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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Punish politicians for corruption - Kojo Asante

Former Sports Minister, Mallam Issah tried and convicted of corruption under the Kufuor-led administration
Former Sports Minister, Mallam Issah tried and convicted of corruption under the Kufuor-led administration

The Legal Officer of the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Mr Kojo Asante says the society’s failure to punish politician for corruption accounts for the pervasiveness of the menace.

He said if politicians know that there is a political price to pay if they engage in corruption, there will be an abeyance.

Speaking to Joy FM’s Super Morning Show host Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah Tuesday, he said if society shunned people accused of corruption as happens elsewhere, many a Ghanaian will exercise restraint especially in conducting public business.

Placard-wielding people chanting slogans and supporting persons alleged to have engaged in corruption must cease, he intimated.

According to Mr Asante, while the nation has done well in the formulation of laws and institutions to fight corruption, enforcing the measures remained largely abysmal.

The biggest challenge militating against the fight against corruption in the country was the lack of political will, he observed.

For the anti-corruption campaigner, if the executive arm of government which wields considerable power showed serious commitment to the fight, the country would have seen some significant progress.

He said dealing with corruption requires more than just expression of intention, which is all executives appear to do.

Responding to cries of political witch-hunting when allegations of corruption are being investigated, Mr Asante said the cross-political trails of supposed corrupt officials accounted for the situation.

He said apart from the Mallam Issah case tried under former president Kufuor, many governments try their political opponents for corruption ignoring members of their own political parties accused of the crime.

“One feature of our fighting of corruption has almost always been post incumbent and so anytime there is a change in government, people are tried for corruption”.

When this happens people are bound to suspect political witch-hunt.

Story by Malik Abass Daabu/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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