Feature: On The Three “Ds”: Demolitions, Depreciation and the Dapaah Affair

The Demolition: What is it that is going on in Ghana, where people in the corridors of power or closely connected to it, are demolishing people’s buildings in attempts to acquire the properties? This is against the spirit of the UP Tradition and the government and all NPP gurus must bow their heads down in shame. They owe the nation a lot of apologies.

In 1999, Rawlings erratically, without any iota of discipline, sound reason and common sense, demolished a beautiful 4-Star hotel in the Kotoka International Area, worth $5 million, belonging to businessman Alhaji Yusif Ibrahim. This happened in a constitutional era when rule of law was to have operated, because Rawlings thought the hotel was part-owned by Sam Jonah, who had fallen out with him, so he wanted to show Sam, where power lies. Nonsense!

Rawlings earlier in 1979, broke down the residential building of one Buckman near the Nungua Divisional Police station at the Third Junction of Teshie-Nungua Area. His reason was that Buckman was a friend to the members of the ruling military junta he overthrew. Buckman had worked hard all his life to genuinely build that mansion.

Then he went on to demolish the Makola market, because to him that commercial center was the breeding grounds for the corruption called kalabule.

It was said that several buildings and properties were demolished by Rawlings, just to show how powerful he was. This included the number of houses demolished in Labone, claiming they were constructed on link roads. To this day, no road has been constructed there. It was alleged that someone turned down Rawlings’ offer to join the PNDC and he went mad.

Then Rawlings added to his list of demolished properties, a sacred place of worship, the Islamic Mosquein Central Accra. He was going to construct a parking lot in his name and boom, Rawlings Park was born.

Such irresponsible behaviours should not have come up during era, especially under an NPP government, but it did.

Last month, news broke that Abu Ramadan, a government appointee and brother to Second Lady, Samira Bawumia, without any court order, allegedly broke down ten buildings, at Agyirigano, Accra, which belonged to Winchester Empire Company owned by an NPP guru, Mr. Oti Bonsu. To date Abu and his sister, the Second Lady, have not responded to this allegation.

Then again, last two weeks brought with it a story of another demolishing without court order, this time in Dzowulu, Accra, of a residential building belonging to the late African rock star, Mac Tontoh of Osibisa fame. One, Mr. Patrick Ndego of the Office of the President, is alleged to be behind the demolishing. What is happening in this NPP era?

The Depreciation of the Cedi: I am not in support of our currency going down, because it makes cost of goods and services very expensive. But Ghana has trekked this depreciation road many times before and things were even worse.

There were those days that a cost of item may go for ¢500.00 in the morning and by noon time it goes up to ¢600.00 and by evening the price tag is ¢650.00.

And gone were those days when the dollar goes up two to three times a day. That was in the era of the PNDC and NDC, led by Rawlings.

The history of the depreciation of our cedi, clearly demonstrates that the NDC should just shut up. Rawlings came in 1981, to meet the cedi at ¢2.75 to the dollar. In 1993, when he metamorphosised from a military to a civilian ruler, his eleven years as head of state, saw the cedi going to ¢520.00 to the dollar, depreciating 18,809.09%.

As president, Rawlings in his first term, supervised the depreciation of the cedi by 228.85% from ¢520.00 to ¢1,710.00 to the dollar by the beginning of 1997. After his second term in office, the cedi performed worse, from ¢1,710.00 to ¢7,163.00 to a dollar, depreciating 318.90% as at the beginning of 2001.

During Rawlings’ two terms of constitutional rule, the cedi depreciated 1,277.50% from ¢520.00 to ¢7,163.00 to the dollar. For his nineteen years as leader of this country, Rawlings supervised the falling of the cedi from ¢2.75 to ¢7,163.00 to the dollar, a depreciation of 260,372.73%.

NPP came in 2001, when the cedi was ¢7,163.00 to a dollar and under Kufuor’s first term the cedi went up to ¢9,062.00 to the dollar, depreciating, 26.51%. After the redenomination of the cedi, Kufuor ended his term of office at the beginning of 2009, with the cedi going up to GH¢1.41 (¢14,100.00) to the dollar, depreciating, 55.59%, mainly due to the world economic meltdown of 2007 to 2008. During his two terms in office, the cedi depreciated 95.83%.

The NDC took over in 2009 and with Mills at the helm of affairs, saw the cedi depreciating, 39.72% from GH¢1.41 to GH¢1.92 to the dollar, even after setting off on a sound economic platform, left by Kufuor. When Mahama took over after the demise of Mills, he ended his term of office with the cedi dropping from GH¢1.92 to GH¢4.36 to a dollar, a depreciation of 121.32%. For the Mills/Mahama two terms from 2009 to 2016, the cedi dropped from GH¢1.41 to GH¢4.36 to the dollar, depreciating 228.37%.

NPP and Nana Akufo took over the affairs of this nation in 2017 and during his first term, the cedi depreciated by 26.78%, from GH¢4.36 down to GH¢5.87 to the dollar. Then the world crisis set in, first with Covid-19 and then with the Russia-Ukraine war which destabilized many countries including the powerful and well-developed Western ones. As at May 2024, the cedi depreciated, 152.13% from GH¢5.87 in 2020 to GH¢14.80. Very scary in times like this. So, under Akufo-Addo, the cedi depreciated 219.65% from GH¢4.36 to GH¢14.80, as at May, 2024.

All things being equal, if things remain as it is, then Nana Akufo-Addo’s administration will be the second best in this cedi-dollar relationship, in this fourth republic. The evidence is as follows, from top to bottom. Kufuor (8 years) 95.83%; Nana Addo (8 years) 219.65%; Mills/Mahama (8 years) 228.37% and Rawlings, the blackhole performer, (8 years) 1,277.50%, and in his total of nineteen years rule, the cedi to drop 260,372.73%.

To simplify all this, let us use the basic mathematical principle of explaning events. During President Kufuor’s two-terms, the cedi went down by 1.97 times; by the end of Nana Addo’s two-terms, the cedi is going down, 3.2 times; Mills/Mahama’s two terms saw the cedi go down 3.3 times; Rawlings’s two terms as constitutional ruler, the cedi went down 13.77 times, as a military leader, he dragged the cedi down, 189.09 times and for all he could show as someone who had the poor and downtrodden at heart, for his nineteen years rule, the cedi went down 2,605 times. With this the NDC should just keep shut up when it comes to depreciation of the cedi.

Dapaah Affair: Hon Cecilia Dapaah is being grilled for keeping a huge amount of money in her house. To me this does not make sense, unless people are looking at the effect this will have on our monetary policy if people begin keeping money at home instead of the banks.

When there is more money in circulation than in the banks, BoG will come out with attractive rates to entice people to deposit their monies in the bank, especially by buying treasury bills. But mind you, when such rates go up, lending rates will go higher. On the other hand, with more money stuck in the bank, there could be stability, against more money outside which could lead to inflation.

With this, I would have suggested that people like Cecilia Dapaah and her husband should lodge their monies in the bank to help bring inflation down.

Ghanaians are not looking at this but rather took the decision to swim in the mud of sensationalism, and hang Cecilia, calling her corrupt. What about her domestic staff who stole her money. It is been proven that bulk of the money belongs to her husband, who has evidence to show that he could make that money and more.

Not attacking the petty thieves, people have turned their unjustifiable anger on Cecilia and are rather treating the thieves as heroes.

First question here. Is there any law in our statutes that gives a mandatory limit on an amount of money that anyone can keep in their homes, offices, and anything above that must be lodged in the bank? If the answer is no, then what is the problem here?

Second question. Is there any law forbidding a public officer from keeping huge sums of money at home? If there is, then the first person to be dragged to court is Hon. Obed Asamoah. He kept huge sums of money in his house and his two security details stole enough to make one of them build a mansion in his village and buy two brand new cars and operate them as taxis. If his security details could go in his room to steal, then what about members of his domestic staff?

When Ghanaians just asked why was it so, Rawlings looked us, in our faces and called us “dzimakpla, a word which is better left untranslated. Obed later boldly defended himself by saying as a politician, one needs to keep huge sums of money in the house, so that when there is the need for an operation, one does not have to need the services of the bank, especially when they are closed.

And Ghanaians, forgave him and forgot about this matter. But, not Cecilia Dapaah, and this is what beats my mind.

Hon. Cecilia Dapaah, honourably resigned from her position as minister, Obed on the other hand never resigned. Oh, less I forget, Obed withdrew the case from court, when probably the truth about how he made that money was coming out. And Ghanaians, forgave him, but not innocent Cecilia Dapaah.

Hon. Daniel Dugan


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