The Director of the Parliamentary Centre, Dr Rashid Dramani has described as “a big insult” a possible conflict of interest situation in which a Chinese company is reported to have distribution 275 ZTE mobile phones to Ghana’s Members of Parliament, considering an agreement involving the Chinese company and the government of Ghana.
Dr. Dramani said the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho must immediately order the MPs to bring back the phones for onward return to the Chinese company.
His comments come in the wake of allegations the company bribed the MPs with the phones to have them approve the contract that would enable ZTE to acquire for the government of Ghana, gadgets for security information for the purposes of monitoring and responding to security emergencies.
A Ranking Member on the Trade and Industry Committee of Parliament Daniel Nii Quartei Titus-Glover has dismissed assertions the phones were to bribe them.
He told Citi News the phones are cheap and were only to be used to gather security information, adding they are ready to return the phones to the company to end the allegations of corruption.
“I can tell you most of my colleagues are not even using it. They programmed the phone in such a way that MPs can communicate among ourselves on the platform. It is not for the luxury of that phone. It’s a national security phone. You cannot discuss anything personal on that phone. That phone is cheap. It cannot influence me in any way.
I am prepared to take it away. I don’t need it. It is even occupying space,” he stated.
But in a response Dr. Dramani maintained, it does not matter how cheap or expensive the phone is but the mere fact that the phones were distributed by the company which is seeking to win a contract with the government of Ghana is an indictment on Ghana’s Parliament.
He said in certain jurisdictions there are codes of ethics on what to take as gifts and what not to, adding, even if the phones were not to bribe the MPs they ought not to be collected under the circumstances.
“As a country we cannot go to China and do this kind of thing to Chinese MPs,” he said, adding we must take a serious view to this issue.
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