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General News
Fired driver ís trying to soil my image -Ambassador 1/19/2007
Ghana’s Ambassador to Serbia, Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe has told Public Agenda that a dismissed and peeved driver of his embassy in Belgrade, Mr. Miodrag Dakic is behind a plot to soil his image.

Dr. Tamakloe disclosed this when Public Agenda contacted him to react to 25 accusations of impropriety faxed to the newspaper from Belgrade, the capital of Serbia.

The accuser alleged that since Dr. Tamakloe assumed duty last year he has spent a total of 250,000 Euros on various expenses, including, the rehabilitation of his official residence, refurbishing of some pieces of furniture, the purchase of hand woven carpets, the purchase of an artificial Christmas tree and the purchase of a new Mercedes Benz etc.

When contacted Dr. Tamakloe laughed the allegations off, explaining that the entire budget of the embassy for a year comes nowhere near the 250,000 euros his anonymous accuser is peddling.

“In fact, the expenditure incurred so far does not come anywhere near those quoted by the accuser”, says Dr. Tamakloe, who explained further that the set of furniture purchased for the office and residence amounted to 9,486 euros, while each hand woven carpet cost 1000 euros.

“First of all I wish to state that these are wild and baseless accusations from an ignorant ., infantile and a peeved accuser full of vindictiveness. To say the least, his naivety of the respective administrative and procurement processes has hugely exposed his wicked intensions”, says, Dr.Tamakloe.

He explained that missions are first of all required to budget for any expenditure in their annual estimates which are forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Accra for approval. “Each item purchased by the mission therefore has an approved budget as well as authorization.”

Dr. Tamakloe has also been accused of failing to present his credentials to the Bulgarian and Romanian governments a year after he assumed office. Reacting to this, he said an accredited envoy does not simply walk to the host president to present his credentials.

According to him, approval is usually sought from the host authorities and based on the ‘precedence list’ of accredited envoys as determined by the Foreign Ministry, a date is and time are communicated for the presentation of credentials.

He said all these are conditioned on the availability and suitability of time and date of the host president to whom the letters are addressed.

“To say that I have not presented myself to the Presidents of Romania and Bulgaria because of my private meetings in London smacks of stark ignorance and naivety. If anything, it is the mission and myself which have been pressing the Romanian and Bulgarian authorities for suitable dates to enable me present my credentials.”

Also top on the list of accusations is that as soon as he assumed office fired his cook and also the mission’s driver, who is a native Serbian. Dr. Tamakloe’s accuser alleges that he fired the driver because “the driver did not in the appropriate way bow to him.” He is also accused showing lack of respect for the customs and traditions of the host country. But Dr. Tamakloe explained that the very driver the mission fired (Miodrag Dakic) is the brain behind the fabrications and the attempt to drag his name in the mud.

Documents made available to Public Agenda from Ghana’s mission in Belgrade indicate that the driver was dismissed for his lackadaisical attitude towards official duties. A letter dated March 20, 2006 and signed by Head of Chancery, Mr. Emmanuel Quartey stated that the driver continuously exhibited gross disrespect towards his superiors, particularly the accounting officer.

“For reasons best known to you, you have failed to wash and tidy up the official vehicle used in conveying officers to and from their respective residences and carrying out official duties. Following your adamancy to mend your ways…. I am by this letter seeking a formal explanation from you as to why disciplinary action should not be taken against you”, says a query letter.

The driver (Miodrag Dakic) replied that he spent most of his time running private errands for officers and also attended extra classes, the reasons for which he was unable to wash the official car. In reply, the head of chancery in a letter dated March 23, 2006 that “the point about your running private errands and attending extra classes cannot be substituted with official duties. Your being granted permission previously to attend private classes which was based purely on humanitarian considerations should neither be interpreted as a right.”

Another query letter dated May 23, 2006 accused Miodrag Dakic of failing to take a cue from the Ambassador’s exhortation at a meeting with locally recruited staff.

“It has come the notice of his Excellency, that you failed to present yourself at the agreed departure time of 06:00 hours on Thursday 18th May, 2006 for a trip to Vienna, Austria, thereby flouting the earlier instructions of his Excellency, the Ambassador.”

Dakic was accordingly reminded of his responsibilities once more as a chauffer, but persistently failed to live above reproach and December 11, 2006 Dakic was served notice of the termination of his appointment.

“The mission hereby regrets to inform you about the decision to terminate your appointment as a driver with effect from January 11, 2007, owing to a reorganization exercise currently underway.”

Source:
PUBLIC AGENDA


 
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