Ghana: MPs Not Corrupt

10 December 2019

First Deputy Majority Whip, Matthew Nyindam, has dismissed perceptions that the political class and Members of Parliament (MPs) in particular were corrupt.

In his view, that perception was not supported by any evidence and must not be given heed.

The latest Afrobarometer report on corruption perception in Ghana released by civil society organisation, Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana, last week, put Members of Parliament as the third most corrupt group of people in the country.

Not referencing that report though, Mr Nyindam, MP, Kpandai, who was commenting yesterday on a statement made by Nsawam-Adoagyiri Member, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, in Parliament to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day, said the generalisation that all politicians in Ghana were corrupt could not be true.

"People out there think that if you are a politician, you are corrupt and there is nothing that you can say to defend yourself. But Mr Speaker, we are not corrupt," Mr Nyindam stated.

The perception, he said, was very entrenched that even people who have distinguished themselves before venturing into politics have been tainted as being corrupt.

The duty of becoming a parliamentarian, he said, was sacrificial because "we do the unthinkable. [Politicians] sell their houses and share the money to people because they want them to go to school."

He said the MP on daily basis was besieged by his constituents and "you must make sure everybody who leaves your house, whichever way you will do it, does so smiling."

He said to be able to meet the needs of the people, the best thing to do would be to have extra money from somewhere and when you are able to solve the problems, they take it to mean that you are making extra money somewhere and for that matter you are corrupt.

"Mr Speaker, the kind of politics we do in this country must be relooked at because it is becoming capital intensive.

"People unfortunately also come here and think that things are here. They come here and they are disappointed and you want them to be in the chamber and you can't get them because they need to go fight the next battle [of retaining their seat.]"

He said as Article 71 Office Holders, MPs have entitlements and by virtue of that if the social class of the MP changes, like moving from a bicycle to owning a car, people associate that with corruption; something he said must be discouraged.

He said it was important that the electorate understood the work of the MP charging the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to take up the campaign so as to protect integrity of the House.

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