Sylvester Mensah, Chief Executive Officer for the National Health Insurance Authority, has condemned a newspaper publication that sought to create the impression that he had used his office to amass wealth.
On November 28, 2012, the Searchlight newspaper published the article, which claimed that Mensah owns eight mansions, under the headline, “NHIA Boss on mansion grabbing spree.”
But in a rejoinder issued on Thursday, 29th November, 2012, Mensah described the report as “false, malicious, unwarranted, unprofessional, unethical and indeed wicked.”
Below is the full statement:
Re: NHIA Boss on Mansion Grabbing Spree
My attention has been drawn to a front page story published in the Wednesday, November 28, 2012 edition of the Daily Searchlight Newspaper under the headline, “NHIA Boss on mansion grabbing spree.”
I am at great pains in responding to this ludicrous piece of information thrown out into the public domain. I wish to state that the publication in its entirety is false, malicious, unwarranted, unprofessional, unethical and indeed wicked. The Daily Searchlight Newspaper in the recent past has sought to render my person an object of scorn and expose me to public opprobrium. I do not own eight mansions as alleged in the publication. I have also not used my office to amass wealth as imputed by the publication. I am not involved in any fraudulent act for personal benefit.
The La Dadekotopon Trust is the only legitimate body that assigns title to parcels of land in the area in question and one would have expected the Searchlight newspaper to have conducted a certain level of due diligence or at least interviewed me if the motive was anything other than for political mischief and to cause me public disaffection.
The publication is an outright fabrication and has caused irreparable damage to my reputation and integrity, which a Rejoinder cannot sufficiently salvage.
There is no denying the fact that I live at Tse-Ado, in a house I began constructing before 2005 and completed at a later stage with a mortgage facility from my then bank employers, in late 2009. I do not have eight houses as expressed by the paper.
Since 2009, the Daily Searchlight Newspaper edited by Mr Ken Kuranchie has consistently put out very malicious stories about my person causing embarrassment and difficulties for me, my immediate and extended family, as well friends, far and near.
I am an advocate of Press Freedom but I do not subscribe to falsehood spiced with mischief and wrapped unprofessionally for political purpose and effect.
I am aware of a subtle but vigorous plot to focus attack on my person while simultaneously launching politically motivated attacks on the NHIA in an effort to keep me busy responding to missiles directed at my person.
Despite the morale-sapping false propaganda directed at the NHIS and the calculated attacks on my integrity through the negative and libellous stories from the likes of the Daily Searchlight Newspaper, I remain resolute and refuse to be distracted from my core responsibility of building a stronger and healthier NHIS that is increasingly becoming more responsive to the financial protection needs of Ghanaians for healthcare accessibility. Under my management, the NHIS has grown in membership, attracted the attention of the international community and is implementing a raft of reforms poised to make the healthcare financing mechanism even stronger.
I know that the Ghana Journalists’ Association has a Code of Conduct and Ethics, which comes into play in such display of unprofessionalism by its members. I also know that the National Media Commission has procedures for calling such irresponsible and unprofessional conduct of media practitioners to order.
I condemn in no uncertain terms this false publication stemmed by the unethical and unprofessional conduct of Mr. Ken Kuranchie, editor of the Daily Searchlight Newspaper, and I am confident that good judgment will prevail.
--signed-- Sylvester A. Mensah Chief Executive, National Health Insurance Authority. November 29, 2012