The Presiding Bishop of Perez Chapel International has condemned the phenomenon in which new governments abandon projects started by old governments, saying that practice has been the bane of Ghana’s development for decades.
In his virtual sermon on Sunday, 19 July 2020, Bishop Charles Agyinasare said: “We have a spirit of envy that comes on people in this nation when they come into political power”.
He said from times of old, “people who come into power are always envious of those they took over from and they do everything to destroy them”.
“When would we ever have a government take over from another and say the previous government did a good job”, he wondered, adding: “We are so envious that we waste the nation’s resources by not continuing the projects of the previous governments”.
As an example, he cited the abandonment of some 86 vehicles imported by the Rawlings administration in 1999 just as he was exiting office, which were abandoned by subsequent governments “till recently when they were sold for junk”.
“The Kufuor government did not use them until a judgement debt of GHS6 billion or $1 billion was given in favour of African Automobile Company Ltd”, the founder of Perez Chapel International recalled.
The Nations’ Pastor, as Bishop Agyinasare is popularly called, also recalled that the Kufuor government also suffered a similar fate with its affordable housing projects.
As part of efforts to address Ghana’s housing deficit, which was about 500,000 in 2006, former President Kufuor initiated the Kpone affordable housing project as well as others in the Kumasi and Borteyman in the Greater Accra Region, at a cost of over $300 million funded by the government of Ghana.
But now, more than “1,500 so-called affordable housing units that were started under former President John Kufuor are wasting away at Kpone in the Kpone Katamanso District of the Greater Accra Region”, Bishop Agyinasare noted, saying they have now become “white elephants” and “a clear indication of the waste of the taxpayers’ money”.
Those units, Bishop Agyinasare noted, were part of some 4,700 affordable housing units that were being put across the country including Asokore-Mampong in the Ashanti region, Koforidua in the Eastern region, Wa in the Upper West region, and Tamale in the Northern region.
In the same vein, a similar affording housing project started under the Mahama administration at Saglemi, has been abandoned.
Similarly, Bishop Agyinasare bemoaned the abandonment of some school blocks built by the Mahama administration. “Mahama schools are not being used. Meanwhile, we have children who go to schools under trees”.
Bishop Agyinasare observed that “many projects” have been “abandoned”.
“Our governments behave as if the monies for development are their personal monies instead of the Ghanaian taxpayers’ money”, he noted, adding: “Our politicians don’t respect the citizens and our taxes; they don’t feel accountable to us, so, they mismanage our meagre resources”.
“Unfortunately”, he pointed out, while all these are going on, “our journalists, who are watchmen who should hold public figures to do the right thing, do not see any evil nor hear evil nor speak. They have become dumb dogs”.
He drove home the point with Isaiah 56:10, which says: ‘His watchmen are blind, they are all ignorant; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber”.
“So are our clergy, who should be saying it on the rooftops because many of these politicians go to church or the mosque. But we have become dumb dogs”, Bishop Agyinasare asserted.
“Instead of teaching the electorate, made up of our church members, to hold our governments accountable, we are competing in our visions about who would win and who would die”, he condemned.
The phenomenon, which, he noted, was prevalent in Christendom has now spilt over into Islam. “It used to be some Christian clergymen doing these confusing predictions. Now, some Muslim clerics are also doing it”, he observed.
In Bishop Agyinasare’s view, “We must come to the place where irrespective of our political affiliations, we tell the government that you cannot use our financial resources recklessly like this. If you [don’t] continue projects left, we would vote you out”, he said.
“Our politicians make such reckless financial decisions and go to borrow money to do similar uncompleted projects”, thus, “piling bills for the next generation”.