Top 20 General News For 2013

2013 was a dramatic year with remarkable turn of events with regards to News detailing on issues from every sector. Some topics inevitably recurred as it captured social themes that will undoubtedly be readdressed as and when it became necessary. Of course with catchy headlines that sent readers crazy yet informed them holistically. Considering politics, Government had been shaken several times by economic quandaries as well as spontaneous societal vices that invited clarification on some scandalous issues arising in the course of the year. Either ways, it was relevant to citizens and ruling class as it necessitated accountability in some instances. The 8-month long election petition left the country dragging in many activities. It challenged the sanctity of the authority of the law, constitution, President and called to book many giants in Jurisdiction and left the judicial system doubtful in the eyes of all. Judgment debt commission seemed to relent on its efforts and plans to get to the depth of it as a political concern. Investigations are still ongoing to arrive at a sane result to apprehend the culprits and bring them to book. There are still pending comprehensive reports, corruption scandals, leaked information, strike actions and unexplained assassinations. The president has had to address issues from time to time leaving the public with so many questions. Some answered and others unanswered. The oppositions have had their own problems to iron out with occasional attacks on the current government. As the year draws to a close, we present top twenty news items that made headlines in 2013, with a lot of public interest and called for varied discussions: Eight-month old Election petition validated Mahama as President Ghana’s Supreme Court until August 29, 2013 was the centre of attention as the validity of John Mahama’s presidency was questioned by the NPP led by Akufo Addo, Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Obetsebi Lamptey as petitioners. The nine-member panel of Justices lead by Justice William Atuguba upheld John Mahama’s presidency as valid.Read More... Doctors embarked on a month-long strike over market premium The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) decided to withdraw all out-patient clinical services and attend only to emergencies and in-patient cases as directed the National Executive Committee of the GMA and Divisional Chairmen. Read More... Fire outbreaks engulf the nation, many markets affected A large section of the main Katamanto market area, one of the largest markets in the country, burnt for several hours forming part of the fire outbreaks scattered around the country including the Old Parliament House, Winneba Government Hospital, Abuja Slum, Aboadze Plant, Suame Magazine and Makola. Read More... Government blows GH¢1bn on GYEEDA It emerged that government had spent over GH¢1billion (¢10trillion) on the corruption-riddled youth employment programme, the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA). The money was spent between 2009 and June 2013, the period in which the Mahama-led government has been in power, even though a lot of the youth under the programme had not been paid for several months. Read More... Fuel prices go up: Petrol 3%, diesel 2%, LPG 3% The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) made an upward adjustment on prices of some petroleum products effective June 1. Both Petrol and diesel from sold at GH¢9.50 per gallon generating a lot of dissatisfaction as its direct effect was the increment in other products. Read More... PURC announces 78.9% increment in electricity tariffs After months of speculation, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) finally announced a 78.9 per cent upward adjustment in electricity and 52 per cent increment in water tariffs. This took effect at the end of a load shedding exercise that disrupted power supply for close to 11 months. The outcry led government to announce a decrease of 25% in electricity tariffs. Read More... Professor Awoonor Killed in Kenyan Terror Attack The former Chairman of the Council of State, Professor Kofi Awoonor was killed by al-Qaeda-linked al Shabaab terror group at Westgate mall in Nairobi Kenya. Professor Awoonor, a renowned Ghanaian poet and author was in Nairobi attending a conference and was caught in the terrorist attack at the mall by al Shabaab - a Somalia-based al-Qaeda affiliate group. Read More... GHc144m GRA/Subah Scandal: Where the monies went? Just when the dust on GYEEDA was beginning to settle, the country was hit with another corruption scandal, but this time involving the GRA and Subah Infosolutions Subah Info was contracted by the GRA in 2010 to provide telecom traffic monitoring services for the Tax Agency. Over the last two years, the company received up to GHc144 million from the GRA, mostly in monthly instalments. Available evidence shows that the company did absolutely no work for the people of Ghana to merit the average GHc4 million it received monthly from the tax watchdog. Read More... GNPC confirms participating in Drill Ship sale The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) was under a lot of criticisms for the sale of a drill ship which cannot be accounted for with fingers pointing at all directions. They took a dramatic “u turn” when its officials, who appeared before the Judgment Debt Commission, confirmed participating in the sale of the Drill Ship Discover 511. The Corporation also confirmed unearthing some documents relating to the sale of the Discover 511, which its Chief Executive Officer, Nana Boakye Asafo Adjaye submitted to the Commission. Some leading members of the NPP including Mr. Albert Kan-Dapaah and Mr. K.T. Hammond were implicated in the sale. Read More... Daily minimum wage now GHc5.24 The daily minimum wage was pegged at GHc5.24. It has been increased by 17 per cent from GHc4.48 by the National Tripartite Committee (NTC) at the consultation of its 2013 national daily minimum wage meeting on April 30, 2013. It took effect from May 1, 2013. Read More... Judgment debt saga: Martin Amidu wins cases against Waterville, Isofoton The Supreme Court ordered Waterville Holdings Ltd. to return to the state monies it obtained illegally arising out of claims it brought against the state in 2009. The court followed arguments before it by former Attorney General Martin Amidu that neither Waterville nor businessman Alfred Agbesie Woyome, who also obtained similar payments, had a valid contract with the state to warrant the payments. Also, another application by Martin Amidu to the Supreme Court had Spanish energy company, ISOFOTON SA, ordered to refund to the Government of Ghana the cedi equivalent of $325,472 it received as judgement debt. Click to Read More FDA against drugs from Tobinco The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) had a battle against medicines from Tobinco Pharmaceuticals Limited and their supplier, Bliss GVS Pharmaceuticals, an Indian company, as there were doubts about the efficacy, safety and quality of some of the drugs from the two companies. The FDA had earlier in the year had apprehended pharmaceutical companies including Lymens Medical Supplies Limited, Osons Chemists and Sarkuff Pharmacy for supplying unregistered, fake and substandard medicines to hospitals and pharmacies throughout the country. Click to Read More Criminal contempt of Supreme Court prosecutions: Kuranchie, Atubiga jailed The Supreme Court sentenced Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Searchlight Newspaper, Ken Kuranchie to 10 days in prison for contemptuous comments he made in the paper’s front page comment in relation to the then ongoing election petition. The publication sought to question the court’s invitation of the main opposition New Patriotic Party’s Deputy Communication Director Sammy Awuku who was reprimanded by the Bench for describing the court as “hypocritical and selective”. Stephen Atubiga, member of the National Democratic Congress who also appeared before the court over alleged contemptuous comments, beat a hasty retreat and topped it up with tonnes of abject and unqualified apologies but was also jailed three days by the court. During the course of the Election petition hearing, the Supreme Court also reprimanded the General Secretary of the NPP, Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie and a fellow party communicator, Hopeson Adorye to a fine of GH5000 and GH2000 cedis respectively for making certain unsavoury comments against the President of the nine-member panel, hearing the election petition case. Click to Read More 600 guinea fowls, 20 eggs accounted for as SADA blows GHS47 million A tour of the controversial government-sponsored GH¢15million (¢150billion) Guinea Fowl Project which yielded a curious head count of 600 birds and a paltry 20 eggs caused public outrage for months. The project, being managed by privately-owned Asongtaba Cottage Industry situated at Sumbrungu, three kilometres from Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, benefitted from moneys doled out by the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) in 2012. Asongtaba also received GH¢32million (¢320billion) for an afforestation programme from the same agency which could not be accounted for. Asongtaba is a member of the AGAAMS Group owned by Roland Agambire of rlg fame. Click to Read More First ever Quality Healthcare Forum held in Ghana Ghana had its first quality health forum which made serious impact with a shake-up in people’s view of health issues in the country. Healthcare quality problems were addressed at the Forum organised by Ghanaweb, which brought together healthcare and non-healthcare professionals to deliberate on issues affecting the ordinary Ghanaian. It had a good outcome with recommendations to include sub-medical professionals into decision making and implementation for an efficient delivery of quality healthcare. Click to Read More Secret tapes galore: Infamous Vikileaks Scandal Some leaked tapes popped up in the year with one having a voice purported to be that of Deputy Communications Minister, Victoria Hammah, heard telling a female interlocutor that she will not quit politics until she makes at least US$1m. This tape made rounds in the media arousing debates that led to her dismissal. A committee was later set-up to probe the allegations made by the sacked minister. Earlier a tape was leaked of Sammy Awuku, an NPP communicator, on which a male voice, purported to be that of Mr. Awuku, is heard expressing fears that some of the nine Justices of the Supreme Court could be targeted for elimination before the verdict of the Supreme Court petition is delivered. Click to Read More AMA goof on hockey pitch renaming The Accra Metropolitan Assembly in the celebration of the anniversary of the death of President Mills decided to rename the National Hockey Pitch in Accra with that of the late president. The original name assigned to the pitch is of the Designer of the country's flag, Madam Theodosia Okoh, who expressed disappointment at attempts to change her name on the National Hockey Pitch she helped build. The issue raised a lot of public outcry which saw the president summoning the AMA boss to rescind their decision of renaming the Pitch and further apologised to Madam Okoh. Click to Read More Load shedding hit parts of the country For eleven months the country suffered from load shedding which according to the ECG, was as a result of some difficulties facing power generation companies. The situation gave birth to popular terms like “dumsor dumsor” and a greeting which captured the “dumsor” and the president’s name to express dissatisfaction at the poor state of electricity supply. Click to Read More Accra, Tema face 6 months water rationing exercise Residents in many parts of Accra and Tema face a water rationing exercise undertaken by the Ghana Urban Water Limited (GUWL) for six months. The exercise, according to the service provider, became necessary, following a detection of a structural defect in four out of the 12 filters at the Weija Treatment Plant. Click to Read More Ghanaians observe partial eclipse of the sun Ghana and some parts of the world experienced a partial eclipse of the sun on the third Day of November. It was first visible in the Southern United States, before sweeping east across the Atlantic Ocean and the African continent. Ghana and some parts of the world experienced a partial eclipse of the Sun on Sunday, the third Day of November. It was first visible in the Southern United States, before sweeping east across the Atlantic Ocean and the African continent. The moon started covering the sun at about 12:30 pm and those who had the opportunity of watching through the eclipse shades, it was a ‘beauty to behold’. About 80 to 85 percent of the sun’s face was covered by the Moon. A member of the African Astronomical Society, Prof Emmanuel Amamoo-Otchere has indicated in an interview on Peace FM that the next partial eclipse will occur in 2027 and then in 2034, there will be a total eclipse just like what occurred in 2006.