The much anticipated “Galamsey Economy” finally premiered in Accra with viewers expressing mixed reactions over the investigative piece.
While many said they thought it would focus on the underworld of illegal gold mining in the country, others said they were content with the focus.
The less than an hour documentary, is based on on a 2018 secret recording of the then deputy minister of Finance, Mr Charles Adu Boahen, allegedly engaging in influence peddling in a conversation with the Tiger Eye Private Investigators’ undercover investors, in Dubai.
Mr Adu Boahen allegedly told the fake investors that he could facilitate their meeting with the Vice President on their proposal to establish a bank in Ghana.
They, however, had to pay some USD200, 000 to the Vice President as an ‘appearance’ fee or thank you token, and consider offering opportunities to the siblings of the Vice President in the business.
Following a social media post of the highlight of the video by Anas, and a newspaper publication on Monday the morning, the Presidency announced that Mr Adu Boahen, who had become a Minister of State for Finance, since 2021, had been fired and reported to the Office of the Special Prosecutor to investigate alleged impropriety.
The Vice President also denied any knowledge or involvement in the alleged engagement, complaining that it could taint his hard-earned and cherished reputation.
He also called for sacking of Mr Adu Boahen should the allegation be proven and for the law to take its course against him.
The documentary, said to be the last of Ahmed Suale’s investigative work before his murder, briefly featured scenes of President Akufo-Addo’s swearing in ceremony, press freedom, galamsey mining in forest reserves, the COVID-19 pandemic and economic hardship, conflict of intetest, among others.
After the premiere, Dr Isaac Owusu-Mensah, Director of Research at the Presidency, in a brief interview with the Ghana News Agency, described the showing as “a waste of time”.
Professor Fred McBagonluri, the President of the Academic City University College, however, said it was important for the documentary to be studied in classrooms for children to learn about what corruption in leadership entailed and how to avoid it.
“It (the documentary) is basically a clear example of the many things we talk about everyday. The fact that some of our problems in this country are self-inflicted. And until the stable is clean we cannot continue to blame external factors,” he said.
The professor, however, said he was expecting to see more on galamsey and why it had been a canker for the country.
Mr Michael Petit Mawugbe, Administrator of the Ghana International Press Centre, said even though the investigative piece was good, the title was quite misleading.
“People were expecting to see bribe being taken by Adu Boahen, as similar bribes allegedly taken by other government appointees to allow galamsey take place,” he said.
The premiere was well attended by the public, including diplomats.