Investigative journalist urges anti-corruption institutions to strengthen collaboration
Mr Manasseh Azure Awuni, an investigative journalist, has urged anti-corruption institutions to strengthen collaboration with one another in the fight against corruption.
He said the agents of corruption operate in networks, and therefore, those fighting corruption must also collaborate in order to make the needed impact.
“There have been times anti-corruption agencies are used by the political authority to harass others. What is even strange is that ant graft institutions sometimes fight each other,” Mr Awuni stated in his address at the maiden Domelevo Accountability Lectures 2021.
The event was organized by the Centre for Social Democracy (CSD-Ghana) in partnership with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in honour of Mr Daniel Yaw Domelevo, the immediate past Auditor-General of Ghana.
Mr Awuni, who is also the Editor of the Fourth Estate, cited that on June 2, 2021, an Accra High Court pronounced judgment on the Auditor-General Vs. Economic and Organised Crime Office.
He said the court held that EOCO’s so-called investigation of the Auditor-General for alleged breach of the procurement process was “ultra vires, wrongful, illegal, arbitrary and capricious.”
Mr Awuni noted that it was unfortunate that institutions that should be working together were set against one another.
With regards to collaboration with media, he said it was important fight against corruption with credible journalists and media institutions to work with.
He said if the right journalists were fed with the right information and documents, they could help stop some malfeasance in the public sector.
He said a public official who helps journalists get information in order to curb wrongdoing would be doing a patriotic service to the country.
He urged public officials to also identify and collaborate with anti-corruption civil society organisations (CSOs); declaring that “these CSOs may be useful in pushing for policy reforms and strengthening the hands of public officials through advocacy”.
Mr Awuni said public and civil servants must purge themselves of political control. “If public officials can wage a meaningful war against corruption, then they should refrain from being puppets and tools in the hands of the government and the political class”.
He appealed to the public, the media, civil society and all well-meaning Ghanaians to offer a helping hand to the public officials and civil servants who get into trouble for doing what was right.
He also encouraged the media, civil society and institutions such as the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to find ways of educating the citizenry to appreciate how corruption affects them.
He said the citizens would be concerned about corruption if they knew that they were victims of the wanton waste of public resources.
He urged public office holders to consider the fight against corruption as a civic responsibility on every Ghanaian, especially those entrusted with the resources of the state; adding that the first point to begin from was the decision not to be part of the looting brigade.
Mr Awuni said the fight against corruption might appear sacrificial, thankless and dangerous, but society had a way of rewarding those who stand up for the rest.
“A good name was, is and will forever be better than stolen wealth. “He (Mr Domelevo) has written his name in the honourable pages of Ghana’s history and posterity will not forget him. That is the higher calling, which public officials should aspire to.
“It is a treasure no amount of money can buy, a treasure that will outlive our fleeting days on earth.”