Chiefs lobby Mahama for jobs for kinsmen

General News of Thursday, 10 January 2013

Source: The Finder

Mahama Inauguration

As steps to draw up the list of new government appointees move to final lane, lobbying for top and perceived lucrative positions has reached intense point as a number of groups and individuals, especially chiefs besiege the various strategic meeting centers, including the Castle, to make the case for their candidates.

Some of the lobbyists are said to be pushing for direct audience with the President, a task which is proving to be increasingly difficult in these last days.

The cost of travel and accommodation of the lobbyists are often borne by hopeful beneficiaries, one source told The Finder.

He said the number of lobbyists increased remarkably after the President’s inauguration, as some of those who came from across the country have decided to prolong their stay to pursue their goals before going back.

“A great number of the lobbying chiefs are from the Western, Central and Brong Ahafo regions,” the source said.

The chiefs claim that they were given promises of representations of their areas in government during the 2012 campaign period.

The pressure on the president has forced a number of his allies to go public about the activities of the lobbyists, warning them to give the president space while advising the president to be cautious with his appointments.

Apart from the chiefs and politicians, women groups have been very upfront about their demanded for positions for women, basing that demands on the under-representation of women in the corridors of power, the Constitution and the various international commitments made by the government.

The Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF), a women’s advocacy group, last month presented names of 65 women for the new Mahama government to consider asking the government to fulfill its 2012 manifesto pledge to give 40% of appointments to women.

The room for manoeuvre for President Mahama is, however, is limited by a number of factors, including the 1992 Constitution stipulation that most ministerial appointments should come from Parliament.

Beyond this, there is also the expectation of regional balance and an obvious need to keep the various factions in the party happy.

Tuesday’s appointment of a Chief of Staff and other key administrators to the presidency has reportedly thrown some lobbyists off-guard.