Business in Ghana

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Verily, Verily I say …. Critical News, 8th May 2016

Posted by Business in Ghana on May 9, 2016

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

If nothing at all, Asiedu Nketia’s admission during the week that the NDC has been padding the register with names of minors and other nationals, should have received more coverage than it received. But he was pipped by the Supreme Court ruling on the determination of the “cleaner’ register for the 2016 elections.

At the heart of what General Mosquito had to say was a tacit admission of what we have been saying for the longest in the media that we have an excessively bloated voters register. It also means that the NDC in particular, knows where the “bodies” of names can be found and where in particular the EC should look to find the illegal names.

Of course he would not let it go without an attempt to rope in the NPP as the other party who also focuses on registering minors. I think the NPP does register minors, but I believe strongly that the NDC have perfected the art of registering aliens and non-Ghanaians on to the register.

The various schemes are popping up as we have become more vigilant this time round and buses of persons from outside are coming in to be registered.

I am tired of politicians and their crooked ways and I am guilty of not paying heed to the confessions of a “serial voter manipulator”. The sheer brazenness with which a principal figure in a political party can come and make such admissions and still get away with it is a clear reminder of how far away we are from a sanitized Ghana.

But the Supreme Court made the week on Thursday when they gave their verdict on a “reasonably accurate and credible” register. The media reduced the issue to a simple instruction by the Supreme Court to the Electoral Commission to ensure a clean voters register. But there was more to it than that.

I will suggest to all true patriots of this country that you get a copy of the full verdict and read it in its entirety. Fully captured in English, there is no reason why anyone who has finished SHS cannot read it. Here is a link from the EC’s own website.

http://www.ec.gov.gh/resources/downloads/general-information/10-supreme-court-verdict.html?path=

And I particularly want to demonstrate that we have come a long way when the EC, despite what can be considered a not too good day for them in court, however moved quickly to make the judgment available on their website. You just download the report and it is there.

But what did we achieve with the ruling? Well, the EC is now obliged to figure a process to clean the register and satisfy Abu Ramadan and Evans Nimako that their remonstrations to the Court have been heard and something monumental has come out of it.

So a word of big praise to the two plantiffs. Their victory is significant for two reasons. In an earlier case in July 2014 Abu Ramadan and Another won a significant case on the use of the NHIS card as a means of voter identification.

Bearing in mind that the NHIS card had been used to swerve the voter registration system, that case now became the backbone of this case, requiring the judges to consider how to ensure hat illegitimate names could be expunged from the register. Now we can eliminate quite a number of those who were bribed to illegally get their names on the roll.

The second matter now, is that he Supreme Court has used the case to clarify many issues raging in the public domain hat we ordinary folk can just insist be done. For example this procedure called validation, came in for discussion and the firm conclusion is there is nothing in the statutes that defines what “validation” means and how it cann be implemented.

Reading the full judgment is an eye opener in how the case was considered, based purely on what is law ad what not. I don’t think I can explain it better because of my limited legal background.

So let me turn my attention to the bus-branding saga, AKA Smarttys. Occupy Ghana has been in court with the Attorney General and several others requesting for more detail and letters, reports etc. in the run up to the award of the now controversial contract to Smarttys by the Ministry of Transport, which led to the abrupt resignation of Dzifa Attivor as minister.

We have received several documents from the AG as we requested, and as we sift through we are learning a lot about how the criminal mind works in Ghana. I can reveal immediately that he buses were branded long before the contract was awarded and long before the Public Procurement Authority issued a sole source decision, all based on frivolous excuses such as it was of major national security concern to award the branding contract under emergency needs to avert a possible public revolt on price increases.

In the coming months we will make public all that has been provided to us and we will make sure that the people of this country are fully clear on how the system is manipulated to the benefit of a few despite all the laws, rules and regulations we have in place to protect the public purse.

What is going on in Ghana is big time brigandry. A few persons who are on the inside with the connivance of those who understand how to cover their tracks are colluding to rape the public purse without caring two hoots about the country and the rest of us who have to struggle to make a daily wage to survive.

When the story unravels, many are those who will run far away and maybe never come back home.

We have to change what is going on, we have to figure out the guilty ones and those whose deliberate plans are to simply take what they can because they can get away with it.

I am however disappointed with what Mahamoudu Bawumia said about the Muslim Christian share of government. It should not be so in a country where we do not have religious conflict and we never look to balance the appointments on those grounds. We don’t even look at Regional balance seriously and that is the way it should be. On merit, all the time, every time. I am no smarter because I am a Buddhist or Hindu or Christian or Muslim. We should leave it there and allow good technocrat choices to be made to govern this country.

So why wasn’t the NDC interested in this process to clean up the register? All along in IPAC meetings, they refused to join in with the NPP to insist on a cleaner register and kept blaming the NPP for finding fault with everything registration. With this verdict, the NPP and a group of CSO’s have been given a thumbs up by the Court.

Yet the matter is very commonsensical. One, why wouldn’t you want a better cleaner register no matter which side of the divide you fall? Two, if you already knew you had over the years continuously connived to manipulate the register, shouldn’t you just quietly join the band and go for something better and improved?

Verily, one day we will all come to the end of the line with all this and that day will not be the end but the beginning of commonsense in our democracy.

We have to make up our mind if we want to be a democracy and a purposeful country that we must become more honest and deliver as we preach.

Verily I say to you that day is sincerely too far away. I cannot see it in my time.

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

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