Double entendre

July 31, 2017
Source: Nana Yaa Ofori-Atta/
Double entendre

Instead of firing a rocket up our collective padded corrupt skirts, the Bill to establish the much discussed Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) was introduced to Parliament, under a Certificate Of Emergency - this triggered protests - referred to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee and on the advice of the Honourable Members, quietly withdrawn by the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu. Please.  I have 2 marriages behind me that lasted longer than this dance.

Double entendre is a phrase or figure of speech that has 2 meanings, at the same time.  In twi that would be kasa kwoa.

Either the Government failed spectacularly to sort out its back office and jumped the gun and/or we must conclude, that concentrated public interest and the sobering reality of scrutiny by Committee work in Parliament, actually works.

The Committee like all others, draws its membership from both sides of the House and together, Members declined the Executive’s request and instead recommended that the OSP Bill be treated as normal, no fast tracking.

Unless the fiendishly clever master plan by the Executive was always to feign movement, rattle nerves, signal intent, draw the poison and return with a teflon coated triple A version, then it would be fair to say the OSP Bill went down like a lead balloon. 

Withdrawn also by the Majority Leader was the Bill to develop inner cities, the Zongo Development Fund.  Fortunately as champions of the fight against poverty, we were all cross eyed so little was heard or said about the intent and contents of the Zongo Bill.  The Majority Leader has threatened to return with intent, with both Bills.  On your marks, get set, pii.  We await with eagerness his re Approach.

The Majority Leader knows as well as his counterpart, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, that politics is a game, usually of brinksmanship. When they were on opposite sides of the bench, the Executive then also attempted to marshall law a 'spy' Bill through the House.

That one too was subjected to the Minority's raised voices, a charge by civil society and the offending document was also returned quietly to sender.

  1. Miisstaaah Speeekaaah! The Supreme Court gave Parliament some homework to do. When will the debate begin to either return the 2 ex Guantanamo Bay detainees back to America from whence the cameth or confirm after the illegal fact, the unilateral act by President John( IV) Mahama to invite them to stay here? Will the House work quietly again behind the scenes or do one, in public?

The Victorians had an approach to parenting - children should neither be seen nor heard.  Certainly not until they are house trained. 

The Electoral Commission (EC) is ranging somewhere between tragicomedy and the sordid stuff of a snuff film.  The Office of the President has referred a petition (now dated with names provided) to remove the Chairperson of the EC to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. 

Fortunately for all, this self-implosion is taking place in public and now (well ahead of the 2020 general elections and the critical work the EC does quietly, daily), as part of a legal process at the highest level.

There are interesting grounds for removing the EC's chairperson from office - misbehaviour or incompetence, inability to perform the functions of the job and if the said person is infirm in body or mind.

Those who allege wrong doing must now prove their case with two thirds of the 14 members of the Judicial Council.  Beyond the obvious members - the Chief Justice, the Attorney General, a representative of the Justices of the Supreme Court; Court of Appeals; the High Court; Circuit Court Judges; and Magistrates - the Council includes representation of the National House of Chiefs.  Between the legal luminaries and their grammar and Nananom with their home grown common sense, there will be some serious reorienting of either the plaintiff or the defendant in this matter. Abofrabone.

You can create the news, lead the news, manage the news, react to the news after the fact, distract the news by doing something unmentionable in public or be buried by and under the news.

In a separate appearance in Parliament, Ms. Osei has answered questions about what the Commission did with funds accrued from replacing lost voters identification and accrediting the media to cover the last elections. Her responses should trigger the interest of the Auditor General and the Ministry of Finance.

If only the executives of the Ghana Journalists Association would stop bickering, they too should lock on.

The EC charged Ghc10 to some journalists for accreditation and had what we call a 'protocol' list for 273 others, journalists, technicians, representatives of political parties and observers.

What criteria was used to select which journalist from which news organisation in which part of the world got a freebie.  Define a technician and an observer.

The monies accrued from both exercises are still sitting in an account in a commercial bank (earning interest, presumably the bank is utilising these idle funds wisely), and were not transferred as required to the Consolidated Fund, certainly, the Commission forgot to 'capture' it in their budget as internally generated funds.

So if a Member of Parliament hadn't raised the issue, there would be no paper trail?

The Chairperson leads a public institution staffed by many with job descriptions including someone in charge of finance and accounting.  She was given adequate notice by parliament, duly appeared in Parliament with her deputies, whom she may or may not be talking to around the water cooler except through law suits and press releases. 

The Chairperson's style of management has led to her being outflanked, it is her business and it is very much ours. Because perhaps she is distracted by something other than actually doing her job, Ms. Osei couldn't or is it wouldn't answer some questions including why there is a fundamental accounting and budgeting error in the EC's 2017 budget. 

In the spirit of double speak, I have a follow up question for the Chairperson.  Are you pulling a fast one, are you taking the mick or do you need to be sent home with a cold towel pressed to your temple?

I am not in the mood and will not be tolerating any deeply cynical, obviously misguided and deeply counterproductive appeals for prayers, out of court behind the scenes arbitration that is the usual Ghana 'palace justice' settlement without justice or lessons learnt.  And neither do I recognise Ms. Osei's current predicament, as distressing as it may be for her, as a call to gender arms.

I wasn't impressed either when on her appointment, Ms. Osei's apparent great beauty was touted as evidence of chief that she was suitable for office. Why didn't the gender activists who are throwing a strop now, object then, to a professional woman being publicly reduced to the sum of her looks? There are fundamental structural issues here.  Address those.  In full, on time, no empties.  Sssshhhhhhh.

The Board Chairman of the Ghana Cocoa Board is in the money.

He has won a GH¢800,000 libel case against the editor of a paper, its publishers and an individual who published false claims about him on social media, the allegations were subsequently picked up and expanded by the newspaper.

Note that in the spirit of opportunistic inclusion, I have decided to expand my family tree to include my new 'Uncle' Hackman.

After all, he must not be left alone at this particularly rewarding hour to count and enjoy that money by himself. Wofa H, mi ma wo akyi.

And I write 2 weekly columns, 2 different papers, both opinion pieces, means I read the' news' online and in the traditional media and put a frame on it.

Imani Ghana held a forum recently on “Governance in the age of social media”, I was unable to attend, unfortunately.

We speak 11 or is 14 official languages in Ghana, we may actually have as many as 90 dialects.

Words have meaning.  In 2007, there were 136 newspapers registered in Ghana, I found this out by asking a simple question, online. 

If in the last decade, there are more newspapers, radio and television stations, then the National Media Commission (NMC), operating still under the able chairmanship of Kwesi Gyan-Appenteng has not so advised or updated.

The NMC, per wikipedia is a 'Government of Ghana agency mandated with the responsibility of registering, regulating and monitoring the activities of media houses in Ghana.'  And? 

Tylneox.  Extra strong.  Mr. Trump would probably like a couple of those and the 1-800 number to dial up a prepackaged miracle from a Ghanaian church.

Payment in US$ via credit card please.  Express delivery.  First his son, then his son in law all embroiled in ongoing investigations into whether Russia attempted to or succeeded in interfering/influencing his campaign and subsequent electoral fortunes.  Claims vigorously denied by the POTUS. 

President Trump has double trouble. 

On matters North Korea, Syria and others abroad he must find a way to work with Russia and at home, the US Senate has raised the stakes and voted 98-2 to impose a package of new sanctions on Russia.  President Putin has immediately roared his displeasure.

I like democracy, very much, and I like America particularly their constitutional notion of check and balance. 

The President has to either sign the sanctions into law or veto.  Go on then, make a move.  Will he blink or 2 step his way out of this one, like the artful dodger?