Make corruption unattractive to reduce canker

Politics of Sunday, 11 January 2015

Source: Public Agenda

Samuel Zan Akologo

To end the menace of corruption in Ghana, Mr Samuel Zan Akologo, Executive Secretary of the Department of Human Development at the National Catholic Secretariat, suggests that the abhorrent act should be made unattractive.

Mr Akolgo says a negative tag on corruption should be amplified the same way acts such as stealing, prostitution and other vices are dealt with.

He said these in a presentation on ‘Manifestations of Corruption in Everyday Life: How Do We Confront Them?’ at the 21st Denmark Seminar on Corruption held recently. The event was under the theme ‘Corruption: Perception or Reality’.

He stressed the need for public consensus on the issue of corruption in the wake of many counter arguments by a section of Ghanaians anytime a high profile corruption case cropped up. Besides, he called for urgent prayers to free Ghana from the grips of corruption, which he said was associated with works of darkness, evil and sin.

He observed that the deception and secrecy that surrounded corrupt acts, made difficult for one to appreciate the act properly, adding that “what we see is just the tip of a huge iceberg in the sea”.

According to Mr Akologo, corruption began to manifest its ugly face the moment an individual entrusted with power misused it for personal interest or gain. He cited political actors getting rich overnight; services being paid for were not delivered or poorly delivered; gaining position not by merit, but through some nebulous criteria as some of the examples of how corruption manifested itself.

He said other manifestations included hoarding of public records and information; sale of public properties such as public lands, traditional lands and artefacts, equipment, vehicles and keeping the proceeds for oneself.

“We may not be able to prove or verify the details but we can see and experience the manifestations! That should be a wake-up call to action!” he noted, adding that “denial by people who should take action is a way to develop Corruption-Cancer!”

To confront corruption as a country, the Executive Secretary called for clear rules of procedures and processes in order to reduce discretion power vested in some public officials in respect of their work. “Greater openness and transparency in public affairs are the only light that can dispel darkness.”

Additionally, Mr Akologo called on Parliament to facilitate the passage of the Freedom of Information Bill. While emphasising rewarding honesty and encouraging high morals and integrity, he also called for improved remuneration and end-of-service benefits for public servants a way of reducing the tendency for corrupt practices.