Welcome to Ghana Pundit: The Home of Politics and Intelligent Analysis


Grab the widget  Tech Dreams

Insist on Your Right to Education

Uneducated citizenry is like a pitch any game can be played on it. Illiteracy is what has given the politicians in Ghana the chance to fool so many people for so a long a time.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ghana Now Less Peaceful - Report

The executive Director of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) Dr. Emmanuel Bombande is blaming chieftaincy and the Fulani communal violence for Ghana’s dip in the global peace index.

The West African country was ranked 50 in the latest ranking released Tuesday, up from the 42 position it occupied last year.

The research published by the Institute for Economics and Peace, a global non-profit research organization is, to among other things, create the paradigm that peace is a pre-requisite for the survival of humanity.

According to the 2012 report, the world has experienced relative peace compared to previous years, but the same cannot be said about Ghana. Ghana’s 50 position in the 2012 edition is said to be the worst after the 2008 edition when the country was ranked 52.

The country enjoyed relative peace in the subsequent years and was ranked 42 last year. It is not immediately clear if the recent violence in parts of the country which claimed some 14 lives accounted for the sharp increase.

A mediator and peace broker with WANEP, Dr Bambande described the new ranking as fair and a true representation of the situation in the country. He told Joy News for Ghana to be ranked 50 out of 158 countries, better than the US which is ranked 88, it must be doing fairly well in its peace efforts but cannot be complacent.

He said the country must take into account the new emerging threats and challenges and how to build a “national mediating capacity to respond to those challenges”.

In addition to the communal violence in parts of the country, Dr Bombande said new indicators introduced, such as corruption and transparency levels may also account for the rise in Ghana’s ranking. “We did not perform very well in the transparency international corruption index. Because it is now one of the indicators we could be doing well on other levels and be drawn back because of new indicators that have been added,” he said.

The head of Sociology at the Cape Coast University Prof Dominic Agyeman debunked assertion that Ghana is a peaceful country. He said looking at what is happening in Ghana in recent times it is quite untrue to say Ghanaians are peaceful people.

Both men suggested that government and security forces must look out for early warning signals and douse potential flames than to wait for the conflict to break out before resolving them.


Chinese $3bn Loan In Danger

Another STX in the making?

“Government is unprepared and indecisive”- Chinese

Impeccable but fresh sources at the seat of government and the international financial and economic community have sent disturbing signals to The Al-Hajj that the much-touted China Development Bank (CDB) US$3bn loan is in jolt and may suffer the fate of the ignominious USD 1.5bn agreement with the STX Korea because of what one Chinese diplomat refers to as “your government’s indecisiveness and unpreparedness towards ensuring that the money will be put to good use.”.

Despite Deputy Minister Seth Terkper’s assurances to this paper in a telephone interview last Tuesday that in so far as the government is concern everything is well with the CDB loan, intelligence sources very familiar with the CDB facility, have confirmed to The Al-Hajj that the Chinese are dithering because of the apprehension that the government has not yet put in place the right structures to monitor the disbursement of the funds and ensure value for money.

According to the sources, the Chinese are very fearful that without adequate structures to monitor the works, their US$3bn investment is not likely to yield the desire results and this could lead them to lose a vital investment, the first of its kind in Ghana under any regime in its history.

“You must understand that the money the Chinese are giving us is not for free and they will never ‘throw away’ their investment if the government continues to go round and round on when they will require the first disbursement and how they will monitor the project execution”. A source pointed out.

But Deputy Finance Minister Mr. Seth Terkper currently on national assignment in the US denies government is not forthcoming, insisting, the government is working very hard to bring down the cash, citing the Bank of Ghana’s readiness in receiving it with the opening of an account.

But our sources maintain that the Ghana Government has been unable to convince the Chinese that their investment is safe if it comes here because government has not been helpful with whom it should rely upon in as far as monitoring of the CDB loan is concern.

The Al-Hajj has gathered that, when the idea of the CDB loan was first brought into the front-burner, the President formed a task force to handle the negotiations with the Chinese and eventual disbursement of the resources after all the parliamentary processes.

Later, the task force became somewhat ineffective because of certain obstacles impeding its smooth operations, but government was nevertheless able to push through the agreement through Parliament and eventually everything went on smoothly.

Both Government and the Chinese lenders were at that stage very optimistic that the first tranche of about US$1bn was soon to be disbursed to facilitate the ambitious investment in the oil and gas sector.

The Vice President John Mahama was in April this year dispatched to China to witness the final signing of two subsidiary agreements to allow for the release of $1 billion of the $3 billion CDB loan facility and that the first tranche will begin to flow in the country before the end of April.

Consequently, the Chinese and the government of Ghana set up a joint monitoring office at the Finance and Economic Planning Ministry to ensure that they meet their deadline of getting the money in Ghana in the nick of time to ensure that the proposed oil and gas investment does not suffer any delay.

Almost sixty-five days today after the final signing of two subsidiary agreements in China witnessed by the Vice-President for the release of US$1 billion, not a dime has hit the Ghanaian exchequer.

Although Deputy Finance Minister at the Finance Ministry in charge of the CDB loan, Seth Terkper in an interview with The Al-Hajj last Tuesday down-played any suggestion of differences with the Chinese, he nevertheless acknowledged there has been challenges, some beyond the government, citing the role of Parliament in such transactions as well as some challenges the Chinese may be facing in their own backyard.

The Chinese lenders on their part, The Al-Hajj is told, have some concerns among which is the Ghanaian authorities’ inability to get Parliaments’ speedy ratification of the Financial Document, but Hon. Seth Terkper told The Al-Hajj this has since formally been done and the CDB informed accordingly.

Another issue bothering the Chinese lenders this paper was told, is the apparent lack of centre to oversee the disbursement and protect their assets, which is the first of its kind since independence.

According to a source, there seems to be confusion, as the Chinese are unsure who would oversee the funds disbursement when it begins to flow into the country’s kitty to ensure effective monitoring of the projects’ execution to safeguard their interest in recouping their money back with the interest.

“The Chinese lenders are unsure whether the government through its task force will be directly in-charge of monitoring and evaluation of the loan or the Joint Chinese/Ghana Government outfit set up for the purpose and based at the Finance Ministry”. The source disclosed.

The Chinese, according to our sources, would only be comfortable to begin disbursement of the fund if they are part of a team of the technocrats at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in charge of scrutinizing the facility to ensure that there is value for money.

“Their main concern now is that, who will be in-charge and how their vital investment will be safeguarded and protected… “Once they clear their minds on all those issues, then we are likely to see the money trickling down, but the government and people of Ghana will be very much disappointed if there is no sufficient guarantee,” the source said. He said it is normal for the Chinese to work hard and do double checks because this is the first time they are extending this huge amount of loan to Ghana, but there is nothing to fear about. Hon. Seth Terkper seems to agree with these suggestions “this being the first time we are dealing with Chinese, the process is very cumbersome, and you can understand, but there is no cause for alarm, the CDB people would be arriving in the country in July. Parliament has approved all 12 subsidiary agreements”. He told The Al-Hajj

The Al-Hajj

NDC Chairman Blows Cash, Ordered to refund GHC2.1Bn?

A National Executive Council (NEC) Member of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is in trouble for his inability to adequately account for an amount of GH¢270,000 meant for party work.

The NDCs Greater Accra Region Chairman, Joseph Kobina Ade Coker, is said to have received the amount on behalf of his region from the Electoral Directorate of the NDC with an agreement that he would disburse the amount equally among the 27 constituencies in Greater Accra for the biometric registration exercise.

Each constituency according to the agreed budget was to have received an amount of GH¢10,000, but the money is yet to reach the constituencies even though the registration exercise is over and Mr. Coker is in hot waters over the issue.

Checks by THE PUBLISHER in each of the 27 constituencies in Greater Accra showed that the highest amount Mr. Ade Coker gave a constituency was GH¢2,000 instead of the budgeted GH¢10,000. The remaining GH¢8,000 per constituency has not been accounted for and its whereabouts have since remained a mystery.

When THE PUBLISHER contacted Mr. Ade Coker over the issue he admitted that he actually held back a greater chunk of the budget meant for the constituencies. He however explained that he held back an amount of “only” GH¢3,000 per constituency and not GH¢8,000.

The NDC Chairman swore to THE PUBLISHER that he was given an amount of GH¢5,000 for each of the 27 constituencies but he chose to give each constituency an amount of GH¢2,000 and hold back the remaining GH¢3,000 because as the Regional Chairman, he was convinced the Region was in need of money for other purposes.

Therefore by Mr. Coker’s calculation, he used the powers conferred on him as Regional chairman to hold back a total amount of “only” GH¢81,000.

Further checks from the Greater Accra Regional NDC showed that members of the Executive were unaware that the Regional Chairman had given the constituencies an amount of GH¢ 2,000 out of the agreed budget and kept the rest for reasons he was yet to explain.

Mr. Coker also did not tell the constituencies he was keeping a greater chunk of the money and he has since also not explained what exactly he planned using the money for.

As at press time on Sunday evening, THE PUBLISHER picked up signals that some of the constituencies were meeting over the issue and a press conference had been scheduled for this week.

The Publisher

Government Sets Ceiling On Judgement Debt

Cabinet has directed that all judgement debts and claims above GH¢10 million should be submitted to it for approval prior to final settlement and payment.

However, it has provided that the Attorney-General "may settle claims up to an upper limit of GH¢ 1 0 million without the prior approval of Cabinet".

Cabinet has also directed the Attorney-General and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to submit monthly and quarterly reports on all judgement debts and settled claims received or paid.

According to an official source, the decision of Cabinet was based on a memo which was submitted to it by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, on the issue of judgement debts and settled claims.

The source explained that the measures were part of new guidelines by the government to ensure sanity in the payment of judgement debts and settled claims.

The memo by the Attorney-General had been precipitated by issues which had cropped up in the media and before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament with regard to the huge judgement debts captured in the Auditor-General's report on the accounts of the central government.

According to the memo, questions had been raised with respect to whether Cabinet had approved the settled claims prior to payment and whether it was necessary for Cabinet to have approved those sums before payment was effected or even before the Attorney-General advised the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning to authorise payment.

The source said Cabinet had accepted the issues raised in the memo by the Attorney-General and taken appropriate action.

According to it, judgement debts and claims had been increasing over the years and had assumed significant importance for government payments.

It said in 2009, for example, the government paid compensation and judgement debt amounting to GH¢116,809,179, while in 2010 it paid GH¢187,659,1l7. In 2011, it paid GH¢24.2, 862,093, leaving an outstanding balance of GH¢141,415,758.

The source said in view of the recent public outcry, as well as questions raised by the PAC, it had become necessary to establish the role of Cabinet, if any, with regard to judgement debts and whether it should provide the threshold for the approval of certain limits.

Source: Daily Graphic

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Looting and Raping Ghana: the case of NDC and NPP Part 1

NDC and NPP grabbing state assets
NDC and NPP grabbing state assets
The information contained in this literature review tells us how the NDC and NPP and their leaders have raped, looted, and milked Ghana, stealing Ghanaian resources, buying properties that belong to the state without paying for them and squandered the little money that was paid. The literature review is to show Ghanaians the real 'greedy bastards' that President Rawlings has been referring to. In part 1 I focus on NDC while part 2 is devoted to the NPP.
NDC: From Rags to Riches
Most of the current leaders of the NDC who now live in total luxury are people who were poppers and suddenly became rich by seizing state assets and looting what should have gone to Ghanaians.
“…The Ahwoi brothers (Kwamena, Kwesi, Ato), who were key figures in the PNDC and later the NDC, were among the first NDC stalwarts to enter private business. Unlike many others, their business activities were quite open. Prior to entering politics, all three were civil servants with no business background. Widely said to have received a state-guaranteed loan of $30 million as starting capital, they steadily built an economic empire. This included a waste disposal business that enjoyed a profitable contract with the AMA; a hotel near their hometown in the Central Region; and a haulage company called Comstrans. A confidential interviewee revealed that they had also acquired large tracts of land, hoping to invest in real estate. The jewel in their crown, however, was Cashew and Spices Products Limited, or Cashpro, the leading private cocoa and cashew buying company in Ghana …Cashpro was one of only a handful of private companies that were licensed to participate in the lucrative internal cocoa marketing business. The companies received an annual loan with a moderate interest rate at the beginning of each cocoa season from the COCOBOD for their operations. While it is not unusual for a public body such as COCOBOD, to obtain cheap finance for its contractors, it seems that Cashpro was favoured by the government, which controlled COCOBOD. For example, though Ghanaians were told that several firms would be contracted to undertake a cocoa output improvement plan in 2000, Cashpro alone was awarded the contract” (Opoku 2010, p.147).
“…Rawlings' wife, Nana Rawlings, is another prominent political figure known to have had numerous business interests, notwithstanding her efforts to distance herself from them. She was widely rumored to be co-owner (along with P. V. Obeng) of the soft drink manufacturer D&C... She [Agyemang Konadu Rawlings] used the 31 December Women's Movement (DWM), her personal vehicle, and its subsidiary, Caridem Corporation, to acquire several public enterprises, including the GIHOC Cannery, GNTC Bakeries, GIHOC Brick and Tile, GNTC Supermarket, and the former State Transport Corporation. Mrs. Rawlings was rumored to own a number of gas stations and supermarkets in Accra and other cities. She also allegedly owned shares in several hotels, including Accra's La Palm Pleasure Beach Hotel. Using the DWM, she allegedly accessed state guaranteed loans in the millions of dollars” (Opoku 2010, p.148).
“…Tsatsu Tsikata, Rawlings' closest aide, who held a long and unaccountable stewardship of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) also tried, unsuccessfully, to conceal his business interests and vast fortune. In 1994, the government wrote off $124.7 million owed by the GNPC (World Bank, 1995). Finance minister Kwesi Botchwey questioned Tsikata's judgment and his handling of GNPC finances and resigned partly in disgust over Rawlings' apparent tolerance of this... Just as Mrs. Rawlings used the DWM as her personal vehicle, so Tsikata used the GNPC, effectively personally controlling the GNPC's 20 percent share in Westel, a telecommunications company. Using the GNPC, he also became de facto owner of Vacuum Salt Products Limited (VSPL), which was confiscated from the late S.C. Appenteng in 1992 and turned over to the GNPC. In retrospect, the role of Tsikata's brother, Fui, in vilifying Appenteng in the 1980s is seen by some as sinister” (Opoku 2010, p.149).
“…Another politician-turned entrepreneur was Vincent Assiseh, former NDC Press Secretary. Assiseh declined my requests for an interview, but by his own account, prior to joining the NDC, his most prized asset was a corn mill (Assiseh, 2000). Under NDC rule, he allegedly benefited from grants, loans and state contracts, building a “multi-billion empire” that included a construction firm, a cold store, and a printing press. The last [printing press] was the publisher of several state publications, including the propagandist Ghana: We Mean Business, which clearly exaggerated investment opportunities in Ghana. It emerged in 2001 that in 1998, the ministry of local government, at Assiseh's request, deducted 6 million cedis from each of the 110 district assemblies' share of the Common Fund to publish a report on each assembly in the above named book without consulting the assemblies” (Opoku 2010, p.149). Thus Vincent Assiseh illegally deducted and pocketed 660 million cedis from the District Assemblies.
NDC, A-LIFE Supermarket and the collapse of the Bank for Housing and Construction
The allies of NDC benefited from grants, loans, lucrative contracts and other schemes to accumulate capital at the expense of the state and majority of her citizens. One of such horrendous schemes was the A-Life Supermarket and how it contributed to the complete collapse of the Bank for Housing and Construction (BHC) and the near collapse of Ghana Commercial Bank.
“…The events that culminated in what may well have been Ghana's worst banking scandal involving an entrepreneur also merits mention. In December 1996, it emerged that A-Life, a supermarket chain, had accrued debts totaling a colossal 120 billion cedis to three public banks— the Ghana Commercial Bank, the Bank for Housing and Construction (BHC), and the Ghana Co-operative Bank (GCB). SFO (Serious Fraud Office, 1998, p.12) investigators concluded that the loss was due to collusion between management staff of the three banks and officers of A-Life. So crippling was the loss that the BHC and the GCB did not recover and were liquidated. This scandal raises two questions. First, were senior government officials unaware of it? As I have shown, they seem to have been aware of various other illicit banking activities. Second, though a trial began upon SFO advice, it soon petered out. Why, one might ask, did the authorities fail to prosecute a case of such magnitude? This did not entirely surprise political pundits. Interviews revealed that the owner of A-Life, a relative newcomer to business, had friends in high places, most notably Mrs. Rawlings. Many attributed the mushrooming of A-Life shops during the 1990s to this. Further, they said that much of the A-Life debt funded NDC campaign activities in 1996, citing as proof the fact that the bulk of A-Life's bank withdrawals occurred during the run-up to the 1996 elections, mainly in October and November. Thus, prosecution of this case was “politically impractical” (Opoku 2010, p.150).
Selling of State Enterprises to NDC gurus
Ghana's first president Kwame Nkrumah had a vision for Ghana and so built several companies for the country. But the NDC gurus began to sell the companies to themselves. The following are how NDC insiders monopolised the selling of state assets to themselves.
“…Divestiture proved to be a major avenue for the well connected to acquire businesses. Yet it is quite difficult to tell who acquired what, as m any beneficiaries used organizations or friends as fronts. Despite this difficulty, however, there is little doubt that NDC insiders monopolized the business opportunities offered by privatization. As noted, Mrs. Rawlings acquired several divested SOEs through Caridem Corporation, a subsidiary of her organization, the DWM. Similarly, though Edward Addo, a long-standing regime loyalist, officially owns a 30 percent stake in the Ghana Film Industry Corporation (GFIC), the popular view i s that he fronts for his close associate, Kofi Totobi Quakyi, who served as minister in both the PNDC and NDC (Opoku 2010, p.153).
“The family of Peter Peperah, ex-deputy minister of trade and industry, acquired Mim Timbers in a deal widely seen as scandalous. According to the Ghanaian Chronicle (January 24, 2001), Mim Timbers was sold at a give-away price of $2 million. The Peperah family issued a rebuttal, asserting that it paid $5 million for Mim Timbers, renamed Scanstyle, and that contrary to reports Peperah played no part in the acquisition of the firm (Ghanaian Chronicle, January 31, 2001). Curiously, the list of divested state owned enterprises (SOEs) published by the DIC omits Mim Timbers, so it is impossible to verify how much it was sold for. Scanstyle's management refused to discuss these issues when I visited the firm in August 2000” (Opoku 2010, p.153).
“It is noteworthy that figures who had stridently opposed privatization did acquire SOEs. Ebo Tawiah, the rabid critic of divestiture, reportedly acquired an interest in a divested SOE. Kojo Tsikata, another “socialist,” became owner of Gold Coast Motors and reportedly acquired some of the assets of GIHOC (Oelbaum, 2002). Tsikata, of course, was the former national security chief and one of Rawlings' closest confidantes” (Opoku 2010, p.153).
State Owned Enterprises given to NDC allies for free/credit
“Two striking features of divestiture in Ghana merit attention, as they shed light on the exercise. Firstly, sales on credit were very high. Secondly, the outstanding debt was still excessive by 2000. Of the divestitures undertaken by the Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC) 72.7% had unpaid debts (Appiah-Kubi, 2001), some dating as far back as 1990. There were two reasons for this. First, some buyers clearly lacked the wherewithal to meet their obligations. Second, SOEs were used mainly to reward NDC loyalists so they faced little pressure to pay up”
“…Certainly, critics interpreted the high degree of credit sales and of unpaid debts as proof that SOEs were deliberately allocated to political allies. The most notorious example of this was divestiture of RT Briscoe Motors to a group of “investors” who clearly lacked capital. To enable them secure a bank loan to make an initial payment, the DIC handed over the company's assets to the new buyers to use as collateral. RT Briscoe Motors employees, who had made a failed bid for the company, objected vociferously to this, accusing the DIC of being antiworker and of underhand dealings. An outcry that national assets were being allocated to political allies forced the leadership to authorize the SFO to investigate the manner of the divestiture of RT Briscoe. DIC records as of September 2000 indicated that the buyers, Sabat Motors, had paid 1.9 billion cedis of the sale price of 3.7 billion cedis, but SFO (Serious Fraud Office, 1998) shows that no payment had been made” (Opoku 2010, p.154).
The prominent, if not leading, role of the excessively partisan DWM leaders and other NDC figures on the DIC board ensured that the SOEs that were sold to Ghanaians went to regime allies. Evidence that association with the NDC seems to have been an essential prerequisite of acquiring SOEs and in securing assistance generally prompted a NDC parliamentarian to ask in parliament whether the government was trying to develop a new class of businessmen where Political Party card qualifies one for assistance. DIC records show that some insiders acquired public assets, made nominal deposits—if they did at all—and had their debt defrayed by end-of-service benefits. In effect P/NDC operatives appropriated public assets (Opoku 2010, p.154).
“In stark contrast, opposition-aligned entrepreneurs were excluded from acquiring SOE. My own research found no instance in which a member of the opposition acquired a SOE. But Oelbaum found one case in which a member of the opposition bought more shares in a divested SOE in which he was already a shareholder. He hastens to add, however, that this prompted the sacking of a senior member of the DIC” (Opoku 2010, p.155)
Corruption, insider, collusion, cronyism, nepotism
“Nepotism and self-dealing served as major avenues for NDC allies to acquire fortunes. Political allies were privileged in contract awards. Eddie Annan, a contender in the NDC's presidential race in 2007, was awarded some of the most coveted procurement contracts. Annan enjoyed a near-monopoly on the supply of computers, computer hardware, and software to state institutions. Also, the state-run Golden Beach Hotels and the national pension and insurance fund reportedly bought no other vehicles except Seat models for which Annan was the agent. Further, he was contracted to rehabilitate Ghana's main harbor at Tema” (Opoku 2010, p. 157)
Another author Prof. Eboe Hutchful has detailed the massive corruption and collusion and insider trading carried out by top members of the NDC. He argues that the P/NDC departed from its initial ideals of probity, accountability and transparency as it embraced predatory financial behaviour. Prof Hutchful notes that:
“The most disturbing evidence of regime transformation was the reemergence of predatory behaviour on the part of the ruling political elite. Corruption became more blatant in latter years eroding the ascetic image that had served the regime so well in the difficult days of the adjustment and robbing it of the moral stature and ability to demand sacrifices. Commissions on state contracts destined for the coffers of the NDC were alleged to be widespread (estimated to be 10-15% of contract values) as were demands that businesses large and small make contributions to the NDC; the price for this was the growing number of abandoned or poorly finished projects” (Hutchful 2002, p.223)
Hutchful notes how Kwame Peprah as minister of finance and as chairman of the Divestiture Implementation Committee engaged in collusion and insider dealings amassing wealth at the expense of the state:
“In the first a senior Minister [Kwame Peprah] recommended the divestiture of government shares in a major bank. The consultancy for the divestiture was then granted to a new company, among whose main shareholders were the minister himself and a business partner...In the subsequent divestiture, the bulk of the bank's shares were acquired by the same company. A contract for the evaluation of bids for a major state oil company undergoing divestiture also went to an American corporation for which this company was a local partner. (This award was allegedly made without tender, and is said to have led to the World Bank withdrawing funding for the contract). In the second case, a secret investigation by the Serious Fraud Office revealed that of some 58 consultancy contracts issued by the DIC, 30 had gone to a single company, owned by a senior official of the DIC (the chair of the DIC, by the way, was the same Minister mentioned. The chair of the DIC was the Minister of Finance” [Kwame Peprah] (Hutchful 2002, p. 224).
The authors argue that the use of the divestiture programme as a political patronage instrument to reward NDC's friends and political insiders, led to the limited success the privatisation in Ghana achieved its goal of enhancing efficiency, private sector investment and employment.
Kojo Appiah-Kubi pointed out that 909.617 billion cedis was realised from the Divestiture programme. He noted that the “the privatisation of AGC [Ashanti Goldfields Corporation] alone produced [fetched Ghana] about US$454 million” (Appiah-Kubi 2001, p.212). If you want to know how the US$454 million or the entire 909.617 billion cedis was used please ask the NDC. But Ghanaians were obviously not happy with how the money was used. In 2001 a study by three scholars including Ghana's Professor Gyimah-Boadi to ascertain the success of the P/NDC economic policies including the privatisation of State Owned Enterprises and how the proceeds were utilised, found that: “only 7 per cent [of Ghanaians] were very satisfied” while “over half of all Ghanaians (53 per cent) were dissatisfied” (Bratton/Lewis/Gyimah-Boadi 200, p. 248). In other words Ghana and Ghanaians are the victims of the NDC assault on the nation's resources. Stay tuned for part 2 which is focused on NPP.
By Lord Aikins Adusei, politicalthinker1@yahoo.com
Appiah-Kubi, Kojo (2001) “State-Owned Enterprises and Privatisation in Ghana” The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 39, No. 2, pp. 197-229
Bratton, Michel., Lewis, Peter and Gyimah-Boadi, E. (2001), “Constituencies for Reform in Ghana” The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 39, No. 2, pp. 231-259
Hutchful, Eboe (2002) “Ghana's Adjustment Experience: The Paradox of Reforms.” Geneva: United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, pp.268
Opoku, Darko Kwabena (2010) “The Politics of Government-Business Relations in Ghana, 1982–2008” Palgrave Macmillan, pp.264

Corruption in Ghana: The hypocrisy of NDC and NPP Politicians

When Obama delivered his speech to Ghana Parliament in 2009 most of the MPs, government appointees present clapped, applauded and cheered.

When Obama said "No country is going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves, or police can be bought off by drug traffickers. No business wants to invest in a place where the government skims 20 percent off the top, or the head of the port authority is corrupt" the cheers and the clapping grew louder. And guess who were cheering and clapping. They were the Sipa Yankeys, Betty Mould Iddrisus, and the Woyomes in our country. They were the Muntakas in our parliament. They were the Boniface Sadiques in our civil service and they were the Kwame Peprahs in our ministries and departments who hide behind public service and loot the coffers of dear nation. They are the Baba Kamaras who collude and connive with foreign entities to dupe and defraud our nation. They are the Rawlingses in our society who use every opportunity to portray themselves as saints but cannot tell Ghanaians how they came by the expensive cars and mansions that they drive and live in. These are the people who cheered Obama as he spoke about how corruption is tearing down our country and driving millions into unpardonable poverty. These corrupt officials had the audacity to cheer Obama because their corrupt secrete live had not been revealed to the public yet.

I find it difficult to understand how Ex-President Rawlings has become quiet, cold as if he does not exist when it became clear that ministers who worked under him connived with foreign companies to defraud our country, a country he claimed to love so much so that he staged coups and had people murdered because they were perceived to be corrupt. This is how far our nation has been mismanaged and brought to its knees by corrupt unscrupulous people like those who are mentioned in the Mabey and Johnson scandal. I cannot hear sound bites of Asiedu Nketiah who almost every week of the last 8 months accused his political rivals of being corrupt. The fact that Rawlings men of integrity have been found to be corrupt and the fact Rawlings himself has been named in a number of bribery scandals is a manifestation that the so called Rawlings revolution is not only a failure but a farce that needs no mention in any circle except for the evil that it stands for. And this is the more reason why I believe Rawlings and his cronies should spend the rest of their life behind bars to serve as a warning to those who will try to hijack our nation for their own personal aggrandisement.

Kuffour and his men are also quiet because they know what they have done regarding the Vodafone deal and other contracts that they awarded. Listening to the news coming from Ghana@50 Commission it is hard to comprehend how the seed of corruption has grown to become trees in our society. I ask myself is there anyone in our public service either past or present who is not tainted by corruption? How do you expect the NPP to make noise about Mabey and Johnson when there are serious allegation of corrupt practices involving their members in Ghana@50 and the many contracts that were awarded under the 8 year reign of Kuffour? There are reports that Kuffour single handed negotiated the sale of Ghana Telecom the British company Vodafone. There is every indication that Ghana did not get value for money from the sale of that national asset. If in deed Kuffour sold Ghana Telecom below its original value then he must be made to answer why a charge of causing financial loss to the state should not be preferred against him as he did to Sipa Yankey, Kwame Peprah and Victor Solomey. An investigation should be conducted to find out if by negotiating the sale of GT all by himself he benefited in a way and if so we should not waste time in putting him before a competent court of juridiction and if found guilty should be made to spend the rest of his life behind bars to serve as a warning to those who are in government now.

 As for Rawlings and his 19 years of mismanagement there are no words to talk about him and his bunch of thieves who hid behind the mantra of probity and accountability to milk the nation to the detriment of majority of Ghanaians. I do not want to talk about the Shirley Ayiteys and the Ibrahim Adams who took bribes, and sold the nation's assets to themselves and their cronies at the expense of our nation. Assets that Nkrumah spent years to build were sold and the money stolen by Rawlings and his disciples.

Mabey and Johnson is just one entity in a chain of entities who came to do business in Ghana. If America, China, Japan, France, Germany, Korea and India are to probe and reveal how their companies won contracts in Ghana I bet you Ghanaians will call for these holier than thou ministers and ex-presidents to be shot dead for raping our country and plunging our country into steep poverty.

This is why I feel pity, cry and lament for Ghanaians when I hear them say we have discovered oil and we are going to be rich over night. Has the billions of dollars from the sale of gold and diamond from Obuasi and Akwatia make any difference? Why are we still poor after receiving all these billions? The answer can be found in the bank accounts of Rawlings and his henchmen and the NPP gurus who are hungry to get back to power because of what they will get from selling STATE ASSETS.

Ghanaians rubbished the report that Rotimi Amache gave 3.5 million dollars to Rawlings and his NDC. Ghanaians also failed to take notice when the Scancem Company in Norway stated categorically that they paid bribes to Rawlings.

Which of the political parties and their men and women can I vote for and still do not have to worry about corruption? Is it NDC or NPP?

Every one of those mentioned in the Mabey and Johnson scandal says what he received was not a bribe but a gift. Boniface Sadique says he received 500 pounds when he was studying in UK which he considers a gift not a bribe. Sipa Yankey also says he received £10,000 from Mabey and Johnson for work he did for them. The late Victor Solomey who was convicted along side Sipa Yankey and Kwame Peprah told Ghanaians that the education his children received in USA were all paid for by his friends. But I am not surprised to hear that all those monies were gift from friends, why should I? Is their claim any different from what Rawlings and his wife have been telling Ghanaians about hundreds of millions of dollars they took from companies that did business in Ghana during the P(NDC) era? Rawlings says all the expensive tuition his children received in Europe was paid for by his friends. He says the two armour plated land cruisers he bought in 2001 were bought for him by his friends. He denies any knowledge of receiving $5 million dollars from Sani Abacha despite the fact that Prof. Wole Soyinka a Nobel Laureate and others have been calling on the Nigerian government to ask Rawlings to pay. Rawlings has denied ever receiving $3.5m from Rotimi Amache of River States in Nigeria which report says was used to finance the NDC 2008 election campaign that brought Atta Mills to power. Rawlings has denied the accusation of corruption brought against him by Scancem, a Norwegian company. The allegation published by a Norwegian newspaper, Dagens Naeringsliv, was that, Rawlings and his wife were among the NDC kleptocrats who took bribes and gave them monopoly to make cement in Ghana. His only response to the Scancem bribery allegations was that he cannot afford a Lawyer to sue the paper and clear his name, a real childish statement from someone who drive in a convoy of bullet proof cars, some one who live in a compound of five houses in his Ridge residence and someone who has always been calling for chemical interrogation for people he perceived to be corrupt. It is very ironic indeed. http://ndccorruption.blogspot.com/2009/10/ghana-did-rawlings-and-pv-obeng-accept.html. The former director of Biwater Company has confirmed that he paid 7000 pounds per term for each of Rawlings' children who studied in Europe. All these allegations Rawlings says he has nothing to do with them and those that he has something to do with them were all paid for by his friends.

This claim of friends paying for the lifestyle of Rawlings and his henchmen has forced me to ask the question about what our constitution says about holders of public office. Are they supposed to collect gifts without declaring them as gifts or is our constitution silent on that?

The corruption tree has grown big and tall with branches reaching all places of society. I blame our journalists for giving these corrupt leaders blank cheques to do as they pleased. If UK Serious Fraud Office had not taken the matter there was no way the media and their journalists were going to be able to investigate and bring such corrupt practices to light. It is disheartening to hear journalists and media practioners taking sides and defend political parties and their corrupt officers. Listening to Kwaku Baako will make you think whether he is the General Secretary of NPP. Listening to Kwasi Pratt will make you think whether he is the communication director of NDC. I do not know whether Ameto Kwami is a journalist or NDC Public Relation Director. In the end the country and the people suffer because monies meant for our development are stolen and journalists who are to investigate and inform the people spend time, and energy defending them. I am being forced to question their independence and neutrality and their role as watchdog of our country and as the fourth arm of government.

That is why 55 years of independence poverty is visible everywhere in the country while our independence peers like Malaysia and Korea have made headways while we seem to have lost focus in everything because the politicians steal the money meant for our development and the journalists and their media houses defend them.

L.A. Adusei

Ghana Pundit Headline News

E-mail subscription

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Pan Africa News

Graphic Ghana


Peacefm Online - News with a vision

The Times - World News

The Times - Africa News

Pambazuka News :Emerging powers in Africa Watch

AfricaNews - RSS News

The Zimbabwe Telegraph

BBC News | Africa | World Edition

Modern Ghana

My Blog List