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Opinions of Thursday, 10 November 2011

Columnist: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku

NDC ‘Buys’ Mugabe with Diplomatic Passport

There is no doubt that Mother Ghana has produced much descent and accomplished broadcast journalists, especially since the advent of multi-party democracy. However, like any other human institution, broadcast journalism cannot wane itself of miscreants such as Bobie Ansah of Asempa FM, Kwesi Pratt Jnr, Alhaji Bature, Kobby Fiagbe, Raymond Archer, and a few others whose actions continue to bring the institution of journalism into disrepute. Some of the unscrupulous Ghanaian journalists have taken such reprehensive characteristics abroad. In the United Kingdom, the provocative action of one radio presenter, Issah Maase, popularly known as MUGABE – the breakfast show host of Radio Focus in London, is negatively affecting our collective efforts in building a prosperous Ghana even in abroad.

Mugabe Issah Maase, a Fulani descendant whose parents settled in Tepa, in Ashanti Region had his secondary education at SDA Senior High School, Bantama in Kumasi. Having failed in his final WASSCE, this Mugabe found his way into the Institute of Business and Management Journalism (IBMJ) at New Tafo (Krofrom), Kumasi, where he was trained as a broadcast journalist and initially started practising his journalism at Goaso and Kumasi as a Sports Presenter. As a result Mugabe had the opportunity to travel to Germany in 2006 to cover the World Cup tournament in which Ghana participated. He returned to Ghana after the tournament and manoeuvred to enter the UK in 2007 as a visitor and was accommodated by a Ghanaian female philanthropist at Stanford Hill - London. This Mugabe again known as Nana Kwaku in London because of his ‘illegal immigration’ status, Mugabe started as a cleaner and later a dish-washer in a hotel in Westminster, thanks to Nana Otaya who secured the job for him. Ernest Owusu Bempah, the Operations Director of FONKAR, insists this Mugabe was picked up at Radio Focus as a cleaner and was later made a Sports Presenter when Ernest was the top Breakfast Show Host at the station. Mugabe then took over from Ernest in 2008 when the latter left for Ghana to assist the Rawlingses and NDC win power in the 2008 general elections.

Some of us were regular participants of the various programmes run by the radio station, especially those on political and social issues callers and panelists. I am forced to reveal the mischief and propaganda of the 37 year old Mugabe Maase and the hypocrisy of the management of Radio Focus for the sake of the cohesion of the Ghanaian Community in the UK because Mugabe has threatened to kill a member of the Communications Team of the NPP-UK and Eire through a text message. The text message sent from Mugabe’s personal phone number 07960454423 to the NPP member’s phone, calling her “Ashawo”, and threatening to eliminate her and her family soon. This Mugabe has been insulting and directly abusing people on air, all under the purview of the management of Radio Focus. The release of this text message was as a result of hot verbal exchanges that occurred between Mugabe and the NPP member about his uncultured attitude.
Following up the good presentation of Ernest Owusu Bempah, Mugabe started was fair to all political representatives. This continued to attract a lot of listeners to the radio station. Mugabe’s popularity won him the best radio presenter in the UK in 2010 and as a result, he claims the UK National Health Service (NHS) appointed him as the “Ambassador” of National Cancer Action Team for the Ghanaian Community in the UK this year under the auspices of the Ghana High Commissioner – H.E. Prof. Kwaku Boafo. Mugabe capitalised on his fame and popularity to organise two important events to raise funds for his own benefit, with the pretext of using the proceeds to help the inmates of Kumasi Children’s Home. The programme was well attended and patronised by many Ghanaians from all walks of life. Although huge amount of money was realised, it is surprising to note that Mugabe could not have the courtesy to disclose the amount realised from the fund-raising event to the philanthropists, let alone show how many inmates he has helped up to today. His close friends revealed that Mugabe used part of the money to wed Deborah Kukuaa in July 2011, though the 22 year old young lady’s parents were vehemently against the marriage because of Mugabe’s Fulani’s trace and his intention to legalise his stay using the lady’s documents.

In building his potentials and popularity in radio broadcasting still at Radio Focus, Mugabe decided to perpetuate wild allegations against Ghanaian officials just for them to fall prey to his hands as the officials try to redeem their damaged image and character, and by means of calming him down. A clear example is the treatment he perpetuated on the Ghana High Commissioner to the UK, Prof. Danso Boafo. This compelled this old noble man Professor to invite Mugabe to be the Master of Ceremonies (M.C.) to a fund-raising event organised by the Commissioner to purchase a hall for the Ghanaian Community. Afterwards, the High Commissioner became a target of Mugabe’s rudeness and number one enemy when his plea to access part of the money realised from the fund-raising event fell through.

Again, Mugabe vented his spleen on the High Commissioner when he was refused an accreditation to cover the England-Ghana friendly football match in April this year. For more than two weeks, Mugabe together with Abeeku Santana, subjected Prof. Danso-Boafo to all forms of verbal abuse making him unpopular among those of us in the Diaspora. “Aban b3ba, aban b3ko, enti saa na dako dadko, wo Commissioner nso b3ko” to wit, the High Commissioner should not see his current position as a possession or everlasting, for he would definitely leave the Ghana Embassy one day. By these the tension between Mugabe and the High Commissioner reached a crescendo until President Mills himself personally intervened through a phone call as Mugabe claims. According to Mugabe, our president requested him to calm down because he was making his NDC government unpopular to the Diasporas. It was at this point that Kukuo Anyidohu became the financier of Mugabe and since the middle of this years, Mugabe had been bought by the Castle to do the propaganda work for the NDC as the NDC Communication Team is perceived to be non-existent in the UK.

As an ‘illegal immigrant’, Mugabe had two choices to legalise his stay in the UK. One was through the acquisition of a diplomatic passport and the other was through his wife whom Mugabe always brags that she holds a British passport. By the help of Kukuo Anyidohu, Mugabe was issued with a diplomatic passport recently when his visa application was refused at the British Embassy in Ghana. However, the issuance of the said diplomatic passport was not without a condition. Mugabe was to use his position as a radio presenter to do the dirtiest propaganda for the NDC in its quest to retain power in 2012, an offer he could not reject. This was in fulfilment of Mr. P.V. Obeng’s “Enemy Media” statement in March 2009, where the NDC plans to influence majority of the media stations and personnel to side with the government, irrespective of how it performs.

It was at this point that Mugabe’s attitude and his style of conducting affairs on the radio changed. He is very rude, arrogant, and bias to callers and the NPP members in particular contributing to his programme. Any news that could affect the NDC government and President Mills negatively is never discussed on his programme. For instance, the $3million donation to Haiti, the $4.8million profligate spending on Nkrumah’s birthday, GHC90million on Mills’ presidential primaries, and $48,000 wrist watch donation to Mrs. Obama, and others were never brought up on his show just because they are negative to the government. Mugabe’s attitude has left many listeners in Europe dumbfounded as many have began questioning how Mugabe could make ‘silly’ and ‘stupid’ statements on air after his circumstances changed for the better. For instance, on his first day in Accra since 2007, Mugabe reported on Radio Focus that Prof. Mills’ ‘Better Ghana’ agenda was on course and that he deserved a second term.
The management of Radio Focus decisively secured the services of Barima Yaw when Mugabe left for Ghana in July. Barima Yaw’s radio presentation, in terms of his professionalism, depth of issues, intellectual prowess, humility, and impartiality won Radio Focus many listeners and sponsors. This became a bone of contention to Mugabe who was still struggling to get his papers through and he deepened his threats to kill everyone through ‘juju. It is clear that Mugabe’s uncultured behaviour is yielding him a lot of dividend with this NDC government as Kukuo Anyidohu is reported to have facilitated the release of his plot of land which happened to be under litigation in a law court in Accra, and new hotel at Santase in Kumasi which is under construction.
Realising that he had lost his job, Mugabe pleaded with Radio Focus management, as well as, many religious leaders, especially those who sponsor the radio station to intervene on his behalf to enable him resume his position as a presenter. Life became unbearable for him as he lost several stones in weight. It was at this point that a deal was struck between Radio Focus and Anyidohu’s Castle which £4,000 exchanged hands to get Mugabe back on the morning show as Barima Yaw decided to leave to the surprise of many and sundry.

Since the beginning of October this year, the Castle has taken control of the morning show programme. It determines the topics for the week and all the topics are geared towards the cause of the NDC government. Kukuo Anyidohu sets the ball rolling and regardless of the news of the day such as flood, strike action, poor BECE results etc, Mugabe’s morning show will be centred on “cocaine, all-die-be-die, 2008 elections, and we Akans” mantra. What is more disturbing is that Mugabe will never make any of Nana Addo’s statements on education, industrialisation, listening tour etc a topical issue to be discussed until a negative comment comes from the NDC’s communicators about Nana Addo. It is in the light of this that the NPP Communication Team in the UK has boycotted Radio Focus since October. Teaming up with Bobie Ansah of Asempa FM, Mugabe grants interviews with people and forwards the recorded tape to Bobie. As I write today Radio Focus has become a political propaganda platform for Koku Anyidohu, Baba Jamal, Ama Benyiwa-Doe, Eric Opoku, and Nana Kwaku Bonsam and what they do every morning is to spew garbage on the NPP’s flag-bearer and President-in-waiting, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Currently, the NDC buys air time on Radio Focus at a cost of £600 per month. Known as Political Searchlight, the programme which is hosted by NDC members, is aired between 1900hrs and 2100hrs every Saturday.
Many listeners believe that Mugabe is arrogant, rude, intellectually bankrupt; and above all unprofessional radio presenter. Apart from Prof. Danso Boafo, the people who have fallen victim to his rudeness include most NPP callers, especially the women folk who have turned down his love proposals, critics of the Mills-Mahama administration, Ernest Owusu Bempah, Horrace Nii Ankrah – Chairman of NDC-UK, and some top management of Radio Focus. Through Bobie Ansah, Mugabe’s unprofessional attitude was laid bare on Asempa FM when he sent Ernest to the cleaners in April this year all because Ernest supported the Rawlingses and not Prof. Mills. His lust for women has put many women callers off his show. He has proposed to almost every woman who calls on his morning show, married or single, young or old. His modus operandi is that he picks a call and asks the person to hold on. As the first caller continues to speak, Mugabe will be chatting with the other caller at the background. For the sake of professionalism and the integrity of some of these women, I will not disclose their names on this forum but I challenge Mugabe to grant an interview to me and I will not hesitate to make public some of the text and voice recorded messages sent to these women which I have access to.

The NPP is bigger than any individual or group of individuals and under no circumstance should we kowtow to the mechanisations of any radio station. I therefore humbly appeal to all Ghanaians who have Ghana at heart to cut any deals with the radio station, in terms of sponsorship package. I also urge all NPP members and sympathizers to refrain from participating in any programme on the radio, through calling, listening, and sponsorship with immediate effect because the station is ‘bought’ by the Castle. There are many powerful radio stations in the UK such as Rainbow Radio (Sky Channel 0207), WBLS, Naspa Radio, Power FM and Hot Digital Online which have larger audience and more educated, dedicated and neutral hosts whose actions, pronouncements, interviews, and discussions centre on Ghana’s developmental agenda.
Kukrudu! All-Die-be-Die!

God bless Ghana! God bless the NPP!! God bless Kufuor!!!

Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang, Hull. UK
Official blog (www.katakyie.com). 07944309859. katakyienpp@yahoo.co.uk
“Vision, coupled with persistency, results in true success”