A former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mr Emile Short, says Ghana is losing the fight against corruption.
He attributed the surge in corruption to lack of funds to enable anti corruption institutions to operate effectively, modes of appointing public officials as well as people being appointed not based on meritocracy but political affiliation and patronage.
Speaking at the presentation of the Afrobarometer Round Seven Findings by the Centre For Democratic Development (CDD) in Accra yesterday, Mr Short agreed with Prof.
Lumumba’s call for corruption to be viewed as a crime against humanity and further noted that advocacy should be on cost and impact of corruption on society.
He said it was unfortunate how those who flaunt their ill-gotten wealth are admired by society and called for mechanisms to make corruption unattractive.
Police and judiciary
Laying specific emphasis on the police and the judiciary, Mr Short said the trend was “worrying because they are supposed to lead the fight against corruption.”
He was of the view that enough was not being done to fight corruption.
He further attributed the rise in corruption to the kind of multi party democratic system being practiced in Ghana.
That, he noted, was because, political parties were being funded by some corrupt people, and when they won, those corrupt companies and individuals used all means to recoup their cash.
Former Commissioner of CHRAJ - Mr Emile Short
“For the past 24 to 36 months, what action has been taken against corruption? I think very small,” he noted and urged the government to allocate more resources to fight corruption.
“The increase in public sector corruption calls for radical action from government,” adding that the present government was voted to fight corruption.
He said the “only” positive move by the government to fight corruption was the passage of the Special Prosecutor bill into law.
Mr Short then queried “what about the Right to Information Bill and the need to review the Assets Declaration law? That law needs to be looked at because assets declared are not made public.”
Touching on the increase in political vigilantism in the country, Mr Short said those acts should be blamed on politicians who had raised the hopes of the youth beyond reality.
He said the hopes and aspirations were so high people had resorted to all forms of illegal activities.
He said the increased spate in political vigilantism was an indictment on the police because of serious evidence of lack of adherence to rule of law.
Just like in fighting corruption we seem not to hold people accountable
Mr Short noted that the police found it difficult to deal with people indulging in offensive political acts because they (police) were afraid of political repercussions.
The former CHRAJ Commissioner said this problem could be blamed on the process for the appointments to the position of Inspector General of Police, which was currently done by the President.
“The process of appointing the iGP prevents the IGP and those below him to take action. We end up having very weak institutions because the President appoints the heads to strategic public institutions,” he noted.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Telecoms Chamber, Mr Kenneth Ashigbey, noted that the fight against galamsey had received massive support from the public and the media.
He said one of the critical issues that led to the success of the campaign was the government calling the bluff of illegal miners.
Mr Ashigbey said there was the need to train illegal miners to acquire skills to live on.
Resource the police
A Security Analyst, Mr Emmanuel Sowatey, bemoaned the use of the military instead of the police to fight the activities of illegal miners.
“We are too quick in using military for work meant for police,” he noted and said a special unit can be established under the Ghana Police Service for such special projects.
He said the constant use of the military to do the work of the police had the potential to demoralise the police.
Mr Sowatey further noted that the galamsey kinpins were not being picked up in galamsey activities.
Source: Graphic Online