Feature: An Elected Totalitarian; The Time To Review The 1992 Constitution is Now!

… it takes a fixed mentality to realize the need to do things differently if a different result is to be expected.

Dear Kobby Kyei,

The reflections of Sir Sam Jonah on Ghana’s future have set the calls for the total “rehabilitation” of the country; be it via the country approach (leadership) or the mindset approach (citizens or followers).

The joy and pride with which I read the thoughts of the great business magnate of our time made me not only share the link with colleagues but also gave me the assurance that I have all this while not been hallucinating with my complaints and expectations concerning governance in our country, Ghana after all.

Wait right there Kobby, there is VAR check on Sir Jonah, VAR check complete and the verdict is, “BIG SAM HAS NEVER BEEN ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE OF GHANA TO IMPROVE THEIR WELL-BEING,” meaning he is not, or perhaps was not and maybe shall not be a (career) politician.

Another VAR check, this time for achievement, check complete and the result is “HE HAS BEEN KNIGHTED FOR HIS ACHIEVEMENTS.” There is no better person to present such forecast on the future of Ghana.

Kobby, the heralding of the speech by the political greens of Ghana is to be expected while the condemnation by the political blues is no news. The setting for an all attack versus an all defense game has been activated with the substance of Sir Jonah’s presentation totally ignored by the green blue alliance. But thanks be to God, who has awakened the mentality (fixed mentality) of some Ghanaians including you Kobby, the result is the hashtag #FixTheCountry which is growing into a strong movement.

Kobby, it takes a fixed mentality to realize the need to do things differently if a different result is to be expected. It is my expectation that more well-meaning Ghanaians would join the call with a fixed mindset to ensure the needed changes that are needed to fix the country are achieved. It is in this regard as a person with a fixed or renewed mindset that I write to you again Kobby.

As a way of flashback (Reflections on Ghana’s future – Sam Jonah writes – Starr Fm), let’s look at some of the important highlights from the thoughts of Sir Jonah which both the greens and the blues aided by their outlets in the media failed (are failing) to make the fulcrum of their discussions;

  1. The more you age, the more responsible you are expected to be to society “When you have reached my age and you have serious concerns about the future of the next generation, it will be irresponsible not to speak up.”
  2. Ghana avoids the sad reality of under development by comparing herself to its juniors
  3. The situation at hand with Ghana warrants URGENCY and DETERMINATION
  4. We must not keep quiet about the problems we face
  5. Ghana’s debt situation is alarming as our borrowings are mostly for consumption and servicing existing debts
  6. Ratio of debt servicing capacity to debt stock Vs. debt to GDP ratio, which is a better measure of sustainability
  7. The future of the four main pillars of Ghana’s economy are endangered; gold, oil, foreign remittances, and our beloved Tetteh Quarshie.
  8. Investors’ seek enabling environment to put their money, Ghana lags behind in economic competitiveness which needs fixing; there is a lot of work to do
  9. Governance (political) is one of the key consideration for investment
  10. THE NATURE OF OUR DEMOCRATIC SET-UP IS OUR UNDOING; weakened checks and balances mathematically expressed as Executive Arm (Monstrous) > Legislative Arm (Rubber Stamp) + Judiciary Arm (Perceived Corrupt and Ineffective)
  11. The ineffectiveness of the judiciary is legendary, even Sir Jonah experienced it.
  12. Corruption is pervasive in all aspects of governance system, you may cross-check from A. S. K. Bagbin and the land commission.
  13. No serious commitment to fight corruption over the years, past scandals, a testament.
  14. Our approach to religion has worsened and is worsening the problems of Ghana
  15. Hypocrisy of society; people criticize based on who is in power and who is not, media houses are political units
  16. Politicians are willing to kill for power, the silence is deafening
  17. Indiscipline everywhere, the roads have become a death trap
  18. Ghana’s democracy is meaningless; the CONSTITUTION MUST CHANGE
  19. Need to re-evaluate the STRUCTURE OF OUR ECONOMY
  20. The economy of Ghana is predominantly foreign owned
  21. We can empower our own people without creating seasonal local entrepreneurs through political patronage or “create, loot and share” schemes disguised as investments. 
  22. A more aggressive approach towards industrialization needed as we import almost everything
  23. Need to overhaul our educational system
  • Kobby, you don’t need to be an Adam Smith from Walewale or Bolgatanga to know that these problems have significantly contributed to the high rate of unemployment and underemployment situation in our country Ghana. The standard of living of majority of our countrymen can best be described poor, it is a security threat. You may want to check the statistics on Ghana’s participation in the American Visa Lottery over recent years, it is frightening Kobby.

Proposed Changes

The root cause of the problem having been identified to be mainly due to the unbalanced nature of the governance system legitimized by the supreme law of the country, I deem it fit that we (the reformists) start highlighting the specific areas in the constitution that need such changes.

Kobby, it is critical that the needed reforms are influenced by the desired outcome approach, blind copy and paste must be avoided.

At least we have the opportunity to be copied by others if we make something meaningful out of this call for reforms.

Kobby, some of my proposals may sound outrageous but I believe an open-minded approach would do Ghana good. Here we go;

  1. Members of the legislature must NOT be members of the executive arm; No ministerial appointment for MPs.
  2. Speaker of parliament must be elected amongst the elected parliamentarians
  3. Each constituency must be represented by two people, a male and a female (gender balance), thus 2 MPs per constituency.
  4. Introduce a national development plan which becomes the fulcrum of any government’s development agenda; deviation from this blueprint has impeachment consequences
  5. Introduce a second legislative chamber made up of technocrats; shall be responsible for the development and maintenance of the National Development Plan, set relevant benchmarks, avenue for all and sundry to present proposals on national issues including constitutional reforms, education, economic, ICT, Agriculture, Health, Sports, etc.
  6. The second chamber shall appoint and hold accountable sensitive public designations such as, electoral commissioner, all other commissioners, controller and accountant general, auditor general, CEOs of public sector organizations amongst others. The appointment of IGP and the military Service commanders are discussions worth having.
  7. The second chamber shall also develop budgetary allocation formula to ensure equitable allocation of resources to all units of government machinery and promote proper systems of checks and balances.
  8. The following group of technocrats are worthy of consideration for membership for the second chamber (maximum 50 members); economists, speaker of parliament, chief justice, a representative of the executive, institute of chartered accountants, planners, engineers, ICT, Ghana Health Service, Strategists, Ghana Education Service, Tertiary Education, Christian Council, Muslim council, National House of Chiefs, Queen mothers, Youth Council, safety and environment, Ghana employers, labor unions, journalists, sports, child rights, civil society, others. The number must be even to promote consensus building.
  9. Representatives (members of the second chamber) shall lead the development and maintenance of strategy framework in area of specialty. Each member shall be elected by the body it represents. The leader of the second chamber of parliament shall be elected by the members for a specified period, and shall assume the position of the presidency of the land in the absence of the president, and the vice president.
  10. The chief justice shall be elected by a body set up by the judiciary. This body shall also set-up its own internal procedures for the promotion and demotion of judges including the nominations to appeals court and supreme court.
  11. Cap the number of supreme court judges (vacancy shall not exist for a specified period)
  12. A 6-year single presidential term; remember impeachment is highly possible with an empowered second chamber and judiciary, first chamber shall have minimal impact on impeachment due to political affiliations
  13. Direct non-partisan election of chief executives for various metropolitan, municipal, districts paid from their internally generated fund.
  14. Re-structure the assemblyman and unit committee concepts into an office of remuneration with a secretariat in each locality. It would present avenue to address citizens’ basic needs and concerns. This would bring governance to the doorsteps of citizens, broaden inclusiveness, attractiveness, and accountability.
  15. Political party funding and transparency requirements, annual returns etc.
  16. Review asset declaration requirements to ensure relevance
  17. Chief Justice must ensure special courts to expedite justice delivery system; e.g. labour courts, courts to deal with negligence of public officials and enforce performance, set and enforce standards especially on maximum time specific category of cases must take. Some judges appear very lazy.
  18. Abolish by-elections when a seat becomes vacant in parliament, the political representation that created the vacancy shall elect a replacement via its internal mechanism. In case of vacancy caused by an independent candidate, the party that garnered the second highest votes in the prior election shall fill the vacancy.
  19. Prison service shall be renamed to represent reformist organization and empowered into an economic viable entity to boost nation development and promote humane treatment of inmates.
  20. The well-being of vulnerable groups such as children, physical challenged, and mentally challenged must be addressed directly by the constitution by established bodies accountable to the second chamber of parliament.

Expected Reaction by Political Actors (The Watchmen And Beneficiaries of The Status Quo)

Kobby, the politicians and their sponsors would resist these reforms because of obvious reason and will do everything possible to frustrate and quench the flame. These efforts would be deemed politically motivated, and even branded as attempts to destabilize the country, here we go already; Be Vigilant, #FixTheCountry Conveners Have A Mindset of ‘Coup Plotters’ – Abronye DC Tells National Security | Politics | Peacefmonline.com

Advise to Reformists

To ensure these calls yield something fruitful, I suggest the following actions;

  1. All leaders of various groups calling for reforms must unite
  2. Define specific demands with timelines
  3. Harmonize communication, rules of conduct for members of the movement
  4. Determine modus operandi and various course of action
  5. Discuss financing and accountability
  6. Let’s not rest until sustainable gains are achieved

Kobby, I trust with God on our side, nothing shall stop this movement if there is unity of purpose, transparency and fearlessness. This a defining moment in the history of our country, and I trust that the peace of the Nation shall not be disturbed even as we seek liberation for our nation.

Arise Ghana Youth for your Country
The Nation demand your devotion
Let us all unite to uphold her
And make her great and strong
We are all, involved (3x)
In building Our motherland

Kobby, the sovereignty of Ghana resides in the people of Ghana in whose name and for whose welfare the powers of government are to be exercised in the manner and within the limits laid down in the constitution. It’s our constitutional right but more importantly, it’s our patriotic duty.

It’s me,

The writer, Kojo is a concerned Ghanaian youth.

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