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19.03.2009 Education

Kufuor & the BMW cars

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Some women were reported to have gone on demonstration in Kumasi on Tuesday to protest against what they perceived to be harassment of ex President Kufuor by the present government. They specifically mentioned the retrieval of three BMW cars from his residence by the security apparatus, and concluded that it goes against his ex gratia benefit which is spelt under the constitution.

The 1992 constitution guarantees the right for people to demonstrate, therefore The Chronicle has no problem with the decision by the women to embark on the protest. It is their constitutional right to do so and nobody can challenge them so long as they used the right procedure. Our concern is whether they conducted proper investigations to ascertain if the ex President has the right to keep those cars that were retrieved from his residence or not.

If this has been done, it would have enabled Ghanaians to conclude whether the government is indeed harassing Mr. Kufuor or not. To make matters worse, ex President Kufuor himself has not come out to tell the Ghanaian public whether he has the right under the constitution to keep those cars or not. As things stand now, it is only government that is talking and we do not know whether there is justification in what they are saying or not.

It is our contention, however, that if claims by the National Security that those BMW cars have special security features and were purchased for the presidency and purposely for the protection of the president are true, then the accusation of harassment being raised by the demonstrators does not arise. Mr. Kufuor was using those cars because he was the President of Ghana, but now that he is no longer the president, it means that the cars should pass on to his successor to use. To us, therefore, it was not necessary for him to have taken the cars away.

On the other hand, if there is evidence to prove that the former President Rawlings did take away some cars belonging to the presidency when he was leaving office and Mr. Kufuor allowed it to go, then a precedence has been set and there is no justification for the National security to retrieve the cars from the immediate past President, because as the saying goes, what is good for the goose is equally good for the gander. Alternatively, if ex President Kufuor feels that his right under the constitution has been violated, he must proceed to court.

His refusal to comment on the matter is fuelling so many speculations with people trying to rationalise issues by making uninformed arguments, and we must not allow this to happen. Silence is not always golden, afterall.

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