Ex-Sports Minister Had No Hand In The Choice Of Kenpong T&T.

Mr Elvis Afriyie Ankrah former Sports Minister answering questions from the Commission (3)The Director of Finance at Kenpong Travel and Tours, Mr. George Ernest Amoako yesterday told the Justice Dzamefe Commission of Inquiry, that his cousin, former minister of Youth and Sports Mr. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah had no hand in the selection of his company as one of the three tour organizations contracted to airlift Ghanaian supporters to Brazil.

Kenpong Travel and Tours together with African Origin Travel and Tours and Travel Matters were selected out of 10 travel and tour operators who applied to airlift supporters, based on their expertise, experience, financial standing to pre-finance the trips, history at airlifting supporters to major tournament among others, according to Mr. Afriyie Ankrah when he earlier appeared before the commission.

The Commission however discovered yesterday that Kenpong Travel and Tours was formed in September 2013 and commenced operations on October 28 2013, which discredits them of any track record of transporting supporters to tournaments in the past, one of the key requirements that won them the bid.

The commission therefore sought to know the grounds on which Kenpong managed to make it to the final three.

In his answer, Mr. Amoako who said he used to be a registered director of the company stated that the Ministry gave all the 10 travel companies a level playing field to operate and show what they have to offer as far as airlifting supporters to Brazil was concerned.

He told the Commission that the time of the formation of the company their intention was to ferry Ghanaians in general to the Mundial and not necessarily government supporters.

According to him in January this year they made an application to the Ministry on the World Cup and had profiled the experienced hands and expertise of personnel who were behind their proposed project.

The Ministry later invited his outfit for a presentation and interview, which they went through successfully, which earned them the bid to airlift supporters to Brazil.

“My cousin played no role in our selection as there was a committee of 30 people who made the recommendation to the Ministry after our presentation. Kenpong Travel and Tours did not want to take advantage of anything, so we prepared very well to face the committee and we proved our mettle and our capabilities and landed the job,” he told the Commission.

Reacting to a notion by the Commission that Kenpong Travel and Tours did not have enough financial capacity to handle the job assigned them; Mr. Amoako said they had enough financial capacity to get to a point where the Ministry should have paid them to continue with the project.

He revealed to the Commission that Kenpong Travel and Tours had an initial travel arrangement with another airline but did not materialize and that led them to deal with Travel Matters.

He said before their initial arrangements fell through they had g proposed $2500 per head to the Ministry before Travel Matters their competitor came along with the $2600 which they agreed on.

He told the Commission that both Kenpong Travel and Tours and Travel Matters on June 13th agreed to work together and they raised a memorandum of understanding but Travel Matters could not sign it but agreed to it on phone.

He further told the Commission that the evidence given by Mr. Ivan Bruce Kudjoe CEO of Travel Matters on Monday that nothing of that sort happened was a misrepresentation of the truth.

He told the Commission that GHc555,660 with its dollar equivalent at the time of payment was $185, 222, was  deposited into the accounts of Litina Travel & Tours and Matters Matters Limited.

He discredited the earlier claim by Mr. Kudjoe that Kenpong Travel & Tour had 57 corporate passengers, stating that he had a total of 56 corporate passengers rather,;45 economic class passengers at $2,500 each that amounted to $112,500 and 11 business class passengers at $5000 each that amounted to $55,000 giving a total amount of $167,500.

In concluding his evidence, Mr. Amoako told the Commission that his company had rendered services to the Ministry with no reservations till date and that the Ministry owned his company $265,000 for its services.

“We need to be paid for the services we have rendered,” he exclaimed. He further told the Commission that they have lost a lot financially but that matter is before the law courts so he did not want go into details.

Project Manager of Kenpong, Kofi Poku confirmed the claim, adding that they also incurred a cost of $40,000 for using their buses to ferry supporters from the airport to their hotels and to match venues and back within two days.

He added that, they earlier had an agreement with MOYS to provide internal transportation in Brazil but the deal was cancelled just within a couple of days when they arrived in Brazil.

After the agreement to provide the internal transport services, they were later surprised to see one Lawrence Acheampong from the MOYS also bringing buses to the airport to meet  the arrival of  the Ghanaian contingents and carry them to their destinations.

He added that, the contingents led by Fred Darko decided to join the buses provided by Kenpong as they were more convenient and presentable.

He also ended by admitting that, though there were some lapses as far as documentation is concerned, they deserve to be paid for the work done.

Chief Executive Officer of African Origin Travel and Tour and Sports Tourism, Samson Deen also made his first appearance before the commission before the day ended.

He also disclosed that he advised the MOYS against certain arrangements, which include the Ghana village in Brazil, the Fun Parks as well as the feeding of supporters in Brazil.

He added that with his experience over the years, he realized that such arrangements would best suit Olympic Games and not World Cup and kicked against it accordingly.

He ended by saying that, the MOYS had their own arrangements which were contrary to the agreements they had as far as the roadmap to the Brazil World Cup was concerned.

Samson Deem would appear today to highlight more on certain developments and his involvement with the MOYS before and during the World Cup in Brazil.

Raymond Ackumey and Michael D. Abayateye 

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