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Is Anas The Bill Cosby Of Ghana?

There is no doubt that Heath Cliff Huxtable and his family in the sitcom Cosby show made great impressions on our lives over the last couple of decades

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There is no doubt that Heath Cliff Huxtable and his family in the sitcom Cosby show made great impressions on our lives over the last couple of decades. The physician and his attorney wife gave us all the important reasons for making education a priority in life and building a sound character to become good citizens. The spinoff of the show, ‘A different World” also maintained the same ethos where building of refined individuals capable of making wise decisions in a college environment was the theme.

Bill Cosby, the man who play Heath Cliff Huxtable, did a lot of good and I dare say single handedly put a lot of kids through college. The shows were an inspiration to many. Through the show, Bill Cosby made it possible for the average kid, especially the minority to believe that college education and staying on the right side of the law inspires a top middle class and beyond life style. I can credit my own zest and desires for further education to some of the show’s influence.

But the public perception of the man we adored so much, Cliff Huxtable, hid behind a dark side of Bill Cosby. Bill Cosby had all the good intentions to inspire society through comedy, but the demons of his innate character emerged to hunt him. It took another comedian to expose him.

Is Kennedy Agyapong the comedian to expose Anas? Kennedy is a loud mouth politician. He hasn’t got the training in fine language and one is tempted to immediately dismiss him as a braggart. He beats his chest like a gorilla in the forest, the king Kong of Ghana. Recently he has been crying foul, showing his own video of Anas allegedly involved in criminal acts. Is Kennedy Agyapong peeling the surface of something to look deeply into or is he blowing hot air? Not to discount the great work done by Anas, (as in the Cosby Show). The Anas exposĕ is admirable, but is he hiding his own demons?

Is Kwaku Baako standing by his man as Camellia Cosby continues to stand by Bill Cosby even as the courts prove him guilty? 64 women came forward to accuse Bill Cosby of inappropriate behavior, only one was admissible in court, yet, that was enough to convict Bill Cosby. Kennedy claims there are several people allegedly running to him with stories about Anas collecting bribe from them. These allegations should be thoroughly investigated, and even if one is found to be true, Anas should equally face the law. However, if these are found to be false, that, Honorable Kennedy Agyapong and his cronies fraudulently pieced clips together to tarnish the image of Anas, the honorable must be dealt with squarely.

Anas has filed a defamation suit of GHC25 million against Honorable Kennedy Agyapong. The honorable is quoted as saying; “GHC25million, I sit on that shit”. The pronouncements of the MP, Kennedy Agyapong, can often be distasteful. It is alleged that he was such a fine gentleman when he was a taxi driver in New York. Ghana politics must have rubbed him of his finesse. I hope the honorable will take a leaf from what Mrs. Obama said; ‘When they go low, you go high” but no, Kennedy Agyapong will wallow in the mud with his adversaries.
A breakdown in our legal system.

The Anas investigative work has been warranted because of the disregard for law enforcement in our society. The lack of political will on the part of our politicians and the legislature to act. Corruption and some traditional customs have rendered our laws and legal system impotent. As a matter of fact, everything Anas has uncovered hasn’t been a secret. They were and still are well known practices in the country that the institutions and legal apparatus have failed to address.

The entire country knows the Chiefs in Ghana sell land to multiple bidders. This is criminal, but how many Chiefs have been prosecuted, let alone jailed for this crime. How many Chiefs (including Otumfuo) have called a town hall meeting to declare to their people the cedi amount of the number of plots or acres of the township land that have been sold or royalties realized from companies of which the town or village will use for some identified development projects? None, (no accountability!).

Land in most villages and towns are sold as the Chief’s personal property, just as ministers use government coffers as their personal bank accounts. This behavior, big and small is paramount with people in positions of power and in law enforcement in Ghana. The partisan politics of cover ups is what has made necessary such sting operations, undercover investigation and set ups that Anas is using. The average Ghanaian is at a loss, running to churches, rivers and fetish priests looking for answers, all because, the laws in the land do not work to protect them.

Apparently, everything that happens in Ghana is spiritual and one needs to seek a spiritual doctor for directions. The judiciary system is like our hospitals in Ghana, “hit and miss”; one may need to try a few hospitals before finding a bed. And when a bed is found, a doctor may not be available or no diagnostic tools available for the doctor to work with. When one reports a case to the police, in many cases one has to pay for the transportation of the officer to attend to the case.

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The bigger picture of this contention between Anas and Honorable Kennedy Agyapong is all because the laws in the land are not enforceable; mostly in conflict with tradition and culture. Kennedy Agyapong, an honorable minister of parliament, a member of the legislative branch, could announce on national television and to the world that he is married but has a girlfriend; proudly confirming that his wife knows he has a girlfriend and its part of Ghana’s tradition. So it is part of Ghana’s tradition to have stool wives.

So it is part of Ghana’s tradition to have stool servants or shrine slaves. So it is part of Ghana’s tradition for some chiefs to adjudicate on some cases. So it is part of Ghana tradition to find an influential elder to get you off the hook even when guilty. So it is part of Ghana’s tradition to send gifts to the Chiefs. In some cases, the Chiefs have aids who arrange for such “gifts’. No wonder even our judges are confused. Some of the judges claimed they acted in the traditional capacity to receive gifts but were not bribed.

Even some journalists (including Captain Smart who claims to fight corruption) gets confused discussing the subject; a gift for ‘influence peddling’ and a bribe. It is wrong and must be punishable to use the office of the state to travel and conduct transactions as if its private business. It is unethical if not criminal to use one’s position in the capacity of public service to receive gifts, solicited or unsolicited in any form with the intent to influence an outcome.

It is time Ghanaians evolve from those traditions that bring shame, turning the country into a bunch of jokers and elevate those elements of our culture that speak to Ghana as a constitutional democratic republic; a country with enforceable laws that govern the land. For this to be realized, Ghanaians must rise from the grassroots to the top; demanding accountability from the Chiefs to the ministers and to the President, call for a change to some of the antiquated traditions and customs that disadvantage the commoner and fly in the face of human rights, else there will be no progress in Ghana.

Commentator…..George Oteng Attakora

Strictly Personal

This is chaos, not governance, and we must stop it, By Tee Ngugi

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The following are stories that have dominated mainstream media in recent times. Fake fertiliser and attempts by powerful politicians to kill the story. A nation of bribes, government ministries and corporations where the vice is so routine that it has the semblance of policy. Irregular spending of billions in Nairobi County.

 

Billions are spent in all countries on domestic and foreign travel. Grabbing of land belonging to state corporations, was a scam reminiscent of the Kanu era when even public toilets would be grabbed. Crisis in the health and education sectors.

 

Tribalism in hiring for state jobs. Return of construction in riparian lands and natural waterways. Relocation of major businesses because of high cost of power and heavy taxation. A tax regime that is so punitive, it squeezes life out of small businesses. Etc, ad nauseam.

 

To be fair, these stories of thievery, mismanagement, negligence, incompetence and greed have been present in all administrations since independence.

 

However, instead of the cynically-named “mama mboga” government reversing this gradual slide towards state failure, it is fuelling it.

 

Alternately, it’s campaigning for 2027 or gallivanting all over the world, evoking the legend of Emperor Nero playing the violin as Rome burned.

 

A government is run based on strict adherence to policies and laws. It appoints the most competent personnel, irrespective of tribe, to run efficient departments which have clear-cut goals.

 

It aligns education to its national vision. Its strategies to achieve food security should be driven by the best brains and guided by innovative policies. It enacts policies that attract investment and incentivize building of businesses. It treats any kind of thievery or negligence as sabotage.

 

Government is not a political party. Government officials should have nothing to do with political party matters. They should be so engaged in their government duties that they literally would not have time for party issues. Government jobs should not be used to reward girlfriends and cronies.

 

Government is exhausting work undertaken because of a passion to transform lives, not for the trappings of power. Government is not endless campaigning to win the next election. To his credit, Mwai Kibaki left party matters alone until he had to run for re-election.

 

We have corrupted the meaning of government. We have parliamentarians beholden to their tribes, not to ideas.

 

We have incompetent and corrupt judges. We have a civil service where you bribe to be served. Police take bribes to allow death traps on our roads. We have urban planners who plan nothing except how to line their pockets. We have regulatory agencies that regulate nothing, including the intake of their fat stomachs.

 

We have advisers who advise on which tenders should go to whom. There is no central organising ethos at the heart of government. There is no sense of national purpose. We have flurries of national activities, policies, legislation, appointments which don’t lead to meaningful growth. We just run on the same spot.

 

Tee Ngugi is a Nairobi-based political commentator

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Strictly Personal

Off we go again with public shows, humbug and clowning, By Jenerali Uliwengu

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The potential contestants in the approaching elections are already sizing themselves up and assessing their chances of fooling their people enough for them to believe that they are truly going to “bring development” to them.

 

I mean, you have to be a true believer to believe that someone who says they have come to offer their services to you as your representative in the local council or in the national parliament and they tell you that they are going to build your roads to European standards, and your schools are going to be little Eatons; your hospitals are going to be better and more lavishly equipped than the Indian hospitals, where many of our high-placed people go for treatment, and your water supply will be so regular that you have to worry only about drowning!

 

I mean no exaggeration here, for the last time we had the occasion to listen to such clowns — five years ago — we heard one joker promise he would take all his voters to the United States for a visit.

 

He was actually voted to parliament, or at least the cabal acting as the electoral commission says he was. He has never revisited that promise as far as I can remember, but that must surely be because he is still negotiating with the American embassy for a few million visas for his voters!

 

Yes, really, these are always interesting times, when normally sober people turn out to be raving mad and university dons become illiterate.

 

Otherwise tell me how this can happen: Some smart young man or woman shows up in your neighbourhood and puts up posters and erects stands and platforms for the campaign and goes around the constituency declaring his or her ardent desire to “develop” your area by bringing in clean and safe water, excellent schools, competent teachers, the best agricultural experts as extension officers, etc, etc.

These goodies

At the time this clown is promising all these goodies, you realise he has been distributing money and items such as tee-shirts, kitenge prints, khangas, caps as well as organising feeding programmes, where everyone who cares can feed to satiation and drink whatever they want with practically no limitation.

Seriously, I have been asking myself this question: Would you employ a young man who shows up at your front porch and tells you he is seeking a job to develop your garden and tells you that, while you are thinking whether to employ him, “Here is money for you and your family to eat and drink for now!”

Now, if we think such a man should be reported to the police or taken to a mental institution, why are we behaving in exactly the same way?

Many a time we witness arguments among countrymen trying to solve the conundrum of our continued failure to move forward economically, despite our abundant resources, and it seems like we haven’t got a clue.

But is this not one of the cues, if not probably the most important clue, that we have not found a way to designate our leaders?

It ought to be clear to any person above childhood that this type of electoral system and practice can never deliver anything akin to development or progress.

Now, consider that we have being doing this same thing over and over — in many of our countries elections follow a certain periodicity like clockwork — but we have not discovered the truth.

Put simply, our politics is badly rigged against our people, and elections have become just devices to validate the political hooliganism of the various cabals running our countries like so many Mafia families.

Knee-jerk supporters

We have so demeaned our people, whom we have turned into knee-jerk supporters of whoever gives them food and drink around election time, that now they say that at least at election time it is their turn to eat, which means, naturally, that at all other times it is the turn of the ones who “bring development” to the people.

Clearly, this is not working, and it is no wonder that dissatisfaction and frustration are rife, as our people cannot put a finger to the thing that holds them back.

Apart from these sham elections, from time to time, the rulers organise shows designed to make the people believe that somebody is concerned about their problems.

We have one such masquerade happening in Tanzania right now, where public meetings are organised so people can vent their frustration. But these will never solve any problems; they are just shows.

If the elections we have been holding had any substance, there would not be any need for such public shows, except those organised by those people we elected.

Where are they? What is the use of spending so much money and other resources to erect and maintain a political system that has to be propped by public shows, where people come to vent their grievances over the hopelessness of the system in place?

I am just asking.

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