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23.07.2004 General News

Can Osafo Marfo Ever Tell The Truth

By The Lens

'Osafo Maafo lies again' has for sometime now become the refrain of most objective analysts anytime Mr. Kufour's finance minister makes an official statement. Osafo Maafo has consistently peddled lies upon lies in his statements. What is really disgusting about this pattern of deception is the blatant arrogance the "handsome" gentleman exhibits anytime he sets out to pollute the environment with his flagrant lies.

A recent occasion where Osafo took lying to unsurpassed heights was during his press conference to explain the goings on with respect to the infamous CNTC scam loan. He put out the outrageous lie that there was the need for a special code to use an e-fax. That was not all, he also lied about the official addresses of the CNTCI.

Invariably, whilst some of these addresses ended up in hairdressing salons and supermarkets, the new one he came up with later, was traced to a refugee camp. In addition to this was the fact that there were other many blatant discrepancies in the loan agreement. Ghanaians have become all too familiar with the deliberate misrepresentation of facts by Osafo Maafo in the so-called loan agreement, which he laid before parliament.

How he criminally presented documents covering a suppliers credit deal instead of a loan agreement to parliament. This was the height of deceit of parliament and of the good people of this country- this was the limit as far as gross disrespect goes. But instead of showing remorse and asking for our forgiveness, Osafo Maafo sought to brazenly equate suppliers credit to a loan. This is a finance minister, whom we were told in 2001, was said to be the second best in the whole world. What an insult to our intelligence.

On the basis of Osafo Maafo's crass ignorance of rudimentary subjects such as the difference between a suppliers credit and a loan, two serious things come to mind. Either Osafo Maafo is ignorant when it comes to these financial terms and therefore grossly incompetent or he was attempting to insult our intelligence through a blatant display of intellectual dishonesty.

Either way, we have a crisis on our hands. Mr. Kufour's finance minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, is a walking disaster. God save us. Furthermore, on the basis of his deceit of parliament, he had committed perjury.

Talking about 419 loan scams under the Kufuor led NPP government, another distasteful reference point was the "IFC" scam. Like the CNTCI scam, the address of the head office of the so-called IFC as provided by Osafo Maafo and his gang led to a shop where water pump machines are sold. Nawa ooooh. It would be recalled that following that IFC shameful saga, the flag bearer of the NDC, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills called on Osafo Maafo to resign to save mother Ghana further embarrassment. In his pomposity, this shameless finance minister of the disgraced Kufuor administration decided to insult Mills.

Mills who was light years ahead of him while they were in school together; A shame that the same school could turn out a man of truth such as Mills and a pathological liar such as Osafo Maafo. He had the effrontery to call Prof Mills an economic "aplanke" who should be taught basic economic lessons.

Mills in his usual gentle manner ignored the hollow words of an empty barrel. Perhaps he did so with the obvious knowledge that time will show who really knows what. Time has really proven Mills right as all can see clearly in the CNTCI nonsense.

And now, Ghanaians can tell the difference between Mills and Osafo Maafo as to who is actually the economic "aplanke". Without any contradiction, Mills' vindication in this matter attest to his firm grasp on the economic situation of this country and his mastery of international financial transactions.

What Osafo Maafo pretends not to be aware of is the fact that the man who appointed him as finance minister Mr. Kufuor is the one who needs those basic economic lessons. A statement, not long ago on GTV Breakfast show, by Asare Ochere Darko, the editor of Nana Akufo Addo's statesman suggests that the likes of Mr. Kufuor who claim that Ghana does not need loans to develop obviously do not have an iota of economic sense.

It would be recalled that the then candidate Kufuor, the flagbearer of the NPP said rather emphatically that Ghana, with all its natural resources does not need loans to develop. Oyi wa. It has become crystal clear that Osafo Maafo himself is the economic "aplanke" he claimed Mills was. There is therefore the need for him to go for basic economic lessons together with his appointing authority, Mr. Kufuor, from Prof Mills.

While at it, one will hope that Mr. Kufuor will seize the opportunity to take similar basic lessons in Geography so as to stop referring to cities and continents as countries; remember that during his imfamous waa waa speech he stated that London, Europe and Asia were all countries.

Just as Mills called on Osafo Maafo to resign then, so has Ralph Asiamah in a story in his Ghana post newspaper, also recently asked Osafo Maafo to resign over the CNTCI scam. This once again attracted the displeasure of Dr [?] Niiyi Alabi, the dodgy host of TV Africa's Media today. In his typically jaundiced opinion, Osafo Maafo did nothing to warrant a call for his resignation.

But, what can one expect from an NPP stooge whose job is to shameless PR for the government? In any government worth the name, Osafo Maafo would have resigned of his own volition long ago. The incompetence of Osafo Maafo dates to his days as the manager of the erstwhile Bank for Housing and construction. That bank collapsed under him and had to be subsequently liquidated. This is credential and pedigree of the man Kufour not surprisingly deemed fit to hold the sensitive position of finance minister. The only thing that rivals his incompetence is his prolific ability to lie with a straight face. What is the latest round of lies by Osafo Maafo?

The grand deception about the status of Ghana after reaching HIPC completion point. He lied again when he said that: "I took you into HIPC and I have taken you out of HIPC." At a pres conference on 15th July 2004, another clear case of intellectual dishonesty was shown by this unrepentant lying minister.

Who does not know that Ghana reaching HIPC completion point simple means that the country has met certain conditions of the IMF that qualify her to be fully accorded the reliefs offered to countries that are HIPC "good girls"- that's all, Caput. How on earth could any serious and competent finance minister engage in this level of deception?

The fact is that Ghana will remain HIPC for the next 20yrs. The so-called benefits of HIPC that are being trumpeted by Mr. Kufuor and his gang are simply diversionary attempts. This record has been set straight by Mr. Kwesi Pratt and his colleagues on Alhaji an Alhaji on Radio Gold on Saturday, July 17.

Disclosures that emanated from the insightful analysis made on the programme reveal that the cost-benefit analysis of HIPC shows that we were better off and will continue to be better off without HIPC. The so called huge amount of relief that the NPP is making noises about is only meant to be given to Ghana in bits and trickles as and when certain IMF conditions are met. For example, the Ghana government is under pressure to increase water tariffs by 100%.

Also, according to an IMF document, petrol prices must go up to ¢45,000 per gallon. But Osafo Maafo said on Kwame Sefa Kayi's " Kokrokoo' paper review programme on Peace FM recently that due to "political economics" the NPP government will not increase fuel prices this year. The imminent fuel price increases therefore has been postponed to February net year. In the calculations of the Kufuor led NPP loudmouths, by February 2005, they would have already succeeded in deceiving Ghanaians to retain them in power in the December elections. And, by which time Mr. Kufuor would have been inaugurated for a second term.

So you see, fellow Ghanaians, let us not allow ourselves to be insulted a second time by these Kweku Ananse deceitful characters. They have nothing to offer us apart from their numerous lies. University user fees have just gone up by 100%. Other school fees will follow suit. Health cost is going to become worse. The 2.5% increase in VAT for the Health insurance scheme is another camouflage. The VAT increment is a HIPC conditionality.

Reports filtering in from the regions indicate that, even uncompleted projects-school blocks, markets, KVIPs and so on which the NPP government inherited from the NDC government are being competed and labeled HIPC benefits. What a shame. A report from Bolgatanga has it that a project of 31st December women's Movement has been labeled as such.

Another report from Krachi refers to a letter from the people asking government to remove the HIPC label from a District Assembly common fund project. You see the staggering levels of lies and deception being engaged in by these shameless lots? On 13th July 2004, Mr. Moses Asaga cautioned Osafo Maafo to desist from the deception that he Osafo has taken Ghana out of HIPC, on good Evening Ghana hosted by Paul Adom Otchere.

Two days later, both of them (Mr. Moses Asaga and Osafo Maafo) were reached simultaneously by phone on Adom FM paper review programme hosted by Frimpong Manso. Although Osafo Maafo put up a rigid defense of his HIPC lies, Mr. Moses Asaga did not mince words to point it out that Osafo Maafo is nothing but just a cheap liar (emphasis mine). Even J. H. Mensah, the senior minister of the Kufour government admits that Ghana is not out of HIPC. But this liar of a finance minister maintains his mediocre stance.

The question Osafo Maafo and the Kufuor led NPP government should ask themselves is whether the living conditions of Ghanaians are better under their tenure of office. Being the liars that they are, they would definitely say a big yes in a chorus. But the reality is that Ghanaians are worse off under Kufour's HIPC government.

Prof. Mills made it clear at the public forum he held at the National Theatre on 2nd March that "There is one thing I will never do. I will not lie my way to the top". Kufuor and his empty-barreled government, in their obviously confused ways think Ghanaians are imbeciles.

So, they plan entrenching themselves in power through blatant lies just as they did in 2000. But his time, they lie bad-walahi!!! Ghanaians will prove to the NPP at the December polls that the head of every individual Ghanaian is many times better than the heads of Mr. Kufuor and all his incompetent officials put together.

Like they say, you lie me once shame on you, you lie me twice shame on me. Ghanaians may have been premier Gawou in 2000, but certainly we would not be deuxieme Gawou in 2004. We are not the fools Kufuor and his lying gang take us for.

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