The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) Consortium, has urged political parties in the country, committed to the fight against corruption to demonstrate it by inculcating it into their 2016 manifestos.
Over the years, political parties have made unrealistic manifestos without any well-defined road map for their implementation with the view of luring the electorate to vote for them during the national elections.
But speaking at a press conference in Accra, the Executive Director of the GII, Linda Ofori-Kwafo, said since political parties use their manifestos as their main development planning tool, it is important that policies to help curb corruption are captured in them.
According to her, the consortium has also listed a couple of gaps in the existing anti-corruption legislative framework, which they have presented to the flagbearers of the various political parties.
“The GII consortium identified gaps and proposed actions to address these gaps in 17 anti-corruption laws. We are not asking for the passage of new laws but we are saying that the existing laws that we have, we need to strengthen those ones. But any party that is interested in moving our nation forward should be prepared to strengthen our anti-corruption legislative framework in order to make corruption high risk and a low gain activity.”
“The criminal offences Act 1960 act 29, apply to offence of bribery by national public officials; however, bribery by foreign public officials and officials of public international organizations has not been criminalized. We call on all presidential candidates and their political parties to demonstrate their commitment to the fight against corruption by incorporating the gaps in their manifestos and implement same should they win the elections come December 2016.”
Greed, low salaries driving corruption
An Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) survey on the root causes of corruption in Ghana, has revealed that the high clamor for quick riches, greed and selfishness as well as low salaries, are among the top three root causes of corruption in Ghana.
According to the survey, majority of Ghanaians are compelled to pay bribes either to avoid official payments, or to be treated fairly, or as an obligatory payment to supervisors.
According to the IEA, “The crusade against corruption will actually go into high gear if we make information available… we need to get the RTI bill. If we get that, it will be easier for us even to question how do they get money? How do they build a house, etc?”
By: Godwin A. Allotey & Felicia Osei/citifmonline.com/Ghana