Hypocrisy or deception?

Author:Agyemang-Duah, S.K.
Position:Guest Column - Unfairness of foreign aid contracts

Presssure is being put on the Ghanaian government to privatise its water supply or lose $300m in "aid". Why does the West want to take away from the people the most precious and indispensable commodity of all--water?

We all live in one world--on this round earth, with one common space above us. But some people seem to have lost all sense of fairness and concern for others. Even leaders who have the power to help make the world a peaceful place to live in, sometimes behave like the proverbial "deaf adder that stops its ears". They want everything good for themselves even at the expense of others.

After the centuries of colonialism, which expanded to all corners of the globe, the world saw the granting of independence to the weak nations. I say weak nations because the colonialists conquered those nations not by negotiations, but by the superior power of their weapons of war.

Then, they ruled over them and controlled their natural resources. Not only that, the colonialists did their best to undermine some of the best institutions of the colonised people by alienating them from matters of national concern.

For example, in Africa, they introduced the European parliamentary system of government and replaced our true and open democratic system where the chiefs and kings and the people used to sit in public, debated in public and decided matters of national interest in public (usually by consensus). In those good old days, the chief or king (or the person nominated for that office) had to first swear an oath in public to serve the interests of the people and "NEVER EVER TO LIE" to them. Failure to keep that oath meant instantdestoolment--the removal from power or office.

After the chief or king's public oath, the people or their representatives--the elders or the wing or divisional chiefs--in turn swore to serve under the chief or king in question.

This was an open, straightforward commitment by both parties--chief or king, and the people--to work together for the welfare of the state.

Corruption was a crime because it involved dishonesty and lies. Anyone found taking a bribe forfeited his position of power, honour and respect of the people or his standing in the community.

Now, what have we seen since the colonialists substituted our true, honest, and open democracy with their parliamentary democracy? The members of government and parliament swear an oath to uphold the constitution that they themselves have written, without swearing "NEVER EVER"...

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