Of Mutum Banza And Incompetent President

Some equalizations border on absurdity if not sheer stupidity. Anytime I hear Koku Anyidoho making unsavory comments and casting aspersion on serious and respectable men and women in this dear country of ours, my heart bleeds. Sometimes I ask myself whether indeed this guy comes from the Anyidoho family tree that I know very well.

Professor Kofi Anyidoho (MCK Anyidoho), the Dean of English Department at the University of Ghana happened to be a teacher at a certain town in the Brong Ahafo Region. He had just been posted to the town to teach at the L/A Middle School when I was in Form Two. In those days, few Ewes who migrated to the BA could not speak Twi and so this fine, copper colored and young handsome guy did not understand Twi so he could speak to us in English. By the time we completed Form Four, all of us were very good in both written and spoken English Language. MCK Anyidoho was respectful, polite, versatile and above all very neat and will never hurt a fly. Today he has risen to be the Dean of the Department of English Language at Legon. I am proud of you Sir!

My encounter with the late Professor Awoonor Williams (Kofi Awoonor) was at the University of Ghana where he lectured in English Literature. It was in that encounter that I got to know that the man was related to Kofi Anyidoho, the man who taught me in Form Two many years ago. Professor Awoonor made the study of English Literature very simple. One day, as he was teaching about ‘Songs of Sorrow’ a poem he wrote, some of the students were moved into tears. Like Professor Anyidoho, this particular man who rose to become the chairman of the Council of State was simply a gem and a role model. I wept and fasted the whole day when I heard of his death in the Al Shabbab terrorists attack at the West Gate Mall in Kenya.

Then, there is this one called Brigadier Anyidoho, who was in charge of the Northern Command of the Ghana Armed Forces during the Rawlings’ era. I just learnt he is the father of Koku Anyidoho, the wayward guy who is making a mess of himself and disgracing the great Anyidoho dynasty. Brigadier Anyidoho served his country so well in the military and retired honorably. Since his retirement, the old man has never been heard making any comments in politics and as such he has earned the respect of all Ghanaians.

Not so with his prodigal son who is muddying the waters day by day through his uncouth utterances and prodigal verbal showmanship. Hear the upstart at the NDC campaign launch at Kumasi recently: “Bawumia is mutum banza” (Bawumia is a nonentity or good for nothing) And when the Asaseseeso Ankobeahene of Akuapem admonished him to weigh his words before speaking because our culture abhors such uncouth languages directed at our elders, Koku exposed his underbelly when he told the chief that he used the words on Dr. Bawumia because Dr. Bawumia too said President Mahama is incompetent. If you tell a person that he is incompetent, you have not insulted him. Listen to my Thesaurus on incompetent: unskillful, inexpert, amateurish, unprofessional, lacking ability. Tell me, Anyidoho, which of the synonyms quoted is an insult?

You see, when people like Koku Anyidoho start fooling about, they disgrace their family. I do not think Professor Kofi Anyidoho and retired Brigadier Anyidoho are happy about the waywardness of this boy. Until NDC came to power, Koku Anyidoho was nobody. It was the late Professor Mills who made him what he is to day so he has the guts to refer to an astute and internationally recognized economist like Dr. Alhaji Bawumia as ‘mutum banza’. Here in Ghana, respect has been thrown to the dogs by the grace of the John Mahama led administration. Either than that Koku Anyidoho will not have had the guts to even mention the name Bawumia. At his age I learnt he is not married yet. What was he using the millions of Ghana Cedis he received as per diem when he was travelling around the world with the late Mills for? Or may be the “thing” is dead!

Now, Koku check the synonyms of a nonentity or ‘mutum banza”: unimportant person, person of no account, nobody, cipher. Those of us who were born and bred in the zongos use ‘mutum banza’ on useless persons or those who did not make it in life and we will not touch a ‘mutum banza’ with a long stick. In the zongos if you are old enough and you have no wife and children, and a job we refer to you as “Mutum banza”. And so Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, a married man with children, an accomplished banker, internationally recognized economic whiz-kid, a technocrat of a very good standing both at home and abroad and a running mate to Nana Addo is a “mutum Banza” according to an opportunist called Koku Anyidoho? Yooo, we hear!

Let me take this opportunity to reproduce the Curriculum Vitae (CV) of Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia which I received through my Whatsapp recently.

1982 -1984 Charted Institute of Bankers Diploma (A. C.I.B), UK. With distinction in Monetary Economics, Accountancy, Law and Banking Principles – Emile Woolf College of Accountancy. London, England


Jan. 2011 – Mar. 2012, Resident Representative, African Development Bank Group (Zimbabwe). Responsible for AfDB relations with Zimbabwe. Research-based Technical Adviser to Government, Coordination with Donor Community. Oversight Responsibility for Administration of the Zimbabwe Multi-Donor Trust Fund

Oct. 2009 – Oct. 2010 – Visiting Senior Associate, Center for the Study of African Economics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford. Undertook research on Monetary Policy and Financial Sector Reform in Africa

Fellow International Growth (IGC). Served as IGC Country Team Member for Sierra Leone. Also served as Adviser to Central Bank of Sierra Leone on redesigning the organizational structure of the bank and its monetary policy framework.

April – October 2009, Visiting Scholar, University of British Columbia, Liu Center for Global Studies and Fisheries Center.

Feb. – March Consultant, Economic Commission for Africa. Prepared a paper on Africa’s position for the G20 London Summit

June 2006 – Jan. 2009, Deputy Governor, Bank of Ghana. Responsible for Monetary Policy, Financial Stability, and Payment System Reform.

June 2006 – Jan. 2009, Member of the Board of Directors, Bank of Ghana, Ghana International Bank (UK), Ghana Telecom, Revenue Agencies Governing Board, Social Security and National Insurance Trust.

Jan. 2005– Jan. 2009- Chairman, Capital Market Committee (Ghana). Had oversight responsibility for putting together the strategy for Ghana accessing the international capital markets with a debut $750 Million Sovereign Bond.

2001 – 2006 – Head, Monetary Policy and Financial Stability Department, Bank of Ghana. Responsible to the Analytical work leading to the setting up of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) and oversight for technical work presented to the MPC.

Leader of Bank of Ghana technical team and part of Government Team that negotiated with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund since 2001 through HIPC and PRGF. Member of the Government of Ghana negotiating team on HIPC Paris Club and Completion Point Negotiation.

Member of Government team to negotiate the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) compact with the US Government. Was responsible for drafting the financial sector component of the compact

2000 – 2001, Senior Economist, and Head of Economic Analysis , Bank Of Ghana Research Department

As for his publications and awards, I will not get enough space in this column for them.

I challenge Koku Anyidoho to also publish his CV for us to be able to distinguish between who is Mutum Banza (Good for nothing person) and an accomplished academician. I rest my case for now but as sure as the sun will shine in the Volta Region tomorrow, I will be back!!!

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