MPs Weren’t Bribed with “Cheap ZTE Phones”
The Deputy ranking member on the Trade and Industry Committee of Parliament says Member of Parliament (MPs) are willing to return phones distributed to them by Chinese company, ZTE.
This follows reports that the company used the phones to bribe the MPs.
The ZTE phones were distributed to the 275 MPs prior to the approval of a contract between the government of Ghana and ZTE Company for the acquisition of security information to monitor and respond to security emergencies.
The ranking member, Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus Glover stated that the reports alleging the MPs were bribed with the cheap phones are ridiculous.
He described the phone as “a national security phone and you cannot discuss anything personal with that particular phone. That phone is cheap; it cannot influence me, Titus Glover or anybody. I’m prepared for them to take it away. I don’t need it.”
According to Mr. Glover, “honourable Members have better phones than what have been given to us and I can tell you, most of my colleagues are not even using it. They have programmed the phone in such a way that Members of Parliament can communicate among ourselves on a platform…”
The Tema East Constituency MP told Citi News, “if the public thinks that taking that phone is something that they are not comfortable with it, I believe my colleagues from both sides are prepared to give it back.”
So what does this latest allegation mean to Parliament’s oversight role on the Executive?
In an interview on the Citi Prime News on Friday, the Director of the Parliamentary Centre, Dr Rashid Dramani stated that the incident has negatively affected the image of Parliament.
“If the Chinese company actually gave phones to our Members of Parliament, it is a very big insult.”
He cautioned that Ghana has to be “very serious as a country and we have to send a very clear message because according to him [Titus Glover], it’s a very cheap phone; even if it’s an expensive phone, I don’t think that for the sake of a phone, even if it didn’t influence their decision finally to approve that agreement…I think it’s an indictment on our Members of Parliament.”