20 November 2012

Ghana: Corruption & Impunity On the Prowl

Mr. Andrew Awuni, Executive Director of the Centre for Freedom and Accuracy, has observed with concern, the culture of impunity and corruption, which is fast gaining ground in the country's body politic.

According to Mr. Awuni, an emerging culture which no longer frowns on corruption, falsehood, evil craftiness, propaganda and impunity, has dangerously taken over the old order, where these phenomena were vigorously detested.

"...these evil forces are being exalted in our society today. Somehow, we are beginning to accept these things as normal. We no longer frown on them, rather, we embrace them, and that is dangerous."

Mr. Awuni made these observations at a press conference in Accra to draw the curtain on the Freedom Power Lectures 2012.

The lectures began with Archbishop Emeritus Peter Akwasi Sarpong of the Catholic Church, who dealt with the topic: "Truth, Integrity and Democratic Development - How Ghana Is Faring."

Other prominent personalities who have taken turns at the lecture include seasoned politician and businessman Mr. Appiah Menkah, and Mr. Franklin Cudjoe, Executive Director of IMANI.

Mr. Awuni, however, noted that despite the fact that Ghana had earned an enviable reputation of a peaceful democratic nation, having held five general elections and changed governments twice, there were many outstanding matters that need to be taken care of.

"There is the matter of the lack of integrity and/or the declining integrity in our politics and political leadership. It was the view of our speakers, which view, we, as a centre, also share, that our so-called democracy has in a large part degenerated into corruption."

He recalled that "in the last two months, there have been serious allegations of impropriety in the acquisition of military equipment, including aircraft. They claim that the late President Mills commissioned an investigation into the procurement. Members of the commission were named, but the investigations never happened."

Again, Mr. Awuni pointed to an allegation which suggests that about ten million pounds of loan, from the development of the Ghana oil palm that never arrived in the country, remains unanswered.

"According to those who made the allegations, the Criminal Investigation Department of the Police Service investigated the disappearance of the loan, and a docket was prepared for prosecution. Again, there has not been any official response to this one too," he added.

To him, assuming, without admitting, that these allegations were true, the Ghanaian public had the right to truthful information in the cases mentioned.

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