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Opinions Mon, 4 Jan 2016

Resignation is not enough for public officials!

By Cletus D Kuunifaa

I am of the conviction that if fired ministers or government officials who resign their positions were investigated and possibly arraigned before law courts, then, Government would have been doing the right thing and paying heed to the needs of Ghanaians and giving meaning to our democracy. The right procedure, what is good to be done is for a fired minister or government official to be investigated and to be tried in a court of law, and if found guilty of causing financial loss to the state to not only serve jail term but refund the monies to the state. This procedure will have the double effect of boosting governance and building the confidence that citizens have in government. Anything short of this breeds suspicion and erodes the confidence that the citizenry has in government.

Folks, lets quantify these amounts in contract deals that are inflated, massaged, and juxtapose them in a contextualized way to how many schools could have been built? How many hospitals would have been constructed? How many libraries would have been put up? How many roads would have been made available? How much infrastructural development would have been done to help Ghana? But, none of that and all of this amount goes into a single pocket or elsewhere?

That the Power Minister resigned on New Year's eve following a promise to Ghanaians that he will relinquish his post, if he was unable to solve the energy crisis of our dear country, by close of 2015 is nothing news, its tired news and amounts to rubbish. The decision to fire was triggered by the conflicting reports regarding the supposed end to the power crisis by the Power ministry and the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo).

Be that as it may, the Ameri Group Contract is hanging and will hang over the fired Minister’s neck like the biblical sword of Damocles. If you were to ask me what to do with a fired or resigned Minister in situations like this one? Let him face the law courts to prove that he caused no financial loss to the state. I will tell you that it should not be business as usual, because it will not serve a deterrent to other public officials allegedly involved in contract deals or strategizing on same, if public officials walk away without further forensic investigation in mired contracts delivered this way. When they get away without investigation to unearth their malfeasance, they would probably still be entitled to their “booty” and will have time to squander it well at the expense of Ghanaians.

As a matter of fact, even individuals penned down for replacement will fret about nothing since the status quo would have been maintained without thorough investigation.

What I gather on the Ameri contract is that until proven otherwise, a publication from VG NYHETER must not be downplayed. Questions remain unanswered; why did Ameri reassign the whole contract with Ghana to a third party called METKA at a total execution of $350million? Why did details not brought out long ago to what is now deemed as false information regarding this contract? Why wait for people to be fed with false information before coming out with a side of the story?

It’s up to the President to fight for his legacy. Serving as President of a nation and leaving a long lasting legacy is evidential of what is done to leave as reference points of achievements. Your success is our success and that’s why some of us are genuinely concerned. Its food for thought, Mr. President.

Cletus D Kuunifaa

TMC Group

Can be reached at dipnibe@yahoo.com or follow him on twitter @ckuunifaa

Columnist: Kuunifaa, Cletus D.