Wednesday, 28 April 2010


If ever there was a contradiction in terms that illustrates perfectly the vile nature of the culture of dog-eat-dog selfishness, which underpinned much of the Kufuor era in Ghana, it must be that most outrageous of Ghanaian English phrases, “private hydrant owners.” A hydrant, by definition, is a water outlet provided by the State for use in emergencies by the fire service. Unfortunately, private individuals were able to gain access to the pipelines of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), with the active collaboration of negative types within Aqua Vitens Rand Limited (the so-called “operator” of the GWCL’s treatment plants, distribution networks, and other assets) – if the conspiracy theorists in our midst are to be believed, that is. Having gained access to the pipelines of the GWCL, those individuals then set themselves up as “private hydrant owners” – and supplied treated water to tanker operators: who in turn supplied water to urban households through whose taps treated water seldom flowed. Yet the provision of potable water is supposed to be a responsibility of the governments of civilized nations as a public health measure: for the common good of their citizenry.

Sadly, in the “free-market” environment of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), “private hydrant owners” and water-tanker operators, together with their collaborators in Aqua Vitens Rand Limited (AVRL), formed a ruthless business-troika that thrived by feeding on the misery of urban households deliberately denied treated water delivered through the GWCL’s pipelines. Using every trick in the handbook of early 19th century American-style “Robber Baron” capitalism, this ruthless troika worked hard to ensure that water shortages in most of urban Ghana persisted for most of the NPP’s tenure – because it was in their commercial interest. When the present regime acted to halt the activities of the so-called “private hydrant owners,” urban households had some relief and started having water flowing through their taps: for a brief period. As if on cue, “private hydrant owners” recently appealed to the sector ministry to allow them to resume their activities – at precisely the time when water shortages are recurring in urban Ghana. Rather than allowing those sharks to resume their harmful activities, the minster for water resources, works and housing, must quickly get a bill through Parliament – and have it passed as a law banning “private hydrants” in Ghana. Whiles he is at it, he must also send AVRL packing from Ghana – as their continued presence in Ghana is inimical to Ghanaians and detrimental to their health. A word to the wise…

Tel (powered by Tigo – the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109 7 the not-so-hot and clueless Vodafone wireless smartfone: + 233 (0) 21 976238.


In a nation in which a majority of the male population is made up of philanderers, it is little wonder that misogyny is alive and well in Ghana. How else, dear reader, can one explain the astonishing news Ghanaians woke up to, one morning, not too long ago – when they learnt that the lady partner of a member of Ghana’s Parliament, who had gone to the police to lodge a complaint against him for repeatedly raping her at gun-point, had somehow ended up being charged by the police for deceiving a police officer? This was apparently shortly after the gentleman she had accused of raping her, appeared at the police station where she had gone to lodge the complaint against him. It was later reported that some members of parliament had “intervened” in the matter. The long and short of it is that yet another of Ghana’s many “big” men has been able to escape being prosecuted for rape – yet our prisons are full of ordinary men who are serving long jail sentences for rape. It appears that important personages in our democracy are above the law in certain circumstances. Whatever happened to the rule of law, one wonders?

This lack of principle amongst some of the members of our political class is one of the reasons why truth has more or less disappeared from our public life. An example is the outrageous way the murder of a father and husband who also happened to be the traditional ruler of the Dagomba people of Northern Ghana, is callously being treated as political football, by politicians in Ghana. How can any decent human being insist, for example, that those responsible for the gruesome murder of a fellow human being, somehow ought to escape being prosecuted for his murder: because he was killed during a “war” between Dogambas who belong to the same family tree – and top that outrage by going ahead to call a press conference to condemn the arrest and arraignment before the law courts, of a number of individuals suspected of being his killers? Surely, the time has come for those members of Ghana’s Parliament, who are wont to seize every opportunity that comes their way to score political points, to stop being so cynical? Do they not realize that it is losing them the respect of decent and independent-minded Ghanaians – who want our political class to be honourable individuals: not cunning hypocrites who will stop at nothing in their quest for power? The time has come for those members of Ghana’s Parliament, whose actions are so dishonourable at times, to be more honourable in what they say and do – if they want to retain the respect of discerning Ghanaians. A word to the wise…

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 smartfone: + 233 (0) 21 976238.

Saturday, 10 April 2010


The geniuses asking the government to use hedging to insure Ghana against high future oil prices are asking for trouble for our country – and the government should ignore their dangerous advice. Perhaps it would have made sense to do so when the price of oil went as low as a little under US$ 40 per barrel. As it is doubtful if oil will ever go below US$ 30 per barrel, the downside of such a policy will not be so disastrous, at that price. Apart from China, India and Brazil, which of the leading economies is experiencing anything like the high growth rate figures we saw during the boom years before the global financial meltdown occurred? Zilch. As we all know, consumer spending in almost all the major Western economies and Japan is still pretty weak – so where will the demand for oil come from to push up oil prices to the highs we saw when it passed the US$ 100 mark, I ask, dear reader?

Why do we not negotiate with Venezuela instead – and get her to agree that Ghana will be supplied with oil from Venezuela at special prices: should oil prices reach levels that we cannot afford? Will that not be far better than hedging – which will only benefit the fat cats from our financial services sector? Are they not the same bloodsuckers who profited mightily from the Kufuor regime’s daft forays into the piranha-infested waters of the capital markets of the West (when they were piling up debt like there was no tomorrow!) – so why give them yet another opportunity to make huge profits at our expense? Did our politicians not learn anything from the troubles Ashanti Goldfields had – when it was brought to its knees by hedging? They are welcome to gamble with their own personal fortunes – but they must not endanger our nation’s financial well-being by using hedging as an insurance policy against high future oil prices. Talking to Venezuela with that aim in mind is a far better proposition than the lunacy of hedging. A word to the wise…

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 smartfone: + 233 (0) 21 976238.

An Open Letter To Ghana's National Security Coordinator

Sir, I shall go straight to the point. Whiles being interviewed on Radio Gold FM not too long ago, you said you had your “eyes on the prize.” Given the context within which you made that statement, one presumes that you meant that you are focused on what will get the National Democratic Congress (NDC) regime of President Mills re-elected, in December 2012.

As a gentleman with a distinguished military background, I am sure you do not need an ignoramus and an old fool from Civvy Street like me, to tell you how to achieve that objective. More so, when like the New Patriotic Party (NPP), your NDC party too can rely on its share of Ghana’s teeming “My-party-my-tribe-right-or-wrong” myrmidon-types – who support political parties blindly: because so many of them are incapable of independent-thought.

However, at the risk of sounding presumptuous (and perhaps raising your ire!), may I humbly point it out to you that the outcome of the December 2012 presidential election, will hinge, once again, on the way a relatively small number of independent-minded Ghanaians decide to vote?

The real kingmakers in that election, will be the seventy-thousand or so fair-minded Ghanaians whose crucial votes were cast in favour of the then candidate Mills – and won him the presidency in December 2008. 

Alas, Sir, if those selfsame decent-minded and patriotic individuals were to gain the unfortunate impression, however, that the brutality, impunity, and abuse of power, associated with much of the Rawlings era, are resurfacing again in our national life, then even if the regime of which you are such an important member, succeeds in turning Ghana into Africa’s most prosperous nation by the end of its tenure, they will still vote it out of power in 2012.

Please, always bear in mind that discerning Ghanaians prefer living under the rule of law to being trampled on under the jackboots of lawless and tyrannical mobs. 

Consequently, you and your team must take the necessary steps, to ensure that those orchestrating the acts of lawlessness being carried out across the country; end their perfidy – before they do permanent damage to your regime. Whatever happened to discipline, I ask, Sir?

Or, more to the point, perhaps the question we must ask is: Do the so-called “foot soldiers” of political parties not know the meaning of personal sacrifice in the national interest – particularly at times of extreme difficulty for Mother Ghana? Sir, if it is any consolation to you, there is one simple thing, which if done, can guarantee the re-election of President Mills’ regime – even it does not succeed in turning Ghana into paradise by the end of its tenure in December 2012.

If you can persuade President Mills and all his appointees (from the president himself down to the very last district chief executive!) to make public the assets they declared to the Auditor-General, it will put clear blue water between the present NDC regime and that of the regime of the profligate President Kufuor.

It will be a clear signal to Ghanaians that unlike all the past administrations of the 4th Republic thus far, members of President Mills’ administration did not come to power to line their pockets at Ghana’s expense. It is still not too late for the president to make such a bold move.

The added bonus is that were that to happen, it will permanently silence yesteryear’s silver-tongued white-collar criminals within the NPP (those past masters of the nation-wrecking art and science of creative-accounting – which made it possible for them to milk our country dry whiles they were in power!).

They are the same cynics who are funding and directing the “enkoyie” propaganda war being waged against the honest and principled President Mills. Their aim is to create disaffection in the minds of Ghanaians against the Mills administration – in the hope that it will result in the NPP returning to power 2012: thus enabling them to hold on to their ill-gotten wealth. 

Do not let them succeed in their aim, Sir: persuade President Mills and the members of his regime to publicly publish their assets. It may not be a constitutional requirement – but there is nothing in the constitution that prevents them from doing so either. 

The president will be on the right side of history if that were done – and posterity will commend him for establishing such a good governance convention: as his contribution to the fight against the insidious corruption that is slowly destroying our democracy.