Opinion

Enimil Ashon: Why Hawa Koomson is still at post

In Ghana, the masses have ceased grumbling. They’ve decided, rather, to return, in equal dosage, the ruling classes’ selfish greed and corruption. In times like this, a columnist’s mind needs extra fortification. The evil that men do sieges the mind.

To the extent that evil reigns, the columnist finds that invariably, his/her content is dominated by politics – not the politics that births progress but politics dictated by people with dishonourable motives who want to be in Parliament to be called ‘Honourable’.

In the hope that this column will be read by the President and leadership of Parliament, I skip my topic for today (about the Kayayei phenomenon) so I can demand an explanation why the punishment that is due Mavis Hawa Koomson, MP and Minister, whose conduct, as dangerous as, if not more dangerous than, that of Carlos Ahenkorah, should await the outcome of an investigation.

Who investigated Ahenkorah’s sins? He was crucified on his own plea. Hawa has pleaded to no less.

Red

Someone has deliberately thrown in a red herring that has got all of us concluding that she acted in self-defence. The MP/minister never – I repeat, never – said in her first and, so far, only radio interview, that she fired the warning shot in self-defence.

Listen to the interview again. Her only use of ‘self-defence’ was in reply to the question why she carried a gun to the place. Her reply was, “As a member of Parliament, I need to protect myself.” The idea that her life was in danger was invented by a man who was on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo programme the day after.

Because of it, everybody now says we must wait for investigation. Investigation! Who would be the witnesses? The post-1992 trend in our politics favours the suspicion that the investigators will disregard any evidence by anybody who does not sound NPP.

Meanwhile, there is not a single New Patriotic Party witness who will testify against her, not because they are untruthful, but because they have to protect the party interest. Naturally, the verdict will be ‘not guilty’.

Why has the NPP, as a party, not condemned the act? Also awaiting investigation?

Why was Carlos Ahenkorah’s case not investigated? If the answer is that he confessed, the question is, what more self-incriminating confession exists than what Hawa herself made? Meanwhile, four hours before Ahenkorah was fired, there was a news report on social media quoting sources within Jubilee House to the effect that the President had given him the option to either resign or be fired. One hour before the President’s statement accepting Ahenkorah’s resignation, the NPP General Secretary, John Buadu, had issued the official party position, condemning his act.

Sin?

And what was Carlos’s sin? Being COVID-19 positive, he drove from quarantine to a registration centre and spoke with some people. That’s all. Here comes a Hawa Koomson whose conduct results in a state of pandemonium, with people running for dear life and causing body contact.

Meanwhile, because of her action, there are residents of Kasoa who are so traumatised they have vowed never to go back to the centre.

Dear reader, kindly listen to the radio interview again. You cannot escape the suspicion that this lady was not the one who fired the shot(s): she is protecting her macho men, fearing they may be charged with an offence related to discharging a weapon in public.

Fire

Most Reverend Asante, the Peace Council Chair, knew what he knew when he recommended that the Minister/MP resign or the President fire her. He doesn’t hate her: he loves Ghana more.

Check. Most of the irresponsible acts are being perpetrated by the parliamentary candidates, not the parties.

It’s not the parties that are doing the bussing; the MP candidates are. The parties are not buying votes; the candidates are. Their reasoning is simple: In the event that Akufo-Addo or Mahama fall, they’d be in ‘power’. Also, they know that an MP has half chance to be minister.

And why does the NPP seem so uninterested in looking attractive to the undecided voters? Because of one million votes in 2016, which verdict the party thinks is irreversible? Because of Free SHS?

In addition to all those citizens in rural areas who are threatening “no roads no vote”, there are the hundreds of freight forwarders who are disenchanted by the handling of the changeover from GCNet/West Blue Consulting to ICUMS/UNI-PASS.

To that number, add members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) who are peeved by the inability or unwillingness of the government to order an end to retail business by foreigners. Each has nieces and nephews, wife and children who have friends – the snowball effect.

PS: At the time the Vigilante Bill was being drafted, we had in mind “irresponsible macho men high on drugs”. No one thought of an MP!

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The writer, Enimil Ashon, is a former Editor of the ‘Ghanaian Times’ and now a columnist of the ‘Daily Graphic’.