Corruption in Ghana

Events since 2009 seem to have raised corruption in Ghana to higher proportions.  Early in 2011 news broke on the payment of 51 million Ghana Cedis (GHC) as judgment debt to Alfred Agbesi Woyome, a known financier of the ruling party. The recipient could not authenticate the grounds on which the money was paid to him and the case is still pending in court. Several such cases have since been discovered and in most cases government officials are seen as the initiators of action to collect from the government they serve.

Currently making the rounds in the media circuit is the taped gossip of a former deputy minister who declared among other things that she would only retire from politics after bagging a million dollars. The perception created here is that politics is now the biggest money maker.

Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Indicator ranks Ghana at 63 out of 177, a notch  down 2012 rank of 64. Progress? Doubtful. In both 2012 and 2013 the scores stay at 45 indicating that not much is being done to stem corruption in the country. Auditor general’s reports and the Parliamentary Action Committee’s findings only keep providing fodder for politicians and talking heads on radio and television talk shows, while dockets and files gather dust.

Fortunately patriotic Ghanaians like ex-Attorney General Martin Amidu have taken up the crusade against organized corruption. He has in the process angered many even in his own party, but he has the support of many Ghanaians.

The country is now considered broke prompting the executive branch of government to give up 10 percent of its salary. In our view this is unnecessary since the present economic situation could have been avoided in the first place by the same executive. At a time in the history of Ghana when commodities like oil and gold are selling at peak prices the country has no reason to be broke. But where is the money?

President Mahama appears to be taking action but it is not enough. The canker has developed more worms than mere wrist taps and lame warnings. The laws against corruption must be seen to be enforced. Whistleblowers must be protected. If the powers that be do not have the cojones to enforce the laws civil society has to take action through demonstrations and strikes among others to ensure that corruption is uprooted.

Ironically we have in office a political party whose mantra happens to be probity and accountability.

Enough said.

Posted by on Jan 21 2014. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply