Business in Ghana

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Extremely Confused Ghanaians. Critical News, 5th May 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on May 5, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

My early morning dare to the Ghana Water Company has become a ritual.  I turn on the tap, wait and listen to the rushing sound of air, sputtering, stuttering, pushing and fizzing as if water will follow through.  I watch the pathetic attempts, my expectant face screwed up in disgust, one part hoping that water will eventually stream through, the other knowing full well that it is simply a ritual I follow.  These days I am particularly upset because they sent me a bill for three hundred cedis for air supply in January and February.  I am preparing to go and do battle on logical grounds and I must win.  Alternatively, I am determined to stop using Ghana Water altogether and start digging a borehole.  My state of mind, Fed Up!

Similarly I am fed up with The Ga South Municipal Assembly, where McCarthy Hill finds its unfortunate self, kiosks creeping up on every available sidewalk.  I recently cleared the frontage of the house from grass and weeds, it looked so degenerative and I felt compelled to de-weed.  Two weeks after, someone starts putting up a kiosk on the cleared area.  I report this at the Municipal Assembly. Four weeks later I am still waiting for them to show up.  Very like the dug-up silt from the gutters, dumped on the pedestrian sidewalk, done a year and more ago and now a permanent direction icon.  You know how it goes.  When you get to the junction, look for where the sand from the gutter is placed, count to the fourth one and turn right.  The house is the blue gate with Matthew 23:25 and the Star of David.  I have reported and reported and reported, I have “reporting fatigue”, which is what they know will eventually happen.

But this week’s hill top walk was quite a classic.  From the start of the hill, I could hear loud wailing noises, sounded like a beating in full steam.  As I get closer, a crowd has gathered and the gossip is spreading like Blue Band margarine.  Now, I know about this sort of beating from experience.  Once a lively teenager, I was so distraught by a husband beating his wife in North Kaneshie, I sprinted to the police station, pleading for them to come and help.  I had no car and they were not prepared to do the journey without some “motivation”.  An hour later when I returned, the couple were sitting together behind one of those locally-made Wawa tables; he served with a bowl of fufu and steaming soup, topped with a variety of meat, she sitting obediently next to him, her battered face still covered with dried blood, lips swollen to make the fufu dinner an uncomfortable Novocain experience.  But she was there, attending to him and comfortable in her pain.  You learn from experience and I walked silently past worried observers, heading for the youth group beating a Gangogui and jogging downhill to the rhythm of their stamping feet.  No conversation this week, a reflection of the confusion I encounter all around.

And this week, I listened to a bit of the Petition hearing.  I have turned away from it since Tsatsu started his cross, boring and repetitive, ingesting time as if you could reclaim lost epochs.  I dozed off a few times and in one dream, this is the way I heard it.

“Dr. Bawumia, I am handing you these batch of pink sheets.  Can you confirm that these are pink sheets?  Can you please read what you see in C1.  Please read what you see in C3.  Can you also read what is written in clause 7.1 of your affidavit.  Please confirm that this does not say anything about pink sheets.  Can you confirm that the signature on the sheet is the signature of your polling agent?  Can you also confirm that at the time he signed the pink sheet he was of sound mind?  Can you please confirm that the color of the pink sheet I handed you is the same color as the ones used in voting?  Please state under oath that the pink used in the printing is not a Pantone Pink but a specially mixed pink color only peculiar to the 2nd Respondent.  Please take your time, your colleagues are all watching and listening to you.  Dr. Pink Sheet, do you wear pink when you get home?  Can you please look around the court and identify all those wearing pink today?  Dr. Bawumia I am suggesting to you that you asked all these persons to come to court today in order to influence the judges with their pinkness.  Dr. Bawumia do you drink pink smoothies?”

At that point I started out of my nightmare, worrying about how long we would need to get to the end of this (re)Petition.

I think Tsatsu is confused with this trial.  At one point he started off mentioning Sammy Awuku and some things he had said, he switched to STL and commotion in the media created by the NPP, he pleaded with the judges to allow him time to develop his argument, which was accepted and then he was back to pink sheets and suggesting to Dr. Bawumia that he would be jailed on grounds of perjury if he did not answer to the “expectations of the Respondents?”  At least that’s the way I heard it.  I understand he is trying to discredit the witness as the expert on the stand, but shouldn’t he be discrediting the evidence?  Surely that is what we want to do?  Is the evidence real?  Is it not real?

Ah, ha.  Mr. Benoni Tony Amekudzi, lawyer from the USA, took the stand to make a mockery of himself and the Court.  Technically improper to start with, he was “de-Amicus Curiae” by all legal counsel in the courtroom, until the judges put him in his place.  Extremely confused Ghanaian.  But he created some comedy.  The Daily Guide published a piece, connecting some dots from Benony to JDM.  Conspiracy theory wedged only by his admission he is an NDC party supporter.  But could it be true he had JDM’s blessing?

Then Justice Kpoegah made it to the court, a frail version of his self, evidently very unwell, but why did he bring this action against Nana Addo?  The Court finally threw the case out, but I think whoever put him up to this, if anyone did, should be ashamed.  If this is his own deed, he can only be extremely confused.  Why do this when you are so unwell?

President Mahama commissioned one part of the 400 MW Bui Dam, gave us 133MW of energy into the National grid and my lights went out that night.  Had no power from 6.30pm to morning, running on an inverter even as I write this piece.  Past President Kuffuor complained that he was not invited, after he had sourced the funding, Government said all they did was turn a switch, it was no ceremony.  But they did announce it as a commissioning.  They also invited a few foreign dignatories to the show and commended project continuity as an important strategy for development.  But they will invite him to the end of year party when the other pots are opened.

And to collapse the Doctor’s strike JDM and Health Minister Sherry Ayitey are bringing in Cuban doctors to hold the fort.  Three hundred will arrive in Ghana soon, by kind courtesy of the Cuban Government, our non-aligned political partners from birth.  In their usual and normal annual service they are sending us these Spanish-speaking doctors to come and do what over 2,000 Ghanaian doctors do on a daily basis.  The strike is still on, attempts to resolve it going round the clock this weekend.  But again, why do this?  Why also censure in public your deputy ministers to not undermine their sector ministers and that you will deal with any who do so, washing dirty linen in public?  Is he talking to Anita De Sousa who is confused by witchcraft in the courts and is openly encouraging JDM to bring in more Cuban support?  One of then must be more extremely confused than the other.

The CPP won the Kumbungu by-election in the North, and sent the NDC to the airwaves, extremely confused in Ghana.  Now they (CPP) are going to win every seat in Parliament in 2016.  Way to go Samia, 1 seat in Parliament, 274 more to go.

On May Day, it rained.  Tornado torrents.  Lights went out in the early hours, and awake, I wondered how miserable this holiday was going to be.  When I finally found out it was my prepaid Chinese meter that had switched off without letting me know how many kilowatts I had left, I was extremely confused.  Where will I get to charge my meter on a holiday in Ghana?  Phone calls and pleadings later, I found out the ECG Bortianor District was working.  I rushed there, ready to top up, hall full of waiting customers, all in the dark.  There was no light and no power to serve us.  Generator was out of fuel.  That is ECG for you.  Extremely Confused Ghanaians (ECG)

Ghana, Aha a ye de papa.  Alius valde week advenio. Another great week to come!

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