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Opinions of Thursday, 19 February 2009

Columnist: Ato Kwamena Dadzie

It's official - Zita is a disaster!

Zita Okaikoi didn’t disappoint anyone when she appeared before parliament’s appointment committe, did she? She thoroughly lived up to expectation – all the negative ones, which preceded her appearance.

The last time I wrote about Mrs Okaikoi, she had gone on radio and made an utter mess of herself. My conclusion then was that she wasn’t ready (not to mention suited) for the job. Many agreed with me but those who disagreed were very scathing in their condemnation of that piece. “It was unfair,” one said. “It was too harsh.”

Her apologists said she was nervous in the interview on JOY FM and that was why she impressed very few people – if any at all. They told me to wait for her appearance before the appointments committee, promising that she would prove me wrong. I didn’t hold my breath and I am not the least surprised that when she did appear before the committee she only succeeded in proving the few who believed in her wrong.

Zita was an utter disaster. First off, it became clear that her CV – which she had given to the committee – did meet the minimum standards you’d even expect of a fresh JSS graduate applying for the position of an apprentice grave digger. In fact, she presented two CVs – one as different from the other as day is from night – and neither met the minimum standards. So bad were the CVs that one of the MP, Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, asked if she prepared them herself. Most disconcertingly, she said a proud “yes”. Shocked, the MP asked her to never attempt preparing her CV alone. “Get some assistance,” he said.

Even on matters of personal facts – she seemed completely at sea. She claims to be a lawyer but doesn’t know the qualification she holds from the Law School and she doesn’t know that whatever she got from the Law School was a postgraduate qualification. I thought I was too much of a dimwit and that I don’t have the intellect the read law but after listening to Zita, I have changed my mind. I will give it a shot. I can’t fail. By the way, did Zita write her Bar exams in her drinking bar?

Zita was before the appointments committee for a little over an hour. It was the longest one hour of my life. I prayed that the session would end soon to save her from further humiliation and to spare me the agony of listening to her short, curt responses. I don’t remember any intelligent answer she offered to any of the ‘cheap’ questions she was asked. She didn’t string more than 50 words in response to any of the questions she was asked. None of her short-spurt answers lasted longer than an orgasm... Pardon the analogy but it’s the only one I can think of. Seriously, I know little girls, considered dull by their peers at the Ridge Church School, who would have done much better than Zita’s dreadful performance before the MPs.

After the storm of scepticism which followed her interview on JOY FM, someone must have advised Zita to refrain from offering long answers. Usually, this is a good strategy. But Zita failed woefully to make it work for her. Listening to her short responses, I got the impression that this is a woman who cannot coherently and cogently put her ideas across without advertising her utter lack of depth.

A few weeks ago, I thought Zita’s nomination hearing will pass off as a mere formality and that she’d sail through with little fuss. After her display a few hours ago, I have changed my mind. It will be a big shame for parliament to approve her appointment. But since our MPs tend to be utterly blind when they need to keep their eyes wide open, I won’t be surprised if they allow her to go through. If that happens, even the goats in my grandmother’s pen will feel ashamed.

I’ve also reviewed my notes on how long she’d stay in office – if she’s approved. Last time I said she won’t go beyond six months. Now, I think that’s too much and I am prepared to wager my February paycheck (which, sadly, doesn’t amount to much) that she won’t last more than two months in office.

I haven’t changed my mind, though, on the fact that President Atta Mills suffered a grave lapse in judgment when he settled on Zita Okaikoi as his information minister. If he watched (or listened to) her nomination hearing, I hope he realised he’s made a big mistake, pissed in his pants and bowed his head in shame. What the heck was he thinking? Did he see anything I am failing to see? Or is he failing to see what I am seeing? And what am I seeing? Zita is not even ready to run any of the 31st December day care centres in the country. And she’s going to be information minister? I hope not!
Click here to visit Ato Kwamena Dadzie’s blogsite
E-mail: ato@atokd.com