Sunday, 27 December 2009
I made it plain to the gentleman concerned that I was not writing critical articles about the NPP regime during its tenure, because I was being paid to do so, by the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
One did so simply because one happens to be a patriot. I am a nationalist, a pan-Africanist, and an Nkrumaist – who believes in the enterprise Ghana.
I also told him that I was of the opinion that his party was now showing the same degree of ruthlessness that made its political forebears engage in the bomb-throwing and other acts of terrorism it engaged in, in order to destabilize the regime of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP), after Ghana gained its independence in 1957.
The endless negativity of many of the NPP members and sympathizers who take part in current affairs discussion programmes, which are broadcast by Ghana’s many FM radio stations, is that party’s modern-day substitute for the bomb-throwing of its political antecedents in the Akan tribal-supremacist National Liberation Movement (NLM).
That, and the many acts of quiet-sabotage now being carried out daily, by its sympathizers and members in the public sector, is at the heart of the NPP’s grand-strategy for regaining power.
If the Mills regime is to succeed in its aim of creating a better Ghana for all Ghanaians, the president needs to make it plain, in the new year, that his administration expects all the NPP’s sympathizers and members, whom the new government decided not to remove from their positions in the public sector, when it assumed office in January 2009, to reciprocate that gesture by continuing to remain loyal to the government of the day.
If the Mills regime wants to succeed, it needs to be creative in dealing with those disloyal public servants, who so regret the defeat of the NPP in the December 2008 elections that they are prepared to help the NPP return to power in 2012, by sabotaging the present administration.
Perhaps employing creativity in dealing with a number of businesses owned by certain powerful and wealthy individuals in some of the sectors in the Ghanaian economy, which are defying the authority of the Ghanaian nation-state, and have refused to halt their operations, in spite of the fact that they have been ordered to do so by the relevant state organs, will give the Mills administration the opportunity to effectively deal with NPP saboteurs in the Minerals Commission; the Environmental Protection Agency; and the Forestry Division of the Forestry Commission of Ghana.
The question, dear reader, is: At a time of global climate change, when we need to protect Ghana’s natural heritage, how come that an illegal surface gold mining operation is being carried out at Akyem Juaso, despite attempts by a deputy minister of environment, science, and technology, to halt that outrage?
If action is not taken by the Mills administration in this particular instance, they will wake up to discover that irreparable damage has been caused to part of Ghana’s natural heritage: that provides valuable ecosystem services to our nation, by the illegal actions of certain wealthy individuals, who were untouchable during the Kufuor era, because they were politically well-connected.
The president must get the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to investigate the actions of Sola Mining, the surface gold mining company currently operating illegally in Akyem Juaso without a valid EPA mining permit, and using the concession of Kibi Goldfields as legal cover.
In so doing, the government will be able to use a creative method to kill two birds with one stone – and enable it to remove those recalcitrant individuals in the Forestry Division of the Forestry Commission; the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); and the Minerals Commission, whose continuing perfidy is allowing the illegal surface gold mining and massive illegal logging being carried out in that part of the Atiwa Range upland evergreen rain forest to go on - which enables a few wealthy individuals who acquired their vast fortunes simply because they were politically well-connected during the Kufour era, to continue defying the laws of Ghana and damaging the well-being of our country and its people.
A similar investigation by the BNI to discover how come that at a time of global climate change, the fragile ecology of the three northern regions was ignored, when a wealthy and ruthless individual (who so clearly does not care one jot, about the effects of her actions on the natural environment, or on the quality of life of the inhabitants of the three northern regions!), was given the sole right to fell trees in a part of our country, which is suffering the most from the effects of global climate change, will also enable the Mills administration to make the necessary changes in the management of the Forestry Division of the Forestry Commission.
Incredibly - just as is the case in the illegal surface gold mining going on at Akyem Juaso - even though the sector minister is aware of her defiance, the said individual (who was “allocated” the sole right to fell trees in the three northern regions in the dying days of the Kufuor regime!), is carrying on regardless: although all timber firms have apparently been asked to cease felling logs temporarily whiles a review of timber permits is undertaken.
If the government heeds the advice to get the BNI to investigate the actions of this arrogant and ruthless lady in the three northern regions, it will enable it to remove the NPP saboteurs still lurking in the Forestry Division of the Forestry Commission.
Finally, I suggest that the Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, contacts his counterpart in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – and review the investigation of the infamous case in which a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer was asked to assist the police as a result of an allegation of the illegal production of cocaine, with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
He will find such collaboration very fruitful indeed – as it will provide the Ghana Police Service with institutional knowledge that will enable it deal effectively with the overseas drug barons who are rumoured to be using entities in the Ghanaian pharmaceutical manufacturing sector to hide the production of illegal synthetic drugs in Ghana.
The Mills regime needs to use creativity in dealing with the NPP saboteurs in various sectors of Ghana’s public sector as it enters its second year in office – and enable our nation to finally rid the public sector of the unpatriotic public servants who are impeding our country’s forward march. President Mills will not achieve his goals if his regime does not remove such individuals from the public sector. A word to the wise…
Tel (powered by Tigo – Ghana’s most reliable mobile phone network!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109.
Ms Ohene’s little coup, encapsulates perfectly, the ineptness of the government’s public relations team, thus far. It is an unfortunate situation, which has enabled the opposition NPP to run rings around the Mills regime: thus empowering the opposition party to set the political agenda – and successfully giving ordinary Ghanaians the unfortunate impression that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) regime is incompetent. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. For, the fact of the matter, is that the Mills administration has indeed performed wonders: in being able to stabilize an economy that was suffering from an acute form of the economic malaise, which the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) often refer to euphemistically (for diplomatic reasons) as “debt distress” in order to spare the blushes of developing world regimes that the two multilateral institutions happen to be doing business with, at any given point in time. In reality, the NDC regime actually inherited the theoretical-economics equivalent of a poisoned chalice, from the previous NPP regime, if truth be told.
Clearly, the Mills administration must be a great deal more creative in 2010: if it wants to set the national agenda and win the battle for the hearts and minds of ordinary Ghanaians – especially if it wants to hold on to the independent-minded and discerning voters whose crucial votes won it the run-off of the December 2008 presidential election. To do so, it must do certain things. To start with, it must promote the minister for information to the cabinet – and disband the communications team at the presidency. An articulate president and his vice president do not need press secretaries and a head of communications, at the seat of government. Mr. Ayariga’s boss, the president, does sound, and is, far more sincere, than his press secretary – so what is the point of keeping him on, I ask, dear reader? Ayariga does a nice line in insincerity – and will serve Ghana brilliantly abroad, as an ambassador. As a wag once said (when giving the job description of an ambassador!): “An ambassador is a man sent abroad to lie for his country.” Ayariga’s verrissimulitudes will work a treat abroad for Ghana.
Then there is the curious situation, dear reader, which we are now witnessing, and which has resulted in the vice president being saddled with a press secretary whom he is far more articulate than. It really is an intolerable situation – and must be swiftly brought to an end. No doubt, the vice president’s press secretary, John Jinapo, will make a perfect deputy minister for the new region that the vice president wants created (at God knows what cost to Ghana!). Perhaps the head of communications at the presidency can also be given a new job at the presidency as a "special aide" to the president – so that he can keep his pay, as well as the perks and other freebies, which he too has no doubt become accustomed to. Such is the ever-belligerent Kokou Anyidaho’s finesse that he is able to alienate even the most ardent supporters of the regime he is apparently such an important part of. Painful and unpalatable though many of the things said above about the three gentlemen might be to the Mills administration, they are things that need to be said plainly, at this point in the regime's tenure – and some of us are happy to say them: as we are neither looking for posts in the government, nor interested in accompanying the president on his trips abroad, and are definitely not frightened of any of the three gentlemen concerned, too.
Hopefully, someone close to the president, will print this out and let him read it – and if he wants his regime to rid itself of the negative image it currently has, let him act to disband the communications team in the presidency, swiftly. Any Ghanaian regime which has the foresight to focus on local rice production, deserves to succeed and must never be regarded as an incompetent one: especially when the price of rice is predicted to go as high as US$ 800 per tonne next year, as a result of adverse weather conditions in South East Asia. Finally, and lest I forget, dear reader, perhaps Ayariga & Co. might do us all a favour by suggesting to the president that he should publicly publish the assets of himself and his dear wife – as that will make all Ghanaians, and the rest of the world, understand that Ghana’s president means business, when he says he is serious about fighting corruption. There is also the added bonus that it will make the president occupy the high moral ground in Ghanaian politics, and make his position virtually unassailable. That is a more worthy gesture from a gentleman, whom the vast majority of Ghanaians accept, happens to be the most honest Ghanaian leader ever elected to occupy the presidency, since the overthrow of the selfless Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, in 1966. A word to the wise…
Tel (powered by Tigo – the most reliable mobile phone network in Ghana!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109 & the not-so-hot and clueless Vodafone wireless smartfone: + 233 (0) 21 976238.
Friday, 4 December 2009
It appears that many members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) do not believe their luck – the impression one gets, is that they are firmly convinced that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is in complete disarray. “Enkoyie, enowoma enkoyie kuraa” is their catchphrase. They seem to think that they are still campaigning for an election (one that is at least a little over three years away, and in political terms, a lifetime, for the Mills regime to succeed in bettering the lot of a majority of Ghanaians!). The independent minded Ghanaians (the so-called floating-voters), whose crucial votes made it possible for President Mills to beat his NPP opponent in the run-off of the December 2008 presidential elections, often pose a simple question to those confounded “My-party-my-tribe-right-or-wrong” myrmidon-types (whose blind support of the political parties eventually destroys them when they finally win power and come to office), who benefited mightily from the patronage of the NPP regime.
The question, dear reader, is: Have they considered the possibility that if the Mills administration fails, and does not succeed in delivering the “Better Ghana” they promised the good people of Ghana during the campaign for the December 2008, the events of June 4th 1979 could be repeated? Have they ever considered the fact that so disenchanted have ordinary Ghanaians become with Ghanaian democracy (because in their view, Ghana’s politicians and political parties have hijacked the “democracy dividend” for themselves, the members of their family clans, and their cronies – by successfully exploiting our national economy for the sole purpose of sending their personal net worth into the stratosphere), that a majority of them may not lift a finger to stop anyone seeking to bring the 4th Republic to an end? Does it not strike them that our political landscape today does bear a striking resemblance to that of the period preceding the events of June 4th 1979 – because the crooks of yesteryear are still hanging on to their ill-gotten wealth and taunting decent-minded Ghanaians: by using it to manipulate that section of the media they bought whiles in power to whip up public sentiment against the Mills regime, as well as using their biased appointees still at post in the public sector to stall and frustrate the current regime?
Let them ponder the implications of the results of the impunity with which the most powerful individual in the nest of vipers that was at the heart of the Kufuor presidency, acted, when against even the advice of the Attorney General (that it would result in the Ghanaian nation-state being successfully sued for breach of contract, and a resultant loss, financially, to Ghana), he still went ahead and forced the ministry of agriculture to award a solar-powered irrigation contract it had already signed with a Spanish firm, to another Spanish firm of his own choosing. Sooner or later the current government will eventually pay an out of court settlement to the company originally awarded the contract – at which point charges of willfully causing financial loss to Ghana will be brought against the officials whose high-handedness and total disregard for the rule of law resulted in that unnecessary loss to cash-strapped Ghana. The outrage in all this is that that selfsame individual had the gall to insult ordinary Ghanaians, by constantly repeating the arrogant and disrespectful phrase: “That is the Ghanaian for you!” during his appearance at the Ghana@50 probe.
No doubt the more uncharitable and cynical amongst those who suffered as a result of the actions of that nest of vipers, which the presidency under President Kufuor represented, will simply utter the phrase “Poetic Justice!” when those who caused that unfortunate loss to Mother Ghana have their day in court and get their just deserts, when their trial ends. Ghana suffered terribly as a result of the many such examples of highhandedness and arbitrariness, by yesteryear’s masters of the universe, who forgot that pithy Ghanaian phrase “No condition is permanent” and thought they were invincible, as they exploited our nation ruthlessly. As we all know, there are many such cases of the abuse of power, which resulted from their ability to successfully manipulate the legal system, and get away with it. Well, perhaps like the US authorities, who were able to nail the master-criminal Al Capone, because he forgot to keep his taxes in order, Mother Ghana too will be able to nail yesteryear’s crooks through the occasional lucky break, such as that infamous ministry of agriculture case.
Let the authorities listen again to the “Election Forensics” tape-recordings of the voices of Attta Akyea and Maxwell Kofi Jumah, which were broadcast by Radio Gold FM, during the December 2008 elections. In the case of Atta Akyea, in addition to the amazing revelation that there apparently were “right judges” in our nation who could be relied on to deliver the appropriate judgments when necessary, they will also clearly hear a lady saying in the background that there was a van with a dead body in it ” ...ewo asieho.” Let him explain precisely what that dead body was doing there – so that he gets the opportunity to finally clear up any remaining doubt still persisting today about that particular oddity. In the case of that Maxwell Kofi Jumah buffoon, they will also clearly hear him telling hired thugs that he would issue them with police and army uniforms, as well as arm some of them – and make sure that regional police commanders would rescue them if they got into trouble: whiles on their ballot-box snatching and election-rigging activities. Is that not criminal – and if it is, just what are the authorities doing about it?
How do we know that our security forces are still not jam-packed with such NPP paid-thugs, even today, as we speak, I ask, dear reader? Are our hard-of-hearing leaders going to ignore these past transgressions by such power-hungry hypocrites – who have the gall to be forever belittling the Mills administration? Let our current leaders not forget that in the end Al Capone was sent to prison (to pay for his many murders and other crimes) because the authorities took advantage of his refusal to pay his taxes. Let them be creative too – and in so doing, avoid allowing Ghanaians to become disenchanted with Ghanaian democracy: because those who tried to steal the December 2008 presidential election are allowed to get away with their perfidy, and continue to taunt Ghanaians on top of that outrage! The authorities must act to ensure that all those NPP members who took part in the gang-rape of mother Ghana are punished for their crimes against out nation. If they fail to do so, they will be failing those who voted them into office, precisely because they wanted regime-change, so as to bring that unsavoury chapter of our history to a close. Our political class must understand that Ghanaian democracy will not survive if yesteryear’s crooks are allowed to continue getting away with their many sins against ordinary Ghanaians. A word to the wise…
Tel (powered by Tigo – the one mobile phone network in
Friday, 20 November 2009
That Kafkaesque case, The Republic Vs Kofi Thompson, should never have been brought to trial in the first place – as it was in effect a complete waste of the court’s time.
Amazingly, I was charged with causing criminal damage to my own farmland – my crime being that I had acted with resolve to rid myself of a recalcitrant trespasser: who repeatedly refused to abate his trespass and leave our land.
Yet, the land in question has been in my family since 1933 – and it was the trespasser who caused criminal damage to our organic farm: by spraying papaya that he had illegally planted on a portion of the land, with synthetic pesticides, and making a complete nonsense of our business-model.
Still, I am looking at the whole thing in a positive light – I learnt a great deal about the nature of Ghanaian society, during that trial.
It really is scandalous that the profligate President Kufour, chose to spend over US$150 millions building a presidential palace complex, during his tenure – when that sum could probably have provided modern recording equipment for all the law courts in our country.
Why, in the 21st century ICT age, should we ask our judges to record court proceedings in longhand, I ask, dear reader? Would it not have benefited our nation a great deal more, if President Kufuor had spent the zillions he wasted on the so-called Golden Jubilee House (Flagstaff House to most Ghanaian nationalists and Nkrumaists!) buying our law courts recording equipment, instead?
Incidentally, I have often wondered, whether it ever occurs to any of those shortsighted individuals, who seek to justify that folly of President Kufuor’s at the site of the old Flagstaff House, that rather than spending zillions building a chi-chi presidential palace (probably riddled with listening-bugs – placed there by the secret services of those who loaned his regime the money to build it!), offered a choice in the matter, a more visionary and prudent leader, would have taken a different course.
He or she would have simply opted to acquire a blueprint for a new capital for Ghana, and invited Ghanaian city-planners to design a modern and green capital city - to be built in the centre of Ghana by a future successor-regime: at a point in time when our country can easily afford it -and chosen, instead, to spend the Indian loan buying our law courts recording equipment – and left that as one of his or her legacies.
Would that not have helped entrench the rule of law yet further, in our country?
But I digress. Needless to say, the police summons for the case I was being prosecuted for, was issued in October 2007 – during the perfidious New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) tenure in office.
The plaintiff was a retired Ghana Armed Forces warrant officer. Apparently, he had also once been a National Democratic Congress (NDC) big-wig in Nsawam. Sadly, he was bitten by a snake at home – and thus died midstream during the trial.
It so happened that his lawyer was a former NPP member of parliament for the Akuapim South constituency. That well-educated buffoon was a quintessential NPP-type: insufferable, arrogant, and a world-class philistine – a Mr. Wiafe.
The question, dear reader, is: What was that staunch NPP politician doing representing an NDC man, who once upon a time, must have worked pretty hard, to stop him from being elected to parliament – during the particular election campaign that sent him to parliament as the NPP Member of Parliament for the Akuapim South constituency?
It was one of the many odd things about that travesty of justice, which that most egregious of malicious prosecutions, represented.
Incredibly, the police investigator (who did not even interview me!) rushed the case to court, with such undue haste – in a time-frame that must rate as the quickest in the annals of the Ghana Police Service: from the date of the reporting of the case by the complainant, and the issuing of the police summons for me, the ‘suspect,’ to appear before Nsawam Circuit Court, presided over, initially, by Mrs. Justice Ankumah.
She was transferred to Accra during the case – and replaced by Her Honour, Justice Ms. Myers. I am so relieved that that dreadful matter is now behind me – and that those in the previous regime who thought they could use it to silence me, failed so miserably in their aim.
It is outrageous that whiles many corrupt officials regularly go unpunished for their crimes against our country and its people, so many underprivileged Ghanaians pay daily in the law courts, for the crimes they commit – crimes that often pale into insignificant when compared to the zillions of Ghana cedis that the crooks amongst our political class, for example, purloin from our national treasury, with such impunity.
If we are serious about entrenching democracy in our homeland Ghana, we must ensure that the judiciary is given all the resources it needs (including paying our judges well!) to enable it fulfill its role in our constitutional democracy. Those who now rule our nation must act quickly to make the recording of court proceedings in longhand by Ghana’s judges a thing of the past.
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
The bottle has the advertising slogan “The good taste of Ghana” blazoned on it. The clever marketing team at Cargil, is obviously leveraging Ghana’s good image in the international community as a haven of peace and stability, in choosing that slogan.
One wishes that those in charge of the cocoa processing plant that Nkrumah built at Tema, would also be so positive in their outlook!
Speaking as someone who farms cocoa organically at Akim Abuakwa Juaso, I was alarmed, when I heard one of the gentleman in charge of the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC), incredibly telling the world, during an interview with one of Accra’s many FM radio stations (incidentally, I forget precisely which one it was – but I have a feeling it might have been in one of Joy FM’s business news bulletins), that the company had imported (or was going to import!) about 5,000 metric tonnes of cocoa from a neighbouring country: because Ghana’s cocoa beans command a “premium price.”
Apparently, that shortsighted move will save the CPC money – and it is said that the company will still produce chocolate of “acceptable quality.” Incredible.
He topped that inanity by adding that chocolate manufacturers elsewhere blend various grades of cocoa to produce chocolate.
It obviously escapes the geniuses who run the CPC that those manufacturers in Europe, and elsewhere, are not in the lucky and happy position, of being able to manufacture their products in Ghana – which produces the world’s best quality cocoa beans. Incredible.
Why, do those who are going to ruin the hard-won reputation of the CPC’s famous dark chocolate, not realize that the “premium quality” cocoa beans from Ghana enable their products to occupy a niche in the global market for dark chocolate?
Perhaps it will interest them to know that a dear friend from Pennsylvania, in the US, who loves chocolates and speaks highly of the CPC’s range of dark chocolates, will be horrified to hear that the chocolate she thinks is one of the best in the world, is now about to take the slippery slope to ruination – because of the shortsightedness and foolishness of those who run the factory that produces it.
On behalf of Ghana’s many long-suffering cocoa farmers, I humbly appeal to the Ghana Cocoa Marketing Board (COCOBOD), and the minister for trade and industry, to order the CPC to stop importing any more cocoa beans from outside Ghana, henceforth.
Surely, in the internet age, it is not asking too much, for even the most unimaginative of public-sector corporate leadership, to strike a partnership with Ghana Post – so that the CPC can sell its marvelous dark chocolate worldwide online, using their EMS global parcel delivery service?
Has it ever occurred to the denizens of the corridors of corporate power at the CPC, that they can sell their dark chocolate and other products as niche products, which ought to be bought at a premium: precisely because they are made from the best cocoa beans in the world?
Let them rescind that shortsighted decision immediately. The leadership of the COCOBOD and the ministerial team in charge of the ministry of trade and industry must step in to halt this pure nonsense on bamboo stilts – and do so now!
Tel (powered by Tigo – the one mobile phone network in Ghan that actually works): + 233 27 745.
Saturday, 31 October 2009
The idea is to use the forest canopy footbridge, as the centerpiece, of a community-based eco-tourism project, which will enable the village of Akim Abuakwa Juaso , to become a leading community-based eco-tourism destination – and at a time of global climate change, help us conserve the P. E. Thompson Nature Resource Reserve (PETNRR) for posterity. When the project comes into fruition, it will be a fine example of a win-win private-public-partnership (PPP) between a local fringe-forest community, and the owners of a large and pristine privately-owned rain forest, which is part of an area of outstanding natural beauty, which has been designated a Globally Significant Biodiversity Area (GSBA).
I came to the conclusion, in one of the periods of introspection I had during my illness, that that kind of “green” project was precisely what I want to be remembered for, when I finally die. In a nation full of hard-of-hearing politicians, who are avid adherents of the “Cult-of-the-mediocre,” why waste one’s energies thinking up creative ideas, as one’s contribution to nation-building, when they will only fall on the deaf ears of our ruling elite, dear reader? I have simply had enough of Ghana’s Byzantine political world. I am sick and tired of a political class that seems impervious to reason – and appears bent on pursing its own hidden agenda: the handing over, for self-serving reasons, of the bulk of the wealth of our nation to foreigners and their greedy local lackeys.
Whiles the great Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah believed that it was possible for us to build a caring-and-sharing society, in which all Ghanaians could lead decent lives, in a modern African nation that gave them access to good quality and affordable housing (provided naturally by the Ghanaian nation-state), as well as provided them ample opportunities for meaningful employment; free education, and health care, his puny successors continuously toy with the lives of ordinary Ghanaians – as they compete amongst themselves for the opportunity to serve in regimes, whose sole purpose, appear to be the wholesale transfer of the wealth of our nation, to perfidious foreigners.
I have simply had enough – and will henceforth concentrate on my environmental activism. The last straw for me, was listening to the lamentations of an erstwhile acting chief internal auditor of the defunct omnibus services authority (OSA), now retired, who revealed, during an interview with Adakabre Frimpong-Manso, broadcast recently by Hot FM, that some cynical big-shot, determined to profit from his position in society, once posed this question, to a fellow politician (which I will paraphrase) : Enti yerbetor Leyaland bus yiaa erhu eyedini sei, na debani yator fofro, ebiom? (Its English translation fom the Twi language: When will we ever have the opportunity to profit from buying a new fleet of buses for the omnibus services authority, if the government of Ghana were to decide to purchase those well-built and durable Leyland buses: which take forever to wear out, before having to be replaced? ). The question I ask, dear reader, is: Just where will that kind of dishonest, selfish, and self-seeking leadership take our country? Hmmm, Ghana, eyeasem oo – asem ebeba debi ankasa!
Tel (powered by Tigo – the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109 & the not-so-hot and clueless Vodafone wireless smartphone: + 233 (0)21 976238.
Saturday, 10 October 2009
It is an egregious example of Kufuor's crony-capitalism: the result of an economic policy that was our local version of the ruthless Robber Baron capitalism of late 19th and early 20th century American capitalism!
Massa, Kufuor & Co came to power with one big-idea agenda in mind, which they skillfully hid from all of us: the ruthless use of political power to enable them exploit our national economy for themselves; their family clans; and their cronies.
What happened at TOR is a classic example of the socialization of private risk, which was so rampant during Kufour & Co's golden age of business – in which the Ghanaian nation-state and state-owned entities were made to bear the risk, in transaction after transaction: so that well-connected oligarchs of that era could regularly make vast profits at the expense of Ghana's hapless taxpayers.
It was in the nature of the beast, that under such a kleptocratic system, the offspring of our rulers, using insider-knowledge, could set up countless special purpose vehicles (some offshore), to use to obtain contracts from state entities.
In one such infamous case, the Energy Commission gave a contract (for the supply of electricity meters to the Electricity Company of Ghana, ECG), to one of the princes of the crafty and greedy Kufuor's golden age of business: a son of the serving president of Ghana, no less.
That well-connected gentleman made a cool US$2 million profit – in what clearly amounted to a case of profiteering! Massa, TOR was simply seen as a means of creating regime-crony tycoons, from whom kickbacks could be obtained on a regular basis – by letting them obtain endless credit at no risk to themselves: because TOR was made to bear the risk (sanctioned by the arrogant "I-am-the-monkey-in-the-chair” rogue, appointed as managing director, for the purpose), harming and endangering the very existence of the state-owned Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB): which it was leveraged to gargantuan levels, in the process.
Naturally, all that massive debt was counted as part of Ghana's GDP by the greedy rogues into whose incompetent hands our country had fallen – which is why we had the Kweku-Ananse smoke-and-mirrors booming economy, which did not deliver a good quality of life (and decent living standards!), for the vast majority of Ghanaians, but enabled the few powerful crooks in the Kufuor regime and their regime-crony capitalists to send their individual net-worth into the stratosphere.
That is why we had the amazing situation in which whiles ordinary people were being impoverished by the looting of our national treasury, some of their leaders had the effrontery to insult Ghanaians (on top of their many woes): by labeling a hardworking people - who did not have the opportunities the truly-lazy people in power had - as"lazy" people.
Even the Hypocrite-in-Chief himself had the temerity to sing that monstrous and discordant tune-of-contempt for ordinary people: on top of his booming voice too. Hmm, Ghana- eyeasem o!
So, today, dear reader, we have arrived at the sad situation in which, like a clever and desperate con-man fully aware that his many awful secrets are about to be exposed, Crook-Number-One is lobbying furiously to get as many grand-sounding but useless international appointments as it is possible for him to dupe innocents abroad into giving him.
The idea is to continue impressing the many gullible Ghanaians he relies on to protect him now - those brain-dead “My-party-my-tribe-right-or-wrong” myrmidon-types, whose endless praise-singing, funds were procured from “National Security” and paid to regularly: to keep in fine fettle for their endless serial-calling in the electronic media!
Incredibly, those poor souls actually believe that Kufuor came to save our homand Ghana just because they got a few crumbs thrown their way - whiles Mother Ghana was being brutally gang-raped by the perfidious Kufuor and his many partners-in-crime.
Sadly, today, many discerning and independent-minded Ghanaians insist that he is the most dishonest leader ever elected to lead our nation thus far, in its entire post-independence history. Pity.
Yet, he had a historic opportunity to set high standards of morality in our public life when he first came to power. Hmm Ghana, eyeasem o - esem kesie ebaba debi ankasa!
Tel: (powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works) + 233 (0) 27 745 3109.
If such a national climate change commission existed, I doubt very much that the massive illegal logging that goes on in what is left of our nation’s forest cover, would be allowed to continue, at a time of global climate change. Sadly, as we speak, officials of the Forestry Service of the Forestry Commission, appear to be completely unaware of the rampant illegal logging going on in the Akim Abuakwa Juaso section of the
It is for that reason that most of the members of my family who are passionate environmental activists have restricted our dealings with them, as we strive to use community-based eco-tourism, as a tool for the conservation of our Akim Abuakwa property: so as to secure the long-term future of our privately-owned freehold forestland, for the next generation of our family (and that of the inhabitants of Akim Abuakwa Juaso – with whom our destines are forever intertwined! ), and have opted to deal mainly instead with reputable NGO’s, such as the World Wildlife Fund for Nature – Ghana (WWF - Ghana), Ghana and the Rain Forest Alliance – Ghana. Both organizations have not hesitated in giving us advice and expert guidance, whenever we have approached them for assistance: although they have not budgeted for such advice, and we have not offered those who work for them any cash-inducements. Indeed, there was even an occasion when Dr. Kwame Adam of the WWF – Ghana, agreed to come and inspect our forestland, on his way back to Accra from a working trip to Kumasi: on a Saturday! Rain Forest Alliance – Ghana, has actually recommended a young forester to us to work with on a formal basis: so that we can have in-house expertise available to us round the clock.
In an era of global climate change, speaking as someone at the sharp end, whose family owns a significant part of the landmass of rural Ghana, in an area that lies in the Atiwa Range upland evergreen rain forest, I humbly suggest to the government of President Mills, that it must, as a matter of urgency, set up a national commission on climate change, to coordinate our national effort at fighting its negative impact on our homeland Ghana, and on Ghanaian ciitizens and other nationals resident here. Such a body will make it possible for our nation’s crop of brilliant research scientists, who are employed by all the critical state research institutions, whose work has a bearing on the subject, to offer our leaders unbiased scientific advice, which will guide the government of Ghana, in taking the necessary climate-change mitigation measures that will ensure the well-being of our country and its people: as the planet Earth continues to warm up, as a result of the high and dangerous emission-levels of greenhouse gases, that continues to be released into the atmosphere by humankind. A word to the wise…
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Thursday, 8 October 2009
Although I might risk being called presumptuous (not that I care particularly: having become inured to insults for my bluntness – in a nation full of fence-sitting moral cowards!), I certainly do hope that the well-heeled Mr. Cameron will demand, when his party comes to power, that UK companies investing in Africa are underpinned by the same corporate good governance principles expected of them in the UK.
Above all, he must never do what Prime Minister Gordon Brown did – when he dragged our president to London to plead on behalf of the perfidious Vodafone. That company corrupted some of our leaders when it took over the state-owned Ghana Telecom – acting in much the same crooked fashion it did when it took over the state-owned Kenya Telecom: and corrupted some of Kenya’s greedy elite in the process.
Perhaps the Tories should ask the UK’s secret services (MI6) to take a close look at the antics of Vodafone’s expatriate staff in Ghana when they win power in the next UK general elections – and when he next speaks at any Institute of Director’s (IOD) meeting as British premier, make them an example of how expatriate staff of UK companies’ investing in Africa ought not to behave, when abroad.
He must plead with corporate Britain that UK companies operating in developing nations, such as Ghana, be mindful of how their expatriate staff are compensated.
He will be horrified to learn that whiles he and other British politicians are expressing their disgust at the obscene compensation levels corporate Britain (particularly the financial services sector!) insists on paying its top brass, Vodafone’s expatriate staff in Ghana, are living like Arabian oil sheiks: at our expense.
He must also not be so naive and say that UK taxpayers are under pressure, and that British aid will only go to poor developing nations. Does he not know that most of the leaders of poor developing nations are clever rogues who invariably set up special purpose offshore vehicles so as to enable them siphon donated aid money deposited in the treasuries of the nations they lead: in one crooked transaction after another?
OOrdinary Africans across the continent plead with him (and other British politicians!) to make sure that British aid goes to only nations in the continent whose leaders publicly publish their assets and those of their spouses (before and after their tenures!).
Most of Africa’s leaders are simply not to be trusted. That is why he ought to make sure that all UK and EU aid for climate change mitigation projects in the forestry sector of the Ghanaian economy, go directly to NGO’s such as Rain Forest Alliance, i Ghana and the World Wildlife for Nature - Ghana (WWF- Ghana), and not to the Forestry Service of the Forestry Commission of Ghana.
.'He can ask the German development organization, GTZ, to give him their dossier on that sector of our national economy.
To understand why I say so, I plead with him to send MI6 officers to the Ghanaian village of Akyem Juaso, in Ghana’s Eastern Region – straight to the P. E. Thompson family’s 14 square mile property in the Atiwa Range upland evergreen rain forest (both inside the official government reserve and the heavily-forested off-reserve slopes).
There, they will see the horrific sight of illegal chainsaw lumber being carted away in frightening quantities, on the heads of scores of porters, and at a rate that will soon decimate what has been designated a Globally Significant Biodiversity Area (GSBA) at a time of global climate change, if nothing is done by the authorities to halt that outrage.
Sadly, the forest there has been left by the Forestry Service of the Forestry Commission of Ghana, to the mercy of criminal syndicates controlled by wealthy, powerful, and well-connected individuals: who do not give a toss about the laws of the Ghanaian nation-state, and do not care one jot about the harm their activities cause to the natural environment or to their fellow human beings.
Finally, to see an egregious example of how British taxpayers’ money went down the financial equivalent of a black hole in Ghana, let him ask the Ghanaian authorities, to get the Department of Parks and Gardens, to show the MI6 officers he sends here, the results of the zillions of pounds sterling that was poured into a medicinal plants project (which the Royal Botanic Gardens and Ghana’s Department of Parks and Gardens collaborated to implement in the 1990’s).
It is a classic example of how not to use hard-pressed British taxpayers’ money, overseas, in poor developing nations worldwide.
And will he also get the UK, the EU, the U.S., and other wealthy developed nations, to make sure that no tax haven accepts money from African leaders and their families, under any circumstances?
That is one of the most effect ways of halting corruption in the continent - and making sure that British aid money does not end up in offshore bank accounts of the crooks amongst those who rule Africa.
Monday, 5 October 2009
ECOWAS: HOLD THE GUINEAN LEADER RESPONSIBLE FOR THOSE COLD-BLOODED MURDERS – & NEVER CLOSE YOUR EYES TO HIS REGIME'S CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY!
The leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), particularly Ghana’s leaders, ought to make it absolutely clear to Guinea’s military regime that its actions are unacceptable and cannot go unpunished. Ghana must demand that a full-scale inquiry be conducted by fearless and independent-minded judges selected from Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal, into events surrounding those murders – and insist that all those found culpable down the Guinean military’s chain of command, must be indicted for crimes against humanity: and put before a new UN/ECOWAS Special Court for West Africa, which needs to be set up for just such emergencies, as soon as it is practicable to do so.
We must end the impunity of such crazy leaders in our sub-region. As a civilized people, Ghanaians particularly must never tolerate the brutalization of our fellow ECOWAS citizens, under any circumstances. Above all, our leaders must put aside diplomatic niceties whenever ordinary West Africans are being suppressed, maimed, and murdered in droves by any of the rulers in the region, whose ultimate responsibility is to protect and promote the well-being of all those they lead: not murder them for expressing their opposition to tyranny in the 21st century ICT age. Ghana must take the lead – and not leave it to another crafty military dictator successfully masquerading as an elected civilian democratic leader, to mediate in the Guinean crisis. We demand to hear the voices of our leaders, raised to decibel-levels sufficiently loud, for their disgust and disapproval to be heard right across Africa: in expression of their opposition to such barbarities. Ghana ought to lead ECOWAS in the condemnation of such atrocities. A word to the wise…
Tel (powered by Tigo – the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): + 233 (0)21 745 3109 & the not-so-hot and clueless Vodafone wireless smartphone: + 233 (0) 21 976238.
Sunday, 4 October 2009
The proverbial zillion-dollar question is: Now that he does know about it, precisely what does he intend to do about it, in order to set the record straight?
Incidentally, if he actually wants to know the real falsehood in our nation's political history, let him read the report of the Watson Commission, set up by Governor Sir Gerald Creasy (led by Aiken Watson KC), after the disturbances that followed the shooting to death by the police, of some of the leaders of the ex-servicemen, who marched to the Christiansburg Castle in an attempt to present a petition to Governor Creasy.
If he dies so, he will discover that far from being heroes, five of the so-called big six, who adorn some of the paper notes of our currency, were indeed just cowards, who sought to blame Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, for all that had occurred: in order to save their own skins.
Tel:(powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): 027 745 3109.
Saturday, 3 October 2009
Why Rural Ghana Will Continue To Remain Poor - If The Zoomlions Get Paid In Advance From The District Assembly Common-Fund!!
Hmmm Ghana - eyease o: asem ebeba debi ankasa! On top of the rather depressing news emanating from the UK of late - about how low some of our ruling elite were prepared to stoop, during the 1990's, as they sacrificed the national interest in fulfillment of their private personal wealth-creation agenda at the Ghanaian nation-state's expense, by accepting even absurdly small sums in hard-currency from the British engineering company, Mabey & Johnson, because of their grasping and greedy natures - the last thing one wanted to read about was the lamentations of a politician stating the obvious, whiles pretending not to know its root causes.
That, dear reader, was the overwhelming feeling of a few friends who had gathered to talk about the need for the Ghanaian Left to take advantage of the renewed interest in Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, amongst young people throughout Ghana, and spread his message of hope countrywide again.
We all felt it was important for the Left to make young people understand why they ought to identify with the party of a man who wanted all who had the ability to study up to tertiary level, to do so, and fulfill their full potential as human beings, even if they came from the poorest families in the smallest hamlets in Ghana.
How many of such people know that Nkrumah's socialism was based on our communal traditions, and that as usual, he was far ahead of his time: in wanting Ghana to have the same mixed-economy model of development, which today, China is using to power ahead of many major nations?
It is a model of economic development that ensures that whiles the public sector works to ensure the delivery of a caring and sharing society (affordable housing; free education and healthcare; agro-industries nationwide, etc. etc.), the country also takes advantage of the creativity and innovation of honest and patriotic private entrepreneurs, who operate within a national plan, designed specifically to make virtually all Chinese citizens live dignified lives, eventually.
It was during the meeting of this group of concerned Nkrumaists worried about Ghana's future, in the hands of a largely-clueless and unimaginative political class, that one of our number mentioned an online Ghana News Agency (GNA) news report, which he had spotted on www.ghanaweb.com. I looked it up later on after our meeting, and found it on the general news web-page of the Saturday, 3 October 2009, edition, of the ubiquitous online Ghanaian internet portal.
It made very interesting reading, and was entitled: "Common Fund deductions suffocating district assemblies". Well, after reading it, I called up the chap who had spotted it, and asked him what he thought the obviously highly-intelligent honourable minister was thinking as he complained about that very intolerable situation that does not auger well for our nation one bit.
The problem the minister describes in that GNA news report, dear reader, has arisen precisely because that is what what will occur in any developing nation in which such Kweku-Ananse economic policies are pursued: just to benefit a powerful few with greedy ambitions (to paraphrase the far-sighted Nkrumah).
If a supposedly intelligent people like Ghanaians, continue to tolerate what effectively is a gigantic fraud, designed to enable a corrupt regime siphon state funds (for its party's war chest, one gathers: according to a former New Patriotic Party chairperson, Mr. Haruna Esseku) , why should clever politicians, who can bring it to a halt simply by the stroke of a pen, not complain to ordinary people with their sugar-coated and well-trained tongues, firmly in their well-fed cheeks, I ask, dear reader?
The fact of the matter, is that the Zoomlion palaver is not simply one that should be dealt with on the basis that it must be allowed to continue (when we all know that in reality it is an invidious system), because we need to end the vicious cycle and retrograde tactic of political parties (newly returned to power) quickly destroying private businesses, owned by their political opponents: which were set up during the era of a rival party regime that has just lost power after elections.
The bald truth, is that which ever way one looks at it, Zoomlion is a creature of a deliberate policy: dreamed up by apparently-respectable men and women whose egregious actions in this particular instance, in actual fact made them super-white-collar criminals.
The object of that policy, was meant to create for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), its National Democratic Congress (NDC) equivalent, and counterpart, in the lucrative and opaque local government waste-disposal sector of our economy: J. Stanley Owusu & Co. Limited (JSO), which was the undisputed king of the waste disposal business during the era of the first NDC administration led by President Rawlings.
The NPP turned its equivalent of JSO into a nationwide creature, to create jobs for its foot-soldiers, and if Haruna Esseku was telling us the truth, to ensure the continued flow of funds to the party nationwide.
Naturally, as no receipts are ever issued in such murky undertakings between politicians and clever businesspeople (despite what Dr. Kwabena Adjei, the NDC's chairperson apparently thinks!), no one can ever prove that such payments have ever been made - but alas, there is also the little local difficulty of Haruna Esseku's infamous words to deal with (as a complicating factor!), is there not, dear reader?
We all know, dear reader, do we not, just how close the ties between JSO and certain NDC bigwigs were - and only heaven knows why that was so. Suffice it to say, however, that it was certainly not because they loved to meet to have power-breakfast meetings, imbibing Huasa-koko and kako (because it was their favourite traditional African breakfast), as they discussed plans to ensure Ghana's economic well-being.
The same can be said of Zoomlion's nationwide reach. Any truck-pusher of average intelligence, who buys and sells scrap metal, and has a waste-disposal sideline serving one residential street in urban Ghana, starting out with one Chinese-made rubbish-cart tricycle, can parley his business into a zillion-dollar entity, if he can take the guarantee of regular up-front district assembly common-fund allocation nationwide, to any bank with the ambition to become Ghana's number one bank: and that is the real rub, dear reader.
The key to understanding why a company like Zoomlion can grow so big in an environment like ours, after there is regime-change in Ghana, does not lie in working out the range and breadth of its politically-savvy and extremely well-connected ownership.
It lies with the stated aim, as described by Mr. Haruna Esseku (when he caught a severe bout of verbal diarrhea, during an interview with the brilliant Raymond Archer, years ago), of creating NPP equivalents of prominent NDC crony-capitalists and their thriving business entities: so that they could fund the New Patriotic Party and enable it stay in power for as long as the cash came rolling into the coffers of that party.
The crime against humanity perpetrated against our country by the adoption of such an iniquitous system, is that by earmarking and paying up-front to private entities (such as Zoomlion), a portion of the development funds meant for district assemblies, those vital local administrations are denied the wherewithal to enable them uplift rural Ghana from the endemic poverty that plagues so much of it and traps and condemns millions of our compatriots to an existence that is incredibly harsh, brutish, and often mercifully short for some, (because of HIV/AIDS).
Yet, if we adopted the developmental model of sustainable livelihood organisations such as the South African organisation, Sustainable Villages Africa (SVA), we can transform rural economies in a relatively short space of time, and with the little available to them from the national cake: if we had a more creative political class (across the spectrum).
The business model of the Zoomlions of our age, are in effect a classic example of the socialization of private risk that saw its apogee in the greed-filled years of crony-capitalism (our equivalent of 19th century America's ruthless Robber-Baron era!) that enabled Kufuor & Co to exploit our national economy for their personal benefit: in the name of "private sector-led growth"
If we continue with such an iniquitous system without reviewing it, and studying its impact on the real economy of rural Ghana, simply because we do not want to repeat the sins of yesteryear, when we all know that (well, according to no less a well-informed personage than Mr. Haruna Esseku) it is simply a clever ruse to dump district administrations in the red financially, by transferring development funds and resources meant to transform the Ghanaian countryside and make that part of our country more productive, to wealthy and influential oligarchs and powerful politicians and their parties, why should we expect our nation to ever become prosperous?
If we allow that injustice to continue, the plain truth is that our districts will never be transformed to enable rural people have better quality lives, as long as such a monstrosity continues.
What is going on is abominable in the extreme - for, whiles the real economy in rural Ghana is strangulated, because of the result of such pure-nonsense-on-bamboo-stilts economic policies, which sanction the transfer of already-insufficient resources from the district assembly common fund, meant to pay for development projects to uplift living standards in our rural areas, to private entities owned by politically well-connected high net worth individuals, the gap between the rural and urban areas continues to widen: literally a social time-bomb ticking away inexorably towards a future disaster of apocalyptic proportions that will create political instability in our country.
We must never forget, if we insist that this iniquity be allowed to continue, that rural Ghana, which is where after all the bulk of the food crops and cash crops that comprise our commodity exports that earn Ghana the hard currency, which enables our largely-parasitic and politically well-connected educated urban elites to live lives comparable to prosperous middle class Westerners (although they often lack the creativity and innovation that keeps Western societies powering way ahead of societies like ours), that poverty will continue to stunt the growth of rural Ghana's economy till kingdom come.
If that is the case, then surely, dear reader, we run the risk of a social explosion at some point, when the masses finally understand that the so-called "democracy dividend" is only for those who are able to grab huge ex-gratia payments after relatively short periods in office, and their greedy paymasters and collaborators in the private sector?
The burgeoning underclass will explode in anger if the glaring disparities in wealth in our homeland Ghana, that result from such clever schemes, which sanction up-front payments from the district assemblies common-fund persist.
District Assembly common-fund cash must never be paid up-front and used to subsidize the operations of private entities - so that they avoid risk in the provision of goods and services to district assemblies (in what is effectively the socialization of private risk).
That is the harm advance payments from the district assembly common fund, paid to pre-finance the operations of the Zoomlions, owned by wealthy and powerful individuals, whiles their competitors are owed zillions by those self-same district assemblies that we are deliberately starving of funds, represents.
It is the same way that the Tema Oil Refinery took money from state-owned banks to enable it give credit to oil marketing companies, many of which were set up to create a wealthy class of crony-capitalists who would bankroll political parties and politicians: a criminal scheme that nearly bankrupted a vital national institution in the process.
Surely, that is no way to run a nation that aspires to become an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia, is it, dear reader? Simply put, we must halt the pre-financing of private-sector service providers working with district administrations if we want rural Ghana to become prosperous.
Tel (powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): +233 (0) 27 745 3109.