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Before Election Results Are, Pink Sheets Is. Critical News, 16th June 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 16, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Citizen Vigilante had his day in court, Citizen Vigilante won his day in court.  Martin Amidu took his case against Waterville and Woyome and in no uncertain terms, the Supreme Court gave its ruling and clawed back $47million.  Even though they deferred to the lower courts to decide on Woyome, they fired a critical salvo against lawyers in the cases, Peasah Boadu for Waterville, Osafo Buabeng for Woyome, Tony Lithur for Austro Invest and maybe Ekow Awoonor who acted as sole mediator between parties with then AG Betty Mould Iddrissu.  They referred matters to the Legal Council and we expect some action.  I am thrilled that perhaps this is a signal to Ghanaians that our Supreme Court has found wings to cleanse the timidity stigma, asserting their self-ruling judgment in contrast to lugging government wishes.  Two things.  The Supreme Court restoring confidence in its independence and Martin persevering to the end and securing the verdict that all were skeptical the Supreme Court would scupper.  So after I heard this, I wondered if President Mahama talking to his NDC family, which is no big deal, could upset the Judges, making them think he was trying to influence their decision.  Might they rather tow a hard line, slighted by his presumptiveness and belittling their intelligence?

The President was also at the G8 Summit, making promises as he always does, without checking with his team whether they can deliver what he promises.  This time he is assuring the world that he will produce reports to Ghanaians on oil revenues and spend.  This requirement is already in the law and the problem I have with all his promises, he has been with this government for the last four and a half years and most of what he has promised has not been done when he says it will be done.  These lofty promises during election debates and campaigns have never come through.  Enough that he takes Ghanaians down a mystery path, but are we going to misdirect international groups too?  Well, I have this view that the donor community is not fooled by all this, they are very aware of the “till-shrinkage” from the support they give and there is a lot of concern about the slow pace of implementing contracts and how much lost opportunity in our economy.  This oil revenue spend is imperative for our democracy as is all government spend.  Our non-right to information is a terrible blight on us and Parliament will do well to give the bill its fullest debate as a matter of priority and pass the law.

The utility companies are again asking for tariff increases.  The TUC is up in arms about it and the political parties have joined the fray, and you know with that, it will get bogged down into some illogical triviality.  All I think needs be done is the VRA, GRIDCO and ECG should make full disclosure of their financial reports and particularly the cost build up and allow Daavi and Foovi Ghana to see what they are talking about.  But particularly, we need to see how much inefficiency they carry from leakage in their service.  I speculate that Ghana Water loses close to 40% of all production (this past week I saw a burst pipe on one of the side roads here on McCarthy Hill pumping water for three days non-stop) and ECG is leaking at least 30% if not more.  VRA needs to be paid on time by Government and they all need to trim overhead; too much luxury given to top management.  I keep saying these things are not rocket science, so why do we have to struggle like this?  Why doesn’t PURC simply publish what the Utilities have presented to justify the increases?  Doesn’t this information belong to Ghanaians?  We pay them all, from VRA to PURC do we not?

More fires, this time in Kumasi.  The Americans might be here for a long time.  We still do not know who leads this US team.  I thought they would do magic and tell as soon as they landed what caused the Makola 2 fire.  Alas, we have heard nothing yet.

And Mayor Oko Vanderpuye has to go.  I am not the first to say, but this week the Ga Chiefs added some weight to the call.  Other than inefficiency, traditional disrespect and alleged corruption, what else do you need to start an investigation?  I suppose he is yet to disrespect the President?  If JDM finds the courage to start an investigation he might be surprised at the depth of the problem.  Better still why not the Council of State request he get a commission of enquiry underway?  Time they did something to earn the benefits they get, no?

Now, if you listened to Afari Gyan very carefully, you might have tripped on some issues.  I think the EC announced the results after too much complacency and persistent annoyance with politicians.  His sequence to eventual declaration of the results flows from the bottom up as he described.  But, to avoid giving the NPP a peg to introduce the pink sheets as the reliable prime document on which their analysis is based, his evasiveness to specific questions made him come across as a part-time SHS student engaged in the election process.  I was spellbound when he dragged his answer to the specifics of the distinction between two blank presidential pink sheets, the answer to which was the serial number, for at least fifteen minutes and eventually after a battering from NPP Counsel Addison and the Bench, he capitulated to the important serial number.  The NPP key to the analysis is hinged on the serial number and its importance in gathering the results for eventual collation to the strong room.  The fact of the matter is you cannot gather the numbers without the pink sheets.  Before you arrive at the final announcement, the polling station sheets are vital.  This is what Addison sought to establish and the NDC side are very aware of this, hence the brouhaha about the pink sheets.  The matter is not about number of sheets.  The KPMG count will show up the Court Registry if they received and gave a receipt for the quantity delivered, but failed to pass same to the EC, NDC and Mahama sides.  The Tsatsu Tsikata fight should be with the Registrar.  Addison is battling three lawyers and an imprecise and maybe less than efficient Registry, but there lies destiny.  Should he win, he marks his name in the history books and Ghana rises from the ashes of instrumentalist politics to a better and more important era in our history.  Should he lose, we once and for all minimize the threat of election challenge and maybe define a new form of representation that will suit us better and derive from our community and traditional relationships.  The democratic world calls it Proportional Representation.

But one thought that crossed my mind listening to Afari Gyan.  Do you think that in some bizarre way Dr. Afari Gyan would like this case to become the final ante needed to resolve our voting system?  He cannot openly admit to the errors but if he reluctantly concedes to the mess, we could end up cleaning the vault of all the past mistakes.  Just thinking aloud.

The NPP extracted an apology out of Tarzan Wereko Brobbey and I ask, so what?  We launched a search for Ghana’s fastest man, a more exciting idea I am yet to hear and we might just give Lesotho something to think about this afternoon.

I don’t often venture out after dark.  The streetlights don’t work in the essential places where it is shadowy and trees create mysterious avenues, blurring the edges of potholes and street imperfections and there are too many Police blocks to make night driving pleasant.  But Saturday night I took the plunge and I need to give shout outs.  I commend the collective emerging middle class Ghanaian parent who support their children at the Mandy Fouracre Dance Academy and who put up a splendid performance at the National Theater.  Connected to fitness club Pippas, Phillippa Pepera and her team have stayed on course and created a business despite shouts of elitism and exclusivity.  Roll back ten or twelve years and this school was backed and dominated by foreigners.  On Saturday, the two to one Ghanaian majority showed very clearly that we are growing a class of persons proud to be part of a presentation that gave children an opportunity to vary dance styles from around the world and embodied creativity I can only commend.  A wholly Ghanaian production presented by us, Azonto side by side with Nutcracker ballet and Japanese Geisha dancers.  Nice.  My second shout out to my bumble-bee-niece, Leyli and Russian-dancer Lua who both made me very proud to be there to support them.  Home grown, home presented, home delivered and home supported.  I am looking forward to next year’s performance.

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

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3 Responses to “Before Election Results Are, Pink Sheets Is. Critical News, 16th June 2013”

  1. […] « Before Election Results Are, Pink Sheets Is. Critical News, 16th June 2013 […]

  2. […] sincerest apologies to Tony Lithur.  Some awkward sentence construction from last week prompted my old buddy to drop me a complaint email.  I admit my sentence made it read as if he was […]

  3. Hi there, its good article regarding media print, we all be aware of media
    is a wonderful source of information.

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