Monday, July 6, 2009

Ghana Politicians Deny Bribery Over Vodafone Deal

Politicians in Ghana have been denying claims that they accepted "incentives" to vote in favour of a deal that resulted in Vodafone buying a 70% stake in the local Ghana Telecom last July. The purchase was controversial at the time and opposed by various pressure groups.
Vodafone paid US$900 million for the stake, which valued the company at approximately US$1.3 billion. The Government of Ghana will retain a 30% stake in the company.
A New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP, Mr. Appiah-Ofori, told Joy News, his colleagues in the last Parliament each received $5,000 for voting for the Vodafone deal. According to the NPP MP, the money came from the Office of the President and was dished out to the MP's by former Chief of Staff, Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani.
However, in a swift rebuttal, Mr. Mensah-Bonsu, also MP for Suame, said Mr. Appiah-Ofori's claims could not be true. He did accept that MPs sometimes received additional payments when the Parliament is working overtime, but couldn't confirm if the Vodafone purchase debate was such an occasion.
According to estimates from the Mobile World subscriber tracker, the mobile network ended last year with just over 1.6 million subscribers - equating to a market share of around 27%.
The company was rebranded as Vodafone Ghana earlier this year.

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