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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mills and Jerry (M&J), the ball is in your court

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Rawlings (L) and Mills (R)
It is better to know something about everything,than to know evrything about something. - By: KOFI FRIMPONG
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No individual, no organization, no group under the sun is perfect. Evil can never be eradicated from the face of this evil world. Corruption will be with us as long as we abode this earth, though it can be reduced substantially. In my article titled “Those who live in glass houses” posted on ghanaweb (24.7.2009) and other media networks, I did indicate that corruption is one of the “devils” that have succeeded in bringing our economy to its knees, and also the fight against corruption is a moral one and not just the habit of accusing others of being corrupt when we are ourselves guilty of corrupt practices. This is not to insinuate that people should not say or do nothing to fight this canker, but rather we should realize that corrupt individuals don't have the moral justification to indict others of being corrupt, and also what is more important in fighting corruption is not mere rhetoric, but rather the enforcement of the rules against corrupt public officials. I mean corrupt officials, when they are found out should be made to face the music! Their abode should be at the penitentiary; they are nation wreckers, selfish, and greedy individuals who don't deserve mercy. If we will stop defending apprehended corrupt officials who are members of our social group - political parties for example, and allow them to be dealt with according to the laws of the land, the thought of corruption in the minds of many a politician and other public office holders will be reduced drastically.

During the reign of the former administration, one of the weapons that the current government used successfully against them was the perceived corruption that was thought to be endemic and rooted within it. This perceived corruption within the prior administration led leading members of the then major opposition party, the National Democratic Congress, such as Ekwow Spio Garbrah to label them as a “chopocratic, kleptocratic and cocainocracy” government. As a matter of fact, the allegations of corruption against the previous administration were so incessant that they succeeded in causing and creating disaffection amongst Ghanaians towards the government.

Even when President Kufour indicated that all those alleged corrupt practices should be backed with evidence, the then opposition parties spearheaded by the NDC and their pressure group, Committee for joint action (CJA) disagreed with the president. In fact, for me, the suggestion of the president makes sense. Without evidence, how can you implicate somebody of being corrupt? Mere hearsays are not enough conditions to arraign somebody before the courts. If that were done, then we are going to have a situation where everybody just makes an allegation against somebody without proofs and the victims suffer unjustly. If he that alleges cannot prove their case, how can we make a case against the accused? Why did the Mills administration allow Muntaka to go free despite all the mountain of evidence that was brought against him? Didn't they tell us that the chief director and the accountant at the Ghana football association were not able to produce evidence to make their allegations credible? As a point of fact the rule of the game in any court of competent jurisdiction, and not kangaroo courts is evidence.

Since 2001, President Mills and his party have been promising the good people of the country about their resolve to deal corruption a deadly blow. This resolve, coupled with the perception of corruption during the previous administration made the electorates to entrust unto them the determination of our future for the next four years and also to clean the system from corruption. But what the good people of the country lost track of was the fact that the crusaders of corruption, I mean the NDC is not clean. Even though they live in glass houses, they are not scared to throw stones. But now, they have been caught pants down.

But the question to be answered is whether the government is determined to put their moneys where their mouths are in the fight against this canker. Are they going to change course and give proper meaning to the fight against graft? For me, I don't think the government is serious and ready to take up this fight. In the first place, they lack the moral rightness and credibility in the fight against this canker. Here is why: First, was the issuance of a white paper in the mid 1990s by ex-president Rawlings to absolve Ibrahim Adams and company from wrong doing after they had been found culpable by the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) - a constitutional body established to investigate corrupt practices in the country. Second, in the case against Alhaji Muntaka early this year, they failed woefully to convince us that they mean business by fighting corruption tooth and nail. Muntaka should not have gone free if President Mills believes in fighting this devil that has ravaged our economy over the years. He chickened out and I am afraid he will continue to do so base upon his handling of the “Mills” and “Jerry”- (M&J) scandal.

Now, the ball is in the court of President Mills and his team to prove the people of Ghana wrong by showing their resolve, and not just desire to fight against corruption. This is the opportune time for them to fulfill their campaign promise on corruption which is captured on page 24 paragraph 5 of their manifesto: “An NDC government will not make excuses for corrupt ministers, officials and office holders generally. We shall promptly investigate allegations of corruption and allow the law to take its course. The serious Fraud Office (SFO) will be reorganized into an independent Anti-Fraud Commission with prosecutorial powers and its name changed to reflect the re-organization.......”

The Mabey and Johnson bribery scandal that has torn the reputation of not only the NDC party, but also the nation apart is a test case for President Mills to live out his word in the fight against corruption. It is good news that some of the accused persons have been forced to abdicate their positions (George Sipa-Adjah Yankey, Minister of Health, and Alhaji Seidu Amadu, Minister of State at the Presidency.) But why did it take too long for the ministers and the government to arrive at this decision, whereas in Jamaica a minister of state, Joseph Hibbert who has been embroiled in this same scandal resigned his post as far back as July, even before the final determination of the case on 25.9.2009 (www.caribbean360.com)? What about those who are still at post, Mr. President? This bribery scandal, not an allegation- it has been proven in a court of law in the United Kingdom should be pursued to its logical conclusion, and those found culpable should be sent to the penitentiary without fear or favor.

Mr. President, the whole world is watching to see whether you truly love your country; whether you truly think about the poor children who would have benefitted from the project, but for the actions of these greedy and unsympathetic public officials. Sir, this is not the time for cover-ups; your integrity and the reputation of the country are on the line. Let justice prevail over injustice. God bless Ghana!!

Source: Kingsley Nyarko, PhD, Educational Consultant, IAF- Munich (kingpong73@yahoo.com)

Development / Ghana / Africa / Modernghana.com

Source: Kingsley Nyarko, PhD

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