IMANI backs calls for criminal probe into Sputnik V vaccines deal

Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, the Health Minister, is under severe pressure to resign after a parliamentary inquiry established that he breached procurement rules

The policy think tank IMANI Africa has backed calls for the institution of a criminal investigation into the procurement of Sputnik V vaccines by the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu.

This follows public calls for the Health Minister to step down for breaching procurement rules in pursuing the botched Sputnik V contract.

Speaking to Karen Dodoo Antwi on the Lunch News on Asaase Radio on Monday (9 August), the president of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, said: “Well, the whole procurement of this Sputnik V vaccine was mired in a lot of controversies.

“So, to that extent, some investigations ought to be done. We need to know what exact values were paid. We are just now obviously being told that something was paid, so some sort of inquiry is needed. I don’t think a parliamentary inquiry should be the end of it all – not at all.

“It is important to understand the rationale for circumventing all the laid- down procurement rules and, indeed, the advisory body that ought to be part of the process in order to get the vaccine. I don’t think it can be explained away that the minister was sorry, or was not thinking properly,” Cudjoe said.

Similar call

The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has also petitioned the Attorney General to initiate a criminal investigation into the deal in the next two days.

The pro-NDC group wants the Health Minister and other individuals involved in the deal prosecuted if found culpable.

Ghana gets 177,600 doses of Johnson & Johnson

Meanwhile, Ghana has received a total of 177,600 doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccines under the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT).

The consignment is part of a total of 6.4 million vaccine doses to be shipped to African Union member states in August 2021. Ghana is among the first ten countries Africa to receive vaccines through the partnership.
The deputy minister of health Tina Gifty Mensah, was at the airport together with the director general of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, to receive the vaccines.
The vaccine deliveries are part of the historic COVID-19 vaccine advance procurement agreement signed on 28 March 2021 by AVAT for the purchase of 220 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccine, with the potential to order an additional 180 million doses.

“The agreement and the start of deliveries mark the first time that the African Union member states have collectively purchased vaccines to safeguard the health of the African population,” a joint press release announcing the arrival of the vaccines at the Kotoka International Airport said.

In total, the 400 million vaccines acquired by AVAT are sufficient to immunise a third of the African population.

The member states which have ordered vaccines through AVAT will continue to receive shipments for the next few months. World Bank financing has been mobilised to support both the acquisition and equitable deployment of vaccines.
Fred Dzakpata
Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online
Follow us on Twitter: @asaaseradio995

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