6 months ago

April 9


Inside April 9, 2018 .qxp_Layout 1 4/6/18 9:05 PM Page 3 • Ms Park was brought to court in May 2017 shortly after her arrest South Korea's ex-president jailed 24 years for corruption SOUTH KOREA'S former President Park Geun-hye has been sentenced to 24 years in jail after she was found guilty of abuse of power and coercion. The verdict was broadcast live and represents the culmination of a scandal which rocked the country, fuelling rage against political and business elites. Park, who was also fined 18bn won (£12m, $17m), faced a string of corruption charges. The former leader was not in court on Friday for the verdict. She has boycotted her trial hearings and has previously accused the courts of being biased against her. She has also denied all wrongdoing and has said she will appeal against her sentence. Judge Kim Se-yoon said Park had shown "no sign of repentance" after causing "massive chaos" in the country. "We cannot help but sternly hold her accountable," the judge said. South Korea's presidential residence, the Blue House, issued a statement after the verdict calling it a "heartbreaking event for the nation". "A history that is not remembered is bound to be repeated," it read. BBC DAILY HERITAGE MONDAY, APRIL 9, 2018 WWW.DAILYHERITAGE.COM.GH World news in 4 stories Ex-President Zuma charged with corruption SOUTH AFRICA'S former President Jacob Zuma has been charged with corruption linked to a 1990s arms deal. After the 75-year-old's 15-minute appearance at the High Court in Durban, the case was adjourned until 8 June. He faces 16 counts of corruption, racketeering, fraud and money laundering, which dogged his presidency and were reinstated in 2016. Mr Zuma, who was forced out of office in February, denies any wrongdoing. His supporters descended on the city to rally for him, while his critics think court action is long overdue. After the hearing, Mr Zuma addressed the crowds who had come to stand alongside him at the court in his home province. "I have never seen it before where someone is charged with a crime, those charges are dropped and then years later those same charges are re-instated," he said, speaking in Zulu. "This is a just a political conspiracy,” The arms deal took place in 1999, the year Mr Zuma moved from being a provincial minister to deputy president. He is accused of accepting 783 payments as bribes from a French arms firm via his financial adviser. The adviser, Schabir Shaikh, was found guilty of trying to solicit the bribes and was jailed in 2005. The case against Mr Zuma was •Jacob Zuma, charged with corruption dropped shortly before he ran for president in 2009. A woman representing French arms manufacturer Thales was also in the Durban courthouse on Friday, as the company faces corruption charges too. •Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont leaves prison in northern Germany Freed ex-Catalan leader calls for dialogue CATALAN EX-LEADER Carles Puigdemont has called for immediate dialogue after being released on bail in Germany. So far, he and other separatists had received only a "repressive response" from Spanish authorities, he said. He was arrested in northern Germany last month while travelling from Denmark on his way to Belgium, where he lives in self-imposed exile. The former Catalan leader is wanted in Spain on sedition and other charges over last year's independence vote. But a German court has warned he could still face extradition. Leaving court on Friday afternoon, he thanked his supporters around the world, saying: "Our fight is for democracy, not just for self-determination." He also called for the immediate release of other Catalan separatists being held in Spain, whom he described as "political prisoners". A number of prominent Catalan leaders, including the region's former police chief, are facing charges over their role in the unauthorised referendum last year, which saw voters in Catalonia back independence. But Madrid intervened after the Catalan parliament declared independence last October, sacking separatist leaders, dissolving the regional parliament and calling a snap election to replace it. Mr Puigdemont fled to Belgium and was arrested on 25 March under a European Arrest Warrant issued by Spain. Although he has been released on bail, he may still face extradition over accusations he misused public funds to hold the referendum last year. BBC Unrest erupts at Gaza-Israel border UNREST BETWEEN Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces has erupted along Gaza's border with Israel, a week after similar unrest left 16 people dead. The Gaza health ministry said one protester had been killed by Israeli forces on Friday and 80 others wounded. The protesters are demanding that refugees be allowed to return to ancestral lands that are now in Israel. But Israel says the militant group Hamas, which dominates Gaza, is staging the rallies in order to launch attacks. It has warned that orders given to soldiers about when to open fire have not been changed, despite a storm of international criticism. Tyres were set on fire in an attempt to create a smokescreen to block the view of Israeli snipers, as hundreds of protesters gathered at five protest sites along the 65kmlong (40-mile) Israel-Gaza border. Israeli troops took up positions on berms on the other side of the frontier and reportedly fired sporadically at people moving towards them. BBC • As Palestinians resume protests •Israeli soldiers were deployed on berms on the Israeli side of the frontie

WWW.DAILYHERITAGE.COM.GH DAILY HERITAGE MONDAY, APRIL 9, 2018 05 Editorial Only 1.5 million Ghanaians pay tax? LAST FRIDAY, the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, bemoaned the poor taxpaying culture in the country and indicated that though potential employees in the country are estimated at 6 million individuals, only about 1.5 million persons are registered with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and pay their ‘Pay As You Earn’ (PAYE). He, however, challenged Ghanaians to honour their civic obligations to the State by filing their tax returns in order to mobilise domestic revenue to help meet development aspirations. Dr Bawumia explained that mobilising adequate domestic revenue would help the government achieve the country’s vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid, adding that, “All over the world, taxation is the main tool countries rely on to mobilise revenue to develop their economies and provide services to their people. The Vice President, who was launching the 2018 ‘Tax and Good Governance Week’ organised by GRA on theme “Filing your tax returns, your civic responsibility,” said the aim was to get all eligible tax payers to file their tax returns on or before the deadline of April 30, 2018. “In fact, Ghana ranks below Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Senegal, Cape Verde and Swaziland in terms of the contribution of payroll tax to GDP. In 2015/2016 fiscal year, PAYE contributed about 15% of total domestic revenue; the self-employed about 1.1% and corporate tax about 19%. The combined contribution of about 35% is significantly below Singapore’s 50%, South Africa’s 54%, Canada’s 58% and Denmark’s 60%,” he explained. “Let me reiterate that filing of tax returns, in addition to being the civic responsibility of every Ghanaian, is also a requirement by law. The Income Tax Act 2015 (Act 896) and the Revenue Administration Act, 2016 (Act 915) mandate every eligible person to file an income tax return with the Commissioner-General not later than four months after the end of each year of assessment. If the Vice-President’s estimation is what really obtains, then we at the DAILY HER- ITAGE are equally worried and believe that it does not augur well for a developing country like Ghana. What is more disturbing is the fact that out of the 6 million eligible taxpayers only 1.5 pays taxes; that is 25%. The question is how then do we expect the government to get money to provide us with social amenities that we, as citizens always ask for? This is the more reason this campaign meant to remind and educate eligible taxpayers and all Ghanaians should be given all the needed support and must be done devoid of all negative practices, including political influences. As good citizens, we all should bring our strengths together and support the GRA by fulfilling our tax obligations as one of the surest ways to help develop Ghana. If all the categories of persons on this civic requirement list are encouraged we may end up getting all the six million eligible tax payers to fulfil their obligations. The DAILY HERITAGE wishes to commend the Vice President and all Ghanaians who have filed their tax returns and call on those yet to do so to emulate their good examples. Call Ken Agyepong to order BY BENJAMIN TANDOH THE MINORITY in Parliament has called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to condemn and reprimand the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Mr Kennedy Agyepong, for his recent comments about the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF). They further called on the Minister for Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, to cause Mr Agyepong to be investigated forthwith and brought to book for his “unsavoury and abominable comments”. It was reported that Mr Agyepong used unprintable words against the Public Relations Officer for GAF, Colonel Aggrey Quarshie, for suggesting that recruitment into the GAF is done based on merit and not by political influence. “He is a fool, if he knew what was going on in the military, he wouldn’t be going round speaking nonsense that he is a professional and that I can make all the noise,” the MP said. But in a press statement signed by Mr James Agalga, MP for Builsa North and Ranking Member on the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament, the minority called for the withdrawal of police personnel who were recruited through the influence of the Assin Central MP. “The Colonel’s statement is important to note as it was made in response to threats by Mr Agyepong in an earlier radio programme to the effect that if the Armed Forces were to fail to give him preferential • Minority tells Prez “He is a fool, if he knew what was going on in the military, he wouldn’t be going round speaking nonsense that he is a professional and that I can make all the noise,” the MP said. • Mr Kennedy Agyepong, Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central treatment by enlisting his constituents like the Police Service had done, he would make 'noise' in protest. “The logical deduction to make from the unfortunate outburst of Hon. Kennedy Agyepong is that he is able to manipulate the Police Service by getting them to recruit his constituents in total disregard of any qualification criteria set for recruitment and expects the military to do likewise,” the minority argued. “The Minority in Parliament condemns the politicization of recruitment into the Police Service under the watch of an NPP government in [the] light of Kennedy Agyepong's confession. “The Minority appreciates the sacrifices the Officers, Men and Women of our Armed Forces have made and continue to make towards our country's overall development and will therefore call upon President Akufo-Addo, who doubles as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to, as a matter of grave importance, condemn and reprimand Kennedy Agyepong who is a leading member and financier of his party,” they added. They reiterated the need for the military and civilians to cultivate the sense of mutual respect and called on the President to help achieve that. Background Mr Agyepong made a strong claim that he would make “noise” if he was not given special military protocol slots. The MP frankly boasted about how successful he had been in pushing for “his people” during the recent police recruitment exercise, adding that he was highly hopeful of more success in the ongoing military recruitment exercise. “Today, I am looking for police slots, I got some. Now I am looking for military, it has not come yet, but it will come, otherwise I will make noise.”

2,36MB Ghana Newsletter - April 2013 - Projects Abroad