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Opinions of Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Columnist: Agbodza, Kwami

Ghanaian MPs Behaving Like ...

GHANAIAN MPs BEHAVING LIKE BOSSES OF BRITISH AND AMERICAN BANK

Ghanaian MPs are now behaving like the bosses of British and American banks who award themselves as much monies as the wish because there are no real laws out there to stop them. Dear countrymen, women and guests, don’t you find it extremely difficult to make sense of how some things are done in our country? On the day we are told an amount of about US$20 million has been paid into the accounts of former public officials including former President Kufuor by the Bank of Ghana, we area also told that this payments have been by Mr. Moses Asaga, MP for Nabdam Constituency chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament, without consultation with the National Democratic Congress (NDC). Can this be really true? I mean can one MP arrogate himself the audacity to spend US$20 million of our money without any recourse to the government of the day? Just a question, have you ever asked your MP what he has been doing in Parliament in your name?

Whiles we were all shocked about this development, the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) announced they will provide 1.1 million dollars to upgrade the capacity of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) and help Ghana regain its Category 1 status under the International Safety Assessments (IASA). I do not have any problem with how much the United States want to give Ghana, even if its just proceeds from visa fees squeezed out of us at their embassy here in Ghana. After all, why should the US be so much interested in helping Ghana with their own money when our MPs, like their bank bosses are busy sharing our monies among themselves?

I am hundred percent for fairness, people must be paid what they are due. However, it becomes unfair if a select group of people award themselves payments that cannot be questioned by other members of the society. Where did we find the US$20 million to pay President Kufour and the rest of the public official? Could we not find US$1.1 million from the same source? Fellow Ghanaians democracy is good, if it favours the majority, after all what does democracy mean if all it does is to help few to you’re your mandate to take away your right to demand accountability from them. Why are we giving extra rewards to those who already enjoy the favours, privileges, luxuries of our country? For instance I understand President Kufour landed in London yesterday, the Ghana High commission sent six cars to meet him at the airport, could president Kufour not afford a taxi from the airport to his hotel after receiving the huge ex-gratia?

What I don’t understand is the basis for the quantum of monies paid to these people. Have they actually served Ghana more than the policeman, the classroom Teacher, the Zoomlion etc? Have they risked their lives more than us? How do you expect the Policeman to give of his best on his job without taking bribes if he is told of the amount of money squandered in the name of democracy? I guess we can as well forget about reducing the prevalence of corruption in our country if we continue to do things this way, I say this because those who are suppose to preach and enforce the crusade against corruption are all behaving like bosses of British and American Banks, I mean Ex President, MPs, Judges etc. Now who can you trust?

Kwame Agbodza