By Margaret Jackson
The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), which is an appendage of the NPP, has never ceased to become a laughing stock in the eyes of the Ghanaian public because the behaviour and thinking of that institute is no different from that of the NPP.
If you know that the IEA is nothing but a family nadir which is controlled, directed, managed and under the armpit of the President of IEA Board, Dr Charles Mensa, and his wife and Executive Director of IEA, Jean Mensa, both of whom are dyed-in-the-wool NPP members, then you should never be surprised whenever the institute organizeschildish and questionable programs which portrays its biases, political blinkered views and servilities.
In case you may have forgotten, in June 2013 when the Supreme Court Petition case was underway, Charles Mensa and his wife Jean made a terrible and inessential move just to help the phoney case of the NPP. Out of the blue, these two shameless individuals popped the news that they were organizing a two-day workshop on the theme, “A Review Of Ghana’s Electoral System” from Friday July 5 to July 7 at the Capital View Hotel in Koforidua.
But in the invite letters that Charles & Jean Mensa sent outthey wrote that “Ghana conducted relatively peaceful, free and fair elections in 2002. However, there were several irregularities that marred the beauty of the nation’s efforts to consolidate her democratic gains through elections.”
Another paragraph in that spurious invite read, “The introduction of Biometric Verification Machines to authenticate the identity of voters proved ineffective in many polling stations. This extended voting to the next day and created tension about the safety and security of the ballot boxes. While some Ghanaians argued that the ballot boxes must be kept by the Security Agencies, some voters insisted that they be kept at polling centers throughout the night under their vigilance.”
“Besides, there were several reported cases of electoral irregularities including the disregard for the rule that one cannot vote without being first verified, over-voting, discrepancies between figures and letters of recorded votes etc. Against this backdrop, The Institute of Economic Affairs in its attempt to increase transparency and integrity of the Ghana Electoral System and begin a process of reforming the electoral system is organizing this Two-Day workshop. Ghana as a country has chosen the course of multi-party democracy and Constitutionalism. There is therefore the need to review and reform its Electoral System if we are to give true meaning to this choice”.
That was Charles & Jean Mensa giving their contemptuous verdict of the petition case way before both the petitioners and respondents had even given their final addresses to the court. The condemnation that followed this letter from the IEA was way beyond measure and this forced Charles & Jean Mensa to cut and run by cancelling that so-called symposium.
But since this couple have vowed never to learn anything out of their goofs and sheer clowning, they jumped once again onto the political gallery with another controversial program which was addressed by another controversial person in the name of FW de Klerk, the last South African Apartheid Honcho and President.
The IEA on Tuesday September 10, 2013, organized a pointless lecture on the Post-Supreme Court verdict themed, “Fostering Peace, National Cohesion and Reconciliation after the ruling of the Supreme Court of Ghana”, and out of the many credible statesmen of repute around the world, the IEA and the NPP settled on no other person than Apartheid Lynchpin, FW de Klerk.
Nobody should waste my ears by saying that FW de Klerk was the leader who ended apartheid in South Africa which opened the way for multi-party democracy in the country.
We know that, but this evil and unrepentant de Klerk was cited by the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu,that as a cabinet minister, de Klerk knew of the 1980s bombings of the anti-apartheid offices which was orchestrated by the then Law and Order Minister, Adriaan Vlok and the then Police Commissioner, Johan van der Merwe but failed to report them.
Yet when the TRC cited this incident in its final report, de Klerk went to court to block the publication of the report, but because Archbishop Desmond Tutu did not want any unnecessary delays in the publication of the report, the commission was forced to remove that indicting report on de Klerk from the final report.But before the TRC published its final report Archbishop Desmond Tutu was forced to state that, “It upsets me deeply. We have been scrupulously fair to Mr de Klerk and we reject the contention that we have been engaged in a vendetta against him.”
What is more baffling is that when FW de Klerk appeared before the TRC he suppressed the truth about the Nationalist Party’s involvement in human rights abuses and also tried to rewrite the history of apartheid in order to save his dented reputation.
FW de Klerk, who appeared before the TRC in May 1997, divided the apartheid era into four different periods (rigid apartheid, separate development, electoral reform and the transition or constitutional reform from 1948 to 1994, but did not waste time in casting himself as the reformer who dismantled the bankrupt apartheid system.
It is however worth mentioning that de Klerk feigned ignorance about the multiple violations of human rights under his watch during his appearance before the TRC, and this attitude disgusted Desmond Tutu a great deal. This is because Desmond Tutu claimed that he personally brought to the notice of de Klerk some of the violations he denied during his appearance before the TRC.
Yet of all the people in this world, the IEA and the NPP could not find any person of international repute to address their irrelevant lecture save FW de Klerk, the apartheid champion, who for the purposes of national reconciliation could not even admit his mistakes before the TRC.
FW de Klerk was a cabinet minister when South African blacks were bombed and maimed by the apartheid government. De Klerk did not do anything because of his quest for power. Remember the UP tradition, which begot the NPP, in their quest for powerthrew bombs which killed and maimed some Ghanaians during the time of President Kwame Nkrumah.
When it comes to the quest for political party, the NPP only pales to the Nationalist Party of South Africa. Is it therefore any wonder that the NPP and the IEA will bring disgraced de Klerk to lecture them on how to foster peace, national cohesion and reconciliation?
Apart from the NPP folks, nobody in Ghana needs any lecture from FW de Klerk who does not feel sorry for the crimes he committed against South African blacks. We should never forget that Charles and Jean Mensa and their NPP folks are so backward that they are all too happy to remind the South Africans of their misery and pains during the obnoxious rule of de Klerk and others, which is why they brought this disgraced figure to Ghana to come and talk about reconciliation.
I will end by saying that if you mention the NPP, FW De Klerk, Apartheid andbombings, you will most likely conclude that they are in the same soup.