Mahama’s bane: incompetence or corruption?

Fri, 12 Feb 2016 Source: Biliguo bie Ansobie

Let us not make mistakes concerning Mahama’s tenure of office. If anything it was this same Mahama that was the ‘standing’ President whilst Mills being incapacitated remained the sitting president until his demise on July 24, 2012. He quickly reassembled vainglorious meditations to complete his boss’s tenure of which he had been part.

Mahama has been continually in public service since 1996 and had been so blessed to be so honoured. He has had his share; there is nothing left in the Flagstaff or Osu castle to prepare and take out. He has had his fill. Ghana cant risk a three-term government under this hardship. The pointers are clear.

He has always being spurred on to take heart (for the kidney there is none left) that things would turn around for his good. This is not an element of manliness but sheer deceit. Look at what happened before the NDC finally ate up her words and went for the IMF bail out!

Mahama claims past loans had been invested in electrification and other development projects. Must we loose sight of the piling debt that we must service each day and transfer to the future generations. Is this the Ghana we are building for the future generations when public debt claims 50% of GDP?

There was this controversial issue of Eurobond in bid to finance capital expenditure, the government having stopped transactions in foreign currencies such as the dollar in a bid to attain stabilization of the cedi through the central bank. Eurobond is a loan in disguise and a contradiction to such previously held monetary policy. The minority caucus justifiably walked out of parliament!

Ghana is all we have. Let us not view the state of affairs with biasedness. If anything our mouths are full let us keep quiet rather than trumpet the good side of john Mahama to the neglect of the real challenges. We are not his personal biographers. Some of us don’t do to be paid but we have grown up to realize Ghana concerns all of us.

Ghana’s politics seem the way of promises. But others drum it in such a way that the NPP dwell on promises whilst Mahama would have substance to present just before the general elections looking at the many uncompleted priority projects. Granted very many projects are not yet completed it is still the same promises. As I read from Africawatch of Bawumia and his team’s biting criticisms on Mahama’s incompetence and lack of drive as well as his administration being bedeviled with corruption charges, Mahama replies with “experience”. He wants to push the economy aside while we know he has no credit to good governance, not even power, not rule of law. This is the NDC who in 2012 said the electorates should grant them two terms to complete their developments projects. Now the mantra has changed even referring to the 10 year anticorruption scheme which they want to glue to their seats to fulfill.

Among the plenty things drummed home, little was said of inflation which technically brings to naught the fortunes of the single spine. Where are the so called Economic gurus, where are the Senchi brains, which people set up kept the inflation at a single digit? Even though this was not translating into pocket money the figure is now clearly manifest and Mahama admits Ghanaians would get cash in their pockets in 2017.

Why should he wait to inspire our hopes by promises he cant be held accountable granted he wouldn’t stand for any elections anymore after then seeking to be treated as an individual and not a party?

Whilst I couldn’t review the past years state of the nation address Mahama has been unequivocal in ululating his success including the phantom senior high schools project. Tell me how many are fully completed, furnished to support teaching and learning. Opponents even snare the day schools would be turned into public toilets sooner.

The HOPE city, and I hope that also means the ITES project, is another tool of government propaganda. They have variously painted bill boards and trumpeted ceremonies to connote when events would kick start. These deadlines have never been met after multiple declarations among government functionaries only to inspire hopes of a true digital economy. I want to be told it’s an inhabited environment and these are the people that work on the 10-billion dollar project. Even though it has been a public-private partnership the government so ululated the publicity so much so that one would think it’s her bona fide property. In any course let us build concerted efforts to create a hub of information technology in West Africa for the benefit of us and the future generations. I want to see Ghana boast of “ one laptop per child”, I want to see Ghana boast of internet accessibility. I want to see Ghana bridge its IT gap. I want to see new IT systems freely implemented without hitches, not the botch gismo of a verification device for elections. I want to see us take giant steps in e-health and telemedicine, and want to see computing truly ubiquitous and not some 25%. I want to see IT-knowledge incorporated fully in our curricula from the basic level. I want to see the e-Ghana project alive and kicking. I want our economy to advance through the aid of information technology. I want to see us perfect our products and deliver world class IT solutions to home and industry. I want to see Ghana truly digital.

More so, we drum on on-going hospital projects in Accra and Kumasi. No one mentions of Bolgatanga and Wa. My criticisms would be as monotonous as their own ululations for those who have been following me on this column. These are remote populations that cannot boast of the facilities in KATH or KTH. The only such equivalent in the north is the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH). Whilst we cannot advocate the proliferation of teaching hospitals like CHPS compounds now, it behooves us to think that the north has been left to its own fate, for which reason Mahama and his compatriots would only come up during campaign times, use it as a tool and after winning elections recline onto luxury seats while cobwebs consume their campaign promises. Some of us have been on the watch out to take people by what they say. Let each one speak responsibly and not just for cheap political gains. Mahama is a son of the north and its SADA is bedeviled with challenges. As to what becomes of the plague and the reports God alone knows. One can even argue that such a problem is beyond the jurisdiction of SADA.

What has become of the Ministers sacrifice for CHPS project having accepted defeat for the MDGs of providing maternal care and other related services by some standards with the close of 2015. Yet we would continue to talk of GYEEDA(YEA), SADA, NSS till the last trace of misappropriation is addressed effectively.

Mahama’s government has done a scholastic work of a “utopian” blue print so that one day NPP would not say they have switched to their mantra such as free education. In the advent of general elections no one would be able to tell the form Mahama’s free SHS is going to take. Whether he likes it or not he is fading out having attained the highest citadel of political power to which he has used to his own advantage.

On the employment terrain. There is the paradox of closed license. It is indeed systemic sabotage or outright deceit. Why the need for this policy if stakeholders are supposed to know best. Every specification is still based on the felt needs those same people (MDAs) would deliver. Now such a phenomenon on the airwaves is said to be lifted. But the last time, just a week ago, I was at Metro and Regional Education offices and they decried it is only a rumour. They had not been served any such letter!

It is as empty as Mahama’s public promises of paying workers arrears beyond three months through a validation process. Even though some documents could not pass through the exercise the thousands of people whose documents had been validated have their forms still lingering between the Audit Service, MOFEB and the CAG. It is like we should loose hope and die. How happens some one would work for beyond three months and a government policy would come to say he shouldn’t be paid beyond three months, perhaps to site there is no money! Is Mahama not aware of the delay and bureaucracy in the system? If you appoint me and start paying me the next month who would wait for arrears. But the system is in such a way that by the time you are one year into work and expecting your salary, your documents are still lying at the district offices. Their complaints vary from errors and corrections of returned documents to outright non-payment of administrative expenses to cover for transportation. I witnessed how we helplessly had to raise funds as new entrants with no salary for a district office to enable us travel to Tamale for a biometric registration. Mahama should first tackle the weakness of his system and he doesn’t need any letter of injunction. Now every body’s document is at Accra, the government is scratching its hair to come out with another trick. This delay na who cause am?

The bane lies in institutional strengthening rather than injunction placement.

The other side of the headquarters in delaying to provide staff IDs for employees when they have already obtained appointments for several months also needs to be tackled. These IDs are vital for the biometric exercise for new entrants. The government cannot behave like ostrich by saying it is not aware of such issuance delays. If an effort to keep them running by providing the necessary allocations and resources would amount to interference then all else is interference. The letter of injunction dated 04 November, 2012 (I suppose) is equally a serious injunction. That has been the greatest hurdle with the hypocritic aspect calling for rerouting through validation which still lies dormant. Whether you are from the Ghana Education Service, the Ghana Health Service or any decentralized department you are bound to face the same challenges. Some of the IPPD officers even take beyond a year without stepping in Accra and when they get there they get treated like any ordinary employee.

In the event of problems with frequent pay cuts no one knows what the true situation is until we read it from the media. Headmasters are quick to meet you on the door way on pay constraints but are the first to search for you when you are absent from your lesson period. The focus now is on supervision and not welfare. Imagine the control and sacrifice exuded for over seventeen months to be told government cant pay. That means it would have been better we had been disobedient. Enough with that and let us switch to other matters!

Ghanaians cannot say they are happy with the way things are being run with the constant ramshackling of state institutions and programs.

Mahama is playing pranks. Now that it is election year he wishes to use the end to justify the means. Looking at human nature, its tendency to forget of past hardship Mahama would rather fill the sack of bad nuts with only a few good nuts towards its brim. But any well meaning person would need a complete dissection to tell what his government has achieved and show him the exit by means of the thumb come November 7.

We have placed undue hope on the oil which would soon be depleted to our doom. Since such a vital resource is not renewable unless we explore new grounds on our territorial waters and make new discoveries take the 1.5% or so out of the GDP and Mahama would have to finance his corruption from the “status quo.” The danger of corruption is even greater this election year.

Ghana has even lost its image in democratic governance. Someone might say this figure is egotistic, personal and unreal. But we are all living to see what finally unfolds. I am not the one to say Ghana has the most corrupt media in Africa. I am not the one to say we have not been shortlisted for a Mo Ibrahim consideration. Nor have we attained any appreciable position on global corruption PPI since the last eight years. I am not the first to say there is corruption in the judiciary. I am not the one to say MPs do take bribes to articulate people’s views in parliament. I am probably not the first to say the finance committee is a mere window dressing. I am not the one to say the appointment committee is a formality when die hard criminals pass through it to reign in the high places.

I am not the one to say people seem to interpret the constitution as suits them when they were in this very country and different paths were been pursued. I am not the one to say Ghana is a rising star of internet fraud in Africa.(and Ghana recently sold out a whole teaching hospital in a scam!) I am not the one to say the right to information bill has languished for over six years. The NDC knows how such openness would mean to its fortunes.

Whether or not we fear we would be taken by our own words we cannot play the ostrich and say Mahama is an experienced politician of much competence. Mahama doesn’t tolerate corruption. We must be living in a fool’s paradise. By corruption we mean big time corruptions that place havoc on society such as one man’s dubious booty can give a GH¢3 amount to each Ghanaian from his political syndicate.

We must applaud if the nation successfully defends against dubious judgement debts. We must also hasten to condemn any connivance and hypocrisy. Mahama is rather being polemic gleaning for points to show that all are involved. Ghana is still lingering around the status quo in the global corruption performance index. And that inflation keeps rising! Whatever be the ill-omen it is enough. Let him step down and let another take his place after over twenty good years in public service. Let him find a place and retire among the elders for so far he has outdone his best. He has nothing new to present. He has no clue as to how to resuscitate the fainted economy.

Mahama should have rather strengthened his systems and stop all this hypocrisy. All is late he should sooner start preparing his handover notes rather than make new meditations of blue prints since his views would be replaced by sharper brains. Away with the NDC!

Columnist: Biliguo bie Ansobie