I heard Joe Abbey of CEPA with Dzifa Bampoe the other time and it was very obvious the renowned economist was livid. I had never heard him so upset. And in fact, so are most of us except for those who have seen the freebies the NPP government and their baton-changing partners the NDC either drip into their pockets or flood it.
Sorry if this title upsets anyone but it is the best way I can direct my emotions and thoughts over the precariously sad state our politicians have left us and continue to do so with impunity as though we were all some zombies put in a cage without the slightest inclination to decipher what is right and wrong, what is wise and foolish, what is weird and normal, what is absurd and what is sensible. If you are a Ghanaian and all of the nonsense of judgment debt does not upset you then I think you are the typical ‘fa ma nyame’ Ghanaian, a beneficiary of these unpatriotic wealth scramble, or some person who is pathetically oblivious over his immediate environment and wouldn’t give a damn even if Ghana drowns or is consumed by a fire as raging as the greedy quest for wealth demonstrated by our leaders past and present.
One does not need the brains of Einstein to understand all that rubbish we are subjected to by people whose homes, salaries, vehicles and indeed lifestyles we the citizens financed for years and even continue to do so when some are out of office. After reading and listening and watching I realize it’s pretty simple and there are a few scenarios which play out disgustingly. One of them is that some greedy businessmen connive with a bunch of politicians and they sign what may seem a legitimate contract on the surface; the idea is that someone or some people get a healthy cut when the contract gets executed. Sadly for both, a new government comes in and realizes that the ‘agreement’ or ‘contract’ is dubious and did not go through the proper procedure. Senselessly this new man with power terminates the ‘agreement’ or ‘contract’ without passing through the proper channels and the business then get upset. They smartly do not even push to the courts until their ‘preferred’ governments assume office then they go to court. We have unfortunately had a very weak Attorney General’s office and so all these unscrupulous business always smell success.
The other scenario sees friendly business men enter into a contract of sorts with the full connivance of government people; then they agree to break a contract so one acts as disgruntled. They then appear before a judge and the evidence points to an illegal termination of contract; court orders monies to be paid; it is delayed to accrue interest; when it has grown healthily, government pays and the booty is shared; everyone smiles to the bank and the people of Ghana wail and cry over high costs of living, deplorable roads, dysfunctional hospitals, disgruntled workers; thousands of unemployed graduates and the list goes on.
Think for a second about those who have been accused of causing these judgment debts; it’s been basically the NPP, and especially Kwadwo Mpiani. Again think of all the big names behind the companies crying wolf; Africa Automobile Limited and City Wastes are alleged to be owned or partly owned by a certain man who was a onetime presidential aspirant of the NDC. We all know Woyome already.
What on earth have we done as a people to deserve such greedy, selfish, unpatriotic people as our leaders? I did a piece once saying that I did not see any difference between these two parties who have been ruling us since 1992. And I still stand by that especially when all they have been doing is to play the blame game without any of them suggesting how we can convincingly and effectively deal with this sad phenomenon.
What am I saying? Why will they want to end a practice which is making them multi-million dollar millionaires in a country where nothing seems to be working well? Why will they want to end a practice which has turned them into owners of $500, 000 and even $1 million homes? Why will they end a practice which has enabled them buy vehicles we thought only $200, 000-a-week footballers could afford? Why will they end a practice which ensures that they are able to spend weekends in Europe and go for shopping sprees in Dubai whiles watching football games in Barcelona, London, Turin, Paris and Munich? Why?
There have been talk of establishing a Presidential Commission and all that but I feel that is not necessary. We have enough state institutions who should be able to handle these cases, my non-legal mind tells me. The NPP was reckless, unreasonable, and totally myopic-minded in terminating contracts the manner they did. Again I am no lawyer but if as a government you find discrepancies with a supposed legal document signed by a previous government I should think there are better ways of handling it, even if it means terminating it.
Things seem a lot more pathetic when you think of the woeful the job the folks at the AG’s office have been doing over the last few years. Indeed Ben Kumbour has told us succinctly to expect a lot more judgment debts, and worse, there is nothing he can do about them. Even when there is enough grounds for his office to contest they refuse to or do such a poor job that the nation is left bleeding more.
What could our donor partners be thinking about us? Picture this; you are a poor fellow needing money to pay your wards’ fees and even offer them a meal a day; you go round begging for change and coins and folks have pity on you and give you a dime here, a pesewa here, a kobo there, a cent here. Then you are seen in a ‘beer bar’ buying drinks and ’khebab’, not for your wife or family, but for some whore. Then you are seen again fêting in the most expensive restaurant with yet another woman. How do you think you would be looked at by those who gave you some money? That is just how I reckon the many donors would be looking at us. It is sickening to imagine that a country with so many lawyers whose budget is reliant on foreign donors would allow such a painful calamity to befall it.
But wait a minute: it is not calamitous for everyone, is it?
I am livid when I think of the fact that we seem not to have the political leadership to stop this mess and create a path out of solving it. All we have are those greedy ingrates from the NDC and NPP pointing accusing fingers at each other. They don’t give a hoot about how to solve this problem or prevent it going into the future. Tell you what, aside the debts already incurred, more are being incurred and we are nowhere near hearing the end of this rubbish. I so wish Mills’ will be heard and be decisive in handling this. Sadly it seems he has more important things to do at the moment and his ministers and party people have sharpened their fingers and doing the finger-pointing with a lot more vim than they should.
This country deserves better. It makes those of us who pay taxes, pay our bills, and buy our own fuel, etc feel truly foolish. People have forgotten what leadership is all about. The fact that Ghanaians are peace-loving and quiet and all does not mean we are fools and cannot tell when we are being fooled. We have governments who oversee shady and shoddy works in various facets of our lives. Nkrumah presided over roads and projects that continue to serve us till date. Rawlings and Kufuor and Mills have superintended over projects which have not lasted even their lifetime. In fact, some did not even last their tenures simply because they have been surrounded by people who think of nothing but themselves. It would have been okay if all they did was to get a little comfort for themselves. But no, they have to have luxury and the luxury must be excessive and it must cover their families and generations yet to be born.  What sort of greed, irresponsibility, indiscipline, sheer wickedness, anti-Ghanaian and a sheer preponderance to basically steal is this!
This nonsense must stop, and it must stop NOW!

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