The Airbus Bribery Scandal, a Mischievous Political Interest?


I have been up for only a few hours and already my inbox is filled with news items of the Airbus bribery scandal…
Honestly I didn’t see the Ghanaian interest in it and why it was trending until I decided to read the story.


Now here is it, the long and short of the whole matter is that Airbus, Europe’s largest aerospace company has admitted that it paid bribes in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Ghana between 2011 and 2015 to secure contracts and the company has been fined by the Court in the U.K.

So a foreign company admits bribing our officials or influence their acquisition of contracts by inducing government officials and we are not angry at the Multinational Company for their dealings in our Country?
Are we serious???

Let me state this fact, that the new colonialism is Multinational companies doing business in Africa and how they are ripping the African people off millions of dollars by annexing the resources of the People through bribery and corruption….
Airbus must really be ashamed of themselves but the point is this happening almost every day and not under one regime but almost every regime and as a people we must begin to rally together against these Multinational companies for their roles in the exploitation of Africa’s resources.

But again I have seen attempts to link former President Mahama to this story and you are likely to be caught up in that narrative until you actually read the story.

First of all there is nowhere in the story that said Airbus paid bribes to a President or a Vice President in the 5 Countries it admitted in paying bribes in so anybody trying to create mischief out of it must first read the story.

Secondly nobody is making a fuss out of this in Sri Lanka or in Indonesia not because they don’t care but because this time round the burden of guilt lays heavily on Airbus and no one else because they were supposed to be doing genuine business in Africa and across the World and not paying bribes to officials.

There was also no where in the story did Airbus say the officials came to them to demand those bribes before awarding the contracts..
This means that Airbus deliberately on their will or perhaps their modus operandi decided to grease people’s palms to facilitate the award of Contracts… How is that the fault of John Mahama?
Or John Mahama has suddenly become an employee of Airbus?
Or it was John Mahama who was dishing out those bribes on behalf Airbus?

I am not saying if there legitimate reasons to ask questions from our leaders and past leaders we shouldn’t… only this time there is no legitimate basis to draw John Mahama into this conversation at all unless Airbus publicly provides the list of government officials who were recipients of those bribes and John Mahama’s name appears on the list then we can ask questions.

For now we must demand more answers from Airbus for their dirty deals in Africa and elsewhere whiles we continue to put more pressure on Multinational companies working here in Ghana to conform to the National Anti Corruption Action Plan of the Country which was promulgated in 2015……. and guess who was President at the time??

And Oh, even after all these admissions, Airbus has not been collapsed by the UK government…they will pay their fine and continue with their business as usual and no one, absolutely no one, is going to loose their job or their investments because of the actions a Company which is a legal entity on it’s own… interesting contrast isn’t it?

Mensah Thompson
Executive Director, ASEPA


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