State Condoned Thievery And Indiscipline; Keys To A Failing State

�.What do we have now? A thieving political and business elite who have not raised a dime of their own capital conniving with our civil and public servants to steal Ghana�s scarce resources under all sorts of rotten deals.�.� I am constrained to cite these concluding lines from my tribute to B.A. Mensah because quite a few people, including two anxious Professors from the UDS I met at the funeral of the academic and (not-greedy) astute businessman and friend, Sam Aboah at Adukrom urged me to write an article premised on these lines. That paragraph forms the basis of this attempt to discuss the insidious matter of unashamed and barefaced thievery going on in Ghana. If you�ve read or watched the proceedings of the hapless sole Judgment Debt Commissioner, you will understand his pain, anguish and frustration. He must be having sleepless nights tossing in bed over the magnitude and reckless impudence with which these callous crimes are carried out. The sheer impetuousness of the evil, greedy collaboration between senior civil/public servants, politicians and judges and the nonchalance of public officers to the loss of state funds must be gnawing at him. I pity him. He and his team need our unceasing prayers. Dear Ghanaian, especially educated Ghanaian who can read and understand this article. Stop for a moment, forget your personal travails, personal pursuits and personal goals and examine the matters I will attempt to discuss here. We (you and I) cannot allow the plunder, rape and waste of our scarce and diminishing resources by the above catalogued bandits to continue. �Dzi wu fie asem� will not help. We must insist that Government charges responsible State institutions to immediately take action to investigate these nefarious acts of collusion and corruption; prosecute those involved and jail them if guilty. The catalogue of unconscionable greed, recklessness and thievery enumerated in the GYEEDA Report and the proceedings of the Judgment Debt Commissioner must be the cause of real and not just passing concern to you. Let me state at the outset that I�m neither a moralist nor idealist. Not a saint or a pious person. I�m not filled with religious (in my case Christ-like) virtue. I�m not a good example of a Christian or an upright person. I�m not even a �good� person. But I am concerned at the thievery going on. It�s killing our poor country. How can the State, acting through the Attorney General and the Ministry of Finance pay the unfathomable equivalent of $200,000.00 in �judgment debt� in a case in which a police vehicle damages a secondhand Hyundai Mighty worth $20,000 (the truck used for ferrying sachet water). The $200,000 (ten times the value of a fairly new Hyundai Mighty) was paid for the damage to the truck and loss of earnings whilst the truck was being repaired. Strangely the fully-paid-for truck was returned to its amazed and gleeful owner? How? And this case is one of the �smaller� ones. Worse, this thievery is supervised by lawyers who are sworn to uphold and defend the law and the truth? How come up until now, the Attorney General�s Department has not taken any action against the willfully negligent, colluding, conniving and thieving lawyers within its set up? $200,000 will build at least four �posh� public toilets in four small, deprived villages and help nail the sanitation problems there. I�m ashamed at my criminal colleagues at the Bar driven by inordinate greed to conspire and commit such low-life white collar crimes. My dear friend Marietta Brew-Appiah, A-G, please investigate your department. It stinks. Because we have blurred the functions and distinction between State and Government, we clothe everything in political robes. Therefore our state investigative bodies like EOCO, CHRAJ, Ghana Police and BNI which must investigate politicians, public and civil servants and judges connected to these cases, their lifestyles, bank accounts, travels etc., are unable to do so. I�ll cite a somewhat inappropriate example. A couple of months ago some NDC youth in Tamale were reported to have vandalized state property. The police arrested and detained them as they should do. While they were being arraigned for court and likely remand in prison, the NDC Regional Chairman, (according to the police commander there) �pleaded� with the police and they were released! I doubt that they will face justice. Both the regional chairman and the police do not seem to realize the gravity of the matter; that remand and jailing would have had a deterrent effect on other would be hoodlums with an inclination to misbehave. Then there�s the case of the youth who burnt state vehicles somewhere in the Volta Region. They have not, and will not be punished because �their votes count� and someone with political authority doesn�t want to alienate them; people who should be in prison. What happens to these youth? They become �untouchables�; acquire greater impunity and brazenly disregard even the simplest of laws because they have �protection�. You see; every cause has an effect. In these cases a hardening of these negative practices makes society suffer. But these isolated acts of physical vandalism carried out by angry, inebriated youth, pale next to the carefully planned and intricately woven economic vandalism being perpetuated by my �learned friends� (I�m using that phrase hesitantly) at the A-G�s Department in collusion with crooked businessmen, other learned friends and technocrats at the Ministry of Finance, the lawyers and technocrats at the ministry, department or agency that incurred the debt and the politician who supervises the rot. The immoral, bloodcurdling (yem shishie) contracts entered into by GYEEDA with Zoomlion and the AGAMS Group warrant thorough investigation, prosecution of the state officials involved, and heavy custodial sentences if the accused are found guilty. The sums involved can build major, permanent infrastructure of benefit to all Ghanaians. But a few greedy businessmen with cronies in government sign bogus, lopsided contracts which enable them to pilfer our cash for their personal comfort.