A terse response from the US Embassy's official twitter handle to President John Mahama's earlier tweet on July 17, 2014 has sparked a diplomatic row between the Ghana Government and the United States of America, leading to some adherents of the Government threatening to demonstrate against the U.S.A.
President Mahama in typical fashion had used social media to communicate the need for Ghanaians to make sacrifices in these challenging times, as there was light at the end of the tunnel.
But in apparent reference to the President's tweet, a response from the US Embassy handle asked 'And what sacrifices are you making? Don't tell me that pay cut.'
This response did not go down well with state officials who felt the Embassy was unduly interfering in the politics of the country and showing disrespect for the President. The US Embassy has since apologized explaining that a staff member mixed up his personal twitter account with that of the Embassy.
Information reaching the SCANDAL however shows that the tweet from the Embassy may not be exactly an accident and that the American Government has concerns about the way things are going in Ghana and has communicated same to President Mahama and his Government.
President Mahama himself also appears to have inadvertently let the cat out of the bag when he recently complained publicly that 'Development Partners are ditching Ghana in her trying times'.
Addressing members of the National House of Chiefs the President said 'It is in challenging times that one needs their friends. Unfortunately, our development partners have not been as responsive to our homegrown fiscal stabilization policy as I would have hoped.'
Since the National Democratic Congress (NDC) took over the reins of government in 2009, external budgetary support has fallen drastically with 2012, 2013 and 2014 been the worse years. Whilst government communicators are quick to blame it on global recession, it is becoming increasingly loud in diplomatic circles that 'fiscal indiscipline and the increasing spate of corruption in government' are the reasons for the reluctance of these partners to support.
A diplomatic source told the SCANDAL that the Americans in their typical blunt manner have met with the President and declared that unless something was done about this fiscal indiscipline and corruption, they were not prepared to offer any additional help. The source said the Americans believe that only a small circle of friends and family are benefiting from their support and that the vast majority of Ghanaians were left out.
America will however go ahead to sign the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) with Ghana sometimes next month for about US400million for expansion works on Ghana's energy sources but the Americans will take charge of its implementation from recruitment of staff to the execution of all projects under the MCA.
It is against this background that the tweet from the US Embassy asking what sacrifices the President was talking about, should not and cannot be seen as accidental. It is not only the Americans who are unhappy with the fiscal indiscipline and corruption in Ghana. The Europeans are also worried and are reacting in their ways.
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