His Lordship Yonny Kulendi of the Supreme Court of Ghana has bemoaned the challenges facing public servants in Ghana.
In a recent speech, he highlighted the pressure that comes with being a public servant explaining that people in the community assume holding a big position in government automatically meant one is well-to-do.
He added that the needy in the area sometimes looked up to them to alleviate their suffering, despite them [public servants] also having limited resources.
According to him, the pressure is a symptom of a larger problem that affects all Ghanaians. He believes that creating a sustainable ecosystem of discipline and basic ethics is necessary to address this issue.
“We have already planned our doom even before we take off. The people in our communities, you get an appointment, you accept a public service job like mine where for the first time you answer… but the people think that you suddenly become a big man and you must have money to distribute.
“Where will you get that money to distribute? that is why I said that the problem goes beyond this room to all the thirty-five million Ghanaians, so we have to work and create an ecosystem that will sustain discipline. Basic ethics, let’s just love each other and be human, so I always say that we must go back and teach courtesy for boys and girls.”
To buttress his point, Kulendi shared a story about his mother, who managed to educate all of her eight children despite being an illiterate woman who made a living from selling Pitoo, a local drink.
He noted that his mother never borrowed money, and he himself had only borrowed money for the first time in his life a few months ago to pay his taxes to the Ghana government.
“I tell people that my mother was an illiterate woman doing Pitoo (local drink) she had eight children, my mother has never borrowed and she educated all of us including me, and that is because she managed her scarce resources.
“I took that from my mother and I tell people, the first time in my life I borrowed is about three or four months ago, and I borrowed money to pay tax to Ghana government.
“So, for the first time in my life, I borrowed, because now I am a judge, and they are coming after me for work I had done in my law firm and I cannot fight them because they will say Kulendi is a judge and fighting GRA. So, I had to go borrow money to pay tax,” he added.
The Supreme Court Judge was speaking at a programme held by the Institute of Economic Affairs, at the University of Ghana, under the theme ‘Institutionalizing fiscal discipline and Macroeconomic stability for sustained growth in Ghana: The Constitutional Pathway’.