Herbert Mensah damns unbridled ‘Property-Owning Democracy’
Businessman and renowned football administrator, Herbert Mensah has criticised the state sponsored property owning climate that characterised the eight years of the New Patriotic Party government.
Mensah also described as a disgrace the failure of the Kufuor government to return his father’s seized properties to him after the courts had ruled that the property be returned to him.
He said one had to question the value system within the NPP if a man (B.A. Mensah) who was the Godfather of the party and supported it in diverse ways could be treated so badly even when the courts had ruled that his property be returned to him.
Speaking in a wide-ranging interview on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show hosted by Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, Mensah said he believed in harmonious blend of capital, labour and the environment.
“I don’t believe in a free property-owning society without regulation,” he stated.
Mensah decried the use of state instruments to acquire business as opposed to earning property through “justified business”.
Describing himself as a social democrat, Mensah, a graduate in Economics from the Sussex University said social democracy was key to the development of the country. But he noted that, “you cannot have socialism unless you have undergone capitalism” cautioning that good governance always should serve as a moderation between the two economic ideologies.
Asked whether he had taken a certain political position because he was bitter the NPP did not return his father’s seized properties, Mensah was emphatic that the ethos of social democracy was something his father, Mr Benjamin Amponsah Mensah and his mum, had imbued in him.
Mensah said his father always believed in helping the underprivileged in his environment particularly in his native Kumawu in the Ashanti Region and offered support in diverse ways including free education to many.
“I am certainly not a bitter person. I don’t do bitterness. Bitterness is a negative emotion. We have such little time and we have to move forward,” he stated.
Mensah said he had many reasons to be bitter but had never resorted to that emotion even when his radio equipment had been seized because he was seen as national security risk and had police ‘visits’ on his premises.
The former Kotoko boss said he was a social democrat primarily because he believed the future was about the youth who unfortunately finish school without jobs, lamenting that juvenile delinquency and prostitution was on the rise and change was necessary.
“I am part of a younger generation of people who are not stuck in the idealism of Kwame Nkrumah or the Busia Danquah or the Rawlings group. It is not based upon objectivity,” he emphasised.
Mensah said if the objectivity suggests that the social democrats come into power and refuse to uphold the ethos of probity and accountability then one is entitled to make an alternative choice.
According to him, President Mills deserves some commendation for not taking the country backward.
He said while he appreciated that President Mills had to take a certain legal recourse in terms of the way he managed issues, it was important that he moved with a bit of haste and send the right signals for people to understand that the issues of probity and accountability are being taken seriously.
Touching on the President’s appointments, Mensah said there were some strong appointees and some weak but noted it was imperative that the President put in place structures that would ensure that all appointees set a good standard as some of them have not been in positions of responsibility as have been entrusted them presently.
LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW AT THE LINK ABOVE
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