Parliament on Thursday gave the legal backing for the establishment of a fund to cater for the wife and two children of Major Maxwell Adam Mahama with the passage of the Major Mahama Trust Fund Bill, 2017.
Major Mahama, an officer of the 5th Infantry Battalion of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), was lynched by a mob at Denkyira Obuasi on May 29, 2017, while on detachment duties.
He was in the area as part of an operation to clamp down on illegal mining known as ‘galamsey’.
Major Mahama was murdered while in the rank of a Captain and was posthumously promoted to the rank of Major. He died at the age of 32.
Some of the suspected murderers are facing trial in the courts. The town has been renamed New Obuasi to give it a new brand.
Subsequent to the sad death, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, pledged to establish a Memorial Trust Fund with a seed money of GH¢500,000 in honour of the deceased officer.
The Bill was, therefore, to give effect to the President’s vision and commitment towards the welfare of the deceased soldier’s young widow, Mrs.Barbara Mahama, and his infant children, Jaden Mahama and Jeremiah Boressah Mahama,
“…it has become necessary to draft this bill considering the circumstances under which the officer died while on a national duty,” the memorandum said.
The memorandum accompanying the Bill said the fund would cater adequately for the widow until she remarried and also cater adequately for the children.
Therefore, it said, the bill would ensure that all money intended for the welfare and upkeep generally, and particularly the education of the children were properly administered by a Board of Trustees who had a fiduciary relationship with the beneficiaries of the fund and the country.
The fund would have trustees to be headed by the Minister of Defence and four other members, including the Chairman and the Ranking Member of the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament, the Ranking Member on the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament, a former Government Statistician, Madam Grace Bediako and a representative from his family.
Acknowledgement of sacrifice
Speaking with journalists after the passage of the Bill, the Minister of Defence, Mr.Dominic Nitiwul, said the establishment of the fund sent a signal that if people sacrificed for the country, their contributions would be acknowledged by the state.
He said with the passage of the Bill into an Act, the President would, within a short while, accent to the Act to become a law.
Mr.Nitiwul said the government would redeem its pledge to the fund, and indicated that the trustees would go out to source private money into the fund.
He denied the suggestion that the establishment of the fund was discriminatory, and indicated that the military had provisions for supporting families of soldiers who got killed in the line of duty.