Ablekuma West Member of Parliament, Ursula Owusu, has wondered whether Victoria Hammah was appointed as a Deputy Minister because of her “beauty and hips”. “…She’s talking about beauty and hips as criteria for appointment and I ask myself where that is getting us as a country? If she says that there are people who are more beautiful than you, who didn’t get appointment and they are all waiting in the sidelines, is that what people should be looking at? Is that what gave her her position? Beauty and hips?”
Victoria Hammah was sacked by President John Mahama on Friday after she was heard on a leaked tape saying she will not risk her appointment with needless fights when she had not yet bagged US$1Million dollars.
She was also heard on the tape denigrating colleague Deputy Minister Rachel Appoh, as an “ugly, brainless, loud-mouthed, egoistic” person who has been needlessly fighting her boss, Nana Oye Lithur, at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social protection.
Victoria Hammah further said on the tape that, Rachel’s colleague Deputy Minister at the Gender Ministry, Sena OKiti-Duah, who is a former Miss Ghana, and who, in Victoria’s opinion, is more beautiful than Rachel, should have been the one fighting Nana Oye Lithur if need be, rather than an “ugly” Rachel.
Ursula Owusu therefore wondered: “Is that why she’s saying that [Beauty and Hips] are the criteria for appointments?”
Ursula, who got embroiled in a hot contest with Victoria Hammah in the 2012 parliamentary elections, said she heard “Senior NDC” people at the collation centre in her constituency during the parliamentary elections, “… giving her [Victoria Hammah] assurances that she shouldn’t worry; if John Mahama wins, she will definitely get a position so she shouldn’t worry even if she loses. That’s the source of her assurance; her confidence that her position was assured a long time ago”.
According to Ursula, “when we are putting people in positions of authority, we need to look at their experience, demonstrable competence, proven track record, not just the one who shouts loudest or insults most or most obnoxious or in your face”.
“This excessive reliance on patronage and whom you know, the established linkages, those who supported us and all that, at the expense of merit, competence, proven track record, demonstrated competence; that is partly the bane of the kind of leadership that we have and may not be limited to just this group alone but you can’t also say that you’ll not look at those who supported you, but there must be some balance so that you would have people who will really be there to do the work instead of those that you are rewarding for service rendered in the past”, Ursula said.