Friday, September 24, 2010

Toilets for Senior and Junior staffs

It’s depressing but the truth is that Africans have not learnt anything sensible from colonialism. What I’m trying to drive at is that the African, after complaining bitterly about the inequality colonialism created, appears to have inherited that and entrenched that garbage with panache.

No wonder there is so much segregation among Africans especially when it comes to who has the power and who does not. We may all claim to be of the same skin colour but the opportunities are completely different for all of us: The rich in African continues to grow in wealth while the poor remains where he is.

Unless he works hard, he’ll remain there until the sun goes down on his soul. It is the same in our churches as well. Visit any church in Ghana and the blessings for those who give what the pastors consider as ‘small offerings’ are given equally small blessings.
Those who give ‘fat offerings’ get ‘fat prayers, then there are those who get to sit right in front of the pew because of their financial power, irrespective of whether or not their behavior runs contrary to the content of the bible.

Such ridiculous segregation is also taken to the ministries or governmental areas where public toilets have been every much demarcated, with Senior and Junior staffs heading out to response to nature’s call at different booths. That is the revelation made by Economist Nii Moi Thompson in an interview with Accra’s based Citi FM.

Obviously irritated by what he saw at one of the ministries, he said such ridiculous practice is a reflection of the shallow mindedness of those who believe they are more human than the rest.

The idiots within.

Sometimes when I hear persons appointed into responsible positions behave as if they have no brains of their own, I get upset. I get angry, to say the least. Especially when such persons are enjoying salaries collected from the ordinary folks in this country.

That is why I still can’t understand the rationale behind the fruitless efforts the heads of the social welfare department are trying to put up in order to exonerate themselves from failing to protect the children at the Osu Children’s Home whose lives have been left in the hands of treacherous caretakers, who spend endless periods of time abusing them with excitement.

Since the ugly story broke following seven months of undercover works done by investigative journalist Anas Aremayaw Anas of the New Crusading Guide, both Albert Adongo, the head of the department and his assistant Daniel Opare Asare, have not been men enough to accept the fact that they failed in their jobs by regularly visiting the home to make sure the children are ok.

The two idiots are telling the committee investigating the matter that the journalist’s story is skewed in order to make them look bad. What rubbish! I have heard the two idiots speak on two private radio stations and the words from their mouths stink. They speak not with their heads but stomachs. For example on Thursday evening on the Eyewitness News on Accra’s based Citi FM, I heard Abongo’s assistant foolishly questioning the ‘motive’ behind the story done by the journalist.

His claim was that the journalist manipulated the kids into posing for him to take shots of them. What garbage. One of the harrowing scenes of the video captured one of the care-takers furiously unleashing canes either in the palm or the back of the children for failing to pay their school fees. The report is that she was moved from her position and sent to the ‘Shelter for Abuse Children’ so she can continue torturing the children. I couldn’t believe it and yet, that was one of the stories Opare-Asare put forward to exonerate himself and that of his boss for their failure to do their jobs.

Again, he said the department is constraint in several areas including budgetary support and related resources. He said the budget they receive is only one percent of what they often send to the ministry for approval. If it is unfortunate, if that is true but it does not form enough grounds for himself and the boss to sit in their offices, enjoy the tax payers money and, perhaps, spend the rest between the thighs of young women.

The story at Osu Children’s Home is very worrying and my only prayer is that the committee concludes its work, hand over the report to the ministry of employment and social welfare for the necessary action to be taken. It will be an injustice should the report come out and exonerate those who ought to be punished.

My only thing therefore will be that the blood of those young children who died as a result of endless beatings they had to go through from the hands of the caretakers will rest heavily on the heads of those who sat on the committee.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Africa will not meet MDG’s target!

Honestly speaking, I laugh anytime I hear the so-called world leaders praise African governments for working hard to meet aspects of the so-called Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s). A decade has passed and with only five years left on the calendar for countries to meet the content of the MDG’s, I’m still struggling to find any African government committed to improving the lives of its citizens by putting in structures to minimize poverty, improve the quality of education and maternal health.

Absolutely none! It may sound pretty unbelievable but I’m yet to see or read a truthful document about African governments working hard to improve the lives of the ordinary people. I know Ghana has been highly praised by the international community towards effort to improve the lives of ordinary Ghanaians. I’m not sure how to accept this kind of praise.

This country is where she is because of the ridiculous praise singing those world leaders hip on us.. Most of the time they don’t mean well, that is the truth.
I’m not sure a leader with a sound mind will praise a country whose fresh mothers share a bed soon after coming from the labour ward. Almost a week ago I visited a cousin of mine at the La General Hospital (formerly La Polyclinic but we are told it has been upgraded) who has given birth. The kind of things I saw at the hospital hounded me almost throughout the night. Fresh mothers with their babies had been forced to share a bed covered with dirty sheets.

My cousin had to share her bed with another new born mother. It was a very pathetic sight. Other mothers unable to get a bed had to fight for a share of the floor. I was moved to tears. The room was full of spider web and the stench from within was ugly. That is only La hospital.

There is also Korle Bu Teaching Hospital which is the main health facility in the country. The experience there is always harrowing for fresh mothers as they have to struggle not even for bed but the floor. Reports about mothers being detained with their babies because they are unable to pay their bills are daily rituals.

Maternal mortality in the country has not seen any significant improvement and I wonder how that could be good enough to say Ghana has performed well with the MDGs. What the ruling elites have spent their time doing is to just talk with no proper action happening. Their interest lies more in the money they loot from the ordinary people rather than committing themselves to fixing the roads, providing water and improving the unemployment levels in the country.

Their failure was well articulated by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan who told the BBC’s Mike Williams in an interview poor people don’t benefit from handouts given to their leaders by developed countries.

"Governments go public with amounts that they are giving, they get lots of publicity in the press, but the money never really comes through. The poor don't see that money."

Mr. Annan again said: "We cannot expect to live in a world where some people have immense wealth and you have extreme poverty living side by side and not expect some sort of a reaction... we are beginning to see a bit of that even here around Europe, with the social upheavals, with people in the streets demanding their rights - this is obviously something that has happened in the past but is beginning to happen as things get tighter and tighter economically for them."

It is pitiable to know that Africa produces more but her citizens are extremely poor. More than 70 percent of the poverty most Africans find themselves in is brought on them by their idiotic leadership.

For example, you have a president in the person of Jacob Zuma who foolishly decides to take advantage of a tradition to have more women for himself and their expenses are being paid for by the state. According to a report last year, a total of more than One million pounds was spent on the living expenses of his wives, at a time when the vast majority of South Africans still live in abject poverty.

The least said about that useless King Mswati in Swaziland the better.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Rubbish Politics.

The decency in Ghanaian politics has obviously been sacrificed to sheer stupidity. Since the space of the so called democracy was opened more than ten years ago, all that has been going on is stupidity. Politicians have permanently lost their sense of decency and have all joined the fray of crude politics such as naming calling, stealing and bare faced madness.

The recently released United Nations Development Report about the Millennium Development Goals clearly indicted the political leadership. The report said apart from education which is somewhat moving in a certain direction, though the quality is still an issue, action taken on maternal mortality and poverty is zero. The report said all that politicians have spent time doing in the country is simply talking crap. Almost every single policy statement that was spoken about for ten years was never implemented, leaving majority of the population in poverty.

It is obvious what the politicians are best in doing is loot the state resources and spend it on themselves and concubines, while the rest of the population is left in misery. There is no priority towards improving the lives of the ordinary people most of whom are used as ‘political handsets’ during election periods. The by-election at Atiwa is just an example.

The content of the report does not surprise somebody like me. The robbery mentality of our political elites is so well known. What kind of leader will go to a foreign country, borrow money to fight mosquitos and yet spend more than fifty million dollars to dancing around like a masquerader before the public?

Either the person is mad or has no clue what holding political leadership is all about. That is exactly what former president John Kufour and his band of plunderers did to the poor man’s money. He spent the money just dancing around with equally brain dead African political figures in the name of celebrating 50 years of nationhood. The money was just stashed into personal accounts while social amenities for ordinary people still hang in the balance.

Rather than reform and change their ways, these same politicians are foolishly telling us who is homosexual and who is not. I have my personal views about gays but I’m still wondering how that adds up to the daily struggle of ordinary Ghanaians.

Prince Derrick Adjei, the deputy national youth coordinator of the National Youth Secretariat was accused by a rather faceless and idiotic characters within the opposition NPP’s branch in the United Kingdom of being gay. The letter was not signed and that alone was enough prove it was a calculated attempt to hound him, because of his consistent bashing of the NPP and their elements.
There are decent minds in the NPP who will not sink to such absurdity. Prince was advised to just ignore it and move on. I’m not sure what he knew but suddenly went to town accusing members of parliament of being homosexuals.

Under certain jurisdictions that ought not to be an issue but in a country where people foolishly pretend to be pious and yet go about doing things under the cover of darkness, it is a whole canker on its own. Just recently some senior officials from the clergy warned the president not to give in to demands that gays and lesbians should be granted freedoms to practice. That is the extent to which the issue is a taboo in this country.

Mr. Adjei threw the counseling he received into the dustbin and went to town, getting himself in a self-created mess. Now he is going around saying there are journalists who are homosexuals. That is for him to prove. I have read several comments on facebook which were not nice to his person.

He could have avoided the mess but invited it upon himself. It is clear politics in this country has sunk so low that almost every crap is used just doing anything to stay up where the loot can easily be reached.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Echoes of yester-years

Political life in Africa is funny; two sets of treatment are handed out to key actors in the field. The treatment when in power is juicy but in opposition is messy. It is normal in African politics. Ghana is going through that phase, at least since we all submitted ourselves to the strong arms of democracy.

Back in 1993 the National Democratic Congress under President Rawlings was in power. Almost everything on the news was and about the former President and his party; commissioning of projects, meeting children at daycare centres, or drinking palm wine at nearby ghetto, the television brought all of that to our homes.

And despite one’s dislike for seeing those pictures, one had little choice but to see them. The best one can do is to put off the television set and wait for some minutes with the hope that Rawlings and his followers will be off the screen and then come back. But that never happened, in most cases. Every single news item was all about him.

Very little was said about those on the other side of the political divide. Their criticisms were muted in the media. They didn’t matter in the scheme of things. Everything was about Papa Jay.

The situation of the opposition became miserable during election periods. They were given a meager airtime on national television and despite their protests nobody gave them hearing.

Fast forward to 2000 and John Kufour became President. Everybody thought he will not stick the finger in the eyes of the opposition. He did not. His party was everywhere in the media. The NDC, then under the leadership of John Mills, were denied adequate access to the media.

Unfortunately, the National Media Commission, the body mandated to ensure such matters did not arise, went to sleep. Majority of their members who had spoken against the ugly practice during Rawlings’ time were mute. They had become bootlickers and were busy to take notice of any such thing.

The NDC cried and cried but their tears did not get anywhere. They were the lone crusaders. Nobody, at least from the NMC, was interested in their noises. After all they did not listen to anyone when voices were raised against them for deliberately restricting the opposition’s access to the state media.

The state owned Ghana Television carried every single news about Kufour. He was a globetrotter so every single news item never ended with announcement that read: “President John Kufour will tomorrow evening leave the shores of Ghana to attend the G8 Summit in Japan. He joins other African leaders who will be kept at the corridors of the event venue while the leaders from developed countries deliberate on how to slash debts owed them by poor countries. The president will also visit the Ghanaian community and hold bi-lateral talks with other investors.He returns after three weeks.”

This was the usual news bulletin during Kufour’s era. John Mills, who had twice lost elections, was also busy knocking on doors to be given a chance. He carried his placard marked ‘Better Ghana’ and was hopeful Ghanaians will give him the mandate. But very little was said about his campaign. At best he was ridiculed.

Everything in this country was about Kufour. Even when he coughed, spied on a beautiful girl while sitting on a high table at a public function, the state owned media covered it.

‘Sexy president’ eyes a young woman from his high table during the launch of the ‘Presidential Special Initiatives.’
He was the only president and he had his time ‘paaaaaaaaaa,’ as we say in Ghana.
He attended many festivals, met chiefs and got all manner of farm produce including goats brought to his home. He had it all but was still collecting from the poor. Only in Ghana!

President Kufour went to the annual Fetu Afahye in Cape Coast. That was in 2008. He was the big man for the day. Forget about the Omanhene. President Kufour was the big man.

Other visitors included John Mills, then in opposition. He was making his last attempt to the presidency and the Central Region, the very region which had ditched him twice, was the last stop for him. So any little chance would be most welcomed to him.

The festival was his last chance of getting close to his people so he could be given the nod. He was not the president but the leader of the then biggest opposition party. The story was that he went to the festival grounds and an attempt to greet President Kufour turned bloody. His bodyguards were subjected to severe beatings to the point that one of them nearly lost his balls.

The incident clouded the festival. It was all over the news. The beatings of Mills’ aide were never talked about.
The NDC raised protestation but nobody cared about them. After all opposition is not profitable.

The response from the ruling NPP and their elements was that ‘there is only one president.’ So Mills had no business going round to shake hands, including that of John Kufour.
Times have changed and the NPP are now in opposition. They have lost every single privilege that comes with power. The party has a new leader in the person of Nana Akufo-Addo (not so new though).

He went to the Fetu Afahye in Cape Coast somewhere a little over a week ago. The story was that he was prevented from going round to shake hands with the chiefs and people. Organisers say they did not want any of the visiting political figures to use the platform for their personal campaign. That was fair comments.

Secondly, President Mills was coming to the durbar grounds and anyone other personality ought to sit in his seat. Times have changed.
The Omanhene of Cape Coast was even reported to have overlooked Nana Akufo-Addo presence at the grounds. He was peeved and felt humiliated. He is the leader of the biggest opposition leader but was not respected at such an important ground.

His people were all over the place shouting their lungs out. They were also peeved their man was overlooked. Surprisingly the same chaps had forgotten there is only ‘ONE PRESIDENT.’ And that president is no other person than Prof. Mills.

This was the same man whose bodyguards were beaten to pop. Nana’s men did not go through that incident. So the best he can do is to wait and pray he comes to power so he pays the NDC back in the same coin.