Thursday, 13 June 2013

Blind Sided (Dumsor and Other things)

Politicians are like magicians. They somehow manage to keep us distracted with slight of hand while the real trick is happening somewhere else. Next thing you know, things are disappearing everywhere.

Somewhere at the beginning of the year ECG announced that we wouldn't be guaranteed regular electricity for a while. They gave the usual technical explanations that most people can't understand and proceeded to take away the electricity we had paid for. When it was time to take away the power, they were always punctual but not so eager when it was time to turn it on.

 At first most of us were of the opinion this would last a few weeks, after all, we still had enough to sell to our neighbours. The President promised it would be over by the end of April. We are in June and there is no end in sight. Instead, everyday, ECG announces another temporary or emergency schedule along side the currently running one. I've lost count of the number of Load Shedding schedules running concurrently right now.

It was just around that time someone thought it was a good idea to air the Election Petition Court Trial. Genius! See, the two non-religious activities that distract Ghanaians most are politics and football. The moment the Election Petition started airing of people didn't seem to care about the Load Shedding. It was like everything was ok.

Call me a cynic, but in my opinion this whole Election Petition will achieve nothing. There's not a snowflake's chance in hell that the court is going to overturn the December 7, 2012 results. This is Africa. Someone told me the whole point of the petition was to deepen the democracy of Ghana. Haha, no it won't. It would still be the same in years to come. No matter the results, Nkatie Burger would still be 60% air and exactly 100 pieces of coated groundnuts (I know, that makes no sense but it sounds deep).

Basically, the only purpose the airing of the Election petition is to reduce the already low productivity level in the public sector. So far so good.

Next big thing in the news these day? Market fires. Almost every week we hear one market or the other is burning. Kantamanto, Makola, Agbogloshie markets have all been in the news recently with women wailing and pleading with the government to come to their aid. Conspiracy theorist got very active and started spreading stories about political rivals turned arsonist. Without a shred of proof people started accepting these stories as gospel.

I can't be the only one who thinks the unstable power supply has something to do with these fires. Most of the markets in question have poor wirings and are made up of ignitable structures. All that is needed to start a fire is a few sparks from the sporadic outages and the whole place would be in flames. These fires occur almost every year and every year the same conspiracy theories pop up. Notice how the Kaneshie market is never on fire? It's a solid structure with most of it's wirings well done.

Well, instead of the authorities finding a proper solution to these fires and power outages, various politicians came on TV to give credence to the theory that pyromaniacs were responsible for these fires. Maybe they believed the ghost of Herostratus was back. Anyway, the president was recently on TV saying he had returned from America and had invited the Real Ghostbusters to help apprehend these ghost pyromaniacs. Also Gh¢25,000.00 reward money has been set aside for information leading to the capture of whatever scoundrels were responsible for these fires. Wow! Jesus was betrayed for far less, i'm sure it's only a matter of time before someone betrays these nonexistent ghosts.

So now, nobody is talking about power outages and all the problems it's causing, all they are talking about are the Election Petition and Pyromaniacs Ghost. Congratulation, mr. President and Co, you've successfully blind sided us from the real problems in this country.

                                   Meanwhile, exactly 6 O'Clock at ECG Office