EDITOR?S NOTE: Nobody would call Ghana?s MP Alan Bagbin to teach others ethics. However, one wonders who Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu or any of his colleagues given the title they enjoy ?Honorable?, in Ghana, thinks he is trying to convince that MPs are not corrupt. ?An Akan proverb says nobody teaches a child about God. A fish rots from the head and Ghana is an example of their leadership if they want to compare to nations like Singapore who emerged from British Colonial rule after Ghana did. It is common knowledge that Ghana?s MPs are corrupt, as also the police services and most government employees down to the bottom. To try and compare Ghanaian bribery to American lobbying is a low blow to himself and his colleagues. ?We do not think he will succeed in convincing Grade 6 students that the Ghanaian MP, or for that matter any elected politician today represents anybody but themselves for their greedy and selfish ends and neglect of the basic needs of the nation and people such as Water, electricity, health care and environmental sanitation and roads. These MPs should simply keep burying their heads in the sand till the day of reckoning.
The Christian Bible describes a day when there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. After years of real genuine lobbying, America and Western nations are beginning to expose third world corruption and massive looting of their nation?s assets into Western Banks. Neither America nor any other nation is perfect; however, please don?t try to redefine ethics for anybody and compare your dealings to the kind of legalized greed and bribery that goes on in America. Ghana?s constitution gives the President Powers to appoint over 4,000 cities, town, district and regional and all agency head. The people themselves have no power except election time to elect a President, who becomes King and monarch. Is that what Mr. Mensah-Bonsu wants to compare himself to citing America? ?Please think again. At least in America there are ethics, rules and laws, and Congressmen and Senators and even the President cannot escape the law and often may be caught. Ghana has lost over $2 Billion in the last few years due to governmental neglect, poor oversight and what appears like actual connivance by officials for phony judgment debts against the State for their colleagues and party financiers. One must add the secretive agreements with China and others that allow large purchase of lands, surface mining, and major damage to the rivers and lands without anybody in Parliament raising a finger! In the mean time MPs are receiving estimated $100,000 to $400,000 cash payments as sitting and travel and petrol allowances. How do you expect long term peace and security in such a nation where a few get political power and use it to gain economic power, what Harvard Prof. Acemoglu and MIT Prof. Robinson have described as ?extractive? Sure, there is greed in America but their leadership work constantly to bring some economic parity, creating jobs and trying to bring equity and control greed. Is Ghana?s Parliament working on anything we should know about? ?How dare you compare yourselves to America, reaping where you have not sowed, neglecting even water and electricity for your people, and letting such horrors as the open sewage and human degradation as found at Agbogbloshie in the 21st century! Shame is the better word to use! Shame! And perhaps the now popular word, Tweaaaa!!
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Source: Daily Guide /Graphic.com ?Monday March 10, 2014
Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu,MP
The Minority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, has rejected claims by Mr Alban Bagbin, a former Majority Leader, that members of Parliament take bribes to articulate the views of some organisations and individuals in Parliament.
Mr Mensah-Bonsu said he was unaware of any instance in which an MP had taken a bribe.
He told Accra-based Joy FM that Mr Bagbin might be referring to the activities of lobbyists, who approach MPs to discuss some bills or policies with them.
The lobbyists, he said, often host MPs outside Accra to have some engagements with them.
According to him, after the engagement, MPs are sometimes given some amount of money, usually in the range of GHc200, for transportation or fuel.
Stressing that the money could not be deemed a bribe, the Minority Leader said if an organisation invites MPs for working lunch, shares ideas with them and offers them ?something? for fuel afterwards, it will be appreciable.
Mr Mensah-Bonsu said lobbying does not equal bribery, because even in the US, there are professional lobbyists.
He cited the Government of Ghana as one of the major lobbyists in the country.
?As far as I?m concerned, the issues that he [Alban Bagbin) has related to? to the best of my knowledge are untrue,? he said.
Mr Mensah-Bonsu however acknowledged that having been Majority Leader for about eight years, some bribery issues might have been brought to Mr Bagbin?s attention.
The MP for Suame said if that was the case, Mr Bagbin should bring forward ?better and further particulars? about the allegations to enable the Parliamentary leadership address them.
Mr Mensah-Bonsu said as an institution that frowns on corruption, Parliament will not spare any effort to deal with MPs who are proven to have taken bribes.
Mr Bagbin?accused MPs of collecting bribes?at a two-day seminar in Koforidua organised by?the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund.
Mr Bagbin said: ?The reality is that MPs are Ghanaians and there is evidence that some MPs take bribes and come to the floor and try to articulate the views of their sponsors.
?This is because in Ghana ?we have not developed what we call lobbying. There are rules; there are ethics regarding lobbying and we in Ghana think that lobbying is taking money, giving it to MPs and writing pieces for them to go articulate on the floor. That is bribery,? he said. (Click to Listen to Bagbin Speak)
Speaking on the development, the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), an anti-corruption watch-dog, urged Parliament to investigate the bribery claims.
According to GII, the local chapter for Transparency International, such allegations are not good for the image of the legislative body.
Source: Daily Graphic.com.gh