Major Mahama trust fund bill laid in Parliament

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The Minister of Defence, Mr Dominic Nitiwul, on Tuesday laid the Major Mahama Trust Fund Bill, 2017 in Parliament.

When passed, the Bill would give the legal backing for the establishment of a fund to cater for the wife and two children of the soldier, who was murdered at Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central Region in May, 2017.

Major Maxwell Adam Mahama was in the area as part of the operations to clamp down on illegal mining operation known as ‘galamsey’.

He was murdered with the rank of a Captain and was posthumously promoted to the rank of Major. He died at the age of 32.

Some of the suspected murderers are facing trial in the courts. The town has been renamed New Obuasi to give it a new brand.

Memorandum

Acording to a memorandum accompanying the bill, the object of the bill was to cater adequately for the wife and children of the late Major Mahama, an officer of the fifth Infantry Battlion of the Ghana Armed Forces, who was lynched by a mob at Denkyira Obuasi on May 29, 2017, while on detachment duties.

It said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, subsequent to the sad death, pledged to establish a Memorial Trust Fund with a seed money of GH¢500,000 in honour of the deceased officer.

“To give effect to His Excellency’s vision and commitment towards the welfare of the deceased soldier’s young widow, Mrs Barbara Mahama, and his infant children, Jaden Mahama and Jeremiah Boressah Mahama, it has become necessary to draft this bill considering the circumstances under which the officer died while on a national duty,” it said.

The memorandum said the fund would cater adequately for the widow until she re-married and also cater adequately for the children.

Therefore, it said, the bill would ensure that all money intended for the welfare and upkeep generally, and particularly the education of the children were properly administered by a Board of Trustees who had a fiduciary relationship with the beneficiaries of the fund and the country.

The Speaker, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, had referred the bill to the Finance Committee and the Committee on Defence and Interior for consideration and report.

Minister on the fund

Giving details of the bill in an interview with journalists, Mr Nitiwul said when Major Mahama was murdered, the government promised to establish a trust fund for him.

He said the ministry had been working through the months to draft the bill and indicated that the Cabinet had approved of it to get the fund established.

Mr Nitiwul said the Attorney General was of the view that the only way to get the fund, which would use public funds, established was to get Parliamentary approval.

“A bill that will ultimately become a law and the President will accent to it for us to get that trust fund established in his fund.

“The fund is essentially his fund. It is not meant to do any other thing. The object of the fund is to take care of his assigns and their welfare and nothing more, nothing less,” he said.

Fund management

The fund would have trustees to be headed by the Minister of Defence and four other members, including the Chairman and the Ranking Member of the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament, the Ranking Member on the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament, a former Government Statistician, Madam Grace Bediako and a representative from his family.

Mr Nitiwul said the trustees would go out to source private money into the fund, but indicated that “until then we will be relying on public funds.

“We want to get this bill passed as soon as possible. We presume that before the end of the month, we should be able to get it passed,” he said.

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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