20.12.2021 Feature Article

Scrutiny My…

Scrutiny My
20.12.2021 LISTEN

Alexander Pope would say: 'A little learning is a dangerous thing,' something like 'too known,' in local parlance. He of a very sharp tooth with which he has been biting off the national cake nyafunyafu (greedily) is talking scrutiny. What scrutiny? What has he ever scrutinized in his years on earth to dare say he has the tools to scrutinize anything in a national budget?

He and his political ne'er-do-wells have now added 'me nim menim' but don't know teee to their ampɛbrɛ (do no work but live good) lifestyle. Not knowing much, he is unable to grasp a wise counsel to a wayward opposition that governments are elected to govern and that you may criticize what a government is doing but you don't stop the government from governing.

Only coup d'etats do that. So if people want to stage a coup d'etat, they should let us know so that those of us compatriots who have drawn conclusion that coups have retarded the progress of the motherland, can take them on. We are ready to throw the coup proscription they wrote in the 1992 Constitution, back at them.

It's a national calamity that in such times of opportunity to pick up speed in the motherland development effort, constructive criticism is so scarce. Those who are paid to critically think and act as such aren't. Thus, scarcity is created at the forefront of critiquing.

One of these days, one would have to exercise the right to information to request for the curriculum vitae (CV) of congress lawmakers. Lawmaking is about creating an environment within which my compatriots of the motherland are provided the means by which they can unleash their endowed potential to collectively build a motherland of peace and prosperity. It's a task that requires that a lawmaker must have lived a real purposeful life to help craft one for other citizens.

Their life stories, as told by them in their CVs, will show whether they have the foundation skills and aptitude of lived life experience to effectively function as lawmakers with the capacity to make laws that would enable motherland making. I suspect the loudest among them came to the lawmaking house with no experience of putting food on the table, paying rent or providing other means of sheltering, paying taxes and utility bills, buying fuel, paying school fees and attending to other life exigencies for self and especially others. It tempts a septuagenarian to tell them akwadaana wo deɛ or small boys are young.

In true real life and living, one pays bills in various forms of billing such as electricity and water as well as property rate. For the lawmaker who finds before him or her a bill on billing to pass into law, personal experience counts. That kind of experience is even more needed with bills that seek to raise revenue with which the lawmaker is paid all kinds of payments that make him live in luxury and comfort even as the levied citizen cries hardship in despair.

It is from the levies imposed on my compatriots that the lawmaker who votes to impose the levies receives a salary and numerous allowances including sitting, transportation and night out in some luxury hotel per diems. In addition to all that, they themselves have been saying they are paid by ghosts to approve loans contracted on behalf of the suffering masses. Loans so approved may not, sometimes, be used for the purposes for which they have been contracted. Check out where a late 1990s loan approved for the construction of a sea defence wall went. They say they are paid bribes to approve ministerial nominees or bills.

Every four years, they get V8 cars; and every four years they are paid huge ex gratia. Every payment in any of the listed forms comes from the Consolidated Fund which is funded mainly with payment of the levies imposed on the citizenry. E-levy is an expected significant contributor to funding the Consolidated Fund out of which a lawmaker draws incomes to support the luxury living.

It shouldn't be the intention of any lawmaker to cause the motherland to go bankrupt because then there will be no money to pay any lawmaker to sustain a comfortable lifestyle. Some say bankruptcy stares the motherland purse in the face without e-levy. So realistic alternative is for lawmakers to give up ex gratia and luxury V8s and stop charging to the consolidated account everything else they get paid beyond salary. No more anomakokonekone (muddying the water at the source to complain muddied water at the drinking end) stuff.

Rather than accepting wise counsel to ensure government works for the people, they are talking scrutiny gibberish when there is no evidence of congress lawmaker life lived to acquire the relevant skills for scrutinizing anything worth scrutiny. It is bad, unhelpful towards the journey of developing in freedom.

Yet, it's the kind of congress chaff voted for to perform functions they know not enough about with their little learning. Nor are they making any effort to choose to learn to top up the little they know to make them fit the purpose of criticizing constructively to contribute to building a prosperous motherland. So, they of congress have chosen approval of a 2022 budget be mired in much the controversy of mischief drama and little of constructive scrutiny.

By Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh

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