Friday, 15 May 2009

PARLIAMENT IS NOT A STATE WITHIN A STATE – IT IS A MUTUAL ADMIRATION SOCIETY!

Brigadier-General Nunoo-Mensah, Ghana's National Security Advisor, is reported to have recently said that the general rule, which ensures that officials leaving public office leave behind all state property in their possession, should apply to Parliament - since "Parliament is not a state within a state."

My take on that: Yes, Parliament is not a state within a state - it is (at any rate, the 4th Parliament, definitely was!) a mutual admiration society: most of whose over-pampered members’ sole preoccupation is uniting to grab as many perks of office as they can possibly get away with. Its leadership (from across the spectrum!) constantly works closely together to rip mother Ghana off.

About the only thing most of our parliamentarians are good at is feathering their own collective nest – which is what occupies many of them most of the time: instead of diligently playing the oversight role our constitution earmarked for them, to closely check the executive branch of government, on our behalf. That is why they sanctioned the fraudulent sale and purchase agreement for VALCO, without batting an eyelid – to a non-existent consortium grandly named “International Aluminum Partners” by the crooks who dreamt it up.

If they were patriotic and not self-serving oligarchs in our kleptocracy (masquerading as a democracy!), they would never have agreed to give President Kufuor a cool one million US dollars to play at running a foundation with - to enable that globetrotter par excellence cope with the withdrawal pangs of leaving the office he hardly ever occupied in his 8-year tenure. What perfidy. Hmmm, Ghana – ensem ewohapaa oo!

Re: “Is NDC back to old days, signaling left, turning right?”

I couldn’t help laughing, when I read an article entitled: “Is NDC back to old days, signaling left, turning right?” by Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, which was posted on the features web-page of www.ghanaweb.com of Friday, 15th May 15, 2009.

Not having any formal education myself, and being a rather daft sort of chap, I am still scratching my head trying to figure out, exactly what the point of this loquacious chap's piece, is! It is so typical of the writing of this confounded right-wing journalist – who is so full of himself: and loves the sound of his own voice, so.

One wonders if one would be right in describing his article, as the writing equivalent of a narcissicitic dandy, preening himself, in front of the mirror – and thinking what a frightfully good-looking fellow he is. Well, I guess that being an ignoramus (and I am not ashamed one bit, to admit to being an ignoramus, incidentally!), I’ll simply put it down as an example of the offering of a High-priest of inherited privilege, fervently worshiping at the “Cult-of-the-mediocre” in an “all-night” service – involving much dancing and clapping in a democratic nation that aspires to become a meritocracy. Hmmm, Ghana – nsem ewohapaa oo!

Re: "Ghana International Airlines in Trouble?"

I refer to the article entitled : “Ghana International Airlines in Trouble?” that was posted on Friday 15th May 15, 2009, in the www.ghanaweb.com general news web-page, by a Nana Sifa Twum. Hmmm, Ghana – will this country ever change for the better, one wonders? It appears that clever women with pretty faces (a la Ms. Cotton!), who are politically well-connected, will continue to twist our big men (most of whose brains appear to go to sleep whenever they see a pretty face up-close) round their dainty little fingers, till the very end of time.

Why has this ignoramus of an airline executive, who has never managed an airline in her life before, and is clearly out of her depth, not been dismissed yet – by the regime that tells us it has come to create a better Ghana for us all? Ghana International Airlines should simply be closed down - and a new airline, Virgin ECOWAS started, to replace it.

That can be done by collaborating with Virgin Nigeria to create a West African equivalent of Air France-KLM. That is what should have been done by the geniuses in the previous regime. However, because Sir Richard Branson famously never pays bribes, they did not go down that route – because prospects for kickbacks were practically non-existent down that “corporate-road-of-transparency.”

A Virgin ECOWAS can gradually be expanded organically to include all the largely non-profitable national carriers from the member-nations of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) – and help develop the sub-region as a multi-nation eco-tourism destination. An additional benefit would be that Virgin ECOWAS could treat the sub-region as a domestic market – and make internal flights in the skies across an area of a continent notorious for its unsafe domestic carriers, as safe as flights across the skies of the European Union (EU).

No serious government anywhere in the world that cares about how it spends taxpayers’ money will keep this claptrap of an airline flying. The Mills administration must simply let Ghana International Airlines die by starving it of funds. Funding what is the airline equivalent of a Dodo is akin to pouring money down a financial black-hole. In view of the chicanery involved in its setting up, and the "Bush-telegraph" stories that the wet-leasing contract was in effect a cloak of respectability for an offshore money-laundering special purpose vehicle, it just does not deserve to survive! A word to the wise…

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Re: “Ayariga responds to comments about President Mills' UK visit”

I read the comments of Mr. Mahama Ayariga, the president’s spokesperson, which the Ghana News Agency (GNA) reported, and were posted on the general news web-page of www.ghanaweb.com, on Monday, 11th May 2009, with considerable interest. Sometimes one wonders why so many of those who speak for the new administration, allow themselves to be led round in circles by those in the opposition, who have resorted to lying as a political weapon and propaganda tool.

It is such a pity that those who speak on behalf of the Mills administration are unable to set the national agenda, as far as open discourse in the political sphere, is concerned. Instead of wasting precious time playing the daft comparison game, they must get their regime to quickly get parliament to pass a new law that makes it mandatory for all the members of the government and their spouses, to publicly publish their assets. They must also take up Dr. Tony Aidoo’s brilliant idea – and take it a step further, by getting parliament to pass a new law that makes it mandatory for the government of the day, to publicly publish the cost to the nation of all official trips abroad, undertaken by the president and the ministers in his regime.

As soon as both laws are finally put into place, it will allow them to occupy the high moral ground in Ghanaian politics – and virtually make their regime unassailable in Ghanaian politics. When that happy day arrives, they can then rebut all the nonsense on bamboo stilts that the lies published by some newspapers today, represents, by making the point that they are busy ushering in an era of true transparency, to help fight corruption in Ghana, and will not waste precious time responding to those who still live in the past: and seek to destabilize our nation for base parochial ends by spinning lies, whiles President Mills works hard to build a better Ghana, for all its citizens.

Transparency and ethical behaviour, is what the crooks amongst those who used to rule our country in the past (and gang-raped mother Ghana so brutally), fear most from a Mills presidency – and it is those two virtues, which, if adopted by our new rulers, and demonstrated clearly to Ghanaians in all their actions during their tenure, will put clear blue water between their regime and that of the largely discredited New Patriotic Party (NPP). Sadly, that party appears to have been hijacked by a small group of the nastiest of the many Akan tribal-supremacists in it – which has now occasioned a friend resorting to describing it as: “That dreadful party of Akan tribal-supremacists.”

Such people fear nothing more than the spotlight being shone on the secrecy that usually shrouds the activities of those whom we elect to run our country – and enabled some of them to rob our nation through the opaque offshore vehicles they specifically set up for that purpose. The Mills administration must make the business of the running of our state machinery a truly transparent and ethical one – if they want to stay permanently one step ahead of their political opponents. They must conserve their energies for attaining that goal before the end of their four-year tenure – and leave the inanities of the well-educated morons amongst our previous rulers, who incredibly seem to think that all Ghanaians are stupid, and can be tricked into voting them back into power again in 2012, if they trap them in the massuve web of deceit, which they are busy spinning at the moment, through their mercenary lackeys in the media.

Luckily, not all Ghanaians are the "My-party-my-tribe-right-or-wrong" myrmidon-types, who wear blinkers permanently, and are too thick to be independent-minded. It is their blind support for political parties, when such parties eventually win power, which ends up destroying them. The new Mills administration must concentrate on leaving a legacy of true transparency behind. If it works hard to win the hearts and minds of those who wanted change in December 2008, and voted for their party to make that happen, by being honest stewards of our nation's resources, all the sophism in the world that is deployed by the shameless individuals and media outlets, now seeking to paint them black, will get those saboteurs absolutely nowhere. If they fail our homeland Ghana however, they must remember that some of us are standing by, ready to criticize them in the harshest possible terms. A word to the wise…

OPEN LETTER TO THE METRO ROADS ENGINEER, ACCRA!

Dear Sir,

Request for information about the digging of trenches in Accra - and the damage to the pavements caused by that in the city.

I am writing to book an appointment to see you for some information I require. Essentially, I am curious to find out precisely what has necessitated the massive digging of trenches all over Accra – and what steps your department is taking to ensure that those responsible for those trenches replace the pavements they have destroyed, thus far, when their work is finally completed.

Yesterday, whiles driving through Kaneshie on my way to Tesano, I stopped to ask some men who were digging a trench on the left side of the road, as you approach the old Swanlake supermarket (which closed ages ago, incidentally!) from St Theresa’s Catholic school in Kaneshie, who they were working for, and what they were digging the trench for.

I was taken aback by their reaction. They were so cagey and refused to say anything to me about the work they were doing – and referred me to a young man, whom I beckoned to come and speak to me. Incredibly, he told me they were widening the gutter, and that he was only keeping an eye on the work for a friend (as a favour!), but did not know the name of his friend’s construction company. I thought it was a rather odd answer for him to give – and it immediately raised my suspicions.

Surely, which particular contractor is awarded a job to improve part of Accra’s infrastructure, is not an official secret too, is it, Sir? To shed some light on the matter, I would be most grateful if you could let me know if that particular job was put out to tender by the AMA (or whichever organ of state is responsible for awarding contracts for widening gutters in Kaneshie), and what the overall value of the contract was.

I am doing some research for a feature article for my blog. Perhaps if you google the word “ghanapolitics” you will see some of my writing. I am a journalist who maintains his independence by working exclusively online and as a freelance – and for the same patriotic reason, I deliberately shun writing for the local print media, so I can speak my mind freely. I do look forward to a positive response from you soon.


Yours sincerely,

Kofi Thompson.

Monday, 11 May 2009

WHAT LESSONS SHOULD THE MILLS ADMINISTRATION DRAW FROM THE ACTIONS OF THE KOSMOS ENERGIES IN OUR MIDST?

One gathers that the clever Dicks at Tallow Oil's partner, Kosmos Energy, now want to cut and run from Ghana – and claim that their major shareholders want out. The government should simply block this outrage – the Kosmos Energies of this world must not be allowed to play games with the future of our country. Period. The government should draw a lesson from this - and simply nationalize our nation’s entire oil and gas industry.

They must put Tsatsu Tsikata in charge of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) again – and get it to go into joint-venture partnerships with the best-resourced of China's state-owned oil and natural gas companies. The ultimate aim should be to make Ghana the oil refining capital of Africa, as well as the centre of gas liquefaction in Africa. They should compensate the Kosmos Energies of this world with Ghana's sovereign bonds, not cash - and let them redeem them in future: and only after a longish period when enough oil and natural gas revenues have flowed into our national treasury.

Above all, they should expose this disgraceful attempt to destabilize our country by such ruthless cowboys – by bringing their actions to the attention of readers of newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times in the US, and the Financial Times, the Guardian and the Independent in the UK. They can do so by alerting their investigative journalists who report on issues to do with corruption overseas (especially in the poorer parts of the developing world, such as Africa) by US and UK corporate entities and their partners from other Western nations. They should also alert Global Witness – which has the contacts to get to the real reasons at the bottom of Kosmos Energy's actions.

This move by Kosmos Energy certainly has a lot to do with the government’s decision to take a second look at the contracts and agreements the crooks amongst our previous rulers sanctioned (and influenced to enable them benefit personally from those agreements).

If necessary, the government should get the relevant US Congressional committee to investigate the actions of Kosmos Energy in our country, as regards their decamping at precisely the point that the government here is taking a fresh look at the contracts and agreements the previous government made in the oil and natural gas industry. In a sense, it smacks of insider dealing – with the saboteur-officials loyal to the crooks of old who are still in place in the administration eagerly passing on confidential information to the Tallow Oils operating here.

There are rumours that some of the oil companies struck secret deals with some of the crooks in our previous regime - who used special purpose offshore vehicles to hide their ownership of stakes in companies of that ilk and in other sectors of our economy. That is exactly the same way they structured the fraudulent sale and purchase agreement for VALCO.

In that instance, they used a special purpose offshore vehicle they grandly named International Aluminum Partners, which the two reputable metals conglomerates, Norske Hydro and VALE, refused to be a part of. Both companies, which are clearly ethically-run, vehemently denied ever agreeing to purchase VALCO: although our dishonourable 4th Parliament had no difficulty allowing the crooks in the previous regime to railroad that most egregious of frauds through parliament and gladly sanctioned it

The government must keep an eye on our financial services sector too - where Ghana’s equivalents of the notorious US fraudster Bernie Maddox are comfortably ensconced. Some of them are even rumoured to have played “Kokofu-football-politricks” with depositors’ cash sitting in escrow accounts in non-banking financial institutions they own and manage.

The politically well-connected Titans amongst them are said to have made a killing in the era of crony-capitalism during the tenure of our erstwhile Hypocrite-In-Chief, our former president, Mr. Kufuor. That blessed gentleman, described by the most uncharitable of his critics, as “a sly and shameless man” thought his party was going to be returned to power again after the December 8, 2008 elections – and got the Chinery-Hesse Committee (which was specifically jam-packed with sycophants whom he had given cushy sinecures to at our expense to make them amenable to his wishes) to recommend that he be given a cool one million dollars to set up a foundation.

And this, in a nation where many families can neither afford three square meals a day, nor pay for their children's school fees on a regular basis! The Mills administration must be super-ruthless in its approach to dealing with the unethical crowd of foreign carpetbaggers, who clearly do not believe in either ethics or show common decency, to derail their efforts at building a better Ghana for all the people of Ghana.

The government of the National Democratic Congress (NCD) should thank God that Kosmos Energy has shown its hand so early in their tenure. They must see the shabby attempt by Kosmos Energy to destabilize our country as an opportunity to enable us work with the Chinese to exploit our oil and natural gas deposits. We can rest assured that they will never attempt to interfere in our country’s politics under any circumstances, in the outrageous way that Kosmos Energy is attempting to do. A word to the wise…

Friday, 8 May 2009

Ras Mubarak, The British Were Not Our “Colonial Masters”!

Massa Ras Mubarak, I refer to your www.ghanaweb.com article of Friday, 8th May, 2009, which appeared on the features web-page, entitled: “Life and debt: President Mills’ UK visit.”

Opanin, may I humbly make a small point? The British colonialists were occupiers of our country – but they were never our "colonial masters." There is a difference between the two and it is important that you take cognisance of that.

Throughout their years of occupation some of our forebears tried to rid our country of their presence here. Never forget that. We are not a servile people - and have never been.

For the sake of the younger generation of Ghanaians, it is important to make the point that no Ghanaian from Nkrumah's Ghana, who has any self-belief and is self-respecting,  should ever use that servile phrase "colonial masters" to describe those who once illegally occupied our country in the past, and exploited its resources, to grow their national economy at the expense of our people: who paid a terrible price for that abominable period in our history.

Open Letter To The CEO Of Vodafone Ghana

Dear Sir,

I received an email (from a complete stranger) today, which I am sharing with you. Incidentally, I have given up hoping that your company will ever provide a substitute, which will enable those of its McCarthy Hill “Broadband4U” customers, who used to be served by the discontinued Alvarion system, access the internet again.

Our previous rulers told us that selling Ghana Telecom to Vodafone (for a song, in the view of many Ghanaians) would bring about an improvement in the quality of service offered by Ghana Telecom to its customers.

Unfortunately, in my case, it has been nothing short of disastrous - as my numerous complaints to your company have all fallen on deaf ears.

Yet, I doubt very much that if this had been the UK, Vodafone would have ignored a very dissatisfied customer - who constantly complains about been shortchanged by your hard-of-hearing company.

Hopefully, the mail I received today will prod you into action - and let you take the necessary steps to ensure that I am compensated by Vodafone for messing up my business model: which was underpinned entirely by my having reliable broadband internet access from McCarthy Hill.

Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Kofi Thompson


PS Do find below the email I mentioned earlier:

“RE:Vodafone Broadband rip-off.

Hello,
I stumbled across ur blog while doing a Google search for Vodafone
broadband in Ghana & urs was quite an interesting read.I was
contemplating on signing up to their service but i'm having 2nd
thoughts after seeing how much hell they've put you through.My
recommendation,get rid of them and sign up with iBurst internet
service provider instead.Their service is simply excellent,speedwise
and reliabilitywise,not to talk of their unparalled customer care.I
couldnt believe it when i filed a query form on their site and they
called me within 24hrs on the no. I provided on their site in response
to my enquiries.They are rate-based and charge u according to your
usage at pretty good rates.For the amount you were paying to GT,I
think iBurst Africa is a much better deal for u,seeing how essential
it is to you to be connected online to work.Like their motto which is
"Serious Internet",it serves the purpose of serious-minded people like
us who mean serious business.If you are interested,you can just notify
me by mail and i'll link you up with my contact there.He will find you
wherever you are located and come and do the setup on for you,at your
convenience.We deserve much better services than these existing
providers are shortchanging us for.Cheers!! and all the best.

--
Kweku G Folson
KNUST-UNITY HALL
Kumasi
+233-24-4480957
+233-20-8447046

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