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23.02.2009 Feature Article

MPs Development Fund? I disagree!

Of all the decisions President Mills has taken so far and the intentions he has expressed, the intent to institute Members' of Parliament Development Fund (MPsDF) is extremely interesting from all perspectives.

In his first State of the Nation address in Parliament a couple of days back, President John Evans "Asomdwehene" Mills received a standing ovation from the MPs for his intention to create a development fund; MPsDF. I couldn't agree more with the MPs for their show of bravo and acceptance of the that particular intent but I find it disturbing that the MPs are being reduced to development agents in the sense of initiating and implementing school, toilet, urinal, teachers' bungalow and market projects in the name of societal demand and pressures.

My apprehension stems from the fact that; the soul called MPs Common Fund (MPsCF) which still is in operation has only given birth to acrimonious relationships between MPs, DCEs and the "all important" constituency executives of the political parties.

The projects initiated, in many cases, were designed and implemented in the political parties' offices and located in their backyards. I always admire the partisan enthusiasm and pageantry that accompany the commissioning of such projects. One of them, a meaningless teachers' bungalow is located opposite the main gate of my formal workplace, the others are points of interest across the country. Am yet to see or hear of any law in Ghana that is in the name of an MP, at least since 1992.

Ironically, the president also said that democratic institutions would be resourced to perform their core duties efficiently and effectively. Implicitly, MPs should be resourced to discharge their fundamental law-making functions properly rather than sending them to the field to initiate and implement meaningless political projects.

Their lapses in law-making should be the focus of attention and not wrong functions that they themselves and society have given them. At best, they can only lobby and exert pressure on DCEs and the Assemblies to perform their duties properly.

On this occasion, I totally disagree with the President's intent and purpose. I believe society should not be encouraged to perpetuate wrong democratic values if we are determined to build an efficient one.

The President does not need MP's Development Fund in order to leave a legacy behind as the MPs are saying. If he wants evidence of that, he should ask the award winner; John "Gentle Giant" Kufuor and the messiah; John "Jeremiah" Rawlings. The best legacy he can leave behind will be a parliament efficient in law-making, a country that had moved one step forward and created opportunities for all and a massive dose of his "asomdwee" medication. At the moment, that medication is under threat from the bully boys in his party.

By Frank Kofi Owusu Debrah [[email protected]]
Via Zuccoli 19, Apt 57
Milano (MI), 20125

Frank Kofi Owusu Debrah
Frank Kofi Owusu Debrah , © 2009

The author has 4 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: FrankKofiOwusuDebrah

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