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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

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

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