Ghana far from winning fight against corruption – CHRAJ

Mr Joseph Whittal, Director, Legal and Investigations of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), on Monday said that Ghana was far from winning the fight against corruption for lack of adequate political commitment to end the menace.

He said: “We are burdened with lots of political rhetoric that is rarely backed by concrete action to curb corruption”.

Mr Whittal made the observation at a regional consultative workshop on the development of a National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP), organized by CHRAJ in Ho.

He said serious institutional weaknesses and refusal to follow laid down procedures in private and public sectors were making corruption increasingly pervasive in the country.

Mr Whittal said that though international surveys showed that majority of the citizenry admitted that corruption was a serious problem, economic, political, social and cultural factors were making the fight against the menace difficult.

He said public servants’ fear of ending up as paupers after leaving public office due to unattractive retirement packages and poor remuneration, were making many of them loot the public purse to secure a better future.

Mr Whittal said: “The growing phenomenon of payment of high filing fees by aspirants of political parties is deepening our corruption woes. Demands by political parties for political appointees to make financial contributions to party coffers because they put them in office is destroying our hope of ending political corruption in the country.

“These things are taking medicines from the sick and denying our students better infrastructure.”

Mr Whittal said nepotism and the culture of gift-giving were also mutilating against efforts aimed at combating corruption and causing retardation of economic growth, flight of capital and the inflation of administrative costs and discouraging investors from investing in the country and called for “a more comprehensive system” to counter corruption.

He said: “Corruption is a system and it can only be countered by a system. We ought to build our efforts into a systematic concept of prevention and punishment for corruption.”

Madam Florence Dennis, NACAP Working Group Member, said irrespective of the negativities, the country had attained good governance, vibrant and dynamic civil society and improved media and Parliament.

She was hopeful that with a strong political will and strong institutions, the country would win the battle against corruption.

During an open forum, Mr Kwesi Aboagye, Volta Regional Chairman of the National Democratic Congress said corruption in the country has become “cancerous” and called on chiefs, technocrats and government to wake up and “heal” the nation.

Source: GNA

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