Columnist: Morrison, Angelina K.
For democracy to function best, it must encompass a true and living motley of heterogeneous opinions.
It is not useful to spend vital time and effort discussing whether people must be given the right to vent their spleen either by practising armchair politicking or to engage in a march that either upsets or conforms to societal quietude. It is the sound prerogative of the masses to choose the course they take in allowing their felt and perhaps perceptible but ineffable emotions to be expressed.
Today (16th May 2015), is the day for the now famous or infamous #dumsormuststop vigil. After playing the disconcerting game of battledore and shuttlecock, the rally will take place. In any case, there is that side of me that wonders what should follow next.
I am left asking if after the rally, the people leading and participating in the vigil will be in a position to return to homes where they can enjoy uninterrupted power supply. Now, where a sitting president having received the moniker of Mr Dumsor does not seem as concerned as he should be, then one has to wonder whether the cacophony from the vigil—sorry I understand it will be quiet—will awaken him from his perdurable stupor. Will a deaf president hear the humming voices from the procession?
It is 2015 and Ghana cannot solve a power crisis. Am I the only Ghanaian not proud to come from a country like this? At this fascinating but frustratingly chelonian pace at which we are schlepping, one has but to wonder, when….?
Well, if people in the movie and music industry can spearhead a vigil, I shall let down the gauntlet to our legal friends to stand up and be counted. Yes, where are the lawyers who actually care about Ghana? No need to hide in your chambers or spring up when there is money to be made. You equally need to rise up and be seen.
A situation like ‘dumsor’ in the West would have elicited a class action by now. In fact, it would have happened a long time ago. My knowledge of Ghanaian law does not allow me to speak with authority on such an issue or path of action. In any case, let a legal luminary rise up and mastermind what could very well be a class action against the government. Let people whose businesses have been impacted document the extent of this power crisis on their source of living. Let the average soul equally undertake a detailed computation of the effects of ‘dumsor’ on his/her life, not to talk about the damage to electrical gadgets. And with such information duly gathered and coherently compiled, they could very well beat a worn-out track to the courts.
Such a suggestion if carefully undertaken will lead to the government having to answer in a court of law as to why this situation has remained for so long.
In the event that such a case may currently be deemed infeasible for the courts, I remain firmly of the view that a sensible and savant lawyer skilled in handling groundbreaking issues and widening the scope of what would surely be a narrow corpus of law, could initiate action, and consequently and successfully win such a case, and set a firm precedent that future cases could follow.
After all, we have sat on the radio and complained over and over to no avail. Moreover, we have vented our frustrations on social media as a considered path. And even this week, our story—Dumsor travails—made it to the BBC. Sadly, despite all the good intentions of the leaders of this demonstration, I fear they will return to sleep in darkness without anything changing.
Although the law is not an ambit of my wide authority, a knowledgeable and willing lawyer who manages to file and win a class action for people who join the case to court could probably get the government to pay them compensation. And even, if that does not solve the crisis, at least, the received compensation could very well help in buying torch light batteries if not generators so they can at least avoid the darkness at night.
While I wait to see whether my suggestion will gain traction, I rue not taking the opportunity to study law; for if I had, I will not be writing about a ‘dumsor’ vigil; I will be championing the cause of people willing to sue the government in the courts of law. If there is a current scope within the law for such class actions, it will be my boon; and assuming there isn’t, I will be fighting to shatter the fixed and narrow frontiers of the law to ensure that government can be held culpable and liable for such actions of gross maladministration and woeful mismanagement of national resources. Will somebody take up this pleasant charge; and would we soon hear People vs Republic?
I shall return with my talking drums!
Angelina K. Morrison is interested in national development, true religion, and self-improvement. She enjoys thinking, and writes stories only when the muse grips her. Her first short story, Gravellatina is a breathtaking five-part gripping series available now at Amazon. You can email her at email@example.com, or find her at www.angelinakmorrison.wordpress.com or Facebook page.