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More of such Supreme Court rulings

BY: Daily Graphic
library photo
library photo

In 2009, on the assumption of power by the National Democratic Congress (NDC), a rector of the Ghana Institute of Journalism was asked to return to duty.

Mr David Newton had been asked to proceed on leave on the assumption of office of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2006. Mr Newton returned to post with directives for all his entitlements for the number of years he had been home to be paid him.

That was because he was considered to be on leave for all that while.

In fact, Mr Newton had proceeded on leave from February 2006 until he was asked to return to post on April 1, 2009, a period of more than three years.

In a similar fashion, in 2009 after the change of government from the NPP to the NDC, the then Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority, Professor Ken Attafuah, had his appointment terminated with effect from July 20, that year and the nationwide mass registration which had started was put on hold.

The country had to return to the exercise last year after spending huge sums running into millions of dollars. Certainly, the country is the loser of these actions.

Many examples of such actions by parties that win elections in this country can be cited.

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In some of the cases, the aggrieved chief executive officers (CEOs) had petitioned the courts or other bodies and huge sums in accumulated salaries and all other benefits were paid them while they did not work.

The Daily Graphic can reason that such actions by successive governments succeeded in robbing the country of both human and financial resources that could have been utilised for the socio-economic development of the country.

As a country, it seems we have carried the winner-takes-all system of governance too far and that has contributed to our inability to implement policies that have the potential to enhance the living standards of the people.

We must not discount the importance of retaining heads of public corporations, as their high turnover can really be bad for an organisation.

The frequent change of CEOs, especially with a change of government, has the tendency to create unease that will not allow serving CEOs to concentrate on the task they have been mandated to perform.

It is no wonder, therefore, that many state-owned organisations do not perform well, compared to their counterparts in the private sector.

It is because such action affects morale, even with new CEOs who come in as replacements, as they are made to believe that same will happen to them. Sight must also not be lost of the fact that getting a suitable replacement for such skilled and accomplished individuals can cost the state in both time and fees.

That is why we see the ruling by the Supreme Court that it is unconstitutional to fire heads of public corporations on assumption of office of another political party as very instructive.

The decision is good because the practice of relieving serving CEOs of their positions on the assumption of office of a party has the likelihood that the post holders would seek to please the party in power, instead of being professionals.

It can also take away the tendency on the part of a CEO to be corrupt, as the individual will know that he cannot be removed, unless for a professional misconduct.

We welcome the Supreme Court decision and think that more of such rulings on our actions and inaction that do not help the development of our nascent democracy must be forthcoming for the betterment of Mother Ghana.