“We have not seen much leadership in the fight against corruption in the country. We need to see bold initiatives from government through effective preventive mechanism against corruption and administrative sanction to deter potential corrupt officials”.
Mrs Mary Awelana Addah, Programmes Manager, GII in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra in reaction to this year’s President State of the Nation Address, urged government to resource the National Commission for Civic Education to intensify education to empower the public to report corrupt cases.
She urged the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to expedite investigation into corrupt activities, stressing “Justice delayed is justice denied”.
President Akufo-Addo in his address said in 2003, the Public Procurement Act was introduced to protect the public purse and that he took the bold steps in 2018 to bring about the establishment of an independent prosecutor, with the setting up of the Office of Special Prosecutor.
My government, in 2019, enacted the Right to Information Act, which provide for the operationalization of the constitutional right to information from public and some private institutions, subject to exemptions that are necessary and consistent with the protection of public interest in a democratic society.
The Bill also seeks to foster a culture of transparency and accountability in public affairs and to provide for related matters.
The President stated that within two years in office, government doubled funding for accountability institutions of state, like CHRAJ, EOCO, the Judiciary and the Auditor General and expect them to execute their work with professionalism and good faith.
Ghana will add up to Africa counties like South Africa, Angola, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Liberia, Malawi and Guinea to pass an RTI law.
Mrs Addah expressed concern about the President’s directive to Mr Daniel Domelevo, the former Auditor General, to proceed on retirement, saying the dismissal did not augur well in the quest for government to fight corruption.
“It is surprising for the President to forcibly remove Mr Domelevo from office. The situation is worrying because it is not portraying a good picture in the international world in fighting corruption in Ghana”, she said.
She commended government for passing the RTI law, but civil society organizations had difficulties in accessing information for their advocacy activities.
On the Office of the Special Prosecutor, Mrs Addah lauded government intervention of creating the office, but was not enthused with the alleged interference with the work of the Special Prosecutor, resulting in abuse of power.
According to her, even though the country had made laws to curtailed corruption related issues, more needed to be done in terms of implementation of those laws to deter people from committing crimes.