General News of Saturday, 18 January 2014
Former flagbearer aspirant Dr Arthur Kennedy has slammed former President Jerry Rawlings’ ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude with regards to corruption.
In a January 15 statement issued from the United States and copied to XYZ News, Dr Kennedy said Mr Rawlings’ self-acclaimed incorruptibility lacks substance.
“Under Mr. Rawlings, there were allegations of corruption in the cement industry, relating to SCANCEM, with revelations in Norwegian Courts DIRECTLY implicating him”, Dr Kennedy recalled.
He said: “Similarly damning allegations were made in the Mabey and Johnson case in Britain. Neither case has been properly investigated. Besides that, the privatisation of state assets, like Nsawam Cannery, most of them sold to NDC functionaries, including Mrs. Rawlings’ 31st December Movement at donkomi prices, continues to be shrouded in mystery. Thus the claim that there was no corruption under Mr. Rawlings is at best, inaccurate”.
Dr Kennedy’s reaction follows former President Rawlings’ recent description of his immediate successor, John Kufuor, as an “autocratic thief” who “stole massively” between 2001 and 2008.
“Kufuor was sending a signal that nobody was going to steal unless he, his family or friends or unless he gives you permission. So he created the impression as if there was law and order in this country – [he] terrorised this country into submission”, he roared.
The former Military Leader also accused Kufuor’s successor, late John Mills of “institutionalising” corruption.
“When we won in 2008, the country was so poised to see that the injustices, the corruption and whatnots was dealt with, in order to right the tree of justice. Mills refused to do it. And that was the beginning of the true destruction of the moral fibre of this country. In spite of his holiness, his refusal to investigate and to deal with the crimes of the Kufuor regime is what led finally to the institutionalisation of corruption in this country.”
Mr Rawlings delivered his harangue when he recently addressed the closing ceremony of the International Youth Fellowship at the Adidome Senior High School in the Volta region.
But his anger against Ghana’s leaders was not limited to his successors.
Mr Rawlings said his predecessors, including Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, and two other former heads of state, Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia and General Kutu Acheampong, all did little to curb corruption.
According to him, their actions and inactions in curbing corruption was what precipitated the agitations and coup d’état that overthrew their governments.
Dr Kennedy however wondered why Mr Rawlings, despite a lot of allegations of corruption in the current Mahama administration, has not hounded President Mahama in similar ascorbic fashion.
‘Since he was condemning corruption, one would have expected harsh words for the Mahama administration too but there were none. He said incredibly, “When people stand up, they want to create the impression to you the young ones as if the corruption started with the young man, John Mahama. No, it started with Kufuor. And that is why I say that Kufuor was an autocratic thief.”’
“So, according to Rawlings, corruption existed under Nkrumah, continued under the NLC, Busia and the Progress Party, the Acheampong regimes, disappeared briefly under the AFRC, reappeared under Limann, disappeared again under his 18-year reign of PNDC/NDC, returned under Kufuor, was continued by Mills and still exists with President Mahama being blameless!! This is despite the fact that many religious leaders, the Chief Justice and even some NDC patriots, like Martin Amidu and Alban Bagbin, have condemned the new ascendancy of corruption in Ghana”, Dr Kennedy wondered.
Dr Kennedy therefore said it is time to call Mr. Rawlings’ bluff.
“I demand full, fair and impartial investigations of all the allegations of corruption by—and against—President Rawlings. If CHRAJ, which reached for the Anane case on its own, will not do this, they must be petitioned by the NPP, joined by the NDC, to set the records straight for the sake of all our ex-presidents, truth and history”.
He said: “If he is concerned about corruption, he should file a formal petition with CHRAJ to have himself as well as Mr. Kufuor investigated. While at it, he will do his anti-corruption credentials a lot of good by clearing his name in Norwegian and British courts”.
“Finally, any such investigation must include the Mahama administration. It is obvious that Mr. Rawlings’ view that the Mahama regime has not indulged in any corruption is not shared by Ghanaians. That is why words like Akonfem, GYEEDA and MERCHANT BANK have become synonymous with corruption. It is ironic that while alive, Mills was regarded by many in the NDC, including Mr. Rawlings, as personally incorruptible. Now that he is dead, the mantle of incorruptibility is being shifted, with difficulty, to President Mahama. That dog will not hunt this time”.