This being said, I find it quite disturbing that the international media has not bothered to poke it’s nose back into the Ghana ‘scene’ to document the current uproar over what has been called ‘an outrage’ locally – I’m referring to the exit package of ex-President Kufuor.
Just as the dust settled after the run off elections here in early January, a package for Mr. Kufuor was pushed through hastily by parliament and without any regard for the frivolity and absurdity of it all.
I found a very interesting article written locally, comparing the retirement packages of the American president and our very own Kufuor. I just had to borrow the details here:
United States (Per Capita Income: $46,000): President Bush
* US$191,000 for his pension;
* Life time secret service protection for president & spouse
* Official travel expenses with 2 members of staff
* 0 cars
* 0 houses
* No end-of-service gratuity
* Private funds for presidential library (tax exempt)
* Presidential widows receive a lifetime pension of $20,000 per year.
Ghana(Per Capita Income: $1,400): President Kufuor
* Lump-sum (thought to be worth $400,000)
* SIX fully maintained comprehensively insured, fuelled and chauffeured-driven cars to be replaced every four years. The fleet comprise of three salon cars, two cross country cars and one all-purpose vehicle.
* TWO Fully furnished residences that befit a former president at place of his choice
* 60 day overseas travel with 3 staff members each year
* 18 months consolidated salary
* Million-dollar seed money for the setting up a foundation,
* Security - 24 hours security services
* Budget for entertaining each year
It is too typical to be an outrage. Too much of this gluttony of the powerful in Africa is the status quo. Where will it stop? When will it end? Who cares enough to make the changes Africa needs?
I have noticed a plethora of new missionaries and their blogs in Ghana lately. This means there are more and more people focused on the country.
Christianity is fully entrenched here. Surely there are barely any more 'souls to win over', so what is the interest in Ghana? The truth is that it is believed to be a safe place for foreigners, yet a place you can still ‘make a difference’. A country where aid is still poured in for project after project.
Yet at the top sit the people like Kufuor, who flew around the world in his private jet to find donations, and who now at the end of his tenure, leaves with a whopping package that is tantamount to outright theft from the people of Ghana.
I have read that a leader is the reflection of his people – especially in democratic societies. Where then does that leave Ghana in this new democratic era? A shining example for Africa or a new twist on corruption, where the rich get richer and the poor simply stand by...