Feature Article of Tuesday, 9 April 2013
Columnist: Sarpong, Justice
The Office of the President on Monday April 08, 2013 issued a statement denying that President Mahama has any shares in RIg. The name of this company even sounds suspicious and why is the President being alleged to have anything to do with such company? Do we know the meaning of Rig? I will let readers find out for themselves.
The Presidents could have forestall all the rumours and innuendos about his reputation of being corrupt if he has done what the constitution stipulates he should have done. The President swore on the Bible that, he will uphold all the constitutional obligations that his Office obliges him to do so why has he not declared his assets? The declaration of assets by some categories of public officials is a constitutional duty these officials are supposed to do as stipulated by Article 286 of the 1992 Constitution. As usual with President Mahama, he is banking on Ghanaians mentality that seems to get on an issue with fire and brimstones and cool off within a matter of days to weather this storm too as he did about the allegation that, President Mills set up a committee to investigate his elleged scheming on contracts he signed on behalf of Ghana. He has never addressed that issue because the three committeee members including one Mr Aboah are still alive to give evidence if he give false testimonials. Maybe President Mahama has forgotten what he told Ghanaians when he was trying to be President on the declaration of the assets issue and this is what he said in October 2012;
“Prez Mahama: I’m Ready To Declare And Publish My Assets If…
President John Dramani Mahama says he is ready to declare and publish his assets if the Constitution requires him to do so.
Answering questions at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) evening encounter last Thursday, President Mahama said if the ongoing revision of the asset declaration regime was concluded and it required a President to declare and publish his assets, he would comply.”
We are four months into his administration and despite constant reminder from many quarters for him to declare his assets, he has refused to address that issue. Why is President Mahama trying to dodge this law in the constitution. Does he has something to hide? Even the The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII)in February called on President Mahama to declare his assets and it is almost two months since that time and this man has refused to do what the constitution obliges him to do.
“GII Calls For The declaration Of Assets
The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has called on some key public officials to declare their assets and liabilities as stipulated in the 1992 Constitution to help fight against corruption.This was contained in a press statement signed by Mr Vitus A, Azeem, Executive Director of GII and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Tuesday.” The President as a matter of urgency should declare his assets and also make sure all his appointees who are obligated by the constitution to do so declare their assets immediately or articles of impeachment should be drafted by Parliament and impeachment proceedings instituted against him. When it benefits these Politicians, they hide behind the constitution by quoting the constitution to back their corruption but then they will refuse to uphold the constitution when it is not in their favor. It is time Ghanaians wake up from their deep slumber and hold these Politicians feet to the fire.
President Mahama should be in the showbiz business instead of masquerading as a President and pulling out stunts. What is this prevarication about him paying taxes? Let President Mahama tell us how much he earned apart from his salary as a President and disclose to Ghanaians how much he paid in taxes. Standing infront of a window chatting with a woman in a PR stunt will not help anybody. Let Mahama tell his Party with majority in Parliament to change that constitution article that prevents the President from paying taxes on his salary. How can a messenger earning less than a quarter the whole year than what Mahama earns a month pay taxes on his meagre income but the President with other benefits not available to a Teacher who earns about half the whole year what Mahama earns in a month pay taxes but the President doesn’t? Let me divert here for a moment.
The 1992 Constitution drawn by Rawlings appointed praise singers seems to have been promulgated to protect Rawlings. Every article in the 1992 constitution seems to be a fraud just to protect Rawlings. Where in this world is the President who earns more money than any government worker, living in free housing, free cars, everything is free and still not pay taxes on his income? Such a stupidity in the constitution should be exorcised immediately. That is really disgraceful for a President of a country not to pay taxes on his salary as a President.
It’s sad even educated people like this Ace Ankomah has fallen for this PR stunt by MAHAMA. First and foremost the Ghana constitution mandates the President should not pay taxes on his salary as President, that is, he lives free on his GHc144,000. He only pays taxes on incomes earned from other sources and in Mahama’s case, what source could it be? The most important question relevant here is this; does the President has to work on a second job? I am not saying the President has no right to earn income apart from his salary. He might have been a farmer, Doctor or Lawyer in partnership entity or was a businessman like Aliue Mohammed the former Vice President who has a large business interest but should the President be involved in running the side business at the same time he is President? Shouldn’t he put his other business in a blind trust to avoid conflict of interest? Was MAHAMA as Vice President and President giving advantage to his side business by indirectly awarding those businesses government contracts? Who are MAHAMA business partners and what other side business is he doing as President. MAHAMA filing his taxes is not a big deal but he should tell Ghanaians what other businesses he is involved in and who are his business partners to show that he is being transparent. How much did he earn in 2012 and how much taxes he paid. Let President MAHAMA make his tax papers public.
This prolepsis on the part of Mahama could be deduced from his recent advocation for the passing of the information bill. Mahama will get more kudos from me and a lot of Ghanaians if he will make information on his tax forms available to the public. A lot of Ghanaians will like to know the other business interests of President Mahama and who are his busness partners, how much he earns outside his salary as the President.
In USA, the President and his appointees are mandated by the constitution to put their other business interests into a blind Trust not knowing who their businesses are involved with so that there will be no conflict of interest.
In Mahama’s case, he is involved with some dubious figures who are living large on government contracts they they don’t even do after getting paid for them. How can Mahama give $8 million for guinea fowl project to his friend Agambire of rLG communication and all we got is 600 guinea fowls and 20 eggs? He also gave the same friend $17.5 million for planting of 5 million trees in the three Northern Regions only to plant 300,000 trees. Agambire is supposed to be a majority holder in the guinea fowl project with 60% interest with a contribution of 13 million dollars. The fact is that, Agambire has not contributed a dime in the guinea fowl or the tree planting projects which the government has sunk close to 26 million dollars in with Mahama’s friend Agambire without doing anything earning 16 million dollars of taxpayers money. If these projects are abandoned today, Agambire and his rLG and Asongbata NGO(which means you wash my back and I wash yours) will take 60% of all assets in this corrupt partnership. Is it not worth knowing if President Mahama has any business partnership with Agambire vast business empire and why government contracts are being given to him that benefits President Mahama indirectly?
I know the Mahama pompom waving sycophants are going to come after me for asking these pertinent questions but in order to deepen our democracy, it is the only way our nascent democracy can be nursed from its infancy to maturity that all Ghanaians will be proud of.
(CARDINAL of TRUTH)