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Health Minister ‘dodges’ question on Adonko Bitters in Parliament

Member of Parliament for Wa, Joseph Yieleh Chireh, has rebuked Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, for consistently evading a question regarding sanctions given to manufacturers of Adonko Bitters for breaching the law.

Angel Group of Companies, manufacturer of the popular alcoholic beverage, was in May this year fined GHC25,000 for allegedly running promotions on Adonko Bitters with celebrity association without approval.

This was after the company held an Easter Monday musical concert at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi dubbed “Adonko Aseda Concert”. Scores of revellers mostly youth, went on a boozing spree causing some of them to pass out.

Each participant at the concert was given free bottle of the alcoholic drink for each ticket purchased. Officials of Food and Drugs Authority placed a temporary ban on the alcoholic beverage but that has since been lifted after the manufacturer met the conditions proposed by the Authority.

The question

Mr. Yieleh Chireh, who is the Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, filed a question asking the Health Minister how the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) sanctioned the manufacturer for breaching the Public Health Act of 2012, Act 851.

The question, which according to the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, has remained unanswered by the Health Minister for the past three months, something he said was against the rules of the House, our parliamentary correspondents reported. “This question has taken far more than three months.

The minister has really not told us why he is not able to do it today [Wednesday, November 8, 2017]” he said.

Minister ‘dodges’ the question again

The Minister, Mr. Agyemang Manu, who was in parliament Wednesday to answer general questions related to his sector, failed once more to answer the question on Adonko Bitters, our correspondents said.

He had explained to the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Joe Osei-Owusu that he was waiting for answers from the FDA, which had delayed. But the explanation appeared not to have gone down well with Mr. Yieleh Chireh who expressed concern about the conduct of the Health Minister, accusing him of not taking Parliament serious.

“Mr Speaker, I asked this question long ago and the minister has decided that he won’t answer it,” he said, indicating that he was expecting the minister to get the answer from the FDA long ago so he could brief the House.

“I mentioned an institution and I expect that the minister will request the institution to provide the answer. I don’t expect him to have the answer in his head. He should come here guided by the people who he is supervising. So please take parliament serious ooo…,” he warned the Health Minister.

Meanwhile, it was agreed that Mr. Agyemang Manu appears before the House Thursday to provide the answer to the question.

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