Former Member of Parliament for Asokwa, Maxwell Kofi Jumah has given credence to assertions that Members of Parliament take bribes before executing their official duties to individuals and organizations in the country.
Hon. Maxwell Kofi Jumah, speaking to Peacefmonline.com on the issue of bribery, backed claims by Member of Parliament for Nadowli/Kaleo, Alban S.K. Bagbin, that some Parliamentarians accept bribes.
Hon. Bagbin was quoted to have said “MPs are Ghanaians and there is evidence that some MPs take bribes and come to the floor and try to articulate the views of their sponsors…This is because in Ghana we have not developed what we call lobbying. There are rules; there are ethics regarding lobbying and we in Ghana think that lobbying is taking money, giving it to MPs and writing pieces for them to go articulate on the floor. That is bribery.”
But according to Mr. Kofi Jumah, there is nothing wrong in an MP being offered a token for appearing at a function or for any work done and such is called “lobbying.”
He explained that lobbying an MP in the country is a “legitimized bribe”. He however rejected claims that Parliamentarians desirably take what Ghanaians describe as bribes before carrying out their duties.
To him, if an organization or individual gives him an amount of about “200 GHC for attending a workshop” or for transport, he will not “consider that as bribe because the money is so small that it will not affect my judgement. It can’t affect my judgement…It’s not the type of money that can compromise someone. I mean 200 GHC is small change to me. You can’t influence me with 200 GHC.”
“Lobbying is legitimized bribery…If we don’t take care; it will grow wings and might affect the work of Parliamentarians to perform efficiently… So, I agree with (Hon.) Bagbin in that instance.”