Why Zoomlion Must Be Encouraged

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 Source: The Catalyst

We find as interesting allegations by The Ghanaian Democrat that “some so-called pro-NDC newspapers” are collaborating with pro-NPP newspapers to continue to throw dust into the eyes of the people of Ghana.

We also find as untenable the allegation by the paper that some highly placed personalities in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government and some NDC Members of Parliament (MPs) are “supporting the questionable Zoomlion waste management company.”

Some of the names mentioned by the paper in its allegation as being in bed with Zoomlion and supporting it to siphon 30% of the common funds allocations of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies across the country include no mean a person than the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency, John Dramani Mahama.

Whilst we respect the right of the paper to expose any wrongdoing by any entity in the country, we find some of the issues being raised by it a bit way over the top.

First of all, considering ourselves in the category of "so-called pro-NDC newspapers," we find it necessary to point out that the allegation by the Ghanaian Democrat that some “so-called pro-NDC newspapers are collaborating with NPP newspapers” in throwing dust into the eyes of the people of Ghana, as a matter of fact a figment of the imagination of the paper.

Pro-NDC newspapers way back in opposition have carried several adverts for Zoomlion just like many other newspapers have. As media houses it would be unwise on our part to reject advertisements from any company we do not have evidence is doing unlawful business.

The Catalyst does not think that carrying adverts for Zoomlion or any other company for that matter amounts to conspiracy to rip off the people of Ghana as the paper is trying to impugn.

Secondly, we find rather strange the allegation by the paper against the array of personalities in the NDC government and Parliament including the Vice President who the paper claims are supporting Zoomlion to siphon monies belonging to the masses.

We do not want to belabour the other issues raised by the paper about the ownership of the company and how it came into being, its sister companies, J. A. Plant Pool and the stone quarry in the Brong-Ahafo region. We do not want to think that the mere fact that Prof Atta Mills and his Vice President went to launch these companies, even if they were launched before in the NPP era, constitute a betrayal of a trust. Rather it portrays the open door policy of the government.

In the same way, we are trying very hard to understand how encouragement of Zoomlion in its quest to clean the environment by anybody irrespective of their political colour, can be deemed as a breach of a trust.

By this, we are not saying one bit that Zoomlion is faultless. All we are asking for is that those who have evidence of any wrongdoing by Zoomlion should make their evidence available to the relevant authorities, and by extension, the rest of us in the “so-called NDC media” and we will support them. But to think that by attacking us of being bedfellows of Zoomlion will compel us to follow a line of argument we have no idea about is simply a joke.

The point we are making is simple. We are fully aware of some of the terrible things that the NPP government under former President Kufuor did to some NDC persons and businesses owned by them. A clear case in point is the predicaments suffered by Mr Eddie Annan under NPP when his business was targeted by President Kufuor and his NPP hawks.

Similar claims were made in the past by the NPP whilst the NDC was in power. But we feel the time has come for us as a nation to do things in a more humane manner. If there is anything untoward about Zoomlion’s operations, we believe the company can be dealt with according to law and made to do the right thing. That is why there are laws in Ghana. We believe that, contrary to the Kufuor-led NPP government's wicked policy of collapsing "NDC businesses," all businesses must be encouraged to not only to survive, but blossom.

If Zoomlion is being deliberately giving unfair advantage over other waste management companies in the country who are in good standing, then we will have a problem with the government and those responsible. Also, if it is true that the company is siphoning monies meant for the development of the poor masses of the people of Ghana, we will have a big problem with that.

We are totally convinced about one thing regarding this government though. President Atta Mills will not countenance any wrongdoing irrespective of who is involved.

Let us think of what Zoomlion, and for that matter any other company, is doing currently to move the nation forward and what it can do to help this government achieve its better Ghana agenda whilst the government and state agencies ensure that the right things are done by these companies.

If Zoomlion deserves to be probed like the Ghanaian Democrat is asking for, let that be done. But all we are asking for is that whilst we are at it, let us all as a people support our government to encourage businesses to succeed in Ghana. That should be the way forward.

Columnist: The Catalyst