General News of Thursday, 22 November 2012

Source: Joy Online

Presidential Candidates were not impressive on corruption - Azeem

Anti corruption campaigner, Vitus Azeem, says the answers given by the four presidential candidates in Wednesday's IEA Presidential Debate, especially on corruption and judgement debts "were not completely satisfactory."

The Executive Secretary of the Ghana Integrity Initiative told Joy News' Francis Abban that the candidates were at their partisan best, playing the blame game without addressing the key issue of how to deal with the canker of judgement debts.
The candidates were asked about how they will deal with the issue of corruption when voted into power.

Even though they were unanimous in their resolve to strengthen institutions that fight corruption in Ghana, the flag bearers of the ruling National Democratic Congress, John Dramani Mahama and the New Patriotic Party's Nana Akufo-Addo vehemently disagreed on the thorny issue of the payment of judgement debt.

Nana Akufo-Addo insisted government officials colluded and paid judgement debt to one of their own only to turn around to complain the government has been defrauded, referring to the Woyome judgment debt saga.

President John Mahama disagreed, explaining, the indiscriminate cancellation of contracts was the basis for the action brought against the state resulting in judgment debt and not the payment per se.

But assessing the responses of the candidates on the issue of corruption, Vitus Azeem told Joy News it was not important to Ghanaians who was responsible for the canker of judgement debts, rather how to retrieve the judgement debts paid was the challenge.

Azeem said the two parties -NPP and NDC- cannot be exonerated of the judgement debts that the nation had been saddled with, adding the candidates ought to have explained to Ghanaians how they intended to retrieve the fraudulent monies paid as judgement debts and the sanctions to be imposed on officials found culpable of failing to do due diligence causing debts to the state.