I recently went to the Interior Ministry on an assignment. At the reception, photographs of the current and former ministers of Interior of the 4th Republic have been posted on the wall. I noticed something that informed me to write this article. It became clear to me that up until now Ghana has been having a new minister at averagely every one and half (1.5) years. Since 1992 up to today Ghana has had 13 ministers for that department and with the new appointed minister Woyongo makes it a total of 14 ministers. Note that those who were not given new appointments during the reshuffles were entitled to “ex-gratia”, which puts yet another weight on the nations coffers.
It seems that the phenomenon called “Reshuffle” is becoming a trademark of Ghanaian presidents and that is a worrying trend. It appears presidents of the Republic of Ghana like reshuffling their appointees like the way they change shirts. The current situation in Ghana is so deplorable yet another reshuffle, whereby the president is just recycling his appointees. This means that presidents should be mindful of their appointees from day one, better still, before they are sworn in. The only meaningful change in the latest reshuffle is perhaps that of Dr. Spio Gabrah. The presidency and a ministerial position is not a “try and error” deal, as if it is after or an attachment. It is a serious business and it or an attachment. It is a serious business and it should be treated as such.
I can image how frustrating it must be for an appointee to be reshuffled within the shortest possible time. When a minister is appointed he/she will need time to get to know the staff he/she will be working with, knowledge of dossiers (policies) and perhaps other pressing uses. For one to have a total knowledge of the policies at a ministry one will need at least 6 months to 1 year. To reshuffle an appointee who just assumed office does not enhance meaningful reforms, efficiency and effectiveness. It also makes it difficult to exhibit leadership to help strengthen the institutions under the ministry they oversee. In my humble opinion a meaningless reshuffle, such as the one we are witnessing under H.E president Mahama does not help positive developments of the country, rather another attempt to satisfy his support base and to cripple the people who pose as threat to his presidency.
One may argue that the country does not need government appointees to help strengthen the institutions. After all it is the technocrats who are doing the job and not necessarily the government appointees. This assumption will be too easy given the system being run in Ghana. Government appointees in the various ministries and institution are undoubtedly powerful.