Business in Ghana

We Understand the issues that make the News

Critical News, 25th October, 2010

Posted by Business in Ghana on November 3, 2010

By Sydney Casely-Hayford, Sydney@bizghana.com

Jerry “Oedipus” John “Rex”.  Now here is a conundrum.  I seem to be caught in a whirl, writing about these puzzles all the time these days.  Either that, or I do “riddle-riddle”?  RIDDLE!  “What name do you give to a founder of a political party who is so pissed off he won’t even talk to his hand picked successor?”  Answer, “His Jerryship”! And he is very upset with the people he owns.  They dare to go about making false statements about him and peddling untruths.  Not enough that their leader Prof. Mills has abandoned the path of NDC probity and accountability and is out there disrespecting his Jerryship.  I published His Jerryship’s full statement last week, please read it in full for history’s sake.  So JJ is upset with Mills as he was with Kuffuor and all others who have preceded him in Government and he will be upset with Nana Akufo Addo, should he win in 2012.  But TV Africa with Fred Chidi on “Matters Arising”, put on a very interesting panel.  Alhaji and Alhaji – Rawlings critic, Ras Mubarak – confused militant and Kobby Fiagbe, editor of The Lens.  With Ras attempting an interpretation of JJ, which these days means accusing everybody of something without saying clearly who or what, this time tried voice and body mimicry as well.  I am afraid I didn’t really grasp the essence of his analysis and I gave up listening to him after a while.  Alhaji however, was very emphatic that all this was just gassed up for public benefit and concluded that JJ and Konadu cannot afford to carry on without the NDC.  Come 2012, he predicts a convergence of views and a single team candidate, who will NOT be Nana Konadu.  She denies she is vying for president.  But what do you call a woman president these days?  Presidentess?  Well, Nana wants to be one of those, I think.  Her 15,000 posters are all over parts of Ghana.  Can her husband handle that?  We might never live to see.  So we left the TV current affairs program with no time left, as usual, after all the radio stations had aired versions of public commentary and noise.  I am not sure if the Rawlings’ have done themselves any good this week.  We seem to have a seasonal event every month from them. We just got over the fire event, the in-law home event, the Herbert Mensah event, the AU event (Mills congratulated JJ on the front page of the Daily Graphic, probably secretly hoping he would go and pitch camp in Somalia, alas it did not happen!) and now we have this NDC event.  Two more months to the end of the year and we could yet have another one.

The University Teachers Association went back to work on a promise from the Minister of Finance that they would have their full entitlements soon.  Operative word SOON!.  Mistake!  The NDC’s soon is an undefined time frame, subject to macro economic criteria and the level of Chinese loans.  And UTAG was doing so well. They had government right where it means most; Mills visited, set up the expected committee, which sided with UTAG and then they time-warped it.  Ebei!  Watch this timing, we will know when it finally gets sorted out.  Next week, POTAG v Fair Wages Commission.  The case of professional neglect.

So, Kobby Acheampong refuses to apologise to the Cocoa class of people after insulting the honourable PC Ofori.  How this issue became an ethnic and national one, I am lost to explain.  One day it was simply a matter of threats by MPs against each other, the next day, Kumasi had become a no-go area for some youth.  As long as we do not have a NYEP for Cocoa statements, I will breathe easy.  If somebody behaves like a “cocoa kurasenii”  isn’t that really just chop bar and akpeteshie talk?  I think the MPs were upset with Steve Malory and Africa Watch magazine.

Boy what an insult!  So many of the Ministers and MPs got failing grades, the underachievers had to solicit the help of the average group to summon Mr. Malory to the privileges committee to come and explain how he graded them.  How could they possibly under-achieve?  Did Africa Watch not realize that they do a lot more work than we see?  Do the people of Ghana not understand how Parliament runs?  After all, what do they get for sacrificing so much for Ghanaians?  Big cars and free petrol, per diems, guaranteed holidays, guaranteed salaries and constitutionalised ex-gratia?  They have to go to work every day.  The occasional attendance works well and when tired you can only catch a snooze here and there.  Just because the speaker does not call you and Ghanaians do not hear an MP debating, does not mean they are not ready and willing to do so.  They all have cell phones and if they are not in the house, they can always be reached any time.  This matter is still raging.  Africa Watch has disgraced and insulted the honourable House and has dared to bring the House down to the level of the people.  This freedom of speech thing does not mean free speech.  The fact that the constitution gives that right does not mean you can simply use it when you choose and especially at the lawmakers.  Definitely, if the people of this country fail to contain its press and media, then Parliament will of course have to re-draft the law.  “People’s liberties bad, Parliamentary privileges good”.  Look what happened to Kofi Wayo when he accused Parliament of corruption.  He was nearly called to the privileges committee.  He was lucky they changed their mind!  If Africa Watch is allowed to go scott free, the precedent will continue and every Ghanaian will think they have a right to say anything they like about Parliamentarians.  Not forgetting that Vitus Azeem and his Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) released their corruption index last week, Government scored 2 points higher, but they still claim that the lawmakers and executive have a lot more to prove.  Were it not for the fact that he shared a stage with Audrey Gadzekpo the GII should be hurled before privileges.  Nonsense!

And that is how we ended the week.  Africa Watch will still be in trouble next week.  There isn’t too much to do in Parliament and Nana Baafi Darkwa is walking freely in town, but keeping very mute.  Hmm! Ato Kwamena your case next?

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

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