Feature Article of Friday, 1 June 2012

Columnist: Kwawukume, Andy C. Y.

Pay These Judgement Debts Too And Show Some Mettle

No Ghanaian should ever believe government officials claim that there is no money to carry out or pay for essential projects and services again. We all know Ghana is a richly resourced country which the grandparents and parents of some of us who ruled the Gold Coast with the British put on the world pedestal before independence. Standard of living in Ghana by 1960 was comparable to southern and eastern Europe by many yardsticks. That is why some of us are grievously perturbed by what has been happening to Ghana since our flag independence, especially after the overthrow of Nkrumah’s CPP regime, even though we knew the rot started under the CPP. After all, some of us are privy to how monies were stolen under the CPP regime by some of Nkrumah’s own Ministers; on his blind side, of course. So the canker of corruption has been with us for a while now.

The ongoing judgement debts cases and reflections on the Mills regime have led me to write this brief piece for public consumption. Since charity begins at home, I shall dwell on what is closest to my own hearth, even though I am aware there are, for instance, many contractors waiting to be paid for jobs executed for the government. I am not leaving them to cry their own cry though, as I have them in my mind.

Indeed, the alacrity with which Betty Mould and Kwabena Duffour paid out that huge sum to only one person and his backers, and all those other judgement debts paid for no job done is an affront to my in-law and his colleagues who retired from the Audit Service years back and have not been paid their retirement benefits as I write; despite winning a series of court cases against the Accountant-General's Dept. These poor, retired civil servants DESERVED TO BE PAID NOW WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY! Yes, in the same manner the Acct-Gen refused to pay up fully my late father's entitlements, for acting as the Financial Comptroller of the defunct Workers Brigade without stealing a single penny, dating back to the CPP years despite court decisions in his favour! I intend to launch on behalf of my siblings our own action to retrieve the rest of what was owed him plus accrued interest. The lawless and dishonest bastards in charge of the affairs of Ghana are simply insensitive and wicked! We must rally against them and tackle them headlong. Enough is enough!

The last time I heard, that’s many months ago, they (my in-law and colleagues) were awaiting Parliamentary approval of their meagre pensions, even after the court judgement! With whatever savings they had running out and treasury bills bought cashed and spent, they have been reduced to living on the generosity of family and friends, after serving Ghana faithfully for over 30 years! Some have died out of the induced high blood pressure! If I were one of them still alive, I'd be picketing Parliament on a daily basis with a megaphone! Those bald heads need loud speakers to drum sense into their skulls, if possible at all!

As for President Mills, the pathetic way he has been handling the administration from day one of his election clearly shows that he has not got the mettle to rule Ghana. He went incognito immediately after the elections only to emerge to say that NPP appointees should remain at post, to the chagrin of Rawlings and some of us with political sense. It clearly indicated that his regime was not ready to take over the daily administration of the country. I was dumbfounded by that announcement! So naïve and so amateurish! Even when one DCE in the W/R went AWOL and was publicly embarrassing the government to appoint somebody in his place, nothing was done! I was shocked at their incompetence and how lame-duck they appeared and said so on some websites too, including myjoyonline. Rawlings, with his background and experience of taking over the reins of government and immediately appointing people to occupy those posts, was justifiably outraged and said so publicly after his private advice was no doubt ignored by the mix of amateurs and old “greedy bastards” surrounding Mills in the Castle. Even an old “barking dog” like their General Mosquito Asiedu came out with that stupid statement that their failed MP candidates did not stand for elections to lose in order to be appointed DCEs! They could have been asked to act until substantive ones were appointed? There is nothing Machiavellian and diabolical about that? The acting allowances would have gone a little way to pay for their electoral expenses and allow something small to drip on the emergent “foot soldiers” too who turned their attention to seizing toilets!

Those who made cocaine to turn into kokonte and some to disappear from behind locked doors remained at post and dutifully turned another batch into sodium bicarbonate! Even Police officers who knew a lot about these shenanigans but would not divulge them and were indicted by even the patently corrupt Kuffour regime were returned to post and promoted! Is that what the much vaunted rule of law is all about?

Truly, Mills does not need to imprison even a single NPP honcho, who were very nimble in covering their backs, in order to demonstrate that he is fighting corruption; all that he needs to be seen doing is acting on the damning Auditor Gen's Reports (which only report the tip of the ice-berg of corruption in the public sector, btw), and taking serious action on the revelations Anas has been making, and he'd retain the public's confidence, respect and trust. He has woefully failed in these aspects too! Baah! Can he wake up and start cleaning up the rot in the Electricity Corp at least before he hand over power? Many Ghanaians, including NDC members, are justifiably fed up with this Prof. Do-Little! Apology, Nana All-Die-Be-Die Akuffo Addo.

We all knew, don’t we?, of the pro-NPP businessmen, not only Woyome, who rushed to finance the NDC even before Martin Amidu mentioned it in his damning gargantuan letter which cost him his AG job. Even on Ghanaweb SIL, some decade long critics and opponents of the P/NDC and Rawlings were raising funds for the NDC. It led to a fracas between them and the die-hard NDC supporters who were saying that the NDC should not receive the donations from their over a decade long "enemies" on Ghanaweb’s SIL. I am on record as saying that even though I wish the NDC well, and indeed joined my colleagues of the Nkrumaistforum in supporting Mills in the 2nd round of voting, I would not contribute money to them! But should contribution of such monies mean that the continuing crimes against the state should be condoned and connived at under the nebulous concept of father for all, including the thieves in the Customs and Preventive Services, the Police, the Ministries and other parastatals?

Why am I wasting my time huffing and puffing here, when no one is even paying attention? After all, the inertia of the people and the partisan media are parts of the rot in the country! I should concentrate on retrieving the judgements debts owed my own people! Ghana has struck oil, you know? We can borrow and spend in advance to our hearts content! We just want what is due us. PAYS US OUR JUDGEMENT DEBTS NOW! OUR IN-LAW AND FATHER WORKED FOR THEIR MONEY!

Andy C. Y. Kwawukume