Former President John Mahama has said Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has brought embarrassment to President Nana Akufo-Addo vis-à-vis the $2.5million (GHS9.9million) GhanaPost GPS application which local IT firm Vokacom was contracted to develop for the country, since, in his view, the application already existed on all mobile phone.
Speaking to a crowd of National Democratic Congress supporters after a Unity Walk in the Central Region on Sunday, 5 November, Mr Mahama, who lost the December 2016 elections, said even though he wanted to restrain himself from commenting on national issues so as to give the new government ample time to settle, he felt the Akufo-Addo government was frittering its goodwill period by making mistakes.
“I’ll refrain from commenting on national issues because I think that when a new government comes into power, you give it a honeymoon so that it can settle in but unfortunately it looks like NPP is wasting away its honeymoon period with the mistakes that it is doing.
“Otherwise, how can you launch a whopping GPS system that is freely available on our mobile phones and say it is the best national addressing system?” Mr Mahama wondered, adding: “It’s such a pity.”
“Why would you embarrass the president so much?” he said.
Prior to the launch of the application, Dr Bawumia has said: “It is more advanced than [those in] the United States or the United Kingdom or Germany because they are stuck to old technology and we are leap-frogging.”
“We are going to a new technology; we are going to GPS-based technology”, Dr. Bawumia said on Wednesday, 4 October when he delivered a lecture titled: Developing Stronger Economies for the African Continent: the Missing Link’ at the 3rdAdvancement Lecture Series 2017 organised by the Institutional Advancement Office of the University of Cape Coast.
The digital address system, he noted, has unique postcodes for every location in Ghana, adding that: “We have been able to put together 16.1 billion addresses: every five by five metres square apart in Ghana has a unique address.”
Mr Mahama, however, told the crowd that President Akufo-Addo must hold somebody accountable for giving state funds away for something that already existed free of charge.
“… And when you talk about accountability, this is where the president should show that he is serious about corruption. Somebody must account for GHC15 million given away free of charge.”
Contrasting the digital addressing application issue with the bus branding corruption saga that happened during his tenure of office, Mr Mahama said, “When I was in office, there was a bus branding incident, GHC3.6 million, a minister of state resigned because of GHC3.6 million. When you come into office and you want to cover up, you can cover up. When things happen you just refuse to investigate them.
“The toughness of the fight against corruption is that you are able to take action against your own people and that is what we did when we were in office. Here the NPP seems unable to take, the president seems unable to take self-action in anything,” Mr Mahama added.