CHRAJ Completes Zoomlion Investigations After 8yrs
The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, CHRAJ, says it has completed investigations into allegations of corruption in the implementation of Zoomlion’s contract with metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies.
In 2009, a whistle blower from the Tanor South District of the Bono Ahafo Region petitioned CHRAJ alleging that Zoomlion was colluding with the assembly officials to defraud the state.
The Sanitation Improvement Package is one of Zoomlion’s contracts with all 216 assemblies in Ghana to lift the containers to the final disposal sites.
In almost all the 53 assemblies Joy News visited as part of this investigation, the assemblies say Zoomlion does not lift the containers in time, resulting in spillage of refuse.
But payments have been already made to Zoomlion for more than 10 years using monies deducted from the MMDAs.
As pressure from residents grows, the Assemblies are often forced to moblise funds to lift the containers.
In order to prevent further spillage of refuse from overflowing containers, some districts like the Ahanta West, have acquired more containers and provide fuel for Zoomlion to lift the additional containers.
But the problem still persisted. The whistle blower believes Zoomlion is taking money for no work done.
“Zoomlion, the administrator of the Common Fund and 138 district assemblies were colluding [and] conniving to defraud the state and so we should investigate and make sure that the monies wrongfully paid are paid back,” CHRAJ boss Joseph Whittal summarised the petition.
When CHRAJ started the investigation, Zoomlion went to court to stop the Commission claiming CHRAJ did not have jurisdiction to investigate it because it is a private company.
In November 2013, the court threw out Zoomlion’s case and gave CHRAJ the mandate to go ahead with its investigations.
According to the CHRAJ boss Joseph Whittal, the Commission will soon present its findings to the office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice for further action.
At least, 15 other companies of the Jospong Group are currently undergoing investigations by the Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) as well as Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) over allegations of corruption following Joy News investigations.