"Oh...oh, no... let`s get one thing crystal clear...my dearest friend...," guided Mr Karl his guests down the stairs onto the parking lot. He wanting to walk with them to their home in Sakumono Village for a late afternoon drink ending a great day with close friends. "I am still a White Man and Ghana to me is a love-hate affair."
"Love and hate affair?" were Mary Trebarh wondering while they passed Friday`s Restaurant where a Band was playing local familiar songs. Behind the Restaurant area Friday´s offered a Gym and courtyard to play basketball patronized mainly over the weekends.
"I love the people and the country as such as both are creations from God and mandated to rule the waves of the world...so I know the destiny of this place here...but I hate the mindset of you people that by that evil mindset...you mess yourself up very well and in the end play with your destiny...for your destiny possibly never to come," made Mr Karl his views very clear. "You people walk through history blind folded and yet have the power in your own hand to take off the blind fold and see paradise around you. The darkness and ignorance of your mind is in the darkness and poverty of this country...so, so sad!"
"Yes, Mr Karl...I agree with you," said Joseph Trebarh while passing at the red-painted small shopping center close to Church Junction greetings friends on the way. They stopped as Mr Karl bought bofruz for all of them giving them a great treat. "We blame you, White People, for our misfortune...but forget and ignore that in fact we cause so many problems to ourselves."
"This reminds me of a phone conversation I just had last week. Najid Label form Tunis in Tunisia called me asking me to help him and get Shea Butter for the cosmetic industry of his country. I was so happy that he mentioned that particular product and told him I can get plenty of Shea Butter of the highest quality at an affordable price for him here from Ghana. All he did is he laughed at me and refused my offer. He said that he himself is an African, North-African for sure, but very much an African. As an African, he knows his people for which reason he does not have trust in them. He asked me to bring Shea Butter from Germany, then he will have no problems to send money there as he can rest assured, he will get his goods at the agreed quantity and quality. But with Africa, that is what he stressed out to me, he will never want to do business. I smiled into the phone and mentioned to him that we in Germany do not grow Shea Nuts. If he wants me to do this business it would mean I have to send a container full of Shea Butter from Ghana to Hamburg Port, leave it there for few days and put it onto another vessel to bring it down to Tunis. I mentioned to him the time wasted, the money wasted and so on. But he did not want to listen to me. So, we ended the call by him saying in that case business would not work for him."
Joseph Trebarh smiled with great wisdom in his eyes and understanding of the call his German friend had with Tunis: "We here in Africa, we simply do not trust us at all. How can we ever believe that Pan-Africanism is possible when we do not trust each other, here in Ghana not and cross countries?"
"Very sad!" commented Mr Karl finishing his bofruz tempted to turn back and help himself with a second one.
"Madagascar is producing sugar cane in big volumes. They send their sugar cane to Europe instead to us here in Africa close by. In Europe you have sugar roots out of which you produce sugar I saw in the internet the other day. Now in Germany, around forty thousand farmers produce this sugar out of these roots. These many farmers have a certain expectation in terms of their living standard. Therefore, the European Union protected the price of sugar against international competition especially attacks from South America. Only one year after launching of the Komenda Sugar Factory the price of this sugar was no more protected but free-floating against international competition. So, like your tomato paste, milk powder and what have you not in access food production in Europe you come to us here in Africa and dump your products for cheap price onto our markets our local producers cannot compete with. As we are highly indebted with you people you can force us being slaves to the lenders to keep our market open for your products while we cannot negotiate the same for our farmers to export to your countries as our position is very weak...and not only because we do not meet your standards, that is more often a lie. You just do not want our products to compete with yours to safeguard jobs back home, that is the simple truth...and as I said, we cannot do much about it but take the small loans with great interest from you dump it on our roads, build houses, hospitals and kindergartens, airports and power stations that are a mix of good and poor quality. So, when you see it from an bird´s eye perspective we are the place that in the end feeds you buy securing jobs in your countries while we down here do not get up and running to make it to a great and strong nation but always depending on your mercy to keep us alive and a welcoming market for your products. All you do is to welcome our economic migrants and have no problems with that as long as you stay in control of the process. Your mind is easy to read. You want one hundred percent control of the situation, money, and power, and give us twenty percent so that we can always be there for your interest. That is the hard and bitter truth, Mr Karl."
"I agree with you, my good friend Joseph," was Mr Karl handing him as second bofruz knowing he enjoyed them as much as he did.
"The other day an Agent from Greece called me up asking for charcoal to sell to restaurants in his country. I mentioned charcoal from Ghana and neighbouring countries at cheap price. He refused. Like my contact form Tunis, he said the same thing. In case I can get it from Germany the money would be in my German bank account straight away...but from Ghana, from Africa...he refused."
"This is how we miss many chances and we simply do not get it," argued Joseph Trebarh reaching Sakumono Village making sure no Trotro would hit them while walking close to the street with no pavement provided for safe walking. "But it is not surprising when even the highest judges in our country have problems to understand what is going on."
"What do you mean by that, my friend?" put Mr Karl his arms onto the shoulders of his helper.
"I do not know whether you remember the election petition hearing which lasted for good ten month keeping Ghanaians glued to their TV screens and stopped the whole country, no serious investments made, no big decisions taken that the country needed so much."
"You mean this exercise of educating Ghanaians in Democracy and these funny pink sheets sage?" wanted Mr Karl to clarify.
"That is what I refer to, Mr Karl," did the small group of friends enter the street leading to Sakumono Beach passing Jehovah Witness Church. "For ten months the country of Ghana was paralyzed, nothing moved, just a country surviving to hear the judgment on the previous election process and its results. Now, we the people of Ghana, known in our corner of the world elections are never free, fair, and transparent but money rules the waves of the election results. Our Media Houses also know that and so three journalists delivered their remarks and views about the Supreme Court judges how they handle the matter. On the last day of the hearing the presiding Judge asked for these three journalists to be arrested and brought before the sitting court. In a quiet aggressive form and tone he told into their faces that what they wrote and said is covered by Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Speech but...and here we come, listen up Sir...as in his view Ghana is a developing country, a developing Democracy they have no right to argue their case and use their Freedom as written in the constitution of the country. This can only be done in a democracy that is well established and settled like in Europe or America. So, two journalists after bowing down to the anger of the presiding judge and asking for forgiveness were set free while the third journalist that did not go down that deep on his knees to beg for forgiveness was sent to three money in prison."
"Oh, Ghana has a serious problem then," mentioned Mr Karl. They stopped for a chat with Frederic Asare that told him about his last job. The payment for the work to be done was agreed before he had started his work, later the house owner refused to pay him the full agreed amount making excuses with no end.
"You see Mr Karl," followed Joseph Trebarh his good old friend that walked off into the night to reach home and give his wife the money to go out for shopping, "this is what happens here often...you agree and not many stick to their words but go corner and corner. They try to do anything so that you work for them and at the end of the day when you ask for your money...big, big stories."
"Oh...this will soon end as this is on my agenda...at least for the area that I am a Manager for!" smiled Mr Karl with confidence. "But let us get back to this pink sheet tragedy. I mean what are the written and moral criteria’s after which a Judge or anyone else can say that a country is a matured democracy and that all aspects of democracy can take place and happen? Is there any agreed guideline that can say something like that as many countries in the past have left Dictatorship or Kingdom and Absolutism behind to move into Democracy over generations? Are the numbers of generations and indicator to establish a matured democracy? Or the institutions that work for and in a democracy and if so, what level must they have reached to be seen as part of a democracy? Is democracy a mindset issue or can it be seen the way people use their franchise to vote?"
"Mr Karl," smiled Joseph Trebarh standing in front of his apartment inviting Mr Karl to come in for a short while and have a drink, "there are no such criteria in the world...it is only a judgement by individuals."
"That is how it is. So, why then did this judge sentence an innocent journalist to prison for using his Freedom of Speech and the Freedom of the Press? I mean when you accept in a country in your constitution the principle of Democracy you cannot choose the parts of democracy that you like and leave the once that disturb you aside. Either you want to be a democracy, in that case you have to accept all its aspects right from the start and manage the consequences that come out of it for a few generations to come, or you simply drop such an idea and take a different system onboard your nation."
"Many of us think that when the constitution is there you can simply play with it as you please, but it never works like that!"
"When you say A, you must say B also, as we Germans say. You cannot have roses without thorns and the thorns come with the growth of the roses. In which case the have your nineteen ninety-two Constitution right from day one you must allow Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press to work in full force...simple as that!" proclaimed Mr Karl and enjoyed the chilled special ice sachet water sitting next to the small TV flatscreen on the wall that he had bought for them as an appreciation for their constant support.
"This implementation issue was also the problem we had with the pink sheets. We were told this has to be like that as we need to be educated in this vital aspect of Democracy and have to follow each and every step of the court hearings to understand how Democracy works," reminded Joseph Trebarh his German friend as he himself had watched the hearing at a neighbour’s house for endless hours each and every day. "The court is not the appropriate place for educating citizens. Universities, Schools, Political Parties, and other Teaching institutions are the right places for that. And when I hear my people talking thy do not remember anything, they have learnt from these ten months except that it was very costly for the nation, much business lost. That is all. So, this was a completely unnecessary exercise to bring clarity and peace to the nation."
"I remember about the same time the same problem occurred in Kenya and they settled the matter in around one week...wasn´t it so?"
"Yes, Mr Karl...I think I remember that also. And Kenya has the same kind of conditions in political life and political maturity than us....at least we are not that much different!" mentioned Joseph Trebarh. "We still have a long way to go!"
"Leading by example...Joseph...that is what I try to do!"
"Someone must be a good and very strong teacher like you to help us and to make it. Anyone else I guess would only die of high blood pressure, depression, or fear of us attacking him day in and day out. Only a strong man by faith can do that...and I am convinced God has done what he has done for a reason. So, when were hosted you here in our very humble apartment that does not at all-suite you...he kept you alive and your eyes wide open to hear, feel and understand our situation.”?
Mr Karl laughed his head off while pointing his pointing finger to his chest and said: "And this me...a man that never ever in his entire life...had wanted to set foot on the African continent...now I am right caught up in the middle of history!"
"Everything happens for a reason, Mr Karl," smiled Joseph Trebarh all over his face signalling his wife Mary to bring food to the table. Mr Karl said he couldn´t stay for dinner as a heavy load of papers back in his flat would wait for his study and decision making.