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Let's Stop The Public Indiscipline

Let's Stop The Public Indiscipline

Sun, 4 Apr 2010 Source: Danso, Kwaku A.


Appearance of Former President Kufuor in Court - Improper and Liable to Incite Riot Against Due Process

By: Dr. Kwaku A. Danso

I want to make my opinions known and recorded on the appearance in court as reported in the media, by former President Kufuor in support of the former Ministers of his administration charged with crimes. This appearance was wrong and even though one cannot say there is any law against it, it is more likely to incite indiscipline. The former President is advised to stay away from any of these criminal trials to maintain his dignity and to avoid any association with any of these acts of criminality.

It is quite clear that the Ghana Attorney General's office is stressed and overburdened due to most possibly understaffing and factors relating to leakage of information from the AG offices by supporters of the former NPP in the work force. The staffing shortage for a government department that is supposed to be the guardian of our laws and for protecting the nation's financial and ethical integrity and adherence to laws, is unfortunate. It reflects poor planning on the part of the financial managers of Ghana, i.e., the Minister of Finance and the head of state himself, the President. Nobody gets a job done that needs to be done without hiring the best latent. If need be, Ghana has to pay these prosecuting lawyers and staff more than average. According to a report released some few weeks ago, the Attorney Generals, Honorable Betty Mould Idrissu herself has confessed that she is "poor", and did not even encourage her own children and family members to enter the legal professions. This is very unfortunate.

This is very unfortunate indeed, and in as much as we should not make this personal, how do societies move forward and develop under a democracy without a strong legal enforcement of laws and regulations and paying the lawyers who work on convicting crimes good money! How do you catch thieves who have stolen huge sums of money, and not pay the officers a decent money for their work? How do you pay police men so poorly and asks them to catch thieves and criminals involving drug barons and lots of money! Simple logic and human resource management suggest a better pay and incentive, and once we can collect the billions of dollars in grants and loans missing, we should reward workers who help the state achieve set goals towards a better and safer society!

Ghana is bleeding profusely to the tune of some $4 Billion or more in the last 8 years under the Kufuor administration. At the beginning of 2001 the accumulated debt of Ghana stood at $6.2 Billion. After the HIPC and then the forgiveness or debts or write-off by the G8 nations during the Gleneagles conference, Ghana was able to write off an estimated $3.8 billion. On the other hand after the new government took over in January 2009, the accumulated debt of Ghana was reported as $8.1 billion! How did this increase in debts occur? Something is missing! Grants and loans for water of about $603 million in 2005/2006 have never been fully accounted for! In 2008 alone only $30,000 of the $295 million in foreign grants could be accounted for in the Auditor General's report! The $700 million for electricity production has not been fully accounted for, and according to a former British Diplomat, there has been massive malfeasance to our detriment. Ghana is now undergoing huge losses due to poor erratic and unreliable delivery of electricity. The Ghana@50 and Jubilee House construction has seen more than $100 million that seems to be missing due to poor accounting, poor management, or deliberate acts of corruption of malfeasance! Ghana Airways was bleeding in the hundreds of millions whiles the planes were full most of the time. Ghana Telecom was losing money when in fact the revenues are enough to make a profit. Most persons, educated and the not well educated in Ghana know there is huge public theft, and as such it is incumbent on members of both parties to quell the emotions and let the law take its course. The disgrace is simply too much! Ghanaians have had enough and we expect due process to take place!

This writer strongly advises the Minister of Finance to evaluate the financial support given to the offices of the Attorney General and the State prosecution, and propose to parliament to seriously increase the funding for experienced staff, even professionals with overseas experience who can help Ghana retrieve the billions of dollars being lost every year! There is no point imposing huge duties and taxes in the 45% to 200% range on vehicles and goods imported to raise revenue, and there is no point in taking all these billions in loans only for some demented members of our government to siphon the moneys into private accounts! We need to be serious and support the state machinery for law enforcement! And that is the AG office, the State prosecutors, and the police departments! Once again I advice decentralization - a needed relinquishing of some of the powers of the president, and allow districts and towns to elect their own mayors or Chief executives who will learn to hire competent staff and impose their own property and other taxes, design their own budgets for police, security, and even for the financing of their own schools, water and roads. This is what is done overseas where our President and most of our government leaders have studied or lived!

Let the politicians sit aside and let the law take its course! Let us do the right thing! It's been half a century after independence! Yes, we can!

Dr. Kwaku A. Danso (k.danso@comcast.net)

President - Ghana Leadership Union (NGO) & Moderator-GLU Forum

Livermore, California, USA - East Legon, Accra, Ghana

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Columnist: Danso, Kwaku A.