Business in Ghana

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Political Crass. Critical News, 6th September 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on September 7, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Once you substitute the “L” with an “R” you turn the word on its head. But ahead of the conversation about whether my peeps in the Ashanti Region will ever be able to restore value to their alphabet challenge, let’s accept how easily you can be misquoted for thinking about a peculiar trait or habit in a different light.

I had the distinct honor and duty to sit on the same panel with two gentlemen from both sides of the political divide. KT Hammond and Kojo Adu Asare.

You know I have a particular distaste for giving people accolades they have not earned. A beauty queen is selected for her beauty. A first class degree is given to those who show excellence in academia and a lawyer earns the title “learned” out of respect for making his mark at the Bar. A scholar is not called that for nothing.

I am prejudiced against Ghana’s politicians. I have asked them all and separately to tell us what they have achieved for us as political groups, mandated to run the affairs of this country and am still waiting for answers. When I look at how Singapore, Malaysia, India, China and Brazil have created so much pride, I ask our servants in the House, how far with all their strategies and deliberations?

Should I still be waiting for ROPAA to be initiated, despite the fact that it is law? Should I still be hanging on for Parliament to remove the taxes such as TOR levies and others to make fuel more affordable? Am I still waiting for the Freedom of Information Bill to become law and for the Private Members bill to be tabled and voted, so some persons other than handpicked cabinet ministers can initiate law?

Seth Terkper came to hint at bad times to come. He was on radio to tell us how the world economy is going to depress and how our three key sources of foreign income are drying up because of stifling international prices.Instead of telling us how we are going to develop and stop relying on foreign-controlled commodities, which for years we have not succeeded in adding value to end-user delight, we are lamenting the changes on the international markets and blaming China for not sustaining their economic growth.

No surprise that Saudi Arabia has announced cuts in their budget up to $40billion from the squeeze in crude oil prices. This is no new news. If he reads back to some of the free advice he has received, he will notice that when some of us were hinting that his policy of borrowing to get out of debt is not possible, it was this very strategy to keep borrowing on future oil and gas income.

His has been the longest medium term solution I have encountered in my life. Since this Government came into power, “the medium term prospects” have been looking good. Now we have just lost close to 50% of all the projected revenue from oil and we are heading for disaster, with dumsor raging.

Yet dumsor has taken a different meaning, and a “Dumsorian” leading a country is not only without physical solutions, but also metaphorical “dimwit light” drawn from poor policy.

A friend explained to me that the problem we have in this country is our leader is the smartest person in his team and the rest merely nod their heads to the “wise” ranting of their Sage. So when he says he has “put things in place” or “given instructions for money to be released”, all sycophants in the room nod their “dum” heads in wonderment at the depth of revelation.

If the wise man has said, then it must be true and will work. That is what we have as a government.

The cedi is depreciating fast again. It was said and now confirmed it could not be sustained. Within a month after the Bank of Ghana announced what we all knew was a sham, the well-renowed “azonto” cedi is back in the limelight. Performing as badly as ever.

The NPP internal fighting is dispiriting. Chairman Afoko made public a statement that one of the Vice Chairperson’s had sauntered away money for their personal use. It made good media fodder for the opposite side all weekend, but turns out it was all a big spin and never happened that way.

Then Asiedu Nkwtiah showed up. With his batakri wit and ridiculous equalization, we are forced to listen to the childish ranting of a man who is still struggling in “Wife’s clothing” from his German hit album.

He is so far behind the modern mind; I cringe in despair about what will be if Ghana does not find a credible solution to this voter register bastardization.

At OccupyGhana we are calling for “One Database” for all Ghana. We are insisting that this should be the solution to all this identification nonsense, and rules of residence and legal identity must be respected at all costs, irrespective of how crude the “chooboi” explanation to negate what is clearly good law.

As we (OccupyGhana) move into our second year, we will seal off the conduits for raping the National purse through legal and procedural means. It is our pledge to the people of this country.

Charles Antwi, the man who allegedly would assassinate President Mahama and be hailed by Ghanaians who would make him president, was released from jail and pointed in the direction of the mental asylum for another look and a possible cure for his “craziness”, which we might have found in the form of George Boateng who wants to contest the sitting President.

This was a milestone decision in our courts; a decision that said the sitting judge on the case totally erred in law.

But see oo, on 15 May 1979 an equally deranged person manned a tanker to Burma Camp with the intention of maiming and killing all the senior officers of the army he didn’t like and eliminating the heads of state of the country.

He was remanded in custody for trial, and before we could jail or send him to Pantan Hospital, he was jumped out of jail; he ordered the execution of heads of state and was subsequently hailed by the people of Ghana in a popularity contest to become a president.

How different is this from what Charles Antwi attempted? Kill a president and become his replacement as a leader of the country. What JJ did was classy? And what Antwi did was “crass”?

There is a raving mantra in the media, promulgated by senior political appointees that the woes of Ghana are mainly caused by a lack of discipline of the people who are governed. Failed policies and bad choices have brought us to our knees and we are heading for a convoluted discussion about how a people who cannot even vote for their district chiefs are seemingly responsible for the failure of economic policy.

I have spoken to enough members of Parliament now, to learn the true secret of their trade.

They have no regard for the welfare of the people.

Their minds are tuned only to survival and keeping their fingers in the pie. Yours and my taxes are only for the purpose of ensuring their gratuities, which they pledge freely to any buyer of future service.

We have created structures that are not in favor of the people of the country and we still hold to those selfish structures to ensure we enjoy wealth on the back of ignoramuses.

So why am I calling you “honorable” when I can’t see how you deserve the title? Getting into Parliament in Ghana is a popularity contest, twanged with a local wit and a huge dollop of free cash to poor and superstitious people; who will vote any way to hold on to the life dream that one day their environment will grow into an economic powerhouse and they will be rich from prayer.

Yet it is not far from their lips. Just in front of you in the Ashanti Region, a difficult pronunciation of the word “Class” attached to “Political”, brings a whole new perspective to who truly represents us in the “Chinese Chair” House.

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

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