24.10.2003 Feature Article

Letter From The President (XXIII): Something to Keep Mr. Binbag busy

Letter From The President (XXIII): Something to Keep Mr. Binbag busy
Listen to article

Wanted: Something to Keep Mr. Binbag busy Countrymen and women, ‘against’ people and bootlickers, I have been feeling the heat these days all because of that unwanted corruption report card issued by Transparency International. Mr. Binbag has decided to cause the resurrection of a matter I thought was long dead and forgotten – that matter involving the renovation of my other castle at the airport residential area. I think Mr. Binbag got a little too bored as a result of the parliamentary recess and I thank God that parliament has finally resumed sitting. I hope, the resumption of the legislature’s work will get Mr. Binbag off my back. He should now have his hands full instigating his minority followers to stage walkouts and poring over bills in search of loopholes. I also hope that Mr. Shortee develops a memory as short as his name so that he never call this matter for hearing again. All of a sudden it seems that the corruption spotlight has been turned on me and the whole nation is watching, anxiously waiting to see whether or not Mr. Shortee will declare that my tolerance for corruption is nowhere near zero. Those looking for a license to nail me with a corruption spear are pointing to the possibility that I might have used some of the taxpayer’s money (I mean money from our communal ‘collection bowl’) to fortify my little castle at the Airport Residential Area. If the explanation that the money for that job was donated by a hungry-looking farmer from Ashanti does not satisfy my prospective persecutors, perhaps the constitutional provision which places me almost above the law should silence them once and for all. The constitution says that I should not be prosecuted or involved in any civil matter in any court. This constitutional provision, which means that even Mama Tess cannot file for divorce, just affords me a temporary reprieve. So I think I need something more permanent. I want a more permanent reprieve, which will ensure that the Binbag is permanently taken off my back. I have dug to the deepest depths of my ingenuity and I have come to the realization that the best way of achieving this objective is to make the Binbag my number one anti corruption campaigner. Poking his nose into my affairs and the misdeeds of my numerous ministers will not be part of his portfolio, of course. All he will have to do is to go round the government ministries, departments and agencies, chasing out all those civil servants who in various ways steal from the state. Those people who steal time by reporting late and closing early, working out the best formulae for winning the lottery in the intervening moments. They also steal any state property they can lay their hands on – stationery, furniture and vital state intelligence which they use for their parochial gain. Mr. Binbag will also be tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that those public servants and private sector employees who stay on the phone for far too long. He will be expected to look out especially for men, who stay on the phone for far too long in their vain attempts to equal the record of King Solomon, who had 900 wives and 700 concubines. The women are equally guilty of staying on the telephone lines for hours on end, chatting with their friends about such female vanities as lipsticks and shoes and the shapes of the new breed of tomatoes etc. My new anti-corruption campaigner will also be responsible for ensuring that all those so-called ‘men of God’ who have been abusing their positions to get so rich, even beyond their wildest dreams are returned to their previous impoverished state. Quite a number of these so-called ‘men of God’ would have failed if they have taken up jobs as ‘latrine boys’ yet they have successfully managed to turn the gullible minds of our people into what seems to be an inexhaustible gold mine. I suppose the Binbag does not also know about the teachers who have turned the normal teaching periods into leisure times. For these teachers, being in classroom between 8am and 2pm is a taboo. It has become almost ‘normal’ for teachers, especially those in rural public schools, to teach only during ‘extra-classes’ to make more money. So there you are. That is my agenda for keeping the Binbag very busy. Here I have cited just a few instances of the pervasive nature of corruption and am ordering the Binbag, with all the presidential seals my suitcase, to go all out and sweep as many people as possible before Mr. Shortee. There is this popular belief that all Ghanaians are magicians because even though we earn so little we are able to live from day to day. Well, if you ask me I will say that all Ghanaians are thieves because we have devised ways and means of coveting what we don’t deserve to make sure that we always have a little more bread on our tables than our employers are prepared to provide. Some people steal anything they can lay their hands on. Others demand money before they do what they are paid to do. Teachers organize extra classes. Waiters demand and take tips. If you don’t give ‘sorli’ to journalist they can put words you have not even thought of in your mouth. It even gets worse if the ‘sorli’ you give happens to be less than they expected. Lawyers defend the indefensible all because of cash. What should the President and his Ministers do? Well, ministers will demand 10% on every contract sum and dip their hands in our communal ‘collection bowl’. The president on the other hand will see to it that the juiciest jobs are taken up by his friends and members of his family. And if he gets the chance, he will use public funds to renovate his little castle. It’s almost normal, so please, tell the Binbag to get off my back. Excellently, J. A. Fukuor [email protected]

ModernGhana Links

Join our Newsletter