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Law on corruption hindering fight against the cancer – NGO

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CorruptionMr Adamu Mukaila, SEND – Ghana Upper West Region Programme Officer has observed that the law, which criminalises both the receiver and giver of bribes, is not curbing the vice in the society.

He said people fail to report acts of corruption because they are also guilty of the act.

Mr Mukaila made the observation during SEND – Ghana’s sensitisation workshop on Anti-Corruption laws in Ghana.

He said the fight against corruption would become a mirage if people are not willing to report freely on the act to appropriate authorities.

He suggested the aspect which criminalises the giver be properly defined to exclude those who have been coerced to yield to the act, to be able to report without sanctions.

Mr Mukaila noted that over the last decade, Ghana has developed and implemented several anti-corruption initiatives, passed a number of anti-corruption laws and also ratified international conventions.

He said the country has also established accountability institutions and recently developed a National Anti-Corruption Action Plan.

He said despite these efforts, corruption has persisted and there has been little progress in reducing it.

He said this motivated Ghana Integrity Initiative to embark on the a project dubbed: “Accountable Democratic Institutions and systems strengthening,” project in selected districts of the Upper West, Upper East, Northern and Greater Accra Regions.

Mr Mukaila said the purpose of the workshop was to educate citizens about the mandate of anti-corruption institutions in Ghana and to ensure that the citizens are well equipped with the requisite knowledge that would empower them to be able to demand transparency and accountability from duty bearers in the fight against the vice.

“Corruption cuts across both public and private sectors and must not only be seen to be among public office holders alone,” he said.

He pointed out that corruption constrains investment and retards growth, undermines democracy and good governance, leads to low quality of social infrastructure and suspends the rule of law and must be eliminated from the society.

Mr Mukaila added his voice to some Ghanaians calling for the election of District Chief Executives (DCEs), saying it would make them more accountable to the people rather than political parties and their appointing authorities.

He said such a move would ensure the election of very competent people to be DCEs.

Madam Akua Zakaria, Wa Municipal Director of National Commission for Civic Education, urged Ghanaians to make it a point to reject vote buying politicians because such people when voted into power have a high tendency of being corrupt.

They should rather vote for people based on their competence so that they could serve them well by bringing to them the needed development.

Mr Dennis Otoo, Deputy Staff Officer at the Regional Office of the Economic and Organised Crime Office, advised the people to feel free to report corruption issues to the office for the necessary investigations.

He expressed worry that some people report issues of corruption but are not willing to volunteer details or assist his office with the investigation process.

Mr Siddique Ubeidu, Regional Director of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justic, who spoke about the unwillingness of the public in reporting corruption, said human rights issues are reported to the commission than corruption.

Source: GNA

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