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Opinions of Saturday, 2 September 2017

Columnist: Kofi Thompson

The media must ensure investigations into allegations of high-level corruption in Ghana

If we are to transform our nation successfully we really must end high-level corruption. Those defrauding our homeland Ghana must no longer be allowed to get away with their crimes.

No nation can prosper if it is constantly under siege by thieves-in-high-places who instead of protecting the nation's best interests, rather conspire with crooks to manipulate the system to enable them enrich themselves at Ghanaian society's expense. That must end if we are to remain a democracy. We cannot continue along that Sisyphean path of development that can only end in societal retrogression and disintergration, any longer.

A case in point is the staggering and wonton dissipation of even pension funds that the scandalous Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) US$72 million IT procurement contract - apparently for the digitisation of the fund's proccesses - represents. Clearly, nothing is sacred in this country anymore. Corruption thrives on opacity in the workings of state institutions.

We must therefore demand that our system is underpinned by transparency at all levels at all material times. That is why the more responsible sections of the Ghanaian media must shine a spotlight on it permanently. That will enable all instances of high-level corruption to be exposed - and ensure that those engaging in it to society's detriment are tried and punished. Always.

Above all, in the fight against high-level corruption, the media must work together and throw their weight behind the leader of our country, President Akufo-Addo, who is showing - by deeds not just words - that he is actually serious about fighting corruption: and has the determination to do so too.

Finally, the Ghanaian media and responsible civil society organisations such as OccupyGhana, must ensure that whenever allegations of corruption are levelled against individuals and sundry entities - in either the public or private spheres of our national life that impact society negatively - they monitor the law enforcement agencies investigating those allegations to ensure that they are always carried out professionally and without