Feature Article of Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Columnist: Sarpong, Justice

Can President Dramani Mahama Detain Ibrahim Mahama?

"The president of Central African Republic is reported to have ordered the detention of his own son for refusing to pay a large hotel bill.Police detained Francois Bozize's son for several days after he ran up a bill of up to 12,000 euros ($15,000) at a hotel in the capital, reports said."

There are progressive leadership sprouting out of Central part of Africa which Africa has been crying for after leaders like Mobutu Sese Seko and others stole billions of dollars and stashed them in foreign countries under ficticious names and deprived those countries the needed resources to develop their impoverished countries.It is not only President Francois Bozize of Central Africa Republic who is trying to stamp out the reputation African leaders have as corrupt and unpatriotic leaders who fight for power just for their own parochial interest to enrich themselves, families and their friends.President Joyce Banda, Malawi's new president, went as far as cutting one third of Politicians salaries including herself. She now earns $3,000 a month, a far cry from what our President here in Ghana is scheming to earn, more than $6,000 a month. If we allow the new salary scale to take effect, even Deputy Ministers will earn more than the Malawian

Now coming back to Ghana, can our President detain or send his brother Ibrahim to jail for trying to defraud Ghana of more than $50 million he borrowed to expand his company? If it was not the eagle eyes of the opposition, Ibrahim Mahama by the help of his brother would have dumped his loan on Ghanaians as bad debts which Ghana would have been forced to pay as bad debts in a scheme hatched at the Castle to dupe Ghanaians.

Now coming back to the President of Democratic Republic of Congo detaining his son for failing to pay his hotel bills, his son, Kevin Bozize was alleged to have piled up this bill at the five-star Ledger Plaza hotel in Bangui, which include cost of room as well as meals and services.Both the head of the hotel and the president's son were initially detained when Kevin refused to pay the bill. Having been informed of the situation, his father summoned both of them and in front of the manager and he [Kevin] confirmed that he stayed at the hotel and said he paid all the bills.Both he and the manager were detained... but after the facts were verified, the manager was freed. Can this happen in Ghana?

We have all witnessed how things are run in Ghana where government officials get away with crimes. A good example is the Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister who was involved in a murder case and ran and hid under a bed in Accra. What happened to him in this case? NOTHING and he is still at post as Deputy regional Minister. What about Captain Mfodgo who held a gun to the head of a young girl who is young enough to be his daughter and raped her repeatedly. Captain Mfodgo is still a member of Parliament, a rapist who should be in prison but just recently 'won' a lotto in the salary increase. Mfodgo the Rapist woke up one morning and because of the retroactive pay increase, found $110,000 in his Bank account. This rapist is still on the ballot from a constituency in Volta Region.

What did President Joyce Banda of Malaw did that is so enviable apart from the fact that she reduced the salaries of Politicians in Malawi unlike Ghana where our greedy Politicians have increased their salaries more than 130%? Not only did she reduce the pay of her Ministers and others. She also put up the Presidential plane and 60 fleet of Mercedes limousines up for sale and started flying commercial airlines.Before that, the The Presidential jet had annual running costs of £220,000. Compare this selfless attitude by the Malawian President to our situation in Ghana where extra $8 million fuel tank, $1 million staircase and $17 million hangar for an $80 million plane was bought for the comfort of this President. There is controversy surrounding the cost of this plane and even President Mills set up a committee to investigate Mahama which NDC did not allow to see the light of day.

The Malawian government selfless patriotism has attracted the attention of the world and brought some benefits to the people of Malawi.But her decisions have seen donors including Britain, the EU, Germany, Norway and the World Bank, re-establish warm relations with Malawi.

"Mr Mitchell announced that Britain, Malawi's biggest bilateral aid donor, would send a Bank of England expert to help stabilise the currency, and handed £23 million to the Finance Ministry.He said that Mrs Banda had sent a signal of her intent and her priorities at a time of financial austerity both in Malawi and Britain.
The importance of an African leader giving up the jets and Mercedes is iconic," he said."

Some African countries are going through massive transformation socially and economically including countries like Kenya, Uganda, Malawi and other countries that are providing free secondary school education why are we fighting against this policy that will develop the human resouces of the people? Ghana is living in vain importance bragging of being the first Sub-Saharan African to gain Independence but is falling behind other countries on this continent because of leadership vacuum our Politicians have provided us since Independence. The troths of our leaders are not worth the papers they are printed on, we are dividing the country on regional lines when the President appeals to the emotions of the Northerners to vote for him and not even the nictitate of some people from his own Party has stopped him from preaching tribalism. This is not the leader we need but we need somebody like Nana Akuffo Addo who gave up his salary as a member of Parliament to
help his own people. Ghana should not make a mistake of voting for Mahama because he has shown already that he is corrupt to the core unlike Mills who though was a bad President but was not a slave to money. Mahama is a slave to money and he doesn't care how he amasses it.

Justice Sarpong

Houston, Texas