A Transparency International Special Investigation report has indicted the Presidents of Zimbabwe, Congo DR and Ghana for stashing huge amounts of monies into foreign bank accounts in Switzerland and Luxembourg.
In the case of Ghana, the World Bank and IMF is currently investigating the current President of Ghana President John Dramani Mahama and his wife Mrs. Lordina Mahama for the embezzlement of 170 million dollars of loans and grants given to Ghana since 2010 and the deposit of these monies in bank accounts in Switzerland.
The report states that between 2010 and March 2012, the late President of Ghana, President John Mills who died in July 2012 wrote private letters to the World Bank and IMF Heads expressing concern about the conduct of his Vice President and his Minister of Finance in the negotiation of loans and validation of major project finances .
In one of these letters the late Ghanaian President lamented as to how Mr. John Mahama then Vice President refused to allow him to proofread or check documents and clashed with him when he raised objections .
World Bank officials working with IMF investigators started noticing huge discrepancies and gaps in Ghana?s loan payments and realized that there were irregular payments between March 2010 and June 2012 and that some payments were missing, after a forensic audit, 170 million dollars were traced to a Private Bank in Zurich, Switzerland called DZ Privatbank .
Though the bank invoked Swiss banking secrecy laws when asked to provide information, IMF investigators through electronic tracking found the accounts to be in the names of Mrs. Lordina Mahama, the President’s wife and John Dramani Mahama.
These accounts were opened on their behalf by Credtio Privat Commercial, another bank. Why they used this arrangement is still a mystery.
Recently The World Bank President was said to have made his feelings known to Ghana?s President when he met him at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, forcing the Ghanaian President to make a public statement pleading with the world bank not to cut financial assistance to his country.
Nigeria?s President Goodluck Jonathan, a close friend of the Ghanaian President has been secretly lobbying the World Bank to drop the case as its exposure could dent Mr. Mahama?s chances of winning elections scheduled for December this year.
Pierre Wimhoven is an investigative journalist affiliated with transparency international and has written books on corruption in Asia , Africa and is active in the setting up of transparent institutions around the world. He currently is a Managing Partner for Associated Press News based in Zurich, Switzerland.