The scandalous revelation that the Akufo-Addo government has engaged US-based KRL International LLC to help it win the 2020 election and the poker-faced denial by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has reopened the chapters on the crafty character behind the firm.
KRL is headed by K. Riva Levinson, a woman with a notorious reputation as a lobbyist and influence peddler on the corridors power in the US. She offers services at a fee to anyone willing pay and her area of operations surely include winning elections for politicians.
In the past, she has made name as a specialist character assassin who uses her network of influence within US politics and intelligence agencies to get US government to bring its might down on countries with contracts with companies that hire Levinson.
She is a real-life Olivia Pope and has sold her services to keep dictators in power, gotten governments removed and also forced nations to bend to her client.
In 2010, the Mills government felt the power of Levinson when she lobbied for the US government to step into GoG’s dispute with Kosmos Energy over Kosmos’ breach of contractual agreement pertaining to the Jubilee field.
From Suite 550 at 1701 K Street NW, Washington in the United States of America, Riva Levinson, plotted and set in motion a campaign to destroy the Mills government’s image using a string of intelligence officers, White House contacts, US Congressmen, as well as local and international media.
after Kosmos had hired her following the oil company’s flout of the confidentiality of its data acquired under license in a contract with the GNPC, Levinson had gone to work, declaring herself Ghana’s “Trouble Maker.”
“I have a company (Kosmos Energy) in Ghana, an oil and gas company that went and invested a billion dollars and the government of Ghana has changed the terms of the original agreement…they’re saying the contract sums aren’t right. “Not only can’t they (Kosmos Energy) not recover their assets, but they can’t sell the assets and make the rate of returns. So, we are now ‘Trouble Makers,” she had said at the time in a video recorded of her scheming.
She would later add, “For somebody like Kosmos Energy, I can get to the Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, International Financial Corporation, and Congress to advocate on the company’s behalf.”
Then using her networks, she had worked to ensure Ghana’s image was soiled in US media, especially a minion outlet, Forbes Magazine.
But the Mills government was not the only one which suffered from Levinson’s hatchet job for multimillion-dollar companies with the cash to pay for her services. In 2003, when Forbes Magazine run negative stories about Ghana and the Kufuor government on account of a dispute with Volta Aluminum Company (VALCO) Levinson was the hatchet woman behind the stories.
VALCO was owned 90% by Houston-based Kaiser Aluminum, and Riva Levinson was the Lobbyist for Kaiser Aluminum. she had been hired by Kaiser as their representative in Washington, where she lobbied to get especially, US agencies to squeeze Ghana into falling in line.
A scathing attack on Ghana by Forbes Magazine in its 27th May 2003 edition was not different from what was recently published in the magazine’s so-called ranking of countries as the worst managed economies.
At the time, Forbes wrote, “‘The disagreement, involving Houston-based Kaiser Aluminum and its Ghanaian subsidiary, VALCO, has led to a suspension of all lending to Ghana by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a U.S. government agency that provides political risk insurance and loans to American businesses investing abroad.
“Ghana is being seen as not acting in a commercially reasonable manner that would ensure investor confidence,” OPIC President Peter Watson stated in a letter to Ghana’s ambassador in Washington early this year. As a result of Ghana’s actions, he said, “All applications for investment support in Ghana will remain under review.” Watson, who refused several requests for an interview, said through a spokesperson this week that the agency “is accepting applications but not acting on them at the current time.”
This is the same hatchet woman that the Akufo-Addo government has hired allegedly to help it win the 2020 election. When the Open Source Investigation exposed the arrangement, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta came out claiming that the government had hired Levinson’s KTL for “Consultancy Service.” Nobody knows what Consultancy Services the Ministry is talking about and whether the hiring process was open enough for Parliament to know about
“The Ministry of Finance’s relationship with KRL is transparent and consistent with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act.
“The Ministry of Finance signed its first agreement with KRL, for Consultancy services, on 28th June 2017, to provide consultancy services in support of this Ministry’s work in the United States and the international community in the area of strategic communications, investment promotion and government relations.
“This was after the Ministry had applied and received approval from the Public Procurement Authority, pursuant to Section 40 of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 633) (as amended).
“Payments to KRL for services to the Ministry did not commence until after the contract had been signed and after delivery of services to the Minister,” Mr. Ofori-Atta wrote.
People wonder what type of Consultancy Service will lead the government of Ghana into the clutches of a woman who has screwed Ghana at least on two occasions with two governments. Especially so when K Levinson’s Services have also been offered to dictators, rebels and war criminals in the past.
During the Mills era, Menas Associates, a UK based research group stated in a report that ”Levinson…was hired in the 1980s by Angola’s UNITA rebel movement (then part-funded by the CIA and apartheid South Africa) to persuade the US Congress to maintain financial support to UNITA, which was then led by Jonas Savimbi who prosecuted one of the most brutal civil wars in Africa against the professedly-Marxist MPLA regime”
In Equatorial Guinea, following the discovery of vast oil reserves, Riva Levinson led a lobbying campaign on behalf of US Oil companies, for the US government to reinstate diplomatic ties with the brutal regime of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
The US had closed its embassy in 1995, following death threats to its ambassador and concerns about Human Rights violations. Nevertheless, with the regimes newly found oil wealth, the lobbying succeeded with the re-opening of the embassy in 2003.
And the same K Levinson, Managing Director of KRL International LLC was one of the people behind the set up that misled the US into Iraq to forcibly remove Sadam Hussein as President. In the year 2004, the Los Angeles Times detailed how lobbyist for the then disgraced Iraqi exile Ahmed Chalabi (leader of the Iraqi National Congress), warned US government officials of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and argued that toppling Saddam Hussein was a matter of national security and moral duty. Levinson was a key figure in the lobbying campaign:
The LA Times, described her as “K. Riva Levinson, a Washington lobbyist and public relations specialist, who received federal funds to drum up prewar support for the Iraqi National Congress. She has close ties to Bartel and now helps companies open doors in Iraq, in part through her contacts with the Iraqi National Congress.”