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General News of Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Source: Peace FM

Fight against corruption; 'failed' NPP only interested in talking - GACC


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Acting Head of Research and Policy for the Ghana Anti Corruption Coalition, Samuel Harrison-Cudjoe, has indicted the current NPP administration, accusing the ruling party of only good in talking about corruption but lacking the balls to fight the canker.

To him, the mere fact of setting up an Office of the Special Prosecutor does not fight corruption, pointing out that "enforcing the law and not pretending to enforce" the law will achieve results.

The anti-corruption Campaigner also took the NDC to the cleaners saying the opposition party only "petends to be checking government on corruption", slamming them for doing "equally little" to fight the menace when they were in power.

Samuel Harrison-Cudjoe was speaking on Okay FM's "Egyaso Gyaso" programme on the performance of NPP in fighting corruption since assuming office in 2017.

He lamented that consistently Ghana has been dropping in world ranking on corruption perception index published by Transparency International, and urged political commitment to deal with the issue that is robbing the nation of millions that could be used in development.

" . . despite the numerous promises and assurances to be better than NDC, they (NPP) have failed to tackle corruption head-on," the acting Research and Policy officer at the GACC added.

The promise by Vice President Dr. Bawumia that the criminal Act, Act 29 was to be amended to make corruption a felony, is yet to be fulfilled since the NPP government took office.

“Government, since 2017, has been engaged in putting together an architecture that will help in the fight against corruption. This architecture is built on three pillars,” said the Vice President.

“First is the legal framework. The laws must not only be there, but they have to be enforced. Second is the strengthening of institutions that fight corruption; if you don’t resource the institutions, how do you expect them to fight corruption? The third is to deal with a system that prevents corruption. If you don’t have a transparent system, then you allow corruption to get under the radar and survive.”

On the legal framework, Dr. Bawumia said the passage of the Witness Protection Act in 2018 (Act 959), which gives protection to witnesses who testify against corruption, the passage of the Right to Information Act after over 20 years of consideration, the passage of the Companies Act 2019, that gives legal backing for a beneficial ownership register, the Special Prosecutor Law, etc. are some legal reforms the government of Nana Akufo-Addo has undertaken in its fight against corruption.

Dr. Bawumia also cited the increment in budgetary allocations for state institutions that fight corruption as a demonstration of the commitment to fight corruption by the Nana Akufo-Addo government.

“Government has increased allocations to all accountability institutions including Parliament, the Judiciary, CHRAJ, EOCO, Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice, Office of the Special Prosecutor and the Ghana Police.”

“The operational budget of CHRAJ, for example, has increased from 1.8m Ghana Cedis in 2016 to GHC 5m in 2019. And in 2020, the allocation is GHC 12.2m. It has moved from GHC1.8 to GHC 12.2 million for CHRAJ, just for the operational budget,” Dr. Bawumia noted.

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