Marching Morosely To Jail!
“Corruption is worse than prostitution. The latter might endanger the morals of an individual; the former invariably endangers the morals of the entire society”—Karl Kraus.
My heart is very heavy as I write this week's piece. You may call it coincidence, if you so desire. But I'm shocked to observe that anytime I visit the prisons, a political appointee from the Zu-za stock is made to march morosely to jail. Surprising, isn't it?
I visited a colleague at the Nsawam Prison on December 3, 2001, and exactly a week later, Victor Selormey, a former Deputy Finance Minister in the Zu-za government, was found guilty on two counts of defrauding the state by false pretences and sentenced to 8 years in prison.
Dan Abodakpi, then a Member of Parliament (MP) for Keta, received a 10-year prison sentence on February 5, 2007, exactly three days after I visited a cousin on remand at the Ankaful Prison.
The coincidence was re-enacted last week when a High Court convicted a former Zu-za top official, Abuga Pele, and a private service provider, Philip Assibit, to 6 and 12 years imprisonment terms respectively. Their conviction came exactly three days after I visited the Nsawam Prison with an official of one of the international human rights agencies to assess the conditions under which prisoners live in the country.
What I saw when I visited the prisons on those three occasions was shocking. Most inmates wore torn and dirty uniforms. Where they slept could easily pass for a pen or stable. As for the food, the least said about it, the better. The soup could be described as boiled water spiced with tomatoes, salt and oil. No wonder most inmates wore the Rawlings' chain. (Ask your parents for further explanation if you do not know what Rawlings' chain is.)
Though over a decade ago, I vividly remember how my co-worker and cousin reacted when I visited them in 2001 and 2007 respectively. They could not hide their pleasure when they saw me because they knew they would eat a sumptuous meal for a change. I could not blame them for greedily eating the fufu and groundnut soup like a hungry lion devouring its prey.
Looking at the conditions in our prisons, my humanistic side wouldn't wish incarceration on anyone- not even my political foes. On that score, I'm saddened by the situation in which Abuga Pele and Philip Assibit currently find themselves. Not forgetting the troubles the close family members would be compelled to endure as a result.
But my patriotic side is elated at the court's judgment. It excites me that the state has finally cracked the whip. Indeed, any true patriot who has read the GYEEDA report and the rot therein would applaud the court for the judgment.
Of course, I'm not happy that many culprits have so far been left off the hook. A classic example is the former Sports Minister who signed the stinking Better Ghana Management Services deal. Many people are at a loss as to why he is still walking free. The same minister was the one who signed the rotten RLG contract to train 15,000. Clearly, Pele and Assibit were tried because they were low-hanging fruits- leaving the high-hanging ones on the tree.
Well, it is better late than never. With the Special Prosecutor (SP) sworn-in, some of us now have the opportunity to petition the SP's office. With the Chief Citizen Vigilante in-charge, many of my compatriots have no doubt that many looters of the country's little resources will soon tread the path Pele and Assibit are now treading on.
Not too long ago, the sharp-teethed babies were heard lampooning the current government for alleging that many folks in the Zu-za camp were corrupt. The sharp teethed babies chorused, “Stop the talk and start jailing us.”
The listening government has finally heeded their call and started jailing the greedy bastards. I saw Assibit advertise a wry smile as he descended the stairs of the court when he was being led into a waiting vehicle. I wonder if he would smile when reality finally sets in.
In my mind's eye I saw Pele and Assibit marching (or were they being marched?) morosely to their new home for the next 6 and 12 years respectively. I soon saw many others treading the same path.
Did I hear you say I should mention names? Hmm, do not wish to be in the shoes of the bespectacled bald-headed greedy bastard who “woyomized” this country. Neither should you wish to be in the shoes of Madam “They-Will-Jail-Me”.
Abusuapanin, I have a haunch that many big fishes in the Zu-za waters would soon be entangled in the net being spread by the Chief Citizen Vigilante. Don’t forget to call me prophet when this prophecy comes to pass.
My unsolicited advice to the family members of the convicted duo is to visit them as regularly as they can, at least weekly. They shouldn't forget to carry tuo zaafi along, because a pleasant meal would help make life a little bearable in that unbearable place.
See you next week for another interesting konkonsa, Deo volente!
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