Drip, drip drip

August 6, 2017
Source: Nana Yaa l thebftonline.com l Ghana
Drip, drip drip

Hell is empty and all the devils are here, a line from The Tempest. I doubt though that Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyoeme is reading Shakespeare. 

The International Court of Arbitration sitting in Paris has established with a firm 'non'. Woyoeme has no grounds to seek arbitration in his bid to further delay payment of the GH52 million he wrongfully received from our public purse by claiming a debt against a contract he didn't have in the first place with the Government of Ghana. The price of this side bar move - Claimant receives $95, 000 and the Court $5,000.

Woyoeme's lawyers will face off again against the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo  - this time in a court in Ghana.  Less travel time for sure, the bottom line implications of her  pointed ask will cost much more than money for Woyoeme, others too must be quietly squirming.

If Woyoeme can afford to bank  $100,000 to fritter away on a case that didn't even pass the first sniff test, then he can afford to pay back all of our money.  Ms. Akuffo would like him to detail precisely where and to whom he redirected all/some of the fruits of this crude grand larceny.  And payback.

The public unmasking of Woyoeme came quietly, buried in a report from the office of the Auditor General.  7 frustrating years on, this Auditor General has finally issued the first certificates of disallow and surcharge enabling the government this time, to go beyond the perennial impotent publicly naming without shame.  They must actually retrieve funds and if required, prosecute public officials and individuals who have abused our trust and our finances. 

Think how many Woyoeme's are sitting Ameri like on the shelves.  Hell is empty, indeed.

We should be able to prosecute special cases like Woyoeme much faster than we do now. The question is what form should such a focus take - an office in name is not the same as an independent mandate in deed.

Before they stormed off in a huff, Parliament made short work of minor details. 

The much anticipated mid year fiscal policy review of the 2017 budget turned out to be truly disappointing.  This Minister of Finance acknowledged some revenue targets have been missed, inflation, interest rates and the value of the Ghc has stabilized. Yawn.

The real non news was in this Minister's temerity to insist that despite having to row back on how much money is in the kitty, he would a)ensure the flagship programs promised are protected b)he didn't ask for as much as a singular kobo, otherwise known as 'Supplementary budget'.  Chai!  Class dismissed. 

The Minister should go back and carefully study his job description, you are not supposed to manage expenditure.  It's unhealthy.  It's unconstitutional even.  Unacceptable, Unprecedented, UnGhanaian.  Bottom line .Its cosmetic...It's artificial.  Yawn. 

Parliament also took the time, having been previously instructed to stop whining by the Supreme Court, to ratify after the fact, the agreement entered into by President John (IV) Mahama to accept 2 former detainees from Guantamo Bay.  Our US donated guests can stay until 2018, after which they can apply for asylum, decision to be made pending a security review.  When the Minority were gleefully perched on the other side of the House, they saw precious little with anything John (IV) did, including this unilateral backroom Gitmo duo deal.

What if instead of simply catching Miistah Speekaah's eye and pointing out the obvious, after the fact - going forward any agreements such as these should be brought to Parliament for ratification.... What if the this time, the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu had dug deep and challenged his troops to compel this government to remove the 2 fine gentlemen in question from our land?  What if they had then publicly chastised John (IV), their erstwhile leader for his essentially illegal act that they had previously cheered on? 

That would be for their constitution, unhealthy, unacceptable, unprecedented.  Instead of such bold retrospective statesmanship, we got artificial.  Cosmetic.  Yawn.

Weeks before its August 8, 2017 general elections, the IT manager of Kenya's Electoral Commission was kidnapped, tortured, murdered and dumped in the outskirts of Nairobi.  Some 20 million registered voters will choose amongst 8 candidates for President.  Nothing of note except the depressing same same, drip, drip drip.

MPs there were allegedly given $80,000 each of public funds to go forth and campaign for victory.  Some turned up to remote hamlets in impressive convoys of 4 wheeled cars, others stirred up the dust in poverty ridden towns further by descending from helicopters.  Survivors of the 2007 electoral violence that killed an estimated 1000 people are still looking for justice and may be voting for politicians who directly whipped up the ethnic fueled brutalities for cynical effective results.

Amongst the AU Election Monitoring team is our former President John (IV).  He has form and knowledge of elections from the ground up, having contested and won the confidence of the good people of Bole Bamboi, he served as MP, Deputy Minister, Minister, Vice President and then a record one term only President.  His entire working life of living off the public purse has been delivered, courtesy of the ballot box.

The last time we saw John IV and current President Uhuru Kenyatta together in Accra, they looked like twins, shiny faced and giggling in public. Both sons of privilege first attained by their independence political elite fathers, educated better than most and perched better than most, on the presidential dais at our Independence Day celebrations.  They were interchangeable, indeed. 

When John IV re presented himself to the Ghanaian electorate, his opponent was an older man, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, also a son of privilege, throwing his hat into the race, for the third time.  Same same for Kenyatta, his main opponent, Raila Odinga is the well heeled son of a politician, these 2 have also met before, theirs to bloody result.

Fortunately for Kenyans sober to the reality of the times, the Head of the AU Election Observer Mission is a certain Thabo Mbeki, former President of South Africa.  Mr. Mbeki had the unfortunate task of getting to grips with the economy without the benefit of President Nelson Mandela's halo.  Some said he was a cold hard technocrat with no popular touch.  Mbeki was essentially like John (IV), a one term President.  Only he was ousted not by the electorate but by his own party in a clever campaign tele-guided by the current  camera ready President Jacob Zuma. 

Will Kenya do something other than 'same same'.  There will be hell to pay in the end, the devils are here now.