Author: KosiKedem (Former MP for Hohoe South)
Write-up: Dr. Kwesi Jonah, Senior Research Fellow. Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG)
Printers: University of Ghana Press, Legon
Date of Publication: 2021.ISBN: 978-3-1853-6
Date for Launch: Thursday 11 November, 2021 at 3.00PM
Venue for Launch: D, F. Annan Auditorium (Job 600) Parliament House, Accra
Unlike many public office holders who, after retirement from public life, did not document their experiences for the benefit of present and future generations, Mr. KosiKedem has chosen a completely different path. A professional librarian for many years at the University of Ghana’s Balme Library, Mr. Kedem has demonstrated in practical terms that he did not train only to keep custody of books but read and write books as well.
After serving mother Ghana as a law maker for Hohoe South Constituency for three Parliamentary terms (1993-2005), Mr. Kedem decided to give fellow citizens the benefit of insights into the great service he rendered to our dear country by putting his experiences into print. He has done some historical work on the Western Togoland Question. Since he voluntarily retired from Parliament however, he has authored two major books, “What I Said in Parliament (1993-2005)” and “In Pursuit of my Destiny: Memoirs of a Parliamentarian”. Adding this third book, to the collection of his post-Parliamentary writings has not been an easy decision for him to take. For several reasons he struggled with the decision to write or not to write. Fortunately for those of his fellow citizens who thirst for rare knowledge Mr. Kedem came to the courageous decision to produce this book: “After many struggles within me I have given in to the wish and desire to document the story of my life after Parliament that will be available for posterity and our libraries.” And we the public are the lucky beneficiaries of this decision for which we are extremely thankful.
The book is a useful guide for those of our compatriots who wish to embark on Parliamentary careers but also a mine of information for social scientists and journalists as well. Readers who spend the time and effort to carefully breeze through the pages of this book will quickly discover that the attention given is more than worthwhile. However, they will also definitely regret how much rich information they would have lost through the failure or refusal of many retired public office holders to tread the noble path Mr. Kedem has chosen to follow.
On the actual content of the book, the average reader should prepare for the unexpected. If any Ghanaians expect to see their retired members of Parliament to live a life of comfort and luxury there will be nothing but a terrible disappointment for them. As the author painstakingly explains Parliament has no pension scheme for MPs. Generally, getting a job after Parliament is extremely difficult because the former MP is considered politically tainted. The net result is that many former MPs are living a miserable, sorry and unsustainable life. The author in his capacity as Former President of the Forum of Former Members of Parliament (2009-2015) was moved by the predicament of many former MPs to file a petition in April 2021 to the President of the Republic Nana AddoDankwaAkufoAddo appealing for compassionate and humanitarian assistance for former MPs. That is how bad the condition of Ghana’s former MPs remain at the moment. To make matters worse the MPs reintegration into their communities is complicated by the social expectation that they have retired from Parliament with a huge accumulated wealth.
Even as the former MPs struggle to cope with the crisis of day-to-day living, they may also have to confront other tensions in their post Parliamentary life. In the specific context of Mr. KosiKedem these included managing the difficult relations with his successor MP and even tense relations with the party he belongs to and still holds dear to his heart. Of very special interest is the author’s detailed account of the risks and the opportunities associated with affiliation to the various power blocs within the NDC. Even the most powerful of party members can fall victim to anyone of these blocs. Mr. KosiKedem is no stranger to controversy and therefore does not shy away from nationally controversial political matters. He courageously revisits the pre-independence debate on whether or not Ghana should be a unitary or federal state.
This is the kind of book that captures and sustains the reader’s attention from the beginning to the end. It is rich in new information and no one who purchases a copy will ever regret the decision. Mr. KosiKedem has given us an excellent insight into life after a Parliamentary career in Ghana. The only way we as citizens, can add more grease to his elbows is to grab a copy now and read it from cover to coverThe book will be launched on Thursday 11 November, 2021 at 3.00PM in the Rt. Hon. D. F. Annan Auditorium, Parliament House under the auspices of the Guest of Honour, Rt. Hon. Speaker A. S. K Bagbin