One, a national administration must have a holistic economic agenda, so that while it is building infrastructure and chasing slim macro-economic indices it could also keep the micro-economic environment relatively stable so that living conditions do not get too harsh for the people and (indigenous) businesses will continue to thrive; the micro-economic level is where the Mills administration has failed us, woefully.  And the corrections to make up for the time and opportunities lost are easier stated than implemented.

Two, the key question after one has money in hand is whether one uses it properly and I, Ti-Kelenkelen, can bet, on my life, that every member of the Mills administration, the president inclusive, does admit to himself or herself when alone that, indeed, they have not taken care of our money as far as paying the bogus judgement debts are concerned.

(I hear there was a long line of more fraudsters outside the A-G’s office and Ministry of Finance ready to claim so-called judgement debts.  Apparently, after Woyome and co. got away with it word spread that there was easy money to be made from the Mills administration by simply claiming mistreatment by Kufuor, who will not be contacted anyway.  Hence the only good side of the blowout of the Woyome scandal is that that long line has disappeared.)

What Woyome cash can do

In 2010, the Mills administration and the NDC told Ghanaians they have eliminated 4,000 schools under trees.  Few days ago, on March 14, 2012, the Vice President, John Mahama, told students at the University of Ghana that they have eliminated 768 schools under trees.  I only hope even Mahama’s figure is true.  Generally, our children do not deserve the missed chances we shackle them with by all the easily-solvable problems that beset our education system.

That is why the Kinetic motion in my big head is uncontrollable, for we could have built more classrooms with the money paid to Woyome, even at the wildly-inflated cost the Mills administration has put on a six-classroom block plus head-teacher’s office and storeroom, GH¢864,000.00.  Officially we are now told Woyome was given GH¢51 million.  By simple arithmetic that could build 59 school blocks.  When we consider the fact that GH¢864,000.00 can actually build four six-classroom block, then the Woyome cash can eliminate 236 primary schools under trees.

For Ti-Kelenkelen, that is the true crime of the Woyome scandal, the lost opportunity for development, what that wrongfully-paid money could have done for the children of Ghana if it had not been given to that fraudster who had conniving ministers – and possibly a consenting state cabinet – to approve it for him.  And one of the least actions President Mills should have taken, without prodding from any quarters, is to prosecute Woyome, the civil workers who gave “wrong advice,” plus the ministers whose poor judgement and zero sense of responsibility led to the payment of the GH¢51 million.

Which compels me to ask: What is President Mills afraid of?

Footprints for Mills

I recall in 1992, United States President, George Bush Sr., had to deal with credible newspaper publications of fraud against his chief of Staff, John Sununu.  Sununu was reported to have used federal-state aircraft and vehicles for his personal holidays without paying to the state the amounts stipulated by law.  The evidence was as overwhelming as it is today for the Woyome scandal.  George Bush set up a commission that did a thorough job, and brought incontrovertible evidence against Sununu.  George Bush made his friend pay up the cost of state services/resources he has privately used, at commercial rates, and then Sununu resigned.

Here, I am compelled to picture President Mills presented with the opportunity to deal with the same problem.  I am sure Dear Reader knows how he will handle it.  He will blame the federal workers who “gave Sununu wrong advice” that it is okay to use state aircraft and cars without paying for them; he will ask his A-G to prosecute only the federal workers, while his chief of staff remains in office, and; he will never ask the chief of staff to pay up for using state resources for his private pleasure.

I have used the US example simply to show that there once the allegations become public and the evidence is overwhelming, they will retrieve the money for the state and punish the culprit irrespective of who he/she is.  Thankfully, we have examples here.

President Kufuor was not an angel, but he effectively dealt with two money scandals involving his ministers; these are even scandals that captured the imagination of Ghanaians far less than the Woyome scandal has done.

In 2001, Kufuor’s first Sports minister, Mallam Isa, recklessly lost $46,000.00 on a trip to DR Congo.  The amount was intended as recurrent expenditure for the national team, Black Stars.  Instead of putting it into an account and wiring it ahead to DR Congo or putting it in a briefcase he would keep with him, the minister put the money in a suitcase and gave it away to be put in the luggage compartment of the aircraft.  He lost the money and Kufuor’s A-G charged Mallam Isa for willfully causing financial loss to the state.  (I hope he was also made to pay up the money.)

Again in 2006/7, the Ministry of Education had to give a $100 million contract for the publication of textbooks for Ghana Schools.  The minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, picked up the whole fat juicy contract and gave it to one company, Unimax Macmillan.  The coalition of Ghanaian textbook publishers cried foul and took their case to the press.  President Kufuor recalled the job and made sure the $100-million contract was shared out fairly to everyone’s satisfaction.

Of course, Ghanaians were enraged when Mallam Isa lost the $46,000.00 and when Osafo Maafo gave the textbook-publishing contract to a single company.  But Kufuor did not punish civil workers who gave “wrong advice;” he held his ministers responsible, because they should have known better than swallow “wrong advice.”

Assessment

Such non-discriminatory and effective justice is the kind Ghanaians employ president to exact, because it is a constitutional demand and stipulation of law.  And thus the discussion of a matter that calls for such justice cannot be down-graded to the level of partisan-politicisation, which works against our collective progressive interest as a people.  As we saw above, the Woyome money could build 236 six-classroom blocks for our children.  Ghana’s money does not have a partisan-political face; neither does the future of our children who could have been benefitting if we had used the Woyome cash to build those schools.

But there is more.

If we add the free €21 million the Mills administration gave to Waterville and the €92 million it gave to CP we get €113 million.  At €1.00 = GH¢2.36, €113 million is GH¢266.68 million.  Thus the Woyome+Waterville+CP cash, GH¢317.68 million, can build 1,470 more schools.

€113 million! Do we not go for loans of lesser amounts, which loans come with all sorts of strings attached?  So if we have such amount of our own, unfettered by conditionalities set by donor agencies/partners, why should our president throw it away?

Conclusion

Here is a political party that gave us a national administration that has paid out at least three bogus amounts in so-called judgement debts, a president that is refusing to hold responsible his men and women who have turned the Consolidated Fund into a charity pot, giving away for free the country’s money, and yet Ghanaians can flock to a rally called by that party?

I, Ti-Kelenkelen, find that very hard to swallow, that even staunch member of the NDC, would go to a rally to be addressed by this administration and the NDC.

I am shocked that they would go there at all, because the money, paid out, shared and chopped, is not NPP or NDC or CPP or PPP or PNC money, but the money of the state, the Republic of Ghana, our money.  I, Ti-Kelenkelen, does not see how any Ghanaian will use party rivalry to placate his/her conscience or blindfold himself/herself to the truth and go anywhere to be addressed by people who have thrown our trust back into our faces and still do not have the prick of conscience or sense of shame to admit it and do the right thing to correct it.

If nothing at all, instead of cheering, those who went to the rally should have told the Mills administration that it could have done more with the money they have thrown away in bogus judgement debts.

Watching the crowd at that NDC rally, I was struck by a thunderbolt of realisation that the problems responsible for our shallow democracy and economic/developmental stagnation are deeper than they appear.  And it has flung me into the “limbus… of dyspepsia.”  If you ask me, right now, about the state of the Kinetic motion in my system, I cannot answer, because, in the presence of humans and God, I do not know.

Ebei! Ti-Kelenkelen, someone might say, you are expecting too much of human beings.  Precisely! Until we expect so much of ourselves and equally demand so much of our leaders whom we have employed by our vote, our country will go nowhere.  Demanding so much of our leaders to truly and constantly keep them on their toes and about the business for which we employed them is true democracy.

View the original article here

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.