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Opinions of Thursday, 17 June 2010

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

What should be the Fate of Incompetent DCEs

– Kumawuman Citizen Inquires and Suggests?

Is Kumawuman, especially Kumawu, jinxed as opined by many a Kumawuman citizen? I can hardly believe my eyes and ears what I see and hear about Kumawu. This town of historic importance is completely in a nosedive when considering its infrastructure. Kumawu has for many years not seen the light of essential development. It is rather deteriorating at an alarming rate which sends chill up the spine of well-meaning Kumawuman citizens. What are the likely causes of the noticeable dilapidation of Kumawu, a District Capital of the Kumawu Sekyere Afram Plains?

When I speak, they are for war. Should I be simply deterred by the fact that it doesn't always sit well with some people when the truth is said, to keep my silence? No, that is not my character; it is not within my blood. I was neither brought up as a coward nor trained as one throughout my education. I will always remain vociferous, honest and transparent when it comes to discussing issues of national interest and especially, issues involving the betterment of Kumawuman. No matter how close one is to me, I will not brush their irresponsible acts under the carpet if they do commit any. I will reprimand them and also recommend appropriate correctional measures to be taken against the fellow if need be. This is what makes me proud as not only a citizen of Ghana but a Kumawuman born with that unselfish humane quality in me. Does it not make me stand tall among coequals when it comes to showing concern about Kumawuman?

I will sail you through what I feel are the causes for the shameful retrogression of Kumawu. I would rather wish Kumawu was stagnating than retrogressing with all the attendant outbreaks of diseases and humiliation. Kumawu is completely a shadow of its former self. When I was growing up as a child in the late fifties and early sixties, I could see Kumawu being more of a vibrant life of a town but now, it is almost a ruined village and as silent as the cemetery. Why? I am asking why this abrupt but continuous change for the worse in the life of Kumawu since the mid-1970s?

Kumawu citizens are honestly apathetic. They are nonchalant. They don't give a hoot about the land of their birth. As Eric Donaldson did identify with his Jamaica land in a positive way as expressed in heartfelt-song lyrics, "This Is the Land of My Birth, I Say This Is the Land of My Birth, I Say This Jamaica My Jamaica, The Land Of My Birth", Kumawu citizens are totally neglectful of their responsibilities towards the land of their birth. Most of them don't see each other as their brother's keeper. They believe strongly in that selfish dictum, "Mine is mine and ours is ours" - "ewo me ne ewo yen nse". Are they different from those Ghanaians who are careless towards anything said to belong to the government? The Kumawu citizens may be worse or else, what is their convincing reason for the rapid deterioration of, and non provision of basic infrastructural development for their area?

The dismal actions and inactions of the citizens are to blame. Could it be down to stupidity, fear or lack of knowledge? Truly, the Bible is right when it states in part that; "For lack of knowledge, my people perish" Kumawuman citizens have neglected or dreadfully reneged on their duty of holding their elected public officers to account. Both their Member of Parliament and District Chief Executive have been left unanswerable to the Constituency and the District respectively. They have been allowed for far too long to wallow in what I deem as quite irresponsible charlatan behaviours. The fact that the people are ignorant of their requirement to keep their elected public officers on their toes by way of assessing and questioning them about their achievements, does not allow the officers not to live up to expectation. They have woefully failed the constituents. What are their goals and what have they achieved so far? To me, they have achieved nothing and Kumawuman would be much better off not having any elected public officers than to have nonperforming ones who may be corrupt as well.

I will be very considerate with my criticisms of the Member of Parliament (MP) as he is rather a Law maker than somebody directly responsible for the development of Kumawuman. However, he could not totally be exonerated of blame for not interacting positively with the DCE to ensuring he is up and doing. The MP should find out if the DCE does receive a fair share of the national cake and uses it to develop the area. But should they be birds of the same feathers flocking together, I am afraid the MP has no moral justification to be a check on him.

So far, the DCE has proved himself a total novice in both politics and the administration of the district. He is a complete misfit in his current job. I would not hesitate a minute to call for his resignation or his dismissal from his employment as the DCE of the Kumawu Sekyere Afram Plains. What has he achieved for the area since taking up that post? Nothing! What are his plans to generate revenue to develop the area? Nothing! Does he ever anticipate moving all the District's remaining departmental offices still held in Effiduase to Kumawu? No. Does he know that moving the offices over to Kumawu may create jobs for the inhabitants of Kumawuman, bring in new people with new talents, thereby helping to make Kumawu livelier to live in? I am afraid not. What then is he doing? He is the only one able to tell. Should he be allowed to continue hanging around as the DCE as incompetent and naive as he is? I would say NO, but will give him the benefit of the doubt, then suggest to him what he should do. Failing to do as I will suggest, then I will move for his dismissal. The welfare of Kumawuman can no longer be compromised.

Until when will the complacency within the Kumawuman citizens' blood stop circulating? They always pose and repose confidence in their elected officials even if they are found to be utterly dishonest and absolutely incompetent. They do so out of not only ignorance but fear of being rebuked and ostracized by their fellows for telling the truth as it should. Until we cease to be complacent but to hold both our elected public officials and traditional elders to account, Kumawuman will never see the light at the end of the tunnel. It will continue to grope in the darkness of the tunnel until "thy Kingdom" come.

It always takes a selfless dynamic person to bring about a positive change in the lives of many. Such a person should always be fearless and be prepared to uphold the good intentions they aspire for regardless of the challenges and obstructions he/she will encounter. It takes a leader or a person with foresight to liberate their people from unnecessary economic and social strangulation. This is exactly what I am going to do from today forward. I am sick and tired seeing Kumawu left in tatters with irresponsible persons at its helm of affairs. We need to take our own destiny into our hands. We need to stop looking up for help from the outer stratosphere. We need to bend fate to suit us rather than allowing fate to take us wherever it wants, as and when it wants. Nobody will be better placed to develop Kumawuman than the very inhabitants and those originating from the area.

We fail to hold our elected officials to account by failure of reporting their malfeasances to the appropriate quarters for punishment. This unpatriotic, ruinous and obnoxious behaviour should cease. There is strong undertone rumour circulating that Kumawuman DCEs have been very dishonest not only in their post but in the execution of their duties. Could we by the publication of this article require of the NDC government to order investigations into the activities of the District Council since its creation to unearth any wrong-doings? Those found guilty should be punished accordingly. Anyone with credible information should please volunteer to divulge them when the need arise. Is it good for you to allow yourself to be fooled with flimsy excuses when you know much better to the contrary? In case you are very conversant with the fact that one is embezzling the District Council's money to carry out their personal projects, but same fellow tells you the money are coming from their relatives abroad, what should you do? Do you allow them to continue to steal the public money meant for developing the area for the common good of all, or you will report them? Your integrity is at stake if you continue to sit down twirling your fingers and doing nothing while you are very much in the know about any ongoing perpetration of embezzlement of public funds.

Kumawuman has been fortunate to have a highly successful private businessman who now doubles as a noble public servant in the administration of the President Mill's NDC government. This man is highly honest, accountable and also transparent in all his doings. Why can't the DCE contact him for guidelines as to how to generate revenue to carry out infrastructural development in Kumawuman? Our MP can equally be as guilty as the DCE with both failing to aspire to drink from the overflowing fountain of wisdom of this said sagacious person in whom I am well pleased. I hold him in high esteem and others also speak highly of him. Kumawuman, this is your chance. If you let it slip through your fingers, don't blame anyone but yourselves. As some Christians say, "If you don't go to Heaven, don't blame Jesus"

I give the DCE four weeks from the publication of this article to consult that most successful son of Kumawuman for implementable ideas able to bring about the infrastructural development of Kumawuman. I further give him three months to transfer most, if not all, of the remaining Kumawu Sekyere Afram Plains' departmental offices still in Effiduase to Kumawu. Failing to do as recommended, I will organize a campaign to kick him out of office. I want to see developments starting in Kumawuman now. You were not elected only to draw your salary but to carry out a job for the district. Kumawuman requires better. They need effective representation from their elected officials but not that shabby type as has been the case until today.

It is about time Kumawu people especially, discarded the apathy among them. They need to mobilise themselves for the development of their cash-strapped town. Kumawu is at the brink of infrastructural, social and economic destruction. Anyone wanting to see hanging houses as though they are reminiscent of the "Hanging Gardens of Babylon" should please go to Kumawu. Erosion has been tormenting the area same as hurricanes afflict the USA. What are the DCE, MP and the entire population doing about it? Effective leadership in town planning is the answer. Who is to provide it? The DCE, I should think.

This is just the beginning of the fight I am going to wage to ensure sanity, accountability; probity and transparency are brought about in the local administration of Kumawuman.

I am sure the DCE will take my advice in good faith. Kumawuman will no longer tolerate people taking representative positions only to selfishly enrich them as it is the case now. "A word to the wise is enough"

I conclude by quoting Sir Winston Churchill, "One ought never to turn ones back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half".

Rockson Adofo