Dr Zanetor Rawlings

The Member of Parliament for Klottey Korle constituency in the Greater Accra region, Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, has taken to social media to express her deep concerns about the state of democracy and governance in Ghana.

In a thought-provoking post on LinkedIn, she raised questions about the fairness, transparency, and integrity of the political process, and whether these principles would guide the upcoming 2024 general elections.

Dr. Agyeman-Rawlings expressed her struggle with the prevailing political climate and the expectation of “waiting till 2024” to potentially see a change of government. She pondered whether the democratic process would be upheld during the elections or if it would be marred by attempts to undermine democracy and the rule of law.

The parliamentarian and daughter of late Ghana President Jerry John Rawlings also highlighted the long-standing issue of a winner-takes-all approach to Ghana’s interpretation of democracy and criticized the focus on elections while failing to address bad governance and corruption between electoral cycles, allowing a few individuals to lead the nation into turmoil.

She questioned the effectiveness of institutions meant to act as checks and balances over the executive, and whether they were merely instruments for change during elections or held the government accountable during its tenure.

Dr. Agyeman-Rawlings expressed concern about the exodus of Ghanaians seeking better opportunities abroad, which would pose a significant challenge for the government that wins the next elections. She emphasized the need for mobilizing the nation’s human resources to address the current challenges and restore Ghana’s self-respect.

“For a long time we have lamented about the zero-sum/winner-takes-all approach to our interpretation of democracy and yet we have failed to change the status quo. Our collective myopic focus on elections and inability to pull the brakes on the bad governance and corruption in between, has allowed a few selfish individuals to take us into the abyss.

“So, I ask myself, of what use are the institutions that are meant to act as checks and balances over the executive if all we can do is wait for a change in government in the hope that they will do better or be different? What kind of example are we setting for the younger generation and what kind of hope are we offering the youth of today??? At a time when we need our human capacity more than ever, we are seeing an exodus of our people on an unprecedented level – with one outcome: whoever wins the next elections will have a Herculean task in mobilising the human resource required to clean up this mess and restore this nation’s self-respect.”

The parliamentarian reflected on the role of individuals with knowledge of the rule of law and democracy and questioned whether they intended to use their expertise to dismantle what others had built, and called for a collective commitment to stop the backsliding of the nation and to ensure that democracy and governance are not undermined.

In her message, Dr. Agyeman-Rawlings expressed the need for a collective declaration that Ghana will not allow democracy to be hijacked, and she called for a limit to the patience of the people when it comes to political interference and partisanship that weaken the nation’s institutions.

“As I look at countries in the midst of conflict whose people are suffering but fighting for a better future, I look at my own beloved country Ghana and I wonder at which point will we all collectively declare that we will not allow people to hijack us under the guise of democracy and take our compliance for granted. When will enough be enough?”

Zanetor’s post has sparked discussions on the state of democracy in Ghana and the need for a re-evaluation of the country’s governance and political landscape.