Minister Fights OccupyGhana Over Dumsor

A meeting called at the instance of OccupyGhana, an elite pressure group, in respect of the current energy crisis confronting the nation virtually degenerated into a war of words when Power Minister Kwabena Donkor insisted that the current power situation could not be referred to as dumsor (load shedding), as it is popularly termed in the local parlance.

The embattled power minister threatened to end the meeting if members of the pressure group continued to refer to the power crisis as dumsor and not load shedding.

His threat did not go down well with leading members of OccupyGhana, namely Sydney Casely-Hayford and Egbert Faibille Jnr, leading to hot verbal exchanges between the minister and members of the group.

The minister was heard on the recorded encounter with the group asking Sydney Casely-Hayford to explain to him the difference between dumsor and load shedding.

Minister: Tell me the difference between localised outages and load shedding in Twi.

Sydney: Dumsor. Load is dum; shedding is sor – dumsor.

Minister: Mr Casely-Hayford, I am a serious person here.

Sydney: I am a very serious person as well.
Minister: No, I am asking you in Twi. This meeting may break up on this because I am asking you to make a differentiation because I won’t let this be pushed down my throat.

Sydney: Break up on dumsor, then let it break up!

Officials of OccupyGhana were heard saying, “You don’t even attend meeting on time over this problem and you want to bully us here,” to which Dr Donkor reacted sharply saying, “I am not trying to bully you.”

OccupyGhana members responded, “But you are asking us to leave.”

Calm returned a bit at this point and the minister was asked to make a point on the issue but his attempt again to get the members of the pressure group to agree with him that the current crisis cannot be referred to as dumsor sparked yet another heated argument, with him shouting on top of his voice on the tape as did the group.

At this juncture, Mr Hayford came out strongly saying, “I will say this and we can either continue or discontinue as the minister is threatening us… The local parlance for the light going on and off is dumsor. We have to explain to the people of this country that that is what we came to talk about because that is the core of the issue. We are not taking any stigma on dumsor. We are using it as a local parlance which people appreciate and understand. And I have no problem of equating load shedding to dumsor despite the fine technicalities.”

Minister’s Vow
Dr Donkor was appointed Ghana’s first minister of power by President John Mahama with the responsibility of ending the protracted energy crisis referred to as dumsor – a task he (Dr Donkor) vowed to fulfil by the close of 2015, threatening to resign if he failed to do so.

However, after assuming office nearly a year ago and with the dumsor still persisting, Dr Donkor has been insisting that he promised to end load shedding and not dumsor since to him, the word dumsor refers to unplanned outages.

OccupyGhana and the general public believe that the assertion by the minister that he promised to end load shedding and not dumsor is ‘misleading’ because for them there is no difference between what the minister refers to as load shedding and dumsor.

BY Melvin Tarlue

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