Marine Drive Project funds misused for AFRIMA and Kundum Festival - Auditor General

The Auditor-General has revealed that the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has misused funds meant for a Marine Drive Project to host the 2018 All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA), Kundum Festival, and other activities.

Stonebwoy at AFRIMA

A new report from Auditor-General's office states that an amount of GH¢387,196.00 was used for the 2018 All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA), Kundum Festival, and other activities.

“In contravention of Section 7 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921), we noted that funds meant for the Marine Drive project amounting to GH¢387,196.00 were misapplied for the celebration of AFRIMA, Kundum Festival, and other activities,” excerpts of the Auditor General’s report read.

The report details that an amount of GH¢100,000.00 was paid to Palm Media Ghana Ltd. for the launch of AFRIMA 2018 which was held from May 17, 2018, to May 19, 2018, and GH¢200,000 was released to support the Kundum Festival held from September 1 to 9, 2018 by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture under the leadership of Catherine Afeku.

Ghana, in 2018, secured the right to host AFRIMA for three years. However, AFRIMA organizers withdrew the hosting rights for the 2019 and 2020 editions of the awards.

The organisers said this was due to the “lack of capacity by Ghana to meet the financial and contractual obligations entered into on July 12, 2018, necessary to retain hosting the biggest music event in Africa.”

The popular awards scheme held in Ghana in 2018 saw Stonebwoy winning the Best Artist Duo/Group in African Reggae, Ragga Dancehall at the ceremony attended by top African showbiz personalities like 2 Face, Pearl Thusi, Falz among others.

Despite the praise of bringing changes and development to the Tourism and Creative Arts sector, Catherine Afeku was shockingly removed in 2019 as the Minister for the ministry and was reassigned to the Presidency to serve as Minister of State.

According to Auditor General, Catherine Afeku left her job with cars that belong to the Ministry.

In contravention of Section 52 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921), we noted from our inspection of the Ministry’s vehicles that five official vehicles were in the possession of three former officials who separated from the Ministry through reassignment and terminations,” the report said.

The former Minister, Catherine Afeku is said to have three vehicles in her possession. Two other persons whose contracts have been terminated are said to have one vehicle each in their possession.

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