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General News of Sunday, 4 October 2015

Source: David Apinga

Ghanaians have lost faith in our systems – Herbert Mensah

Ghanaian entrepreneur and former boss of Kumasi Asante Kotoko is saddened by the breakdown of Ghana's institutions mandated to protect and serve ordinary citizens.

Herbert Mensah has charged individuals in authority to live by upright principles and desist from disregarding the law and abuse of public office.

He opines that whenever people in authority who control the systems behave in ways beyond reproach, citizens no longer trust the integrity of the systems to function properly.

Herbert, who was a guest on Paul Adom Otchere's Good Evening Ghana Show on Metro TV, clarified that "systems are meant to check other systems. So in abroad if someone in Congress goes and uses money that he shouldn't he is removed, or he serves a jail term".

In Ghana it is different and Herbert does not see the reason why such moves cannot be implemented and wonders why "here you can be involved in the largest level of fraud" and still escape the law.

He has blamed people who run the systems of soiling the integrity of otherwise trusted institutions. "The systems are there, but the people who run the system are not afraid of anything," he added.

Ghana's judiciary has been rocked by a major corruption scandal as videos and audio recordings released by undercover journalist Anas Aremeyaw implicates 34 judges and over 100 judicial service workers in various acts of bribery.

Herbert Mensah believes effective systems with the right people in charge would have prevented what many describe as the biggest scandal that has hit the judiciary; adding that innocent people have suffered from bad judicial judgments.

"If the systems worked, we wouldn't now herald what Anas has done. Some of us have been at the sharp ends of bad judicial decisions [which could have been prevented]".

The business mogul and consultant is appealing to the president to take immediate steps to restore confidence and integrity in the institutions that have been dented over the years.

"I will beg His Excellency for us to get to the point where people are brought forth to be accountable, jailed, removed or dismissed as a matter of course. The public needs to have a sense that the President will protect their interest," he advised.

This, he believes will prevent incompetent people from being appointed to take up key positions, in the society. According to Mr. Mensah, there are very brilliant and intelligent people who can execute jobs efficiently but are overlooked.

"If people who run this country were prepared to reach out and recognize individuals with special and unique talents to serve the country effectively, I think that we will make progress."

The Economist is credited as the biggest mobile handset distributor between 1992 and 2006 in sub-Saharan Africa who led the market with distributorships for Motorola, Sony Ericsson and Nokia.

Herbert opines that government should create opportunities for business oriented people to lead an economic revolution in Ghana.

Business oriented people "take decisions based on guts and it's a relationship that exists within financiers; you take a structure where you forecast; you look at your resources and see how you operate to achieve your target".

"One of the indicators for us going downhill is the appointment of political figures as opposed to business oriented people," he admonished.