An extensive investigation by Corruption Watch Ghana has revealed how the deputy CEO for the Microfinance and Small Loans Center (MASLOC) facilitated the use of state money to induce voters in the recently held NPP parliamentary elections.
Abibata Shani Mahama Zakaria, according to the Corruption Watch investigation used state resources for her personal gain in the Yendi Constituency just as other candidates were also captured inducing delegates with money, machinery and appliances in seven regions monitored.
The investigations were carried out before, during and immediately after the NPP primaries in the Ashanti, Bono, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Northern and Western regions.
Issues of interest to Corruption Watch were potential political corruption including, but not limited to, vote buying, abuse of office for personal gains, electoral impropriety which are in contravention of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana; and NPP’s own voting regulations.
Of the seven reports involving the regions which were monitored, two involving the Western and Northern regions have been released.
Of particular interest in this story is the report of the Yendi constituency in the Northern Region where Madam Abibata Shani Mahama Zakaria contested aggainst Alhaji Umar Farouk Mahama, the son of the late former vice President of Ghana Alhaji Aliu Mahama.
Below is an excerpt of the report………………
In the Yendi Constituency in the Northern Region, Hajia Zakaria exploited her association with the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) to prosecute her campaign.
MASLOC is a government agency that “provides micro and small loans to startups and businesses” under the state’s poverty alleviation programme.
On Thursday, 21st May, 2020, Hajia Zakaria distributed GH₵ 1000 state money under the MASLOC loans to delegates of the constituency in which she was contesting as a parliamentary aspirant.
In an address to delegates which was captured on video by Corruption Watch undercover investigators, she said although MASLOC loans weren’t to be distributed yet to Ghanaians, she ensured that as deputy CEO of MASLOC, loans to her constituents weren’t only distributed to them but also that the number of recipients were increased above what was permitted.
Between the 12th and 14th of June, she also gave three bags of NPK fertilizers to each delegate in the Yendi Constituency.
When Corruption Watch contacted her for her response, she admitted to the findings but insisted that she didn’t err in her decision to give state money to induce delegates because the delegates applied for the loan like every other group.