Former Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, has cautioned the Nana Akufo-Addo-led administration to sit up to save the country from “disarray”.
In a short but loaded tweet, the respected businessman and presidential hopeful said the chaos the country found itself in cuts across both the economic and political spheres of the country.
“Our country is in a state of disarray. From inflation to strike actions and media censorship, we continue to experience dreadful challenges while the gov't is focused on milking more taxes from a desperate people. The gov't must sit up,” the ranking member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) tweeted on Tuesday, February 15, 2022.
Our country is in a state of disarray. From inflation to strike actions and media censorship, we continue to experience dreadful challenges while the gov't is focused on milking more taxes from a desperate people. The gov't must sit up. pic.twitter.com/RIpyGkE7mv— Dr. Kwabena Duffuor (@DrDuffuor) February 15, 2022
The former Finance Minister’s tweet echoes similar sentiments by interest groups and the Civil Society in Ghana.
Three top civil society organisations in Ghana have condemned what they believe is a creeping re-introduction of the abolished criminal libel regime under the current administration.
The Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), IMANI Africa and the Africa Center for International Law & Accountability (ACILA) say they are deeply concerned about “the apparent resurrection” of the criminal libel regime through a series of recent arrests.
“In the latest of such episodes, the Executive Director of the Alliance For Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), Mr. Mensah Thompson, is being prosecuted on a charge of the publication of false news for making a post on his Facebook page on or about January 8, 2022, alleging that certain relatives of the President travelled to the United Kingdom (U.K.) on the official presidential jet for pleasure and shopping during the Christmas season.
“It is noteworthy that, following discussions with the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and in apparent anticipation of an official refutation of the allegation, Mr. Thompson publicly retracted the allegation and apologized to the GAF on or about January 9, 2022,” the CSOs said in a joint statement.
“Our legal system provides noncriminal or civil avenues for dealing with uses of free speech that injure or infringe on the rights of others. The abolition of criminal libel in the aftermath of the Rawlings regime in 2001, a move popularly championed by President Nana Akufo-Addo during his tenure as a private lawyer and, later, Attorney-General, left injured parties free to resort to civil remedies to deal with false and libellous publications. Moreover, our legal system provides offending parties with the prospect of avoiding even civil liability by retracting the offending publication and rendering an appropriate apology to the injured or offended party,” the statement continued.
Also, recent data of the price of a fixed basket of goods and services on Ghana's markets show a significant increase, as January Consumer Price Index (CPI) hit 13.9%.
The Ghana Statistical Service said the 13.9% CPI for January 2022 represents a 1.3% increase the price of goods and services since December 2021.
In December last year (a month prior to the January 2022 CPI), the general prices of goods and services was 12.6% higher than the base year, 2018.
Furthermore, the government’s proposed 1.5% -- initially 1.75% -- to be charged on some mobile money and electronic bank transactions remains highly unpopular, dividing opinions in Parliament.
Even within the President’s own governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), some legislators have spoken out against the proposed tax.