Business in Ghana

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To Coach A Middle Class. Critical News, 12th January 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on January 12, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

And he looked down and thought, I have done a good job.  I flogged the market women, burnt down their “kalabule” stalls, inspected and showed their genitalia to the world.  I asked my soldiers to take away all bank accounts above fifty cedis and none know where I kept the excess.  I ensured that any private enterprise that looked profitable collapsed so they cannot work against me by favoring the enemy.  I eliminated Nii Kwei, used him as a tool to kill judges who opposed me and I generated fear in the judiciary.  My world is clean from Lebanese and Indians, profiting from business over the years.  Even my town folk have been quieted down, they have not escaped my wrath, as I showed them a fast exit from this scorched earth.

All who challenged me have been silenced and the Amadeks are safely tucked away in a secret place only me and my 64 blues can tell.  My peace is guaranteed since I sent the thirteen back to their ancestors and my work has been rewarded with a peaceful nation whose cowardice guarantees my bravado.

But to allow another to wallow in praise in my presence is an abomination against my achievements.  I will do as necessary and shout from mountains and valleys until they yell me back to “let the blood flow” one more time.

Let the campuses remember my greatness and hear my moments of triumph, as only I know it, for I am the only truth and so shall it be told.

And the people nodded quietly in fear as they thought, “surely this man is mad enough to attempt his preaching; let us not breathe too loud that he may hear and destroy our muted peaceful ways”.

And in unison his armies of the Zongo Recce Units yelled “BOOM Lord J, BOOM!”

I thought that would be a good opening for my satirical mini series on the convoluted mind of one Junior Jesus, so I am sharing.

This week, the Speaker of Parliament Edward Doe Adjaho shut out another yell of the citizen’s voice.

The 24th edition of Erskine and May’s “Maintenance of orders: House of Commons” makes it very clear how to handle “Matters awaiting judicial decision”.  This is the section the Honorable Speaker of Parliament referenced in disallowing a motion for inquiry by the Minority in its bid to get to the bottom of the Merban/Fortiz deal.  Page 441 of the text provides guidelines on how to handle such delicate matters.  The proceedings are advised sub judice (I don’t really know what that means, but I am lifting a direct quote from the text, so your understanding is as good as mine) and after paragraph 1c, there is a big “but” follow up.  Honorable Speaker Adjaho read as far as 1c and stopped where the exception starts, where he would have better discretionary advice.  Here is the “but” quote from Erskine and May, page 442.

But where a ministerial decision is in question, or in the opinion of the Chair, a case concerns issues of national importance such as the economy, public order or the essential services, reference to the issues or the case may be made in motions, debates or questions.”

The Speaker thought it significant enough to acquiesce to the Minority’s request to summon the cacophony of members for an emergency session, but he chose to butt out and ended up creating a storm in the House.

So how does Parliament expect to champion the rights of the people of this country if we perceive bias in his opinions?  Is Parliament going to act on behalf of the people it represents or will it continue to be partisan and ignore the reason why we voted them to the House; to ensure fairness, draft good law and provide a check on the Executive?

Even if the Merchant Bank sale is made to Fortiz, we will get to the bottom of the transaction in the near future.  It will become a voting matter somewhere along the line.  The unfortunate part?  It would make no difference if it was an NPP Government, the partisan lines would still be drawn.  This is the blight of citizens of this country; insincerity of Parliament.

Cameron Dodou (did you ever read the Gab Boys as a lad?), wrote an excellent piece on the Speaker’s approach to the motion for inquiry in the Daily Graphic, I think it is a must read for anyone who wants to savor the sentiment of a seasoned champion of rights in this country.

So John “Coach” Mahama, who has the authority to dismiss at will, dismiss Boards and Managing Directors as he deems fit, dismiss when he wakes up and dismiss when he emirates from desert lands, stopped short of telling us how powerful he is to command repayment of all bank loans without recourse to any other.  He had loads of advice for his flock, when he answered questions from a demanding press during the week.

Promising to fix everything, he pointed out he has till 2016 to deliver, so why do you want him to do anything before then?  He is still coasting after being wrung out by the NPP for eight months in 2013, the cause of our low GDP growth of 7.4%.  If the opposition just praises him, accepts his plans and say nice things all the time, he will do better and Ghana will rise from its low income achievement to higher and loftier points.

With this as food for thought, I wondered why we bothered all these years to create the impression we are a multi-party democracy.  Shouldn’t we just have left Nkrumah alone to carry on?  But I suppose His Excellency does not know much about all that.  He wasn’t born then to live the history of that life.

And unfortunately neither does the youthful intelligentsia I am counting on so much to get a voice nor stand to protect their position and challenge the youthful President’s flat and uninspiring speeches.  Wither my finger, facebook tapping peeps?

The Auditor General qualified his opinion on Government’s Consolidated Fund statements for shoddy work done by the Controller (the Government’s accountant) in four areas.  The CAGD wrongly recorded ghc2.6 billion expenditure on foreign financed investment, management of GOG loans is weak, controls by MDA’s at Regional and District offices relating to the collection of Internally Generated Funds to the Consolidated Fund are poor and most MDAS failed to lodge non-tax revenue into the consolidated fund.

This is anathema in the professional accounting world, because what it means is that to a large extent and especially in these particular areas, the Controller did a lousy job with recording Government transactions and reporting the financial statements of the Consolidated Fund.  I can’t believe that after all these years we are in this.

The full report is fraught with many more hair-raising issues and with the budget overruns in the backdrop, we are clearly in analysis hell, because you cannot rely on much that Government reports as its financial position on various accounts.

And sadly, Barima Sidney is thinking about hanging his political lyrics.  Did he receive the first sting in the satirical song and praise market of a stunted democracy?  He forgets he made a huge mark with Africa Money and others. Rethink Sidney, we have come a long way since we outdoored Nananom at the Children’s Park.  We should live to fight on; Oga is still chopping nyafu, nyafu, nyafu.

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

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