The minority in parliament has filed a motion for a bipartisan probe into the procurement of Sputnik V vaccines from Russia through middlemen.
Ghana through the Health Minister Kwaku Agyemang Manu has signed two contracts for the supply of Sputnik V vaccines at $19 and $18.5 through middlemen.
The move government explains is as a result of difficulties in securing vaccines through government-to-government arrangements which could have driven down the price.
Mr. Manu at a meet the press engagement last week disclosed a deputy ambassador at the Russian embassy was engaged by the government to facilitate the procurement of the vaccines but to no avail.
But addressing the media, minority leader Haruna Iddrisu stated a deputy ambassador portfolio does not exist at the Russian embassy.
The Tamale South MP argued the contracts are in breach of Article 181 (5) of the constitution which requires such international transactions to secure parliamentary approval and thus must be halted immediately.
He said, “the WHO, UNICEF, COVAX can assist Ghana to obtain standard and safe vaccines served at a price far lower than the $19 vaccine.”
He revealed that “the minority’s own investigation into this Sputnik V scandal is that the national authorities have at all times been willing to deal directly with Ghana contrary to what the Nana Addo Dankwa government has been claiming.”
“Indeed, our check at the Russian embassy indicates that the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has opened direct engagements with over thirty governments as of February this year including some African governments such as Kenya, Rwanda, Tunisia, Guinea, and Algeria. And we have a statement from Moscow confirming this.”
He went on “we’ve also established that these dubious middlemen government is dealing with have no authorization on behalf of the RDIF or Russian authorities to hold themselves as agents. So, you are dealing with agents that are doubtful in character, doubtful in their capacity to be purporting to undertake the activity of agents in the procurement of Covid vaccines. At best, they are imposters.”
Mt Iddrisu also noted that “while pointing out that contrary to the claims contained in the official press release of the minister of health dated 9th June 2021, as I indicated there is no deputy Russian ambassador in Ghana. I’m challenging the foreign ministry to come out with the name of any person in our jurisdiction who is holding himself out as deputy Russian ambassador.
“What is more troubling the purported vaccine supply agreement between Ghana’s health ministry signed by minister Kwaku Agyemang Manu and Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum on 8th March 2021, as I indicated stands in violation of Article 191 (5) which makes it an international economic transaction.”