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Opinions of Monday, 30 November 2015

Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.

The Rawlingses are sinking low right in front of our eyes

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Saturday, November 28, 2015

Folks, a lot is happening as far as the Rawlingses are concerned. And that lot is worrisome to a large extent. Those of us who have criticized the Rawlingses over the past few years in terms of their politics of attrition also considered how characters who had openly expressed their hatred for them suddenly turned round to snuggle to them and bask in the Rawlingses' limelight for public attention.
One of them was Herbert Mensah, a former CEO of Asante Kotoko, a known anti-Rawlings embittered person and a pro-NPP subject. He is the son of B.A. Mensah whose tobacco company (International Tobacco, Ghana Limited) was confiscated by the Rawlings administration in the heat of the June Four "unprecedented revolutionary action" against supposed economic vampires taking undue advantage of the weaknesses of the system.
In fact, Herbert Mensah hated Rawlings to the core and didn't hide that hatred as he joined the NPP's campaign of vilification against the Rawlingses. That was when Kufuor was in power and hopes filled him that his father's assets would be deconfiscated and returned to him and his siblings. It didn't happen and he took umbrage with Kufuor to part companies with the NPP.
Herbert Mensah consequently turned round to establish himself in the good books of the Rawlingses, becoming a spokesman and defending everything about the Rawlingses. Doing so opened the floodgates for him to have access to Zanetor, the eldest daughter of the Rawlingses. We heard of all that happened for the unmarried couple to have two children.
We have all along thought that everything was smooth-sailing for them until now. Herbert Mensah has blown the lid off everything, going to court to fight what is an uphill task for him (See http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Herbert-Mensah-sues-Zanetor-Rawlings-to-have-access-to-kids-396761). How did it all happen? Why would Zanetor fall for Herbert Mensah so easily and then turn round to "appropriate" the two children to force him to go this way?
In the heat of it all, Jerry Rawlings is now out, saying that he wants to intervene to curtail the court action and settle the dispute (See http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/JJ-mediates-child-custody-fight-396968). Where has he been all this while without intervening to resolve the conflict amicably before its being brought into the public domain this way? I see a serious weakness here.
Folks, what else is left of the Rawlingses? Having been divested of the stranglehold that they had on the NDC (Rawlings' previously being acclaimed and unchallenged as the founder and father of the NDC and his wife's being the a National Vice Chairperson of the NDC before her own unbridled political ambitions took her to dizzying heights of skunky politics in the NDP), where are they moving themselves and their children?
We are on record for predicting that the Rawlingses will be the architects of their own doom, doing everything possible to erode the very legacy that they should have built on by accepting their Fate and letting others serve Ghana without recourse to their domineering manouevres or string-pulling tactics. Unfortunately, they have remained fixated on their own wily ways of exerting power and influence---and are losing it all.
This suit by Herbert Mensah has come as a huge surprise to some of us but is not to be unexpected, especially considering the opportunism that motivated the reconciliation between such bitter camps. Herbert Mensah got close to the Rawlingses for reasons best known to him; and the Rawlingses fell for him, paving the way for him to plant his seed in Zanetor.
What exactly is at stake won't redound to the Rawlingses' image unless the matter is resolved amicably. The overarching question is: How will Zanetor sail through, now that she has won the primaries to contest the Korle Kolottey Parliamentary seat on the ticket of the NDC? A smear campaign is in the offing. How will her children feature in Herbert Mensah's plans, and what will be Nana Konadu's role in securing peace? I don't know.
Although this problem may be considered as “usual” and none of my business, it speaks volumes. It feeds into what is already in place to denigrate the Rawlingses all the more. Having eroded their own political base, are they now moving on to damage their moral integrity with this Herbert Mensah problem? More importantly, what exactly caused the enmity between them and Mensah? More questions than answers, folks!!
The truth, though, is that this "marriage of inconvenience" between herbert Mensah and Zanetor has a lot to worry about. First, why would the Rawlingses encourage the cohabitation of Mensah and Zanetor without ensuring that the proper thing would be done for that relationship to be taken through the proper channels for consummation? In other words, why won't there be any wedding to consolidate the relationship?
We saw pictures of Zanetor when she attended church to thank God for answering her prayer to win the NDC primaries. Jerry Rawlings is said to be Catholic; so also, I believe, is Zanetor. If so, why would she go out of her way to produce children with Mensah without any matrimonial bond between both? Is that what Catholicism accepts?
For such high-ranking personalities (at least, if we are to see the Rawlings in that light), nothing could be more satisfying than doing what will bring honour to the family. What we see unfolding is a huge dishonour to deride. Why would Jerry Rawlings and Nana Konadu, the so-called apostles of probity and accountability, allow this kind of shame to be brought on them?
Of course, having children out-of-wedlock by and of itself is not shameful; but what Herbert Mensah has begun doing will definitely heap shame on the Rawlingses. Probably, that is why Jerry Rawlings is stepping in to douse the fire. Unfortunately, though, the cat is already out of the bag and won't want to be tucked back in there.
Folks, the Rawlingses have a lot to do now to redeem themselves before other events dim their light. How they do so is their own cup of tea. As observers, we will do our job to keep our eagle's eye watch on them and say what has to be said. No holds barred!!
And don’t tell me it is their private matter not to be commented on. Once they remain public figures, anything involving them is of public interest. After all, they should be the first to protect their privacy from being intruded upon. If they fail to do so, as it is in this case, they should expect us to take them on. After all, Selassie Djentu was humiliated because of his daring move to enter the Rawlingses’ enclave. What did the Rawlingses find wrong with Djentu that they didn’t see in Herbert Mensah? Oyiwa!!
I shall return…
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