues in the past but essentially there were present issues as well, which were credible candidates for special prosecution that the Special Prosecutor must be interested in adding “The Special Prosecutor must uphold a fundamental principle of law, which is equality of the law and natural justice.”
Mr Iddrisu said “The Special Prosecutor should not know only former functionaries of National Democratic Congress’ government and not know present functionaries of this government, who may suffer infractions of the law.”
He spoke about the rural electrification project in the Constituency, saying it was an initiative of the previous government, which was completed by the current government, saying this fulfilled his pledge to the constituents that no community under his watch would be without electricity.
He, however, said the government did little to extend electricity coverage in the country, saying, “For the period 2017 up to January 06, 2018, the government added less than two per cent to the national average of rural electrification, which stood at 82 per cent by the end of 2016 to 83.3 per cent by the end of 2017.
Chiefs and people of the area expressed gratitude to Mr Iddrisu for honouring his pledge by extending electricity to their community.