Lawless Jobs

A lawless job is a job that is lawlessly created and sustained lawlessly. A typical example is someone with leased frequency, employing anyone who can talk (sometimes a b..t talk) behind microphone so the owner can make money. They will not pay required taxes because they have ‘given people jobs.’ Yet they expect roads, hospitals, free everything that the politician will provide and complain when they are not getting those things.

In a number of cases, the frequencies have been lawlessly traded for profits which were not disclosed to be taxed to help provide public services. Those who think they know and know nothing are shouting curbing free speech in addition to insisting the lawlessly created jobs be maintained so people will not be jobless. No motherland in the whole wide world has profited from such lawlessness. Just show me one; because lawlessness is the beginning and end of all underdevelopment.

In the motherland, we seem to have found an anti-job way of creating jobs. Jobs are allowed to be created that discourage job creation. Those jobs are lawlessly created and by that thrive in lawlessness. Because we need to spend money trying to cure the lawlessness, we eventually lose as a collective since the lawless job holders, hold on tight to their jobs and in so doing deepen lawlessness. The cycle continues while holding our progress

Someone just complained about our ‘acceptance of indiscipline.’ Only that? We eat indiscipline, we drink it, we relish it, we sleep it, wake up in it and live the day throughit. Our need and quest for indiscipline is without bounds. It is to the extent that I am beginning to think perhaps what we need to do to raise our living standards is to find out about how we can use indiscipline to develop. Senselessly, it is beginning to look like, without indiscipline, we would never be able to do anything good for ourselves.

From time to time, I have wondered how we think our trotro system must continue. I have seen trotro in Kenya (I don’t remember how they call it there). In Lagos, I rode in danfo (the smaller 15 seater type) and molue (the larger forty or thereabout seater.) Their drivers, mates and bookmen (one positive thing I haven’t seen a woman engage in that) have lawless jobs, in my humble view. They are lawless jobs that together provide the service of cheap transportation for the masses.

Frankly, that lawless approach is not the only way to provide affordable transportation for the masses. President John Agyekum Kufuor, and Hilla Limann before him, believed in that. They believed like every developed motherland everywhere else, it is possible to develop an affordable, disciplined working public transport system.

There is so much lawlessness about the trotro transportation system with fake (rather condoned) roadworthy vehicles which are anything except that. Their operation has become a way of legitimising illegitimate road use. The passengers are in a hurry so those who have to ensure they report to work on time have to be left behind as the trotro drivers use the shoulder of the road to avoid traffic gridlock.

It might be lawful riding in our cars. But in other places, lawfulness is stretched to car polling and other (maybe small sacrifice of comfort) situations that make things work. There are park and ride systems as well as alternate day for driving odd numbered and even numbered vehicles to ease the kind of traffic congestion that partially encourages the indiscipline of trotro drivers.

Hawking jobs are lawless and breed more lawlessness. I have thought hard about why people want to shop in traffic until one day I had to buy some fancy “Awo Komi’ (kenkey) around Spanner (also known as HIPC) Junction. My cat-killing curiosity couldn’t resist the sight of the beautifully packaged (legacy of Courage Quarshigah, I believe). Awo Komi, with its mɔnkɔ and fried fish, till date, remains probably the most tasteful kenkey I have ever had.

That says ‘ɛhɛn nyinaa hɛn enyi ato’ (we are all guilty). With that, I don’t easily see how the lawless ‘every space must be taken’ hawking attitude and practice could be stopped. The hawking belief is all space shall be encumbered irrespective of the consequences for anyone else. For as long as I, and maybe my family, am benefitting, let conscience go hang.

Having the will to have a grip of preventing lawless job creation which gets sustained lawlessly is a basic condition for improving our living standards. The lawless impunity with which we handle frequency owning, the trotro and hawking systems will forever stunt our desired motherland’s growth and development. The trouble of allowing lawlessness to consume us is still choosing between convenience and conscience (my headline for Monday, September 28, 2015).

By Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh             

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