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General News of Monday, 16 November 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Trials and tribulations of Rawlings after he left office in 2001

The late Former President Jerry John Rawlings The late Former President Jerry John Rawlings

There have been concerns about what was termed as "mistreatment” of the man who ruled Ghana for about 20 years (JJ Rawlings) by the then NPP administration led by former President John Agyekum Kufuor.

This was after the late Jerry John Rawlings handed over power to Mr. Kufuor in 2001 thereby marking the first real transfer of power through the ballot box in the West African nation.

But following the transfer of power to the NPP administration, there have somewhat been some looming tensions between the past leaders which gave the impression that two factions were in conflict.

This started when some facilities and ex-gratia due former President Rawlings were withdrawn among other things.

Benefits available to ex-President Rawlings during his lifetime and for the rest of his life were also scrapped.

From slashing of salaries to the withdrawal of diplomatic courtesies, let’s take a look at some hardships Rawlings encountered before and after he handed over power to the NPP administration

Withdrawal of courtesies to Rawlings

In the year 2001, former President Rawlings was no longer accorded courtesies that were due him under the provision of the 1992 Constitution.

Although it was embedded in the 1992 Constitution that neither the President nor the Foreign Minister has the power to vary the pensions and facilities available to the former President to his disadvantage during his lifetime, those privileges were withdrawn by the then Kufour administration.



Pension Adjusted

Former President Rawlings in March 2001, had his monthly pension re-computed based on the Greenstreet report. The Greenstreet report was the recommendation of a committee set up by the Kufuor administration to discuss ex-gratia awards for ex-Presidents of Ghana.

Former president Rawlings’s cars retrieved

In 2002, the NPP government led by Kufuor retrieved all state vehicles in the custody of ex-President Jerry John Rawlings.
A letter received by former President Rawlings from the Office of President Kufuor and signed by his chief of staff directed that he should return vehicles in his possession immediately.

Rawlings dragged to reconciliation commission

Former President Jerry John Rawlings in 2004, made a short but tumultuous first appearance before the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) to answer questions about controversial killings that took place during his tenure as military head of state 20 years ago.

Rawlings was summoned to answer questions about his possible role in the killing of a former military colleague and three high-court judges in 1984.

The NRC was investigating human rights abuses committed by all the military governments which have ruled Ghana for most of its 47-year history as an independent country, but its attention was focused on Rawlings's long period in power.



Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings dragged to court

The wife of late Jerry John Rawlings who was the then President of the 31st December Women’s Movement was slapped with criminal charges for allegedly causing financial loss to the State in the divestiture of Nsawam Cannery to Caridem Development Company, the investment arm of the DWM.

Former President Rawlings’s Ghanaian nationality questioned

This was before the start of the 4th Republic when late Jerry John Rawlings was sued by a former politician, John Bilson who claimed the President is not a Ghanaian national and was ineligible to stand for the 1992 general elections.

The Interim National Electoral Commission which was the second defendant in the suit, claimed that former President Rawlings had a Ghanaian mother and a Scottish father, and therefore is not Ghanaian.

31st December Women’s Movement scrapped

In 2001, the NPP government issued instructions to almost all the instruments of the Executive branch to annul the 31st December Women’s Movement nationwide.

Ex-President Kufuor instructed his National Security to go into the operations of the then legally registered women’s organization in spite of the fact that, the movement at the time was the only NGO in Ghana whose accounts were audited.

Without any means to claim the numerous achievements of the 31st December Women’s Movement as their own, the NPP set up the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs to usurp the potency of the Movement.

June 4th was cancelled

The then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) tested the legality of the celebration of the June 4 uprising.

The Supreme Court in its verdict at that time agreed with NPP that the intended celebration would glorify coup d’état and could undermine the people’s resolve to resist coup, and its celebration was unconstitutional and contrary to the spirit of the 1992 Constitution.

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