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After The KPMG Okay. Critical News, 19th May 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on May 19, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

It is 4am.  The lights just went out at McCarthy Hill and I am stumped.  I deliberately caught an early night, try to catch up on sleep and start an early day, Sunday.  We had a little storm, a mild rainfall and “dum”; shades of the bad old days when you knew for certain that rain come, light go.  I just returned from a trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi and I forgot within a week that power is not stable, water does not flow and the Glo internet service is unpredictable.  My Glo service is out this morning, I have been trying to get a solution since 8am, and I have a lot of work to do.  It is 11am and vive la difference.  You cannot compare Accra to Dubai, there is no anchor dot to even start the debate.  Accra scores no points over the city built in a desert and flourishing to no end.

I doubt if there is any Minister or MP in this country who has neither lived, studied nor visited Dubai yet.  What do they see when they get there?  Doesn’t any of it rub off on them?  Make them think they would like to live in a city where the roads are seven lanes wide, buses pick up on time from air-conditioned stations, the metro rail service is unmanned and runs on time?  What about taxis that are all Toyota Camrys and you can hire a Lexus taxi at a cost no different from the regular metered taxis in the city?  What about 24-hour shopping malls, where everything under the sun is available?  And that is just a sample of the stuff I appreciated on my first trip.  What do they bring back from these visits?  This was my first time to Dubai, it is more classy than the USA, UK and South Africa where I have spent a fair bit of time.  The architecture, boy!  So here I stop, because it is so easy to get carried away.  The concern is what do we bring back from travel and escapades like this?  This morning, I am asking, “What are we doing?”

The answer might lie in Gloria Akuffo’s filing cabinets and her hard drives.  Yet again some to be caught thieves, raided Gloria’s offices and this time, dismantled and took away the hard drives in her computers.  Purpose?  She is touted as the lead counsel for the Petitioners in the ongoing case at the Supreme Court and she might have been foolish enough after the first break-in to leave sensitive information on the drives.  Something that might incriminate her and the team, some evidence that could be sneaked in at this late stage, could turn the tables on the NPP challenge and nullify or terminate the case.  On the other hand, it could be a simple thief needing a twenty-one gigabyte hard drive and there are none in town, except someone mentioned that Gloria had some computers with the exact specification needed.

Makes you wonder, on hindsight, whether when both rear tires burst on Bawumia’s Toyota Landcruiser, it was a factory default by the manufacturers or something more sinister to stop the now star witness from testifying in court.  Just saying.  This is so P(NDC) days, but now with a less cowering Ghanaian citizen and a few milestones of democracy between our prayer beads and rosaries, we fight back through law courts, which character is tested to the limit.

After a couple weeks of battering his witness on the stand, my feelers in town say Tsatsu has thrown out what little credibility he brought to the courtroom.  His cross has gone on too long, too very boring, repetitive and in some measure very rude.  Most people I spoke with say he has tried deliberately to hold back the end result.  I read a piece on the web, were someone did ask the question, if Tsatsu really believed the NDC won fairly, why not move faster and get the final decision out to the public?  A rhetorical question, because Tsatsu will certainly not reply.

We are coming to the end of this case; I sense it.  The Justices must be tired, it is hot under the gowns and the seats are not the most comfortable in town.  They certainly do not recline and you cannot catch a snooze like Asiedu Nketia does from time to time after lunch recess.  Tsatsu’s tedium has run them ragged and from Monday we will pace this better.  Not sure what will happen next, but if the NDC calls witnesses to the stand, I suggest to the NPP side, “no questions for this witness your Honors”.  Oh, but we must cross examine Afari Gyan to establish his state of mind and of course we must get our “Opia relief” with Asiedu Nketia.  Why not?  There has to be some hilarity to all this.

What happens after KPMG confirms the numbers at the end of two weeks? Which is a ridiculous timeframe for the assignment by the way.  It cannot take that long to verify numbers.  There is no audit opinion required to do this count, it has already been grouped and analysed and their job is to confirm that analysis.  For the same reason I said a few weeks ago that this should be a freebie by KPMG, I say they can give this result in two days.  It is a no-brainer verification assignment and speed is of essence.  It will be better that they throw staff at it, pull an all-nighter and get it done, if it needs that.  But it doesn’t.  Counting 11,842 twice is nothing.  First you do a raw count, should take maximum two hours with twelve people, including recording and creating a check sheet.  Then you do another two hour count of the exhibit groups with the same twelve persons; it is the same sheets.  Allow some time to go over because it is such a sensitive issue; so take a day to write a properly worded report and we are done.

Now if KPMG says the numbers are true.  What now EC and NDC?  We finally have a numeric confirmation but we will need a quantification of the drift of votes between the candidates.  This should be done to make the Court’s decision balanced and cogent.

Alternatively, lets say the numbers are short.  Lets say the Court Registry is faulted because they did not deliver the right quantity to the NDC side.  Should they have waited all this time before making this an issue?  Ah!  I have some illogical problems with this.  The first thing we should have done was to agree the number of votes in play, from day one.  The last thing we need is for the Respondent’s camps to say they now need more time to go through any extra sheets they were not given.  But even if this is so, how does the end game change?  If KPMG verify only 8,600 sheets, the case will have to be decided on that number.  The key thing is the final quantification

If you go to court to say someone has stolen 11,842 cedis from your account and later the bank confirms that only 8,600 was stolen, you have to modify your loss claim to 8,600 and that is all you get.  Does it become a new case?  I think we are in interesting waters here.  More fat to the Justice’s seats.  There is an unprecedented decision in the offing.

Otumfuo did a little tactical maneuver.  Seeing as he, just as I see that the end is nigh, he scuttled over to JDM and Nana Addo to confirm that they will stick to their agreed decisions that will couple them to a violent-free historic acceptance of the outcome.  Why he had to talk to the “chaos manufacturer” JJ Rawlings, I have no idea.  There is no coup offering here for Jerry John, Ghana wants to do this respectably.  Both candidates are reminded.  But read Otumfuo’s next interlay on Chieftancy.  I think he has a little history-knowledge gap.

President Mahama realized how important this case is to our democracy.  In his State of the Nation Address in January he refused to acknowledge that before his Presidency was a looming legal challenge.  This week, he applauds the legal toll road and now understands the state in which we found ourselves at the beginning of the year.

I waxed royally with Gertrude and Gertrude on Emirates flight back to Ghana.  Both very pleasant ladies and I doff my hat off to the pair, we bonded immediately, they on Facebook, me, pleasant smiles that made me feel that coming back to Ghana was an experience after all.  Right side Gertie even gave me good advice on my duty free purchase with no hesitation.  Thanks peeps, you made my trip.

And it got me thinking.  Emirates is what Ghana Airways could have been if we had a mind to handle it as a private craft and manage it as a business instead of a toy for ministers and MPs.  The rice and agushie stew lunch offering was superb, washed with fruit, cool water, juice of choice and apple crumble for desert.  And that was in the economy seat.  Can we do Ghana Airways again?  This time differently?  Maybe we learn from mistakes past?

My favorite group swept the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards show.  Big Up R2Bees.  Shoot me a new one.

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

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15 Responses to “After The KPMG Okay. Critical News, 19th May 2013”

  1. Rex Doku Osei said

    Quite interesting, providing a nations report with just few paragraphs and sheets, most Ghanaians abroad would wonder coming back after reading this.Its hard and it would be much tougher if we still breed corruption and fail in the creation of opportunities for the youth. Its sad when people tends to read unjustifiable meaning into Captain Budu Koomson pronouncement of a likelihood.Ask a sociology graduate in Ghana about his pronouncement and he will explain it much better, hence were lies the incapability and readiness of the youth in managing Ghana. The country is not just ready!!!

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