How Short-Sighted Is Emile Short?

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A few days ago, former Commissioner of the Human Right and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mr Emile Short, made it known that corruption in Ghana assumed what he described as ““frightening proportions as a result of the inappropriate but legal behavior of his successor, Madam Lauretta Lamptey, as well as the exposure of the rot that had eaten the little that have at the National Service Secretariat (NSS).

In as much as it is difficult for one to look the father in the eye and tell him he is a liar, so is it difficult for me to look Emile Short in the eye and say, Sir you are a liar.

As ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor, put it sometime ago that corruption is as old as Adam, so has corruption in this country reached it frightening proportion long before President John Dramani Mahama, took the oath of office.

We use to joke among friends that you are not a thief, until you are caught. The corruption or i the naked thievery of State money at the NSS, did not start this year, this is a practice that has been going on long ago, it only became a matter of public scrutiny and investigation, because somebody decided to blow the lid on it.

As a former Commissioner of CHRAJ, it is expected of Mr. Short to know this and not fall for the petty politics that is our heritage left by politicians.

In as much as I want to commend the President, John Dramani Mahama, for not shielding anybody, who is found culpable and has tried to make public a lot of the things that had been hidden over the years, he should not lose sight of the vultures hovering around and looking for anything to hang on him. If we are a serious people, instead of making blanket statement such as the one attributed to Emile Short, we should be commending the President for the level of transparency he has displayed since January 2013.

I do not think the magnitude of corruption that had engulfed the NSS, did not pass through the Flagstaff House, before investigation by the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) commenced. The Presidency could have buried the evidence and thwarted the effort of the security agency from going ahead to investigate, but no, the President did not do what his predecessor did, he allowed for investigation to be carried out and that is why we are where we are today.

Former President John Kufuor, made State Institutions redundant, he set up the office of accountability at the Seat of Government, The Osu Castle, President Mahama could have chosen to do same, but he swore among other things on January 7, 2013, to protect the public purse.

Some people considered as Statesmen, will do themselves a lot of good, when they stay away from publicly engaging in commentaries left for party foot soldiers.

Emile Short, has earned the admiration of many people for his gentle nature and matured way of handling issues, but unfortunately his recent comments is betraying how he is known in the eyes of Ghanaians.

One of the many things one learns as a management student is that you do not speak ill of your former employer. Emile Short broke that rule when he decided to wade into the CHRAJ controversy. Emile Short was succeeded by Madam Anna Bossman, who acted until she got fed up and had to leave to take up another role elsewhere.

I was shocked to hear Emile Short try desperately to discredit his successor regarding the state in which he left his bungalow. After occupying the property for more than ten years, it is only reasonable that the house be renovated.

Emile Short is also aware that as a Public Servant, who has to be accommodated by the State, if the State is not able to accommodate that person, he or she is entitled to the Cedi equivalent of 300 dollars per night.

I would have preferred Madam Anna Bossman speaking to the issue rather than Emile Short, unless of course he overstayed his duration even after he left office. It is so sad that even at the time news broke of Lauretta Lamptey’s alleged impropriety, there were workers at the residence working to make the place habitable.

I am not for a moment defending Lauretta Lamptey, but I do not think Emile Short had the moral and ethical right to criticize her and go to the extent of saying, he has been receiving reports of the way Madam Lauretta Lamptey is managing CHRAJ.

He should know how the Public Service works, having dealt with them for years, when he was the Commissioner of CHRAJ, a simple signature authorizing the execution of something takes weeks, if not months.

She may not have gone on the spending spree deliberately, except to say that she was not a career Public servant, she should have learnt and understood how our Public Service works.

An unfortunate situation of bad judgement is what had gotten her in trouble and those whose responsibility it was to ensure that she was housed or that the renovation works was completed on schedule, are let off the hook.

She is a victim of bad Public Servants today; tomorrow it could be somebody else. All those responsible citizens, who have written a petition to the President, should do well to include the need to find who caused it. There are no effect, without a cause. Hanging the woman alone to dry will not solve the problem, after all the monies paid to the owners of African Union (AU) Village, did not come from her account. Who authorized those payments and who did the payments, should have been the nagging questions that should have agitated the mind of Emile Short?

I was expecting him to come to the defense of her successor, but for whatever reasons best known to him, he also joined the bandwagon of people who do not understand how Governance work, but are the very people who rather engage in the habit of criticizing.

I did criticize the woman myself, but I can be pardon, because of limited understanding of the workings of CHRAJ, but for Emile Short, it was just a popularity stunt of no significant value. He is a man who is above reproach. The position of the Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, will be vacant before the 2016 elections; Emile Short is among the few people, whose names could make the list of Afari Gyan’s successor, so he should measure his words and public comments.

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