General News of Saturday, 31 January 2015
A former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Professor Stephen Adei has indicated that Ghana is capable of reducing corruption to the barest minimum if citizens desist from hailing corrupt government officials and individuals.
According to him, the fight against corruption is being impeded because “those who are dishonourable are called honourables.”
“We cannot build a nation on that basis when about 70 percent of all those who call themselves honourable are totally dishonourable and these are the people whom we must hold accountable,” he said.
He bemoaned the situation where people with ill-gotten wealth are hailed as heroes and advised that the wealth of politicians must be properly scrutinized. Citing a recent phenomenon where most wealthy Ghanaians are buying properties in Dubai and elsewhere, Professor Adei called for scrutiny by the public before hailing such personalities.
“Our leaders spend their holidays abroad and they save their money in Switzerland and other places so Dubai and other things have become their new havens. They are buying flats in the deserts! Are your grandchildren going to live in those flats?” he queried.
He made these remarks at the launch of a book titled; ‘Taming a Monster’ by former Korle-Bu Chief Executive, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng.
In his address, he observed that in Ghana, “leadership is cause, everything else is effect” and thus asked for a fundamental change in attitude where the Ghanaians seem to reward corrupt persons rather than vilify them.
In recent years, corruption has become a topical issue in Ghana following high profile corruption cases which rocked the nation.
Varied suggestions have been given on the best way to fight the problem but Prof Adei is recommending that it is high time the nation changed its laws to effectively deal with corrupt persons.
He argued that “we don’t have to prove that somebody is corrupt. Everybody, what you have, you should be able to account for it. That’s all!” In a related development, the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has condemned the nation’s asset declaration regime, describing it as shambolic.
According to the anti-graft agency, it is not enough to have a law requiring public officers to declare their assets when the public cannot access it. Speaking to Citi News, the Programmes Director at GII, Mary Addah charged Parliament to expedite action on the revisions to the asset declaration laws.
“Currently as the law stands, it’s nothing to write home about. We have remissions and it’s in Parliament now so if these remissions are put in place, whatever you came into office with is published and made transparent for every Ghanaian to see that when you came into office, you had one car but the in four years when you are going out, you now have four cars,” she said.
“Then the people of Ghana will begin to ask how you financed the four cars on the salary you are on. Not just the politician but everybody in a place of power should be accountable to the people of Ghana,” she added.