As you may be aware, #FixTheCountry on Friday 4 February 2022 received an invitation from the opposition NDC to join their proposed E-Levy Demonstration on Thursday, 10 February 2022. We are issuing this statement in connection with that request, in order to state publicly what we have now communicated to the NDC.
As you all know, over the past four months, #FixTheCountry has been the largest and most consistent opposition to the proposed plans by the Government to introduce the atrocious Electronic Transaction Levy, which seeks to enable the Government to dip its hands into the pockets of Ghanaians to take their livelihoods, business capital, and savings which are stored on their mobile money wallets.
We have during this period organized several social engagements towards educating Ghanaians on the proposed Levy, as well as participating in various forums to ascertain the views of Ghanaians. In this regard,
- We have consistently rejected the E-Levy and shown no intention to negotiate or flip-flop in our position on the E-levy.
- We have organized the first ever #Yentua and #DropThatBudget demonstration in front of Parliament which was targeted at stopping the impending approval of the E-Levy by Parliament. Through our determined efforts to mobilize public opinion against the E-Levy, we the people ultimately compelled Parliament to reject the Budget;
- We have attended all Townhall meetings organized by the Government on the E-Levy and used those avenues to bring a different and divergent view to the echo-chamber the Government has sought to create through a rushed and stage-managed event.
- We have held polls on the E-levy, which confirm that the overwhelming majority of Ghanaians are against the E-levy.
Throughout all these activities, we have come to understand and agree with the majority of Ghanaians that the E-levy will impoverish Ghanaians, in particular those who fall within the poorest segments of our society. And that for this reason, the proposed levy is both immoral and inconsiderate.
We have also on several occasions expressed concern over the fact that the Government has not taken any measures aimed at cutting down expenditure, waste, and the penchant for profligacy among our political class. We have also expressed consistent frustration that Governments after Governments continue to borrow money for projects which they then abandon like the Saglemi housing project, after stealing the project funds through well-designed corruption vehicles. As you all know, no single person in Ghana has been jailed or surcharged for any abandoned project in this country, no matter their political party.
In light of these, we think that the time has come for us to build a multi-sectoral and non-partisan coalition against the E-Levy. #FixTheCountry is committed to leading that process.
At the same time, we encourage all actors and political parties, including the NDC to continue to oppose the E-Levy vigorously, including by holding the front of the opposition with their representatives in Parliament. We think that the NDC can effectively cripple the Government’s agenda in Parliament, if they maintain their commitment to the course, without settling or negotiating away the people’s opposition to the levy.
Most importantly, however, we also believe that the E-Levy and the fact that it has been proposed and is being forced down our throats despite all opposition to it is a symptom of our perverted democracy that thrives on a winner-takes-all mentality. We have seen our people taken for granted one tax after another, one bad governance after another. Several groups joined the NDC to oppose the Communication Service Tax in 2008, yet when they won power in 2008, they made no attempts to repeal that tax. In fact, they passed an amendment law in 2013, to expand the scope of that tax.
As result, we have invited the NDC party leadership to throw the support behind #FixTheCountry calls for A New Constitution for A New Generation.
We believe the time has come for a real and credible conversation on the roadmap towards a more equitable constitutional framework. The real work in saving our democracy through substantive constitutional reforms must start now. Not tomorrow.
Yours in the service of Ghana