I was sitting behind the TV set on Thursday, hours after Finance Minister Kwabena Duffuor read the budget in parliament. The news was on and I waited in all patience for the international segment. And when it came, my, was I surprised.
A similar simple budget reading in Argentina caused a lady MP to deliver a hefty slap, nicely wrapped to the face of one well-dressed mischievous-looking MP colleague. So the news went.
It’s only Saturday now and when I finally make it to Accra in one piece after the threat of an accident on my way here, I google the news to show my sisters and Voilà!! One million, five hundred and sixty thousand hits. Only in three days, technically.
So, seriously, if slapping is the best way of settling budgetary misunderstandings elsewhere, I think our MPs should all stop being their nice polished selves and learn the new trends. Because I sincerely have a few people in mind who will waste no time in landing a few on the innocent cheeks of some deserving people.
Weeks ago, AfricaWatch magazine published a rating of our MPs based on perceived activism in parliament. Come see hardworking, responsible men in tie scoring Fs all over the place. How I enjoyed the reactions afterwards!!! They went as far as summoning the editor to parliament for a vetting. That was when the first slap on the mouth was bound to come. Then the Argentines would not have beaten us to it. Guess what!! The dude refused. He refused.
I listened to one MP who scored a D, I think he was from Ada, making a meal of the whole thing. He kept cussing and insinuating how worse journalism has become since the days of his youth. How anybody can wake up any day and write anything, and truth be damned if the person is the editor of a paper that goes far. How the internet will pick it up and spread it like wildfire, giving all the many Honourable members a bad name. How can we grow?
I said it was about time. Many times, our MPs don’t look interested in what we voted them to do. If MPs are slapping fellow MPs elsewhere on the mouth and getting away with it, this ranking should be taken as a joke, don’t you see? So, AfricaWatch, keep it coming, eh!! And if you can, next time give us the raw marks, we’ll be grateful.
Ahaa! I said I was nearly in an accident when coming to Accra. Yes. The other driver was looking at his phone and clicking away until his car was right in our lane, heading for a collision. A mini-bus, ours and there were a lot of ladies in it too. So the usual, “Jesus, Jesus”, “ Awurade, Awurade’, “ Onyame ne ba”, and other conjugations were uttered, horns were honked, senses were knocked back into place and we run in and out of the bush to swerve a driver high on electronics.
One lady was dozing at the back and only opened her eyes to witness the laaast show, when we took the last bend out of the bush to swerve the other car. Before anyone knew what was going on, she was swearing at our driver and threatening if he didn’t drive carefully, she will have to ask a refund, and walk the rest of the journey if so it called for and if he didn’t stay on the right path where does he think we all will end up and…before I heard the whole bus behind me raise their voice at her to shut those lips up and that if it was not for our driver, wouldn’t we all be sprawling on the grass and smiling at Heaven? That was a good time to land a slap on someone’s mouth. We wasted the opportunity and this woman went scot-free!!!
So, we shall all pray. Long before it was read, we were calling it the “Amina Budget”: it’s all over the internet. The last time we called the budget anything, it was ‘Sakawa Budget’. Christening is the job of the opposition and the budget is known by whatever they call it, long before they have even heard what it contains. So, I agree with Ebo Quansah when he says, “Welcome to Ghana, where truth is still on holiday.” As for me, I say, I can’t wait till next year when AfricaWatch comes around again, with pen and paper in hand…