Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

Democratic movement inaugurated in UK

If sheer numbers were the only index of a people's determination to effect a change of an undemocratic government, then the mammoth attendance at the launching of the UK branch of the Ghana Democratic Movement on 14th April more than fulfilled that requirement.

Scheduled to start at 3pm the over one hour delay, during which recorded hymns and solemn Ghanaian compositions were played, served to draw the hundreds of Ghanaians present nearer to the land of their birth.

And by the time Mr Boye Anawomah, former personal assistant to Dr Kofi Busia, Prime Minister of the second Republic, who was the first speaker invited his audience to join him to mourn Ghana, the atmosphere in the hall had been amply tuned to respond accordingly.

The cause of this death, he said, was starvation, sickness and tyranny which he believed could be eliminated to revive Ghana.

Mr Boye Anawoma regretted the damage done in the past in the name of different ideologies and pointed out that when East and West Europe were threatened by Hitler, they found it necessary to submerge their ideological differences in order to crush the common enemy. In the same vein, he invited all Ghanaians and their friends to rally towards the objective of the Ghana Democratic Movement, to save the country from Rawlings' dictatorship which is characterised by the imposition of a curfew, lack of drugs and doctors in the hospitals, suspension of university education, famine, exodus of skilled manpower, non operation of the law courts etc.

The guest speaker for the function, Mr J. H. Mensah, Minister of finance and Economic Planning condemned the rampant execution of soldiers and civilians who by merely being tagged 'dissidents' are never tried before they are killed.

He said the IMF/World Bank loans to the Rawlings regime should not discourage any Ghanaian who is determined to fight to restore genuine democracy in his country. In his view these loans would be siphoned to repay debts owed to Britain, US and others whose nationals serve on the IMF and World Bank. Mr Mensah also noted that for as long as there is incompetence in the administration no amount of investment will benefit Ghanaians.

The second speaker, Mr Francis Badgie, a former High Commissioner in London described the PNDC as the worst government in the history of Ghana, having halted the normality that the Limann government was restoring to the country.

He listed Rawlings' crimes as denying Ghanaians their birthright to elect their government, failing to prove bribery and corruption charges against anyone who held political office under Limann and doing away with the vetting of public appointees some of whom are criminals but have become ambassadors.

Others were his failure to allow the constitution he signed to work and the introduction of higher denomination of C200 to replace the fifty cedi notes he withdrew from circulation. Mr Badgie specifically called for the trial of Rawlings for the confiscation of the fifty cedis notes of hardworking Ghanaian farmers and fishermen.

On the Movement of which he is the Chairman, Mr J. H. Mensah said its doors are open to every Ghanaian who believes and is determined to fight for democracy. He explained however that the right to choose a government will be exercised by the entire Ghanaian population.

Mr J. A. Fosu, the second Vice Chairman of the UK branch told this reporter that Ghanaians resident in the UK had taken over from the exiles to carry on the fight to restore democracy to Ghana.

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