Former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, has condemned the government over the error-ridden anniversary brochure distributed during the celebration of Ghana’s 59th Independence Day at the Black Star Square in Accra on Sunday.
The brochure, characterised by incomprehensible grammatical expressions, poor spellings and a host of other inaccuracies, has provoked outrage and condemnation among a section of the public.
Among the many mistakes in the brochure was the representation of Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, as the President of Ghana.
Expressions such as, “The innovated partnership is being concretised in many areas of economic trajectory, particularly trade…”, “…rainbow at the end of the tunnel…”, “…as if by divine-designed…” and “Ghana has attained a low-income status in the world…”, have also been described as ambiguous or false by some observers.
Commenting on the development on Accra-based Atinka FM on Wednesday, Mrs Rawlings said the “embarrassing” gaffes typifies what she said was the incompetence of the government.
“What happened last Sunday was so embarrassing; this has never happened in the history of Independence Day Celebration before. Fifty nine years down the lane, Ghana is beyond such mistakes therefore it is very unpardonable. If you see the sort of things happening in the country, it is not surprising at all. We live in a mismanaged country,” she said.
The Acting Director of the Information Services Department (ISD), Mr Francis Kwarteng Arthur, released a press statement on Monday, claiming that his outfit was responsible for the brochure and offering an apology to President Mahama and the Ghanaian people.
But in a dramatic twist, workers of the ISD denied having played any role in authoring the brochure and questioned the decision of their boss to accept culpability for the errors.
An under-pressure Mr Arthur later clarified that he produced the brochure in his capacity as Chairperson of the Communication Subcommittee of the 59th Independence Anniversary Planning Committee, and not as the Acting Director of ISD.
There have been calls for the President to launch an investigation into the fiasco to unravel what went wrong.
Daily Graphic columnist, Elizabeth Ohene, in an article titled “Is this government a mistake?” added her voice to the calls for action.
“Then the President might want to tell us how much it cost to print the brochure and who got the contract. Then we might discover who signed off and gave the go-ahead for the printing.
I would want to be told at which stage the presidential staffers discovered that the printed brochure was rubbish. I would like to know why copies of the brochure were distributed and not quietly taken away and pulped?
If these are mistakes and/or misrepresentations we are expected to accept in official documents, I will have to conclude that the entire set-up, the government as a whole, is a sad mistake,” she said.