On September 28, 1961 - Nkrumah demands surrender of private business interests from ministers

Dr. Nkrumah announced on Sept. 28 that he had requested the resignation of six members of the Government and the surrender of some of their private assets by six others. The resignations requested, in addition to those of Mr. Gbedemah (Health Minister) and Mr. Botsio (Agriculture Minister), were those of Mr. E. Ayeh Kumi, executive director of the Development Secretariat; Mr. E. K. Dadson, a Parliamentary Secretary; Mr. W. A. Wiafe, an Under-Secretary; and Mr. S. W. Yeboah, a Regional Commissioner. On Sept. 30, however, the President announced that he had rescinded his request for Mr. Yeboah's resignation. Four Ministers–Mr. Inkumsah (Interior), Mr. Edusei (Transport), Mr. Bensah (Works and Housing), and Mr. de Graft Dickson (Defence)–and two Regional Commissioners –Mr. E. H. T. Korboe and Mr. J. E. Hagan–agreed to surrender to the State properties in excess of the following limits: (1) more than two houses of a combined value of £20,000; (ii) more than two cars; and (iii) plots of land of a total value greater than £500. The President had also written to the Speaker of the Assembly, Mr. Joseph R. Asiedu, drawing his attention to “the extensive nature of his business interests” and asking him “to consider his own position in the light of this and of the principles adopted concerning members of the Government.” The President stated that his requests had been made in view of the report of the investigating Commission set up in May following his broadcast of April 28.  After stating that the Commission had found that some members of the Government had “varied business connections,” Dr. Nkrumah went on: “Although there is no evidence to support any allegation that these… interests led to any irregularity in their ministerial conduct, I have come to the conclusion that it is undesirable that men with varied business connections should be members of a Government which must from now on be increasingly animated by socialist ideals. Constant examination and correction is necessary if we are to fulfil great purposes for which we suffered so much in our early struggle…. If [However] some comrades who were prepared to suffer persecution, imprisonment, and poverty for the sake of independence have since fallen victims to some temptations of the capitalist world which surrounds us, we must understand the pressure to which they have been exposed and ask ourselves honestly how many of us would have done better.”