Scandal rocks Ghana's World Cup participation
 
Posted on: 2010-Aug-03        Daily Guide
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A post South Africa 2010 World Cup report on Ghana’s participation has unveiled a multifaceted scandal depriving the country of thousands of dollars traced to the accounts of a son of Kojo Bonsu, a member of the Committee empanelled to arrange accommodation and other facilities for Ghanaian supporters.

In a classic case of conflict of interest, Michael Owusu Darko Bonsu, son of Kojo Bonsu, is said to have been paid $495,000, being the total cost of the Muzinda Residence where Ghanaian supporters were housed during the World Cup fiesta in South Africa.

Questions are being asked about why such a colossal instance of conflict of interest was allowed to take place in a major venture involving public funds.

Under a revenue sharing arrangement, Michael Owusu Darko Bonsu was paid $30.00 per supporter for 1,100 supporters for 15 days.

When contacted on the alleged scandal, Kojo Bonsu denied that his son introduced the Posterity Capital Group to the government.

He however said that the Ghana High Commission in South Africa engaged his son to run errands for them, describing the role as a sort of protocol officer.

“When they saw that we have done the arrangement, they wanted somebody who can connect them to do (sic) Ghana food. So he was trying to do it.

Beside it, I think he had an agreement with them but I said hey gentleman, my name is involved so don’t get yourself involved. I think he did a deal with them and I cancelled it.”

Documents DAILY GUIDE has chanced upon suggest that Messrs Amanor Quao, Stephen Ackah, Kojo Bonsu and John Vigah signed a 16th April, 2010 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) as designated officials of the Ghana National Sports Council, even though they were not designated to undertake that assignment.

The marginalization of the Ghana National Sports Council in a matter within its purview is thought to have been a deliberate ploy to facilitate the scandal.

Mr. Kojo Bonsu’s son, used as a conduit in the malfeasance against the government of Ghana, could not have escaped the attention of Messrs Amanor Quao, Stephen Ackah and John Vigah, all members of the South Africa 2010 World Cup Committee.

Another question which has been posed is why government did not deal directly with Posterity, owner of the Muzinda facility, but allowed Michael Owusu Darko Bonsu to introduce the company at an additional cost of $30 per person for 15 days.

Other questions being posed are whether the government of Ghana was aware that Michael Owusu Darko Bonsu, son of Kojo Bonsu, introduced Posterity to government or National Sports Council and how the negotiation for the Muzinda accommodation was undertaken?

The brokerage service of Kojo Bonsu’s son, who is not known to be a licensed broker in South Africa, increased the cost of accommodation, meals and miscellaneous services from $67 to $97 per person, DAILY GUIDE has learnt.

A document sighted by DAILY GUIDE shows that the actual cost of accommodation for the Muzinda dormitory was $67 but this was altered in ink to read $97.

Even the sale of tickets at the tournament was fraught with copious malfeasance, leading to the loss of $455,000 to the state.

During Ghana’s group stage matches against Serbia, Australia and Germany, it was revealed that 500 tickets were replaced with fake ones.

Mr. Kojo Bonsu, who was directly responsible for managing the ticketing segment of the mission, is said to have realized an additional income of $455,000.

He also denied making huge profits from the sale of tickets since, according to him, every ticket had the name of the individual bearer on it.

For this reason, he said “if anybody sells a ticket and you find out, you could trace where it came from”, indicating that no ticket was sold outside the official transaction.

The foregone loss notwithstanding, one of the service providers during the tournament is demanding $166,800 in outstanding bills.

Some 1,100 Ghanaian supporters were flown to South Africa under a special arrangement by government to provide the necessary support for the Black Stars in the just-ended World Cup tournament in that country.

Supporters flown to South Africa were entitled to free accommodation at the Muzinda Residence owned by Posterity Capital Group (Pty), feeding and miscellaneous expenses.

A committee was set up to manage the task and following its discussions with Posterity Capital Group, owners of a school dormitory facility called Muzinda Residence signed an MOU on 16th April 2010.

A fresh agreement dated 22nd April 2010, between Posterity Capital, E-Zee Travel SA and Michael Owusu Darko Bonsu, son of the board chairman of the National Sports Council, Kojo Bonsu, was reached. Under the deal, a revenue-sharing arrangement was established for all the income accruing from the Muzinda Residence transaction.