General News of Thursday, 25 October 2012

Source: XYZ

Kufuor's regime weakened state institutions - Rawlings

Former President Rawlings says much as he would want President Mahama to win the December polls, he is more interested in the strengthening the institutions to ensure that even if the NDC loses, its members would not face unnecessary attacks and intimidation if it goes into opposition.

Speaking on corruption at the 3rd Power Freedom Lectures under the auspices of the Centre for Freedom and Accuracy, the former President slammed the Kufuor administration for victimizing members of the NDC after the 2000 General Elections.

He said “I am not saying that I want [the NDC] to go into opposition. I want them to win, but if you were to go into opposition, will you get the kind of protection you are getting now?”

He said parties must not feel that they have to stay in government in order to protect themselves from victimization saying: “Why should we derive our safety from just being in government? We are supposed to derive our safety from the judiciary.”

He said under the erstwhile Kufuor administration, minority ethnic groups were ostracized with people from the three northern regions and the Volta region being those who suffered the most.

He accused former President Kufuor’s brother, Dr. Addo Kufuor of crashing the integrity of the military while serving as the Defence Minister.

Mr. Rawlings also took a swipe at media practitioner positing that journalists “do not only corrupt human reasoning but we violate our own sanctity.” He said the diabolic nature of journalism where people assassinate the characters of what he describes as patriots destroys the “spiritual rhythm of the nation”

He was of the view that the National Media Commission should be empowered to act like the Press Complaints Commission in the US where sanctions are meted out to media persons when they break the code of ethics.

On the case of the judgement debt saga, Mr Rawlings said “we all need to do some deep thinking on this albatross,” adding “why should we allow the state to face pressures from individuals and organisations on the payment of judgement debt.”

He called for the criminalization of the inappropriate abrogation of contracts that lead to unwarranted judgement debts as the remedy to the canker.

Mr. Rawlings said the fight against corruption is fruitless if all do not stand against corruption and that “zero tolerance must begin at home.”