The under-fire acting Director of the Information Services Department (ISD), has in a shocking development, revealed that the Flagstaff House approved the mistake-laden Independence Day brochure for publication. Francis Kwarteng Arthur revealed this to his angry workers outraged by his decision to claim responsibility for the errors on behalf of the department.
Ghanaians and Kenyans took to social media to ridicule the government for the mistakes which also listed Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyata as Ghana’s President. Mr Arthur admitted in his interaction with the workers today, that the final work did not come from the ISD and that the Flagstaff House designed and printed the brochure after he produced the content. He narrated that ISD was actually charged with providing the content for the brochure at a communications sub-committee meeting. After the ISD agreed to provide the content at the sub-committee meeting, he called the Deputy Director in-charge of Publishing to discuss the content for the brochure and then work started. His deputy submitted the final work to him on February 29 which was then forwarded to a designer with the Flagstaff House communications bureau. “The work forwarded to me, I forwarded to the designer who is at the Flagstaff House communications bureau and a member of the communications sub-committee for the 59th anniversary celebrations,” Mr. Arthur recounted.
Mistakes in brochure draft were noticed On Wednesday, March 2, Mr. Arthur revealed he was given a draft of the brochure and he realised they contained mistakes so he notified his team. “I had a dummy of what was to go into the final work. I read it and upon reading, I realized there were a few grammatical errors and typos here and there so I did call my team and did indicate to them that they should get someone to do proofreading.” He also argued that he felt he was not fit to proofread the draft because he came up with the content hence the need for someone else to proofread. “Because I came up with write up, it would be unfair to ask me to do the proofreading. They should get someone else to proofread my work.” Mr. Arthur further noted that the Friday before the Independence Day Celebrations, he visited the Flagstaff House and saw the communications team proofreading the brochure so he felt the mistakes would be taken care off.
Errors noticed on the morning of the parade However, when Mr. Arthur took a look at the brochure on the morning of the parade, he still noticed errors in the brochure, prime among them the description of the president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, as the president of Ghana. “When I saw the final output, I noticed that His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta has been misrepresented as the President of Ghana and you have 3000 copies. The dilemma was that, should the parade go ahead without the brochure or should the parade go ahead with brochure.” Despite full awareness of the dilemma and the possibility of backlash, Mr. Arthur stated he still decided to let the mistake-ridden brochure feature at the Independence Day celebration. “I must state here that I took the decisions the brochure should go out and indeed the brochure went out… We finished with the programme and on Sunday I met with my team and asked the way forward because I anticipated that we had a very big issue coming up.” According to Mr. Arthur, the ISD is the Public Relations outfit of the government and if there was any communication problem, they had to initiate damage control. “I took the decision as the chairman to the communications sub-committee and in my capacity as the acting director of the information service department to put out a statement. I did put out the statement and I sent to my superiors to have a look at the statement and I impressed upon them that as the PR arm of government, the damage control begins with me.”
ISD boss had to forge ISD letter head Kwarteng Arthur also revealed that he deliberately forged the ISD letter head which was used for the statement that apologized to the President and government. “Yesterday Monday, I did not have a copy of the ISD letter heads in my file… When push came to shove, I didn’t have access to [the official letter head] so on my laptop, I had the coat of arms there so I just lifted the coat of arms and with my computer skills that I have, I typed under it.” “So what you see there is what I generated and this is to explain the reason why it is not on an official and a notable letterhead that all of you are familiar with,” he added.