Business in Ghana

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Dumsor With Goat Light Soup. Critical News, 15th March 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 15, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

You cannot of course, eat a live goat, how much more make a soup with it to go with your fufu. The goat must be dead, and to be on the safe side you must have some light to see the goat head in the soup if you are not to choke on splintered bones.

This is not an adage, just plain commonsense, which spice has been in short supply in Ghana these past few years, making the goat soup much lighter than usual.

President Mahama’s attempt at a joke in Gabarone must be mixed with a lot of regret at this time, in the aftermath of the way the press here latched onto his wisecrack and made serious matter out of what he said, which clearly amused his audience as they clapped his humor. You can cut and paste this URL into a browser and listen for yourself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkXULF7gHPs.

It was clearly an intended joke, but I think it backfired big time. Firstly, the “communications expert” as we like to acknowledge should definitely have known better. On the back of his now infamous “yen tie obiaa” and other digs at his country folk, I think he deserves every sound bite against him. He is only lucky that the opposition NPP have not made more of the gaff than they could.

To say you are no longer pervious to the protests of the people of the country, to indirectly admit that you have pandered to the election pressure and have consciously thrown national budgets out of gear in order to ensure continued stay in office, is clearly a gross dereliction of duty and a betrayal of the mandate we gave him under the constitution to manage the economy of this country efficiently and to the benefit of Ghanaians.

We are in an economic mess; a perforated miasma of mistrust, so much that a former military dictator who caused more chaos and disturbance than any other in the history of this country, can up and ask the body politic in this country whether we are serious and have a clue what we are doing.

I think if nothing at all, JDM has overlooked his failure on all fronts, preferring to believe that his finance minister actually has an answer to the woes of this country, when he has admitted openly that they truly overspent in order to establish themselves for another term.

We are paying for that wanton excess, created to satisfy the political ambitions or cover up the corruption bent of previously a handful and now a tidal wave of followers who can see opportunity in a weak administration and lax financial control.

But let me share this great piece of humor with you, sent to me through a social group, and even though the writer prefers anonymity, I think I should break policy and give you a laugh.

From Our Correspondent in Gabarone

“Health officials in Botswana have been put on high alert over the potential spread of Dead Goat syndrome after a known sufferer from Ghana arrived in the southern African country on Monday.

The head of the country’s Disease Control Unit identified the Ghanaian as John, a self-diagnosed sufferer of Dead Goat syndrome who arrived in Botswana on a taxpayer-funded globetrotting adventure. The disease control expert pointed out that John’s short stay in Botswana could pose a potential health threat to the country’s leaders. “There is a real risk that our leaders may be infected through contact with this gentleman from Ghana”.

The Dead Goat syndrome, according to experts, “commonly affects a head that wears the crown” and spreads through interaction with unwholesome agents. Dead Goat syndrome, also known as ‘Yentie Obiaa’ in Ghana, is characterised by a high level of apathy, which causes sufferers to disregard the plight of the common man as nothing more than a nuisance.

Concerned health officials in Botswana admitted that their leaders are struggling with their own set of diseases, hence “do not need this Dead Goat syndrome”.

John has since traveled back to his hometown of Flagstaff House, Ghana, where the disease is widespread.

A team of Ghanaian scientists who claim to have a remedy for Dead Goat syndrome say “the simple cure is to give John and his friends a dose of krokromoti power”.

And that is why Ghana lives in a democracy and continues to baffle experts that despite the problems and incompetent leaders we are “dis-blessed” with, we will continue the great tradition of cynicism and sarcasm.

Our political class have created a mess they cannot fix and if we don’t keep our sanity and vigilance, we will find ourselves with worse than a Boko Harram in our backyard. Strife and poverty will find cozy spots under our sleeping cloths and penetrate our psyche with more than just febrile rods.

This commentary from November 2012 captures the opposing thoughts very clearly, but also reinforces a point by Dr. Joe Abbey, former Governor of the Central Bank and once minister of finance. Again, kindly cut and paste. http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=258053.

In summary, while international rating agency Standard and Poor was raising alarm bells regarding profligate spending, buttressed by Dr. Abbey’s warnings, government architects Dr. Kwabena Duffuor and Dr. Albert Kofi Asamoa-Baah, Financial Sector Advisor at the Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning, described the concerns over possible fiscal slippage as “unfounded”. Dr. Duffuor said, “….. we expect the pressures to go down and the fiscal situation to improve”.

The President now confesses that they spent the money to ensure they would stay in power; and the finance minister got it completely wrong! Is there anything more to say? See how much it has cost us because we ignored warning signs written all over our economic facade and selfishly plunged a whole nation into puerile nonsense. Dead Goat Syndrome indeed!

So we are trying to fix it, moving incompetents around from one ministry to the other. Next week I am asking the various sector ministers to tell Ghanaians what they have achieved since they ensconced themselves in plush offices, cars and apartments. What two transformative ideas have any of them brought to any sector that we should proudly clap them on to the next with jubilation, that what they did previously will be repeated.

We all know that ACP Kofi Boakye sanitized Takoradi and has already done something in Kumasi. We all know that Mayor Kojo Bonsu messed up at GOIL and is doing same in Kumasi. So what has Ayariga done in any of the ministries he has been assigned? They should come out and convince us it is worth keeping them on our payroll.

I reflected on a piece I wrote about the Woyome saga in the early days. 8th February 2012. Then I was hopeful justice would be honored and the right-side eagle on the Coat of Arms would finally look his brother in the eye and say “oyiwa”.

So read this piece if you have the time. http://www.modernghana.com/news/377010/1/the-hydra-headed-woyome-caveat-emptor.html. If nothing at all, the AG could have filched some tips from a layman. Now she is scrambling all over the place looking for some appellate sympathy.

So OccupyGhana sued former Minister of Energy Dr. Oteng Adjei to recover money he deprived the State of by keeping a luxury car to which he was not entitled. I joined the suit because I wanted to. At this point when all we need is some action, I entreat everyone who has the pulse of this country to find ways of making their voice heard. We should not pretend that only a handful of us can see what is wrong.

There is a mess happening at the National Service Secretariat; arrogance in the body of Dr. Kpessah White, who thinks bullying students and kicking them out of office is a way to make his mark in the history books. Well, he will make a mark all right, because from what I hear, the students are not going to take it sitting down.

Time for my fufu and goat light soup. The goat has already been slaughtered; I must eat before the lights go off. And I am not hungry enough yet. Forced feeding ala JDM and co.

Ghana, Aha a ye din papa. Alius atrox week advenio. Another terrible week to come!

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