Army Dares Ghanaians Over Its Commercial Adventurism
From Simmons Yussif Kewura, Kumasi
THE DIRECTOR of the Public Affairs of the Ghana Armed Forces, Col. Mbawine Atintande has challenged any Ghanaian, including Mr. Moses Foh Amoaning, to go to court over the Army’s decision to venture into commercial activities at the expense of their core business of protecting and defending the state.
The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) Public Relations Director emphatically stated that no one could stop them (army) from going into commercial ventures, saying the GAF has reached an advance stage of establishing a bank at the Burma Camp.
This decision by the GAF is seen as an infringement of the constitution for which some Ghanaians, including Mr. Moses Foh Amoaning, an Accra-based legal practitioner and a former President of the Ghana Boxers Association, have threatened to go to Supreme Court over the matter.
Whilst the GAF sees nothing wrong with their plans to venture into commercial activities to accrue money to support some of their needs, Foh Amoaning on the other hand is challenging that under the 1992 constitution, it is the Head of State and for that matter, the state that has to provide the necessary support for the Army.
In order to bring the constitution under scrutiny, the Kumasi based Ultimate Radio morning show host, Mr. Kofi Owusu managed to bring Mr. Foh Amoaning and Col. Mbawine Atintande together on one platform, during which they engaged themselves in a very heated debate.
As a result, Col. Mbawine Atintande dared Mr. Foh Amoaning to go to court.
The GAF Public Affairs Director confirmed that they have submitted an application to the Bank of Ghana (BoG) for a license to establish a universal bank at the Burma Camp.
Mr. Foh Amoaning cited his reason for going to the Supreme Court as the interpretation of Articles 210 (3), which states that, “the Armed Forces shall be equipped and maintained to perform their role of defence of Ghana, as well, as any such function to the development of Ghana as the President may determine”.
He said “the reasons why the army wants to go into banking and other business ventures is to raise money to assist themselves but that is a lack of a preposition because the constitution is very clear that the Armed Forces shall be equipped and maintained to perform their role of defence of Ghana”.
The Chronicle on its research at the GAF official website has revealed a whole range of businesses including pharmaceuticals, manufacturing companies such as footwear and garment, to be undertaken by the GAF under short, medium and long term business ventures by the Army.
Other businesses earmarked by the army were manufacturing of ammunition and explosive ordinance devices, agro-processing, solar energy production, manufacturing of computers, civil engineering and host of others.
The GAF earlier last year told the press that it would be operating all its businesses under the Defence Industrial Holding Company (DIHOC), under which a shoe factory in Kumasi would be revamped to undertake the manufacturing of shoes for military and others in the country
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