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General News of Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Source: Class FM

Confidence in state officials eroded - IMANI

Ahead of this year’s presidential and parliamentary elections, governance think tank, IMANI Ghana, has observed that public confidence in most government and state-appointed officials has eroded, therefore, voters will expect the upcoming government, be it the incumbent or a new one, to take steps to address the issues that have led to the erosion of confidence in them.

The group, in an article titled: “IMANI’s 2016 Pre-Election Report: Whoever Wants to Win Election Must Pay Attention”, indicated that the aftermath of investigative works by investigative journalists Anas Aremeyaw Anas and Manasseh Azure Awuni, have put the spotlight on abuse of office by various officeholders, something that has led to constant monitoring of perceived corrupt practices by public officials.

The article said: “Voters expect any upcoming government, be it the incumbent or an incoming one, to take the issue of corruption very seriously and with a very swift and firm hand”.

“Public confidence in most government and state-appointed officials has been eroded with successive reports of flagrant scandals involving massive impropriety. As a matter of fact, the inability of Ghana’s parliament to accelerate the passing of the freedom of information bill, almost a decade and a half [since its inception], compared to the speed with which the same parliament passed multi-million dollar bills overnight and [its’ intention to pursue a communication bill that was designed to eavesdrop on electronic communications, clearly indicated to the interested public that where there is motivation, the legislature can, indeed, rally around and pass bills.

“In similar vein, pressure groups like the Citizen Ghana Movement have opened the gates to challenges to the right of disclosure by public officials of documents that hitherto were not available for public scrutiny, in relation to the bus branding contract. This level of awareness means that voters are really now very interested in outcomes of good governance more than ever before.

“Governance will be seen to only advance with the passing of the Right to Information Act, as well as the ability of the next government to swiftly deal with the inability of the Auditor General to bring the hammer down on abuses that have been discovered, of which excesses are into billions of cedis.”

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