Friday, February 20, 2009

another perspective on Zita by Mawuli

Trivia and Cheap Questioning Dominate Zita’s Vetting
By- Mawuli Dake

After reading Ato Kwamena Dadzie’s fallacious article this morning on the performance of the nominee for Minister of Information, Ms. Zita Okaikoi at her hearing earlier, I decided to listen to the full vetting proceedings and was even more appalled at the conduct of the Parliamentary Appointments Committee. It is sad that many of the committee members chose to focus on matters of little importance to the nation or her designated role rather than substantive issues. I found many of the lines of questions to be ill-conceived, irrelevant and at times downright disrespectful to Ms. Okaikoi. Overall, the performance of our “honorable vetters” was deplorable and outside the parameters of the due diligence needed for serious assignments such as this.

One of the few young leaders and perhaps the youngest on the list of Ministers nominated under the new government, Ms. Okaikoi was subjected to what seemed like a cross-examination rather than an interview. Here was a dynamic and promising young leader, before a parliamentary committee, offering herself for public service. And instead of our so-called leaders encouraging and evaluating her in a fair and diligent manner, some chose to minimize her achievements and qualification.
I am not in any way suggesting that Zita should be given a free ride because she is young or a woman. The MPs must be allowed to do their job. And I am the first to agree that the nominee must be critically assessed and must prove her qualification for the office. But the tone and line of questioning directed at her was simply unacceptable.

Perhaps the most irrelevant line of questioning started with the MP for Lower West Akyem, Ms. Gifty Klenam with insignificant questions such as “What subjects did you read at the Law School” and unwarrantedly insinuating arrogance on Rita’s part without citing any sources for such an accusation. This was followed by what I consider one of the worst acts of disrespect throughout the vetting proceedings by Committee Chairman- Doe Adjaho’s command- “Are you arrogant? Answer the question.” I don’t think the Chair would have the guts to address a co-equal from the house that way. It is ridiculous for a committee that approved people like I C Quayes to be Minister for many years will be questioning qualification a young achiever like Ms. Okaikoi. And for Hon. Ameywa Ekumfi information, resumes have changed from what they were in 1960.

Other bizarre questionings included “Have you stopped using a foreign passport?”; “When were you born?” and unsubstantiated assertions that the nominee sometimes uses Sarah, Hilda and a host of other names. If you have no credible evidence that a nominee has a foreign passport or even if you suspect that she does, the responsible thing to do would be to ask appropriately and for her to respond or clarify. You don’t insinuate or make baseless public pronouncements on such matters. I found the persistent questions about if and when she actually went to the Law school rather bizarre, especially as it was clear from the chair’s remarks, that the nominee did furnish the Committee with authentic academic certificates, and

In simple words, our MPs are supposed to interview and hire nominees on our behalf, to critical leadership positions. Failure to conduct proper due diligence could mean disaster for the specific sectors these individuals are going to lead. And that is why it troubles me that some MP’s chose to use the time they have to conduct this due diligence responsibly, to indulge in trivialities and petty politics. Members are provided with relevant documents on nominees far ahead of the vetting, to enable them do necessary background investigation and scrutiny before the actual vetting. It is therefore completely irresponsible for members to come to the vetting table with inaccurate, uninformed and baseless questions or comments.

I hope our honorable representatives would take the responsibilities they perform on our behalf more seriously and behave in ways that merit the office they occupy. And by the way, they have still not apologized to Ghanaians for their recent less than responsible act of approving outrageously excessive benefits for ex-officials.
As a young leader, I found the appointment of Zita as one of the best choices in President Mill’s nominations so far. She should not be treated with any less respect than others because she is a young woman. In addition, I hope, she will not be held to different standards because she is young. She must be vetted and subsequently judged based on the quality of her performance. She may not have thirty years experience like others on the committee, and may not be an insider, but I am confident she will serve our country well when given the chance. I wish her well.

Washington DC

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Opinions about our prospective minister of information

Author: ZEO (registered user)
Date: 02-19-2009 12:33

Zita Okaikoi had on her CV “qualifying certificate of law” as the certificate she obtained from the Ghana Law School, instead of “Barrister of Law”, an error she duly admitted.

“Well I have just been told is a mistake so I accept it,” she said.


Duh!! Duh !! Duh !! Okai, kai, kai, koi,koi!! What's up girl?

Okai Koi presented 2 CVs but one was totally different from the other. The questioners couldn't make head or tail of which was the right CV.

She sounded and looked vacuous. How did she obtain her law degree?

This lady sounded very dumb.

I am sorry I have to be this blunt. But let the truth be told.

Yesterday at the vetting, everybody was sitting on pins!! Tense!!

I know it reflects badly on Mills administration but new Governments make mistakes and this pretty dumbo is one big mistake!!

Beauty can open doors but substance secures the job.

This 33-year old Minister for Information designate is simply a train wreck waiting to happen.

She was bad!!

Very, very bad!!

I am not mincing words and I must tell you that Mills made a big mistake nominating her for any post.

She seems to be always lost in her environment and sounds jittery when confronted with very basic enquiries not only related to her area of expertise but also about matters regarding her new job as Minister of information.

She never once thought about visiting GTV to at least familiarize herself with Government media and when a question was posed to her regarding an infastracture problem at the Government media center she admitted that she was unaware of the problem since she had never been there before.

Holy cow!!

Furthermore, in an earlier interview on Joy fm she revealed she hadn't spoken to Mills before this nomination.

This is fair criticism moving forward and it must be viewed in that light.

Let us do thing right. Let us hire the right people to do the work for Ghana. Ministerial jobs are not beauty contests.

Zita will be a butt of jokes whenever she dares open her moth. The guys at Joy Fm and other media houses will chew her and spit her out like bad cola!!

I heard her!!

She will not make it!!

And she looks attractive, so what?

Oh, please!!


watch this space

Watch this space about stuff happening in Ghana.

For starters, President Mills must withdraw Zita Okaikwei as Information Minister ASAP.