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Opinions of Saturday, 15 March 2008

Columnist: Appiah-Yeboah, Kwame

Part III: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly- Eight Years of Kufuor's Presidency

This is the concluding series on the presidency of Kuffour. In the first two parts the good and the not so bad were discussed. This section covers the real ugly mess by President Kuffour.

“The Ugly”

Kuffour has done absolutely nothing to curb waste and corruption in his government. In-fact he has given new meaning to the term waste in government. His penchant for travelling abroad has earned him the accolade “Wofa Per Diem”. Apprentice Kusi was arrested and jailed by an over zealous policeman for daring to criticize the frequent travels of the president. One of Kuffour’s first acts as president was to increase Per Diem to government and political appointees (I call them aponkyees: they will sniff/lick the butt of anyone in power for an appointment like he-goats will sniff the butts of she goats). It is not surprising that per diem allowance by Kuffour and his senior ministers is a national secret in Ghana. I will bet my last dollar that Kuffour is the most travelled head of government in the world. The current Pope is nowhere near Kuffour.

Kuffour right after he won the 2000 election oversaw contracts to renovate the Castle were awarded. The contracts were not put out for tender nor were the bids competitive. That should have been a sign of things to come for all Ghanaians. President Kuffour then decided to use state funds to renovate his private residence. When pushed for an explanation, a toothless shameless nameless balless (castrated) farmer claimed to have funded the whole renovation exercise. The truth is somewhere between Axim and Zabuzugu: It exists but the public will never find out. It is no wonder that ministers like Yaw “What a Face” Sarfo Marfo saw this as a license to do their own thing. Yaw Sarfo gave the whole school furniture contract to Coppon Sawmills Ltd located near his hometown Akim Awisa. Thank God Yaw Sarfo lost the NPP presidential primaries. Yaw Osafo again as Minister of Education gave the contract for the printing of books to a British company. No wonder local printers were after him. PS. Yaw Sarfo, where is the welders goggles you wear in the name of glasses?

Another area of wastage has been in the appointment of ministers and creation of ministries. Talk about a bloated government. Kuffour seems to have no clue about how to manage with less. His appointments appear to be more of jobs for the boys than any real meaningful efforts to move the country forward. Ministers with and without portfolios, Senior ministers, ministers at the presidency, ministers of state, ministers for creation of ministries, ministers to baby-sit ministers, regional ministers, sub-regional ministers (ECOWAS minister), continental minister (regional integration and NEPAD), Transportation minister, Aviation minister, Railways minister. Wofa Kuffour, what are you trying to do? I bet you are as confused as the ministers and ministries you have created. This is not just about the number of ministers or ministries; it is about government expenditure and waste. Each minister or deputy minister gets at least two official cars, official residence, numerous special assistants (paid in dollars), drivers, houseboy, garden boys, watchmen, security detail, official wife, unofficial wife, official mistress, unofficial mistress, first lady, second lady, paramour, etc, etc. Dear God, please have mercy on poor country Ghana, which has three times more ministers than Canada, a nation 20 times bigger and a million times richer. (Yehowa hu ye mmobo).

Kuffour and his team of economic magicians tried to hoodwink Ghana into believing that they were securing a billion dollar loan for the country. Thank God for journalists who will not look the other way; as it was revealed that the mythical loan was coming from Chinese barbers. If at first you don’t succeed, try again. And that is exactly what Kuffour and his NPP administration did. They tried again and succeeded in raising $750 million through the Ghana sovereign bonds. Raising the money is not a bad thing if you have programs and projects in place that you want to invest. In the case of team Kuffour they went ahead to raise the money and brought it home. And then they started thinking about what they would spend it on. I hope they do not use the money for budgetary support. That will be a crime against humanity, a crime against unborn Ghanaians. It has been five months since the bond issue and so far not a word on what the money is to be used for. Meanwhile Ghana is paying interest by the day on the bonds. I will revisit the Ghana sovereign bonds issue periodically.

Another colossal failure on the part of Kuffour and his NPP administration is the failure to seek redress for the 44 Ghanaians murdered in The Gambia. Kuffour has been mute on the whole issue. Pretending it did not happen will not make the issue go away and will not bring our kinsmen and women back to life. At a minimum, Kuffour could have reported that buffoon of a president Yahya AJJ Jammeh to the UN, International Court of Justice (ICJ) or even to toothless OAU. If we want buffoons to kill Ghanaians we will not have to go all the way to Gambia, we have home grown buffoons. Heck, our own GPRTU drivers have been killing Ghanaians on the road for free for years. We want justice NOW!!

In my humble opinion, President Kuffour biggest failure was his inability to fire Dr. Richard “Bonking for Ghana” Anane. This singular action or inaction shows that Kuffour has no BALLS or maybe RichDIck Anane has Kuffour by the BALLS. This former Health Minister attended an AIDS conference abroad and had unprotected sex with a fellow participant. Eeeeewww: In this day and age and at an AIDS conference. Dr. Richard “No Shame” Anane had the balls to declare that he did his deed for the benefit of mother Ghana. Awurade Yakubu, nkwaseasem paa nea. Forget about the money sent to his mistress Etokesea Alex, the disgrace to Kuffour, NPP, and Ghana alone is cause for dismissal. The re-nomination of RichDick for the same position after the courts cleared him by a technicality is the worst decision by a sitting president of Ghana. Kuffour may be a democrat; he may be the Gentle Giant but he DEFINITELY HAS NO BALLS.

After all the publicity surrounding Anane and all the incontrovertible evidence against him, you still go ahead and nominate him. When it comes to RichDick Anane, President Kuffour acts like an African woman in bed, acting timid and shy as if to protect her virtue. If you are naked and in the bed, there is no virtue to protect. Stop acting timid and shy like a man with no BALLS. Ghana has given you the license to hire and fire at your discretion. I guess the bungling mess in the name of firing the national security capo Mr. Francis Poku confirms Kuffour’s lack of BALLS. I hope parliament will at least show that they have balls (both men and women) and deny Anane the chance to ‘Bonk for Ghana’ ever again. If we need people to bonk for Ghana, we will send the ‘professionals’ to do the job right.

President Kuffour has about 10 months to the end of his term. He has a very good chance to right most of the wrongs and goofs. If he is able to clean up his image and get rid of Anane for good, declare a fight against waste and corruption in Government, and trim his ministers to less than 40, he has a chance to end on the plus side.

For now I give him a B-

Kwame Appiah-Yeboah
USA
About the author Kwame is not licensed in any field. The only license he holds is to drive in the 48 states of the United States and a license to drive people crazy.


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