I am very sorry that former Presidential Chief of Staff Kwadwo Mpiani is on trial in Ghana.
It is undeniably true that corruption spiralled in the last couple of years of President Kuffour’s second term, and particularly after the untimely death of Finance Minister Baah-Wiredu. I have a hypothesis, based on wide international experience, that it is a worldwide phenomenon that corruption increases exponentially from around the seventh year in power. In Ghana, it happened to the Rawlings governments too.
I have written in detail about this, and I have argued that it is essential that corruption in Ghana is punished, so that it is not thought that senior politicians have immunity. Ghana must not develop Nigeria’s culture of corruption.
But it seems a great pity that Kwadwo Mpiani has been singled out for the first high profile tria since the NDC came to power. Kwadwo is a hate figure for the then opposition and now governing NDC; I know from many conversations with senior NDC figures that they regarded him as the hub of corrupt dealings.
But in fact, this is the opposite of the truth. Kwadwo was deliberately excluded from the worst examples of corrupt dealings – he was kept out of Sahara, Balkan and Zakhem. This is precisely because Mpiani was not part of the corrupt clique who kidnapped the financial control of the closing stages of the NPP government.
I say this in his defence, despite the fact that Kwadwo and hs brother Sarpong in recent months launched a number of really nasty personal attacks on me and my family in the Ghanaian media. I say it simply because it is true.
It is also interesting that the only high profile corruption trial so far is brought over the Ghana @ 50 celebrations. They were indeed far too extravagant for a developing country like Ghana, but there is one other interesting feature. They are closed, finished, over and done with. There is no continuing revenue stream.
That is in contrast to the much bigger contracts suspected of corruption, like Balkan, Vodafone, GIA, and Zakhem. These are continuing projects with big money still flying around. Is it wrong to conjecture that projects with continuing revenue flows are less likely to be prosecuted, because money is still available to buy off officials and politicians?