When the Kalyppo political stunt unleashed by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) against its rival New Patriotic Party (NPP) which hit the media space backfired and rather boosted the image of the latter as a consequence, we became apprehensive about the possible repercussions on the private sector player.
Our fear was hinged on the fact that being a ruthless player, the NDC as a party can do anything in response to a political threat, even if such actions are not consistent with political decency. Such actions can be direct or veiled, both geared towards collapsing the target company or private sector player whose destruction inures to the party’s electoral fortunes.
From Wenchi comes a report which if proven veracious, would justify our fears for the Kalyppo producers.
We have learnt about how the Chief of Staff advised Ghanaians against the patronage of the Kalyppo fruit drink because as he put it, the consumption of the product is unwholesome. This fits into the veiled attack order: the product has assumed a political life, something not of the making of the producers but the product of a turf war between the main political parties. Since the opposition NPP is benefitting from the turf war, the NDC can only destroy the product through veiled attack with a call for adults to avoid the drink as according to him, it does not inure to their good health. Since when has a politician of that stature in that party taken such an interest in the health of Ghanaians to the point of counseling them against sugar intake? Such interest in their wellbeing should have been channeled towards resuscitating the moribund national health insurance programme.
We are still wondering whether a government appointee of his caliber would want to put out such ‘counsel,’ knowing full well its negative implications on the private sector, especially close to elections. Considering the magnitude of the fallouts from the unsavoury counsel, we would not be surprised if he dissociates himself from the report perhaps, describing it as not representing exactly what he said.
But for Ghanaians with a sense of history and with retentive memories, they can easily recall how the NDC founder campaigned against the patronage of Ghanaian products, picking especially on the Apino Soap for destruction. The infamous campaign against the patronage of the local fruit drink is in tune with the spirit of the NDC of running down local business initiatives – our past history laden with ample evidence.
If we are unable to vouch for the authenticity of the report, we can safely state that given the silence so far since it made it to the pages of newspapers and the airwaves, there is an iota of truth in it since after all, silence means consent.
The Mahama-led government has time without number as have others before it, identified the private sector as a critical catalyst in the growth of the economy. Indeed, it is a truism which Ghanaians do not need further lectures on, especially from politicians.
Being a statement associated with all governments therefore, the only difference separating the sources of these remarks is the sincerity they exhibit.
When a senior appointee of an incumbent government is associated with a campaign to annihilate a business which uses especially locally sourced raw materials, the campaign promise of the party’s love for the private sector is nothing but a sham.
We wish the Chief of Staff had not issued that diktat as it were, even if he hid behind the genuine consumption of sugar. We bet the idea behind the unwarranted advice is sinister.
Do they, the NDC, still recognize the role of the private sector as an engine of growth of the economy? Let them spare the Kalyppo producers their imminent fury.