We have read with interest the article with the above heading which sought to paint the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana as “the most corrupt V.P”. His offence is that he has intervened in an issue which (to all intents and purposes) has the hallmarks of an error of judgement on the part of Ghana Cocobod. For the benefit of those who may not have followed this case through from the beginning, here are the facts. Following an excellent investigative work, Anas Armiyawo revealed the rot within the cocoa industry in Ghana in which he showed how Cocoa was being smuggled out of Ghana. In that work, it turned out that an employee of a UK-based company (Armajaro) was implicated in the said scandal. Ghana Cocobod then placed a partial ban on Armajaro which meant that Armajaro could only do business in just two regions in Ghana.
The owner of the company (Anthony Ward) then contacted Henry Bellingham, the Foreign Office Minister in-charge of Africa, who in turn spoke to the Vice President of Ghana about the matter. This was done at a meeting during the Vice President’s visit to London for an Investment Forum. Given the circumstances surrounding the partial ban of Armajaro, the Vice President then promised to look into the matter immediately. Having investigated the matter further, Ghana Cocobod admitted that there was an error of judgement on their part and then lifted the partial ban. Under normal circumstances, that should be the end of the matter.
However at a meeting during which the NPP discussed ways of confronting the “malignant” issue of the threat of John Mahama’s popularity as a political heavyweight, it was decided that political capital be made out of the Armajaro issue. A Haruna Mahama who is known pretty well to the Vice President was used to trade this calumny by organising a press Conference. Haruna later retracted and made an unqualified apology to his Excellency John Mahama. Again, that should have been the end of the matter but nay, we still have people who are blinded by their senseless acts of parochialism who still see no sense in letting sleeping dogs lie on this matter.
But the question that remains to be answered is that, what has John Mahama done wrong in this particular issue? It is worth-noting that when the Vice President met the UK’s Foreign Minister in-charge of Africa, he did so when he was in London to promote trade and to woo investors into Ghana. The platform was therefore appropriate for the vice president to address any existing or potential issues that could potentially affect the drive to woo investors and the Armajaro case was certainly one of those cases. If an employee of an organisation indulges in a misdemeanour in his individual capacity, it is correct to argue that we do not embark on a collective punishment of the entire company. It therefore stands to reason that the Vice President did what he was supposed to do (especially at a time when he was in the UK to drive home the need to invest in Ghana). Did Henry Bellingham do the right thing by contacting the Vice President? The answer is a resounding YES ! The fact that the owner of Armajaro is a Conservative Party donor has got nothing to do with the substantive issue. He acted in his capacity as a Minister in Charge of Africa for the United Kingdom and that is as far as it goes.
The Vice President has indicated in no uncertain terms that anyone who doubts the veracity of his version of things on the Armajaro issue is free to take him to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice. This was (and still is) his position following a press conference during which Haruna Mahama (of the NPP fraternity) made certain sweeping and tendentious allegations against the Vice President. Following on from that Conference and my interactions with the individuals who first whistle blew the issue, we are aware that the whole Armajaro thing a vicious lie and a malicious propaganda orchestrated by certain individuals within the upper echelons of the NPP designed to impugn and denigrate the hard-worn reputation of His Excellency John Mahama.
Before anyone rushes to make any unfounded allegations against the incorruptible John Mahama, let it be told that John worn his reputation by breathing fresh air into Ghanaian politics. There is no denying the fact he is an affable and approachable individual who leaves no stone unturned in lending everyone his listening ears. No doubt the average Ghanaian personifies humility and that is one quality John is not lacking.
The type of politicians we need today in Ghana are politicians who are objective in their analysis and open in their dealings; Politicians who attach a sense of commitment and tenacity of purpose in all their dealings; Politicians who see beyond the narrow confines of now but have a foresight of eventuality ; Politicians who see their offices as an opportunity to give back to Mother Ghana rather than an opportunity to amass wealth for themselves and their families ; Politicians who do not hide behind the parapets of party paraphernalia to indulge in trivialities and rubble-rousing ; Politicians who know what time of the day it is and that is what Hon John Mahama brings to the table. If anyone wants to know why John has succeeded thus far, it might interest them to know that it is an amalgam of humility, his charism of power and his maturity in political discourses that have seen him standing tall among his political peers.
But since the writer did not see those qualities but chose to indulge in a tirade of name-calling and insinuations, we will try to define what corruption is. Corruption is when a Minister of Health goes to a HIV conference on behalf of Ghana and then has unprotected sex with a woman other than his wife and have a child and then embezzles $90,000 of Ghana’s money to look after the child and her mother:
Corruption is when an ex-president buys a multi-million dollar hotel using the hard-earned money of Ghana and telling Ghanaians that the hotel is owned by his son:
Corruption is when 42 slabs of cocaine goes missing right under the nose of the CID and instead of incarcerating the Director of Police in charge of operations, the sitting president pardons and reinstates him with full benefits and entitlements:
Corruption is when a Minister of Foreign Affairs issues 300 diplomatic passports to people with dodgy characters.
Corruption is the avalanche of cases of financial malfeasance committed during the Ghana@50 celebrations which we cannot dilate on any further because they are currently in the courts. That is corruption and until that log in the eyes of those individuals seeking to bring the name of John into disrepute is removed, I am sure they have no moral justification for commenting on any issues let alone issues of corruption. God Bless Our Motherland Ghana.
Adam S Yakubu Zongo Caucus-UK