Over 200 cars missing from the Presidency – Spokesman

Ghana’s new government has set up a special task force to track down more than 200 missing vehicles that should have been handed back when President Nana Akufo-Addo took office.

Presidency spokesman Eugene Arhin told reporters on Wednesday that an audit of vehicles indicated that many appeared not to have been returned.

He said officials could only find:

– 74 of the presidency’s 196 Toyota Land Cruisers

– 20 out of 73 Toyota Land Cruiser Prados

– 11 out of 24 Mercedes

– two out of 28 Toyota Avalons

– two out of six BMWs.

“The president of the republic currently has virtually only one vehicle at his disposal,” said Arhin.

“This is the vehicle which was purchased in 2007 during the Ghana at 50 celebrations. It is a BMW.”

The vehicles were assigned to former government officials and appointees under the previous administration of president John Dramani Mahama, whom Akufo-Addo beat in elections last December.

Presidency chief of staff Akosua Frema Osei-Opare said in a statement that the retention of state assets was illegal.

“Persons with state properties unlawfully in their possession should endeavour to contact the task force and make arrangements to surrender (the) same with immediate effect,” he added.

There was no immediate response from Mahama’s National Democratic Congress (NDC) party but the party faced a similar situation when it took power in 2008.

Masked Men Arrest Madagascar’s Former President on Return

Madagascar’s exiled former leader Marc Ravalomanana was detained on Monday after returning to the Indian Ocean island for the first time since he was deposed in a coup in 2009.

“It’s for his safety that he was arrested,” said President Hery Rajaonarimampianina, who took office in January after an election last December. “Besides, it’s not an arrest but rather placement in a supervised area to ensure his safety.”

Ravalomanana, exiled to South Africa, had tried returning to Madagascar several times since 2009 but was prevented by the authorities who feared his homecoming would bring further instability to the island, which has a long history of coups.

“I’m not coming to bring trouble but to bring peace and work for Madagascar’s development,” Ravalomanana had told reporters earlier in the day.

“I reiterate my spirit of reconciliation. The initiatives I have taken are in this direction,” he added, in reference to Ravalomanana’s detention. One witness who saw Ravalomanana being detained said masked men stormed his home and took him away.

Government officials and Ravalomanana said the former president did not inform the authorities that he would return.