Business in Ghana

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Critical News, 25th July 2010

Posted by Business in Ghana on July 25, 2010

The news this week was dominated by the arrest and charge of Ato Kwamena Dadzie, Acting News editor of Joy FM.  This actually happened last week, but the real issues raged on through the week.  All the pro-freedom of speech institutions in the country had a say.  The GJA held a press conference to protest, Mr Blay Amihere, Chairman of the National Media Commission, the Center for Democratic Development also waded into the fray and the hue and cry forced Government to issue a very muddled statement to the public to clear its name and its position on the “invitation” to Joy Fm.

Speaking on Joy FM on Tuesday, Head of the Police Public Affairs, DSP Kwesi Ofori said the original intent of the police was not to arrest Ato.

”Our intention was not to send him to court,” DSP Kwesi Ofori told Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, host of the Super Morning Show.  However, they deemed it necessary to protect the people of Ghana and had thus cautioned the Acting Editor and released him on bail.

In between this saga, Parliament announced that the STX deal, which had been scuppered last week by the opposition, would return to the floor on Thursday 29th July for another reading.  The NDC believe they have plugged all loopholes and are ready for a second reading to allow smooth passage.  The opposition, of course are waiting in the wings. The planned NPP press conference on the STX deal was held on Tuesday, but blew over with a whimper.

But coming back to the press freedom issue, the CID again invited another editor, this time from the Ghanaian Times to explain a front page story about an abandoned police quarters, which the Times claimed is now a den for bandits and armed robbers.  The story was actually a positive one for the police because it made a case for the lack of accommodation for the service.

“Interrogating” the issue as they say on JoyFm’s Saturday Newsfile program, MP Nana Akomea made the case that this was an attempt by the NDC to dilute the issue of the clamp down on press freedom and launch a personal attack on Ato Kwamena Dadzie.  You must read Ato’s book “Pretending to be President”.  Without mincing his words, the MP made a logical case for his statement.

The NDC government is clearly struggling with this latest brouhaha and cannot shake off the stigma of an anti-press identity, inherited from the early days of the (P)NDC and its military umbilical attachment.

Then Prof. Mills took a stroll through Nima in Accra to meet and greet as he now does, brushed past a Nana Akufo Addo campaign convoy and was booed at by the crowd as he went by.  Just a minor embarrassment for the president, whose ratings are really down at this time.

The NPP party averted a crisis by resolving dissent among the presidential candidates for the pending election on 7th August.  I think Nana will win.  Hold me to account if I get it wrong.  I have no basis, I am just saying.

Interest rates and inflation are again a political battlefield and the latest release from the Statistical Services for June showed 9.52%.  Ghanaians are still asking what the fuss is all about.  There has been no change in market prices, other than seasonal differences.

One thing is clear from this week’s events, Ghanaians have no intention of giving up their hard won freedom of speech.  That the police, ipso facto the NDC Government should pull up a piece of legislation carved in the 1960s meant for cowering opponents of governments of the day, is very strange.  Many clauses in the criminal code are moribund now, superceded by the 1992 constitution and these sections are out of step with the spirit of what Ghanaians expect and are striving to guard.  The number one most-free country in Africa is not ready to return to the dark days of the “culture of silence”.   The media is fighting back and we wait to see how this saga will unfold.

Unfortunately, Ato Kwamena Dadzie was silenced this weekend as he chose to stay away from his humorous Weekend City Show, which airs on Joy between 7am and 9am.  He is fun and funny and the sarcasm is well appreciated by listeners.  Anyway KSM stepped in for him on Friday when he “called” to ask where he was.  We can still laugh under the ballast of attacks on our democracy.

Read the Ghana News opinion poll.  Ghanaians really do not like the NDC government and what the Rawlings’ are attempting with their housing situation.  Needless to say, the Black Stars won the hearts of all of us and are well to impress in 2014.

Ghana, aha a ye de papa! alius valde week advenio. Another great week to come!

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2 Responses to “Critical News, 25th July 2010”

  1. Ghana News Weekly should sit up. You need to do better to sustain the interest of all readers.The political bias against the NDC, and for that matter the sitting government, is too glaring.
    Regards,

    Ben

  2. Yaw Ofran Dapaa said

    Wow! Your summary of what pertains in Ghana in just Wow!. Thumbs Up and more grease to your elbows. Ghanaians need more education, for it is the only light which differentiates between I know and I thought.

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