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The Day After…

It is a day after the news

A day after Ghana was shocked with the inevitable but unexpected

A day after the death of a of a ‘dead man’

Yes, he was pronounced dead before yesterday

Yet, he announced with a throt he was alive

It is a day after the news

A day after the events of the day that numbed many a loud mouth

A day after a very fast paced day of death, shock and an expedient and legally necessary replacement

A day after the day, in the history of parliament when no one heckled the new president

A day after the day, when men wept and were not ashamed to show grief

It is a day after the news

Today, drivers seemed much saner on the road

Today, the radio drums beat much slower and peacefully

Today, those who had prayed for the news seem to mourn

Today, those who thought it a nightmare, pinch themselves hard

Today, a nation truely mourns

Whether by pretence or for real

It is the day after the news

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Will Ghana Radio Please Give us a Break

The last time I was here, it was to report on the election results and its aftermath. Today, I am back because I can’t take the noise most radio stations make every morning in the name of  ‘Morning Shows’. Tune to any station after 6.00am and you are sure to be served what they call a Newspaper Review.

This animal called ‘Newspaer Review” it seem to me is the cheapest and most available meat in town for the lazy and un-creative programme presenters. They read the newspaper stories and spice it with all the exaggerated details that only the expert gossip can muster. The more local the station, the juicier the gossipy details. That is just the starter by the way.

Now in comes the main dish. The enpanelling of what they term as ‘Social Commentators’. Politically biased, ignoramuses (Prof Agyekum is an exception though) wearers of darkened political glasses with bloated political egos, who pretend they know all the subjects under this sun expertly.  

My beef is this, why should we allow radio stations to take this nation to ransom by reducing every single issue into a political issue. Granted that they are just reviewing news stories that appeared in the newspapers, but who says they cannot invite experts to speak on the issues. These social commentators (whatever that means) are featured daily on the radio stations and they respond to every issue and in doing so wantonly display their ignorance, yet how well their pride is with them.

I hate it when radio stations through this social commentators impose the jaundiced and uninformed views of a few on the whole nation for 4 solid hours: from 6-10am. Hours when one needs to focus and think through getting work done. I hate it and think something must be done about it.

Now, after the embellishers have finished and the social commentators have also muddied the waters, then in comes the breed of feed-back givers who call themselves ‘serial callers’. These are the toast of the show.

Serial callers were birthed in the Radio Univers opposition to the NDC days but were nourished, nurtured and sustained in the era of the Kuffour administration. At first, the ordinary listener thought they were just lucky callers, then Ghanaians found out that, they were actually doing their paid for job. The government feed them with units and some crumbs of the national cake and their job was to call in to all radio stations daily and lay their crap on us.

In my dreams of dreams, I was hoping with the exit of the NPP, we will hear less of these serial callers, but that certainly was in my dreams. Just last week, my worst nightmare took shape and form in a news item. NDC serial callers were angry the airwaves have been taken over by NPP serial callers and that item infact did make the news. Umph!!!! As usual the radio stations with nothing to dream up, pick up the story and dished it to us for a full day.

Creativity is lost to the dogs and it hurts me to think that, a very useful tool that could have been used to garner national unity and development is being used to emphasise the polarity of the nation, to provide a platform for selfish opinionated politicians and to hold the rest of us ransom. The sad aspect is that, the mass of the population accept the views of these social commentators, journalists and serial callers (I am tempted to always write serial killers) as the FACT.

I try to spare myself heart ache every morning by switching off, yet many vitually live on this trash and one is forced to endure it sometimes. The media are supposed to educate and inform us to help us make informed choices. Yet they make the choices for us and they gladly pride themselves for a good work done.


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Politicians: same product, different brand names

The election storm is over and when the rains abated, the elephant had been carried away. “We shall be back” is the defiant retreating cry of the vanquished. Of course, in times like this, it is good to give oneself some encouragement, it is good to focus on the rainbow and to trust that victory will come someday soon. After all, Mills did a comeback thrice to sit on the thrown, yet he accepted defeat with less defiance.

The storm is over yet the casualties are great. Already, those who should help nurse the NPP wounds are rubbing more salt into the already smarting wounds of the party leadership. Many who saw nothing wrong with the candidate now write treatise on his persona. Those who dare not challenge him now do so with great pride. In the words of Awoonor Williams “and those who dare not look in his face, have come out as men and how well their pride is with them”.

The same high expectations that characterised the positive change of the NPP is emerging with the victory of the NDC change. Many are hopeful things will change for the better. Those who know less and should be silent are the most loudest. They promise great things on behalf of their party leaders. I feel pain for such because, great will be their disappointments.

When the positive change train came to town in 2001, many were the hopes of a better Ghana I had in mind. I was sure, justice will reign, poverty will reduce, the dignity of men will be upheld and Ghana will be a land of milk and honey. I was in for a shock. Those were the thoughts of naive political science student. Today, I am much wiser. I know politicians come to power for two reasons: to fill their bellies first, and to share the crumbs with the masses.

Politicians, whether left, right, centre-right, left-centre are all the same product, let’s say same detergent, but different brand names. Surf and Ariel, if you ma. I don’t trust politicians and so I take their promises and words with a pinch of salt. I vote for one reason, to get a bunch of greedy lots out of power to bring in another. In my view, no bunch of politicians should stay in power for too long. It makes them think they are demi-gods to whom those who voted them into power should come begging for even the crumbs. Keep them there for long and they will think, they are doing you a favour by sharing even the crumbs with you.

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Election shockers and Lessons


My crazy dream for the elections were dashed. It proved to be only a dream and worst off, Ghanaian gave the Convention People’s Party, a party tipped to be the third force, a big disappointment. Ghanaians did vote for the party but the votes came trickling in in such single digits one could only shed a few tears for the CPP team.

When Dr Ndoum went campaigning through out the country, he was welcomed by enthusiastic crowds, 400,000 young members even took membership cards, many assured him of their votes, many made him think the cockrel was back in Ghanaian politics. In fact many pollsters said he will poll 7% of the votes and thus tipped to cause a major upset in the elections.

But he was in for a real shocker; and shocked he was; so shocked that he did not even wait for the single digits to be counted when he threw in the towel.  I guessed he was trying to spare himself the pain of hearing the clanking noise of the single and embarrasing votes.

The fact has once again been established that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) are the masters of the political game in Ghana. They are in control. The NDC for instance was stunned by their own performance in all the ten regions of Ghana, they started proclaiming their candidate as the winner even when the truth of Nana Addo being in the lead was staring them in the face. In their ‘shockprise’, they saw rigging attempts, armies marching out to declare Nana as winner and the Electoral Commissioner, a tea drinking  house guest of the President. Much ado about nothing.

They were expecting to make some in roads in the various constituencies but, not even in their wildest fantacies did they imagine they could move from a seat in the Central Region to win 12seats. It shocked them, they may not openingly state it but they were pleasantly shocked. Their message of change swept through the country like a blazing harmattan fire and when the fire was over, great men and women of the ruling party had fallen flat on the alter of change.

 Their effect was felt in 6 prominent regions, though in their state of ‘shockprise’ they are banding about screaming ‘we won in 7 region’, someone please wake them up. That they won in the Volta region was a forgone conclusion; their victory in the three northern regions was also expected, though not in the measure they got. The real surprises were the Greater Accra and Central Regions.

In terms of geography, the change fire blazed through the whole country but the coastals were the most affected. from Anlo to Axim constituents danced to the change music. From the Anlo coast of the volta region, through Ada in the greater Accra to the Elmina of the Central and Axim of the Western regions, the change wind swept through, Tema however resolved to move forward. NDC has performed very well and this was admitted by even an ardent supporter of the NPP, Gabby Okyere Darko. It is unfornate the change song could not bring in all they vote to give a ‘one-touch’ victory’ for the NDC.

Then came the shocks of the NPP; which were not pleasant ones at all.  In fact, even before Ghanaian went to the polls, a new song had been released by unidentifief singers in town predicting shock for the NPP flag bearer. It went thus, “Naa Nana, Naa Shock’, meaning, here is Nana, here is shock’. Well the shock did come and they were not pleasant. First the NPP lost 29 of its seats in Parliament to the opposition NDC. Most of its big guns had been carried away by the NDC tsunami, and worst of all their candidate failed to bring home the ‘one-touch’ victory. 

 They took 4 out of the ten regions of Ghana and yet managed to poll majority votes for the presidential slot. They came so very close to victory but missed out. Victory was so close and yet so far. Some people say it was their ‘one-touch’ prediction that did them in. One-touch is a cellular network that has been sold to the Vodafon by the NPP government. It was gone, and obviously, so was the one-touch victory.

The Lessons of election 2008 are numerous.

  1. Many say the Ghanaian voter has come of age, we know what we want and we get it;
  2. The Ghanaian voter hates the display of arrogance of the people they put in power, so they simply reminded those politicians that they had the final say;
  3. Politicians must serve the people who put them in power since they are answerable to them and not seek their selfish interest at the expence of the ordinary voter;
  4. An African country was  capable of managing its electoral affairs creditably;
  5. Lies, mudslinging, money and a sweet tongue, falls electoral polls do not always bring in the desired votes; and
  6. Pride and arrogance always leads to a fall.

It was the EC that gave us the most useful lesson of all, patience pays, so wait and while waiting keep your mouth shut. This lesson is for all: the electorate, political parties and of course the media.

Now on the role of the media. I was greatly impressed by the general performance of the media. They brought us the news, the counts, the irregularities, and all that had to do with election 2008. Of course, they also helped to heighthen the anxiety of listeners as we waited. Kudos to all the men and women who lost sleep to feed us with all the news from every corner of Ghana. Thank you very much.

Yet there were some who crudely displayed the polarized nature of an institution that was supposed to be neutral. Such allowed their airwaves to be used for the peddling of rumours the army marching into town, of Afari Djan in bed with the government, of suggesting to listeners that their favourite candidate had secured the required vote.

My last take is a praise to all Ghanaians, political party supporters, the security forces, staff of the Electoral Commission, free lance reporters, cellular networks, international and local observers, musicians, religious bodies, donor partners, and who ever matters for a good job done. We have done Ghana proud.

Let us meet on December 2008 for another round of tension, anxiety and lesser shocks and suprises. God bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation great and strong.

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Election 2000: My crazy dreams

It’s three days to the general elections of Ghana. We will be electing a new government and a new set of parliamentarians. The heat is on and the two major parties are the most noisiest. I think these two think and believe they are the only political parties in Ghana. And that is why when I started imagining things this afternoon, I knew my mischievious mind was up to its tricks again.

I have a dream. It is not Martin Luther King’s dream though, but it does has some semblance to it.

I have of dream that come December 7, a great confusing spirit will hit all the supporters of the National Democratice Party and the New Patriotic Party and cause them to vote for the Convention People’s Party. In the dream, the electorate vote massively for CPP and Dr Paa Kwesi Ndoum becomes the next president of Ghana.

In my dream, I see the shocked candidates of the NDC and NPP crying themselves hoarse and looking for someone to blame. I see them accusing the CPP of invoking the ghost of its founder Dr Nkrumah, who helped with ghost voters to rig the elections.

But it is the reaction of the electorates in the dream that is shocking; there are happy. They sing praises to the almighty on for ridding Ghana of the two trouble stirring parties in Ghana. They thank the almighty ones that for once in our lifetime, the radio stations and all their hosts plus loud mouth social commentators have been shamed; and thank him even more that our ears will be spared the usual NDC-NPP debates on radio.

We are free at last, they said in my dreams. Ghana indeed is free forever. Nkrumah, the first president to declare the ‘forward ever’ agenda is back and Ghana can live and work in happiness. Ghana indeed needed a change to move forward and that change is the CPP.

I was all smiles as I imagined the long disappointed faces of the vanquished NDC and NPP should my dream come true. I saw the backward fall of those in the fast we are moving forward lane, and the fall of the change agents and I laughed. I got so excited about the prospect of all Ghanaian springing a BIG surprise on the two major parties and boy, how I would have loved this to be more than a dream. But I guess there are few dreamers like me in town.

I can’t find my voter ID card, I will look for it though to enable me vote. After voting, I will go home and do what Ghanaians love doing most, pray and wait. My prayer will simply be this:

Father Lord, we are fed up with your forward moving and change we need children. Please serve as some chicken soup for our daily bread today. Send a confusing agent into the midst of the electorates and cause all to vote for the cockrel. Amen.

I am told some dreams come true, other don’t but it is best to keep on dreaming.

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Yes, You Can!!!!!!! The Day Hope became Real

It’s November 4, 2008, the day history was made. The day hope came alive and became real.

The day the dreams and hopes of the down trodden, the alienated, the outcast, the despised, the rejected, the hopeless, and the underdog, came true.

The day the words “All things are possible” no longer seemed and sounded like a dreamer’s words. The day all things became possible. It is the day Senator Barack Obama, a son of a Kenyan, a person of colour became the president of the world’s greatest nation, the United States of America. It was the day, hope returned to the world.

It was the day many believed that, if we can dream it, believe in it, work at it, and persevere regardless of the skepticism, cynicism, the scorn, the discouragements, we surely can!!!! A day, the statement was loudly made that one can still hope, one can still believe, one can still dream for change and have it.

The day historian John Baick of Western New England College in Springfield, Mass., said “From this day forward,” politics, politicians and the people they serve will never be the same. A day America declared “Change has come to America”

And the French President said…

“By choosing you, the American people have chosen change, openness and optimism. At a time when all of us must face huge challenges together, your election raises great hope in France, in Europe and elsewhere in the world.”

When the European Commission Chief added…

“France, Europe and the international community need his energy, his rejection of injustice and his determination to go forward to build a safer, fairer and more stable world.”

And Mwai Kibaki of Kenya declared with pride…

“We the Kenyan people are immensely proud of your Kenyan roots. Your victory is not only an inspiration to millions of people all over the world, but it has special resonance with us here in Kenya.

The day Gordon Brown-UK Prime Minister summed it all by saying.

“This is a moment that will live in history as long as history books are written.”

It was the day hope came alive and became so real. Yes, indeed you CAN all things if only you really do believe, hope and work at it, regardless of all the odds.

Ghana marked the day with the song, of a Rastafarian, composed months ago as a tribute to Barack Obama and what he stood for. Many in Ghana stayed up to watch the results came in and the calling of the race for Obama. Ghana will go to the polls on December 7, and the Obama victory is already an inspiration to many a politician here.

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Presidential Debate: The Train Verdict

The four candidates in a pose


It is a day after the presidential debate for four Ghanaian presidential hopefuls. It’s 6.20am and the debate is ongoing onboard a train. As usual the loud ones were the supporters of the two main political parties (these think they are the only parties in town): the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Each group saw their candidate as the most impressive.

Nana Akuffo Addo of the New Patriotic Party, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom of the Convention People’s Party, Prof John Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress and Dr John Nasigri Mahama of the People’s National Convention lined up for a debate organised by a non-governmental organisation, the Institute for Economic Affairs.

The train verdict is this:

Nduom was the most impressive. Dressed in his Kente and jumper he looked sharp, serious, proudly ghanaian and was on top of issues. Even though most thought he was good, yet, his frolicks with the NPP government for close to 7years made his identity a bit suspicious. He could not be trusted. And oh, did you hear him say the benefits of a dead man will be paid to HIM(the dead) the very day of his death?

Nana failed to maintain eye contact, snickered and made faces as other candidates spoke, sat sluggishly in his seat and needs a costume advisor, his suit was too dark and moodish. He was a pro however when he addressed the question on foreign policy. He should be considered for the slot.

Atta Mills had one of his eyes closed while speaking, tended to dwell on what has not been done instead of telling us what he will do, sounded cynical sometimes. Yet, he was smooth with his answers when he wanted to, his take on education was impressive. He should also be considered for president.

Dr Mahama was a disappointment, he was seen as not on top of issues, he spoke in general terms (does his party have a manifesto?), he fumbled, was always short of vocabs and sometimes offbeat-he did not tackle the issues as expected. Even though he came dressed in a ghanaian attire, he still was to be written off.

In addition to these, there was a vote on who had the personality of president? height, facial looks, attitude and poise were the indicators. Dr Nduom and Mills got the vote.

My verdict on the debate is simply this: the candidates pontificated most of the time, failed to answer the specific question of “what would your goverment do on major issues”. I liked their calm composure, their ability to think up an answer even if the answer was poorly stated. Nana, Mills and Nduom impressed me but only Nana and Nduom did what I thought the whole debate was about: impress them and ask them to vote for you.

When opportunity was given for an appeal only Nduom and Nana appealed and said what needed to be said- VOTE FOR ME. To my mind the objective for all the sweet prose and big grammer (apologies to our Nigerian friends) was simply to ask for votes. Ghanaians say no matter how impressive our football team is, they will only be respected and remembered for the goals they scored. Goals, not impressive play is the object of play.

Would a voter give any candidate their vote based on the debate? I doubt so. For most people, majority of the voters, who did not even understand all the big grammer traded, its passion, allegiance to party traditions, ethnicity, height, shape of nose and ears, and not brains that will dictate where the thumb will print.

No amount of prose, big grammer, and intellectual acrobatics would impress such persons with entrenched positions to change their minds. Did it help me decide who to vote for? NO, it rather left me confused. Yet the debate helped me decide who not to vote for.

Kudos IEA and Kudus to all the candidates who responded to the call for a debate, even if like me, they thought it will not make a difference.

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I use the train every morning. I start my journey from the Sakumono Estates and end it right behind the President’s house. On an adventurous day, I end the trip at the ‘last stop’ as we call it.


As I ride along, I hear and see so many thingS and they say different things to me. I hear the rattling of the wheels against the rails, I hear the varied voices of passengers and the thoughts they express on life, the economy, politics and ‘management’.


Most Ghanaians are managing. “We are managing” is what they say in response to the questions “how are things”. I also hear the “oh please stop” shouts of disappointed late commuters who ran their lungs out only to see the train crawling away.


And then I see things: many things- from the people on board the train; different shades of colours, different body masses; different shapes of noses. Yes, noses. I pay particular attention to the noses because somewhere in my subconscious mind, I think there is a connection between a person’s nose and his attitude to life. But that is my philosophy; let’s not go into that now.


But it is not just the noses I see. Beyond the confines of the rattling train, outside, I see things that stir this young and female mind of mine. And what I see I will tell you, but what these sights mean to me are but my own. You may agree with my meanings or you may disagree but they are mine.


What do I see out there whenever I take a ride to Accra? Houses and the people who occupy them!  Of course that is very obvious. Yes, littering the land along the rails and also as far as the eyes can stretch are houses, or dare I say homes of all shades of people; the rich, poor, influential, famous, employees, employers, Ghanaians, foreigners, married, co-habiting, singles, you name them. 


Some of the sights are beautiful. I see well-planned settlements of the rich, middle class and influential lot and then, the not so beautiful and unplanned shacks and racks of the squatting poor. I enjoy the sight of the well-planned, manicured gardens, well ventilated, aesthetic roofs and colours of the rich homes, and marvel at the ill-planned, poorly ventilated and overpopulated homes of the poor.


Please do take a ride someday and experience the sight but until then, take my perspective of it. This contrast of homes I see, are kind of neighbourly in nature. The shacks and racks of the poor are right behind the high rising, razor cum electric protected walls of the rich homes.


In fact, right behind the house of the President of Ghana, and his son’s hotel, you will find squatting families who sleep under excuses of roofs, card board and fabric shelters called homes. They live right behind his home. But for the presence of armed men, I am sure some curious ones would scale the walls to ake a peep at what if means to be the president.


Everyday, as I ride along I ask myself, what does the squatter life feel like? What does it feel like to live on the fringes of the home of the rich and famous, who seem to have it all? What do the poor squatters think about when they see the rich and middle class drive in and out and who may seem to be flaunting their wealth in their faces?


Please take a ride someday soon and make sure you go the full stretch. See for yourself the size of the squatter community, the depravity of their settlements, the environmental and health hazards they are constantly exposed to. See for yourself the filth and unsanitary conditions of their habitations and the kind of people forced to live there because they dare not ask for more.


Please, take a hard look at the faces of the occupants of those shacks and cardboard house. When I look at those who are forced to live in such inhuman conditions, I am not surprised crime is on the ascendancy.


The profiles of most squatters are the street vendors, hawkers, carters of loads, and most importantly, young and strong men and women. These have a lot of energy to expend, lots of time to sit and think about their state, and to dream of that better tomorrow. They have the brute strength to engage in all the dare-devil and blood curling activities that only the idle mind can devise and implement. They have nothing to loose: not homes nor property but so much too gain. At least some successful exploits could get one out of the dehumanizing state of life.


I am disturbed anytime I ride along.  I sometimes slip into creating scenarios and indeed, I create the worst case ones. I don’t like what my mind says to me and the possible outcomes if these squatter really think what I think. The possibilities frighten me. the revolt of the poor and those barely surviving and their demands for a fair share of the cake.


I can see them using all means available and necessary to sit at the table of the nation’s goodies and to enjoy some of the dishes served out. I see their refusal someday to accept the crumbs that may fall off the table of the lucky few; the venting of their anger and frustration on a group of people they may deem as “lucky”.


The possibilities are numerous. Will a day come when, the once peaceful squatting neighbours of the plush rich and middle class communities I see along the rail track, rise up to redistribute wealth their own way? Will such a day ever come, or is it already with us?


I use the train, and these are the things I see. These are my representations of what I see. They may be the thoughts of an over-indulged mind, or just the unfounded fears of a fearful woman. But if history is anything to go by, Ghana has ever seen the fears of an Army General come to pass in such graphic details that the mind could not fathom.


Do take a ride someday and tell me what you see. until then, let’s do what we know and love doing best, pray. Let us pray that the Lord will keep my squatting community friends content with their lot. Remember to pray with your eyes wide open though. because even as you say Amen, I can see and hear the crimes perpetuated by some who are not content with their lot and have decided to do something about it. Take a ride someday.







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The NPP and Women Scorned

Heaven has no rage, like love to hatred turned,
…..Nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorned.

William Congreve: The Mourning Bride (1697)

Indeed, this famous quote erroneously attributed to William Shakespeare, is in fact the words of William Congreve in his play, “The Mourning Bride” (1697). History is replete with examples of scorned women who have brought kingdoms and leaders down.

And the government of President J.A Kufuor has had its fair share of the rage and fury of women scorned, who have gone to town to bare all the essentials.  Gizelle Yarzi, her twins and the president, Ms. Alexandra O’Brien of Richard Anane fame, and lately the daughter of Busia, Frema Busia and her sexual harassment claims against those in high places.

All these ladies have had varied levels of relationships, which whether it was sexual or occupational could be described as intimate. They came very close, close enough to see the minute details of human anatomy or political anatomies of the NPP government and its appointees.

They have a common identity. These are women whose love to hatred has turned, and women who were scorned from being used and damped. Interesting they are all sing the same song.  The latest is singing the same song of, sex (be it by consent, or  harassment thereof), deception, fraud, betrayal, corruption, greed, cover-ups… why?

What do we make of the latest song? The rumblings and ranting of Nana Frema Busia? Is it a case of the chickens coming home to roost, the usual noise of a scorned female party member, or the senseless rants of a mental case, as the official version of responses have it?

I am carefully surveying her menu chat and the dishes she is serving as nouveau, I realized have been the daily cry of most Ghanaians for the past eight years. Why it took her so long to voice it, I may not know. Let’s sample the list: corruption, sexual harassment, cocaincracy, political persecution, violence, presidential corruption and greed, crime,… please add to it.

You know what; time and fate have a way of adding drama to events. While Frema blasted the president at home, the colonial master rewarded him for his contributions to peace and economic growth, and the stability of Africa.

And boy, the reporter who wrote the story in the Daily Graphic of October 28, 2008 was gracious. “During his tenure as Chairman of the African Union in 2007, President Kufuor worked selflessly and tirelessly to mediate in multiple crisis across the continent, particularly the post-election conflict in Kenya,” the report said

Yet, at home, the government over which the tireless and selfless peacemaker presides has been accused by Frema in un-glowing terms. In her words, “I am standing firm as an independent candidate to protest inflows of arms and upsurge in violent conflicts, armed robberies, as well as unethical, amoral and lawless conduct and lack of accountability at the Presidency and in government. I am protesting abuse of state power, moral poverty and injustice…” Phew!


Heaven has no rage, like love to hatred turned,
…..Nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorned.