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Kwesi Yankah Writes: The Reshuffle You Asked For

Cabinet reshuffle these days may be heard through Afia Schwarz newscast on social media far ahead of Caleb Kuda of Citi. By the time it hits the airwaves it is dead news: a reshuffled Minister for Interior would have finished celebrating his exit with the reggae song, ‘satisfy my soul.’

The word ‘reshuffle’ is hardly used outside politics. Never heard of a man waiting for Father’s Day to reshuffle his children; or a polygamist who decides at Christmas to reshuffle his wives for the sake of peace.

Those days, you checked the Minister’s heart beat at one o’clock news, to see if he survived; Osagyefo Kwame would reshuffle his Ministers.

Other times, it was the voice of Krobo Edusei, Nkrumah’s Minister for Interior: ‘The continued presence of the following… is not conducive to public good’ was the ominous prelude.

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It meant you were parking your luggage as an Ambassador on the directives of Krobo.

Since then, one o’clock news has lost its bite and suspense; and ministers and appointees can today afford to digest ‘Gobe’ at lunch time.

Times have changed.

Cabinet reshuffle these days may be heard through Afia Schwarz newscast on social media far ahead of Caleb Kuda of Citi.

By the time it hits the airwaves it is dead news: a reshuffled Minister for Interior would have finished celebrating his exit with the reggae song, ‘satisfy my soul.’

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But ours is also the only democracy where a reshuffle could have been put to popular vote, since the grassroots were unanimous on who was overdue.

See the exit symptoms: fatigued faces, wobbly legs; ministers who dodge invitations by parliament; or impulsively abolish road tolls; 1 New Tax every New day; as well as those snoring at meetings they chair.

A few were visibly expired goods that came with: ‘Warning, not advisable to drink or inhale, unless heated to certain temperatures.’

But a beloved president may simply erase the word ‘reshuffle’ from his vocabulary, a kind of ‘see no evil, hear no evil’ President.

In this case, Ministers may have entered a holy wedlock ‘for better for worse until December do us part.’

Here players on the bench and reserves otherwise waiting to be called, may consider themselves forever condemned to the touchline.

In the past, Ghana has had two such coaches with cocked ears.

They have an ordained team of ‘touch not my anointed,’ who are perpetually rambling on the field until the referee’s final whistle, when they are joined by the bench boys to mourn the defeat in front of television cameras.

But the Elephant, Ivory Coast national team at AFCON games, was a smarter elephant.

When their Manager Jean-Louis Gasset showed premature  signs of senility, losing 1-0 to Nigeria and 4-0 to Equatorial Guinea, he was sent home midstream.

It took a younger caretaker coach, Emerse Fae, to lift Ivory Coast from the bottom to the AFCON hilltop.

Emerse eventually won and handed the championship trophy to President Ouattara, while Ghana’s Elephant Party next door was shuffling its feet.

And when the long awaited reshuffle finally arrived, what was it?

The media joined the conspiracy with fake words: ‘fired,’ ‘sacked,’ ‘dismissed,’ ‘booted out,’ as if an earthquake had occurred at cabinet; only for us to realize it was an Anansi reshuffle.

The real news was as follows:

‘Kojo Boy: You are truly sacked, go and sin no more.’

‘Ewura Ajoa: Truly sacked, but wait small.’

‘Yaw Atta: I have sacked you here, but meet me there.’

‘Adwoa Mansah: I have sacked you here, but meet me there.’

The situation now leaves Parliament confused as to whether these are cases of re-assignment, transfer,  or terminal death followed by terminal resurrection.

In the latter case, the grieving Minister may mourn for a few days, then suddenly burst into hilarious laughter if no one is watching.

Some may call it a reshuffle in which the appointing authority was not sufficiently angry.

Its equivalent in the civil service is a transfer letter handed to you for wrong doing; which may simply mean, ‘you are a bad teacher, you have been harassing our teenage girls in class; and we are transferring you to Bobikuma to spread the virus.’

But those I pity are the eternally dismissed Ministers who were very hardworking, but have been terminally sacked simply for losing ‘cash and carry’ parliamentary primaries.

I single out beloved Bright Wireko Brobby, MP for Heman Lower Denkyira, whose bright profile as deputy minister for employment will be dearly missed.  But I love the younger blood, injected to bring life into slow blood circulation.

In all this there is something missing. Our collective fury. With our 67th independence anniversary at the corner and diminishing economic fortunes, we could have spoken louder at reshuffling. We miss the following marching orders:

‘You this Minister, a known Galamsey merchant: Dismissed.’

‘See the polluted rivers and malformed babies from your Galamsey: Dismissed.’

‘Next. Unexplained wealth in only three years? Please open your mouth: Dismissed.’

‘Finally, are you giggling? You are considered as the Lord of inflated procurement: Dismissed.’

That way we dismiss poverty through cabinet reshuffling. Ghana @ 67 on 6th March would then be a joyous celebration!!

Dear Ace, let’s meet at Achiase.

I am gone!

Email: [email protected]

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