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Press Review of Friday, 31 August 2007

Source: Ghanaian Chronicle

EDITORIAL: Politicians Should Stop Deceiving Us


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The Daily Graphic yesterday quoted the former Defence Minister, Dr. Kwame Addo Kufuor as saying that he would make corrupt practices very expensive and costly for all, if given the nod as flag bearer of NPP and subsequently, as President of the nation.

The former Minister was further quoted as saying that the tag of corruption erodes the moral authority of government and exposes representative governance to enemies of democracy. It also reduces that trust of the people in their elected representatives.

The Chronicle wishes to put on record that this is not the first time that we are hearing our politicians promising to wage war on corruption. In fact, in all African countries the fight against corruption has become a tool that politicians use to convince people to vote for them. Here in Ghana, we can cite our own former President, Flt. Lt (rtd) Jerry John Rawlings who staged two successful coups one of which saw the execution of some former Heads of State.

We can also cite the current President, John Agyekum Kufuor who, upon assumption of office, declared a zero tolerance for corruption. Despite these public pronouncements by our leaders they always fail to enforce or punish their ministers and other government appointees who have had corrupt charges levelled against them. We vividly recall the case where former President Rawlings' government issued a white paper to exonerate some of his ministers who were found to have engaged in corrupt practices by a no mean body like the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).

This was at a time that the same leader had led a coup and executed some other Ghanaians over the same offence. In the case of President Kufuor, after making sure that his government prosecuted the former Minister of Youth and Sports, Mallam Yussif Issa for the role he played in the missing $46,000, nothing concrete has been done to convince Ghanaians that he meant what he said about the zero tolerance for corruption. As it happened in the NDC days, corruption charges are flying all over the place but no government official has been dragged to court to face the music.

We concede that various mechanisms have been put in place to check corruption but until we allow these mechanisms to work, such interventions become meaningless. It is based on the above argument that The Chronicle finds Addo Kufuor's position on the subject a mere rhetoric. At least, what we have just mentioned proves that our politicians in Ghana and the African continent as a whole do not take the fight against corruption to its logical conclusion.

If Addo Kufuor and in fact those politicians who use corruption as a weapon to win elections have no other campaign messages, they should stop disturbing our ears with the promise to fight against this canker. Ghanaians will be better off without such pronoupncements. If Dr. Addo Kufuor and other politicians in the country want Ghanaians to believe in what they are saying this time, then the action must start now.

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