Address weakness in legislature framework dealing with corruption – CHRAJ

Mr Stephen Okpoti Mensah, the Eastern Regional Director of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), on Friday said shortcomings and weakness in the legislative framework dealing with corruption to deter people from indulging in corrupt practices should be addressed.

He said punishments prescribed by the Criminal Offence Act were not deterrent enough, adding, “for instance the punishment in Act 29 is that of misdemeanour”.

Mr Mensah made the call at the 11th Annual Constitutional Week Celebration of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) at Begoro in the Fanteakwa District.

Speaking on the topic, “Corruption, the bane of Ghana’s socio-economic development” Mr Okpoti called on authorities to have the political will to take bold steps in cases of corruption and not to shield those in high places who commit offences.

He mentioned that bribery, nepotism, fraud, embezzlement, looting among others, were practices people indulged in.

He said cultural beliefs also breed corruption, adding “it comes in the form of nepotism which culturally was viewed as helping one’s relative to get favours especially in terms of employment even when the person is the least qualified or not qualified at all”.

Mr Mensah said one other important cause of corruption was the weakness of institutions that existed to check and enforce the laws on corruption.

He called on government to strengthen institutions established to fight corruption such as the judiciary, the police, the audit service, CHRAJ and the Economic and Organized Crime Organization (EOCO).

Mr Mensah appealed to the government to increase transparency in governance through legislations such as the freedom of information law, whistle blower law and code of conduct for public officers.

Source: GNA

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