08.02.2006 Feature Article

The irresponsible administration of President Kufour

The irresponsible administration of President Kufour
08.02.2006 LISTEN

President Kufour relentlessly courted the presidency for ages. His tireless fighting spirit paid off in 2000. The presidency is only one branch of his administration. Though he directly, does not control the legislature and the judiciary system, the three branches collectively form his administration. President Kufour became the first in Ghana's short but checkered history to have been handed over power by another elected government. His admirers were (some of the hypnotized ones are still) euphoric. Ghana, our beloved country they chimed (those wearing blinkers are still chiming), is on the match. While campaigning for the presidency, citizen Kufour routinely accused, without a shred of evidence, his predecessors of being corrupt. The gullible Ghanaians gave him the benefit of the doubt. He promised the infantilized citizenry that his own administration would be exceedingly intolerant to corruption.

One of the first official acts of his presidency was to cause to be used taxpayers money to repair his own private residence. One minister, in the person of Obetsebi Lamptey became a cashier overnight disbursing funds to undertake repair work also in the Castle. The media started their first of many 'hoarse' (with apologies to our president) shouting. When the shouting became intolerable, a nameless but filthy rich farmer emerged meteor-like to refund the cost of the repairs to government chest. Five years later, this nouveau riche farmer remained incognito in an avowed era of transparency.

The president had the opportunity to endear himself to the gullible masses when with an unprecedented alacrity, he dispensed with the services of a deputy minister under whose watch, an amount of $40,000 disappeared. More significantly, the minister was indicted and incarcerated. This prompt action enchanted the naïve Ghanaian; if he/she does not like this, what could be his standards. Incidentally, that deputy minister did not belong to the president's own ruling party of NPP.

An aide of the president was alleged to have forged or used official letter head of the office of the presidency in some unofficial transactions. The president fired the aide. The aide is free, he is never indicted. Apparently, the act of forgery is not an indictable offense in the presidency of president Kufour. Forget not that our president is supposed to be an attorney. Admittedly and arguably, he does not have the power to indict anybody. But the bug ultimately stops at the desk of the president. The judiciary branch is part of his administration

Though the president is paid by the people, he has deafeningly refused to let the people know the total amount of allowance he collects for each of his countless number of foreign travels. A responsible president, who believes in transparency with nothing to hide, would let his paymasters know how much he collects. To my 'little' mind, this failure is mark of irresponsibility.

As I write this piece, a member of parliament, is remanded in custody in the USA. The Speaker of parliament, another branch of president's Kufour's administration is disdainfully silent; he's not budging an inch to let the people of Ghana to know whether their 'honorable' member of parliament obtained permission before his ill-starred journey to the USA. The Speaker, in my opinion is being as irresponsible in the same mode of president Kufour.

The mother of all president Kufour administration's irresponsibility is his failure to use the aircraft acquired and paid for with Ghana taxpayers' money by his predecessor. It is mind-boggling that the president would use all other means on his junkets but not the aircraft acquired with Ghanaian taxpayers funds. A responsible president would have at least offered to sell the aircraft.

The Constitution of Ghana did not specify the ceiling for the number of judges to comprise the Supreme. Our irresponsible president is immorally taking advantage of this lapse in the Constitution; he has padded the august body with excessive number of jurists at the people's expense. Proportionately, Ghana has more judges on its Supreme Court than that of USA.

Just keep in mind, whatever your political beliefs, that irresponsibility of the president Kufour's administration has devastating economic consequences. Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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