The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP)’s Vice Chairman for Mfantsiman in the Central Region, David Awotwe has been exposed as a member of an NPP cartel which commandeers subsidized outboard motors targeted at fishermen and sell them at almost two times the price.
The cartel, which includes the NPP’s Constituency Women’s Organizer for Mfantsiman, enrich themselves by creaming off thousands of cedis after inflating the price of the subsidized outboard motors.
Award winning investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni, who investigated the exploitative black market, reports that after he and his team paid Mr. Awotwe Ghc16,000 for the outboard motor that government sold to the fishermen at Ghc10,000, Mr. Awotwi signed on an NPP Campaign flier labelled “4More To Do More,” as receipt to cover the criminal sale.
WhatsUp News has seen the NPP campaign flier turned receipt and on it David Awotwe’s signature is inked under sales wording that showed that he received Ghc16,000 from Victor Forson, Manasseh’s team member, for the outboard motor that the government had given out at Ghc10,000.
The NPP campaign flier turned “chobo” receipt has since been garnering scorn on social media with some commentators inventing puns of the “4More To Do More” heading of the receipt. “It’s actually 4 More To Steal More,” went one commentary on Facebook.
Manasseh Azure Awuni, is said to have received complaints from the Mfantsiman Constituency that the outboard motors that government gives out at a subsidized price of Ghc10,000 instead of the Ghc20,000, market price, never really reach fishermen at that price.
The reason being that the NPP Executives in the Coastal communities, including the Mfantsiman Municipality, have formed themselves into cartels which receive the canoes and sell them to the fishermen as middlemen in a black market operation.
Due to the corruption, the fishermen are unable to buy the outboard motors, defeating the purpose of the subsidy.
Mr. Azure, upon hearing the complaint, assembled a team and went off to investigate.
The team is said to have gotten contacts at Apam, Moree, and Biriwa in the Central Region and one in the Western Region, who had the government’s subsidised outboard motors to sell above the subsidised price.
At Biriwa in the Mfantsiman Municipality, the undercover team was led straight to the NPP constituency women’s organiser who was said to have some machines for sale.
Even though the story does not give her name, she is quoted as arguing that there was nothing wrong with the criminal business she and the NPP cartels are engaged in and that that is one way to benefit from her membership in the party.
“If I already have one on my canoe and they give me an additional one, what am I supposed to do? I have to sell it and take the commission,” she is quoted as saying.
She is said to have added that, “Nobody follows a government and would go empty hands. There is a reason we do politics, the benefit.”
However, she did not have any outboard motors to sell to the undercover team at that material time, apparently because she had cleared whatever motors were given to her. She however eagerly directed the team to the NPP Constituency Vice Chairman for Mfantsiman, David Awotwe, as a man who still has outboard motors to sell. The team followed a middleman.
The middleman led the undercover team to Mr Awotwe’s house in Biriwa to see the outboard motor. After they had inspected the product, Mr. Awotwe, led them to an uncompleted building to haggle the price.
Central Regional Minister, Kwamena Duncan is said to have since called for the arrest of the NPP Constituency Vice-Chair.