Business in Ghana

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In A Political Rut. Critical News, 28th June 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 29, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford,

My world drifted afar from the many workers in line to receive a cash-out this month. Many persons believe that the cash trickle down economy is workable for as long as the ones who cash out from their bank accounts always have enough to pay out to those who don’t have as much. Even the IMF and World Bank plan this benevolence when they support pro-poor interventions and LEAP projects such as we have in Ghana.

But our economy is in a sorry state, and none more so than when we mis-locate persons from illegal squats to futuristic land sites designated for tourism and science.

The Korle Lagoon, which borrowed money from a Kuwait fund to build bridges over the foul-smelling water; bridges that would open up from each side and allow canoes and other small river craft to pass through with their oars pointed north and Asafo flags flying mast high, was a big secret until Nii Lante Vanderpuye came to tell us he was very sad for the lost opportunity, but could not remember a single thing about what happened to the fund’s money. He knew we took the money, but nowhere in his archival mind could he remember what happened with some sovereign country’s benevolence and who was responsible for the “lost money of the Korle”. And that makes a nice title for a children’s textbook for Ama Atta Aidoo.

So with a flourish and his team of bulldozing bullies, Mayor Oko Vanderpuye went ahead to ruin dozens of family lives, apologized in the after wake for going too far from agreed limits of destruction.

And then CHRAJ stepped in. Thirteen years after a court had decided that the families were illegally squatting, CHRAJ now wakes up to figure that the rights of children, women and the Kaya Yoo had been violated by a man whose beard is now the butt of Christian jokes. They call him Nebuchadnezzar.

All because of the crass interpretation of our political mandate, because we lord it over the less fortunate and less favored in society. After all the mistakes and mental anguish he has caused, we still have a Mayor, who touts himself and the city of Accra as one of the best in Africa. Did I hear J’burg and Harare, even Nairobi or Kigali?

And Kobby Acheampong of GYEEDA ill fame allegedly (he denies doing so) slapped a disabled person for physically stepping on his toes in the office. He is reported as slapping him twice after accusing him (the handicapped person) of populating the payroll with ghosts, presumably those haunting Kobby at night. But they chose to air their difference in public and I have not heard about an assault and battery suit against the ex-GYEEDA boss yet. He was moved elsewhere, but not before he had ostensibly slapped the man. Two times.

Could be he was so upset from being moved from the GYEEDA cash cow, he vented in the wrong direction. Maybe he was just swatting a fly and mistakenly hit the man. Remember our military police also made the same mistake once when a hand accidentally found itself on the cheek of a reporter at a national event.

And these are some of the very few issues we dealt with in the week. Acid attacks, mob lynching; all the things we have come to accept as part of the fabric of our society. Like dumsor is now such an outmoded topic, nobody can add new value to the dumsor chronicles.

Its not getting any better, but we don’t talk about it any more. There was a good spoof message during the week. I heard it for the first time on Citi fm; a caller to ECG asking that his lights be turned off during the day because he was not at home to use it and he did not want to get used to having electricity continuously for so long. His request to the company was “please take away the light and give it back at night so I can enjoy it more at that time”. I found it hilarious and can’t help but say that is the key reason why we can contain all the political claptrap from day to day.

Even though our sense of humor is not at a par with Nigeria (there too they are leading us) I think we have found some satire and cynicism in what the politicians do as a check mechanism to stay sane.

We are stuck in this doldrum. Vanderpuye still lords it over Accra, Kobby is still in the system, Elvis has been exonerated, Woyome is still paying back his money on flexi terms, a single window is to be opened for Clend Sowu’s children, Jospong is still ducking and diving and Roland has made it far away in, some say Dubai, others say Nigeria.

Yet the politicians stay and gloat over their booty. Nowhere in my life do I know of a place where the politician is so confident in citizen gullibility, that we are moved as chess pawns and sacrificed for the knights and bishops, kings and queens.

And now the Americans have decided to give heterosexuals more opportunity to increase the child population. You see, if they have plenty gay marriages, we the “heteros” have to increase our babies so they can adopt more children from us. Because the minute you have some men declaring themselves as women in a relationship, their maternal instincts will kick in and they will start harping for children. Same way the “men” in a lesbian relationship will want boy children so they can mold them in their image.

So let America do its gay rights thing. We now have a new exportable commodity. They will turn to Africa to adopt more children. Throw the condoms away, there is hope to populate and educate our children abroad. Very soon other countries will follow suit and Africa will re-stock its lost slaves stolen to the Americas. You have to see the silver lining everywhere oooo!

We released the Dzamefe report on the Brazil fiasco and all the crying thieves were given a perfect cover through a government white paper. As we review the report and see the issues that government considers unimportant, we ponder our fate as rightful inheritors, disposed of so much money from a single tournament, and ask whither the political might and the rut of our future.

The Bank of Ghana, the repository of the failing cedi, which has defied “Pope” Duncan Williams’ commands to rise, I understand, misunderstood the guttural language of his highness and thought he said “rise no more” instead of “arise” and so continued its fall in vain glory.

But Dr. Wampah, the Governor has decided he will support the Bishop’s effort with $20million a day for as long as necessary. I don’t believe this is possible, because if the central Bank had that kind of money, why not lend it to the IMF for on lending to Seth Terkper. Why take the economic team through all this charade of “policy credibility” when they could simply have lent some to the government. And why buy expensive Turkish “temporary” barges when you could easily have bought more plant and even fly them into the country?

With that kind of buying power (20million a day for 30 days in a month = $600million) , you could have staved off the IMF shameful borrowing saga and stabilized the cedi with little effort

I am convinced the politicians are in a conspiracy to outlast us the people. They are waiting patiently in the wings, we are stuck in their rut of corruption.

And so in the end the politician will win. He has always won in Ghana, where we chant “seek ye first the political kingdom”, because that is what someone said we should do, when we were all gullible young men and women, not ready to challenge the thinking of one man who knew it all.

Today, the politician has tanked the economy and we are out of cash for everything except payroll. And the political rut prevails, as we lie our way through the fiscal and macro economy that no one else believes, save those who have enough time to drink their own hausa koko and call it champagne.

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

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