GHANA: RULE OF LAW ANECDOTE

At a Rotary Conference today…so posting this on my iPad. I should be posting about this program, but something else is on my mind.

Recently I attended a warden’s meeting at the Canadian High Commission. A warden represents Canadians in the regions of Ghana. Needless to say we were called together in light of the upcoming election. Of course, it was also a time devoted to re establishing friendships and meeting the new reps. It has been quite some time since we met.

I got talking to another warden who I hadn’t met before. We started sharing details about our children. I mentioned that I had one child, our son doing a meat processing business here in Ghana, but that Our daughter, a lawyer, was in Canada. I added that it was just as well since the rule of law didn’t work here in Ghana.

He seemed surprised. He asked me for a for instance and that was my cue to talk about THE POINT, the moonshine bar located behind Four Villages Inn in our first class residential zone where we pay the highest taxes in the city. Since 1999 when we resettled here in Ghana to operate our first class bed and breakfast, I have been trying to get action on from numerous municipal departments. There are numerous posts about THE POINT on this blog including one relating to the murder of somebody at THE POINT!

My fellow warden replied, “But there are ways to get around this. Why don’t you just buy them out?”

I was thunderstruck! Given the circumstances, I didn’t retort.

You draw your conclusions…but such is the case…the rule of law doesn’t work when I have to reach into my pocket to buy somebody out.

And rule of law doesn’t work when I have to pay local officials to come and inspect and start the process of taking action.

Well, late last week four officials from Environmental Health came to inspect Four Villages Inn. I first requested they look at something negatively impacting Four Villages Inn from the outside. I then took them behind Four Villages, showed them THE POINT BAR in no-man’s land. They proceeded up the road and I went back to the inn. They then returned to the inn and told me that they were told THE POINT was given a temporary permit. I told the leader of the team that I had heard this before, “a temporary permit for thirteen years! And nobody has followed up checking the permit!”

They then did their inspection of Four Villages Inn and found a few little things. I then got an abatement notice to appear the next day at their office in Adiebaba.

After their departure, I started to rectify the issues and took pictures of the work completed. I also drafted a letter on Four Village Inn letter-head requesting action on THE POINT.

Next morning I went to the ENvironmental Health office, but the leader of the team wasn’t there. I submitted the letter and I was told that The POINT received an abatement notice. I was delighted.

Later that morning the in-charge returned to the office and I was called to appear. I showed the pictures of the corrections which pleased the officers. Then there was acknowledgement of receipt my letter regarding THE POINT. That’s when things got hot and the officers asked for T & T to take the letter to the central office of the KMA Environmental Heath. I knew it was coming and I remembered my fellow warden’s advice to put up some money.

Alas, I reached into my pocket just so the process might be started. Just before leaving I asked about the Abatement Notice served to THE POINT. To my surprise, I was shown a certificate that drinking bars must have to serve drinks. THE POINT didn’t have it. This time I reacted saying, “These people have no right to be there and you’re concerned about whether they have a certificate!”

So, better get back to the Rotary Conference….

One Response “GHANA: RULE OF LAW ANECDOTE” →
  1. nice piece. just followed you. can you do same for me?
    http://historyghana.wordpress.com/ gee you have 572 followers!

    Reply

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