Ghana’s legal system shields corrupt officials, a situation that is making the fight against corruption difficult, Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, Executive Director at the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), has said.
He noted that the legal regime at the moment gives very little room to effectively tackle the problems.
“Our legal culture overprotects the corrupt, he said during the Ghana National Forum on Political Party Manifesto, organized by Media General in partnership with Penplusbytes on Wednesday, October 14.
He added “There is a lot of shelter the system gives them and is allowing us very little room”
All the major political parties have launched their manifestoes for the December general elections.
This is highly commendable as it largely makes the campaigns issues-based…hopefully.
A manifesto is a declaration of aims and policy. It asks the question, “What do you believe?” It is supposed to be a party’s central policy document, and the political parties must be commended for making good progress on this since 1992, though we are increasingly seeing a shift to a litany of promises, projects and programmes in party manifestoes.
To begin with, various academics and governance experts in Ghana have raised issues with what the focus, content and size of political party manifestoes should be.
In December 2018, the civil society fraternity under the auspices of Corruption Watch raised concerns about “the creeping normalization of corruption among the populace” pointing out that it poses a threat to development. The civil society actors pointed to several indices to drum home the point that Ghana has stagnated in its fight against corruption for the last decade or so.
For purposes of this discussion and in order to balance the scale for the NPP and NDC, we can examine indices for the eight-year period 2013-2020.
Come 7th December, 2020 Ghanaians will go to the polls to choose (vote) their Members of Parliament as well as a President to run the affairs of the country for the next four years. The right to vote is considered as one of the first generation rights due to its implications for individuals’ liberties. Indeed, it is through the exercise of the right to vote that citizens express their preferences for which political party or candidate should govern them and also through which citizens hold governments accountable by voting them out of power if not satisfied with their performance.
https://corruptionwatchghana.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Accountability-Forum-quote-CHRAJ-2.png5121024adminhttps://corruptionwatchghana.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/CW-logo-100by80.pngadmin2020-08-21 13:37:062020-08-21 13:37:09Ghana: Election 2020 - the Role of Citizens and Political Parties
A Corruption Watch investigation has found that Procurement Minister, Sarah Adwoa Safo, allegedly gave GHc3,000 and a GLICO Life Insurance package worth GHc10,000 to delegates in the just ended NPP primaries.
Her challenger, Michael Aaron Oquaye Jr., Ghana’s High Commissioner to India, on the other hand, allegedly gave GHc3,000, a 32-inch Nasco flat screen television set and an Indian-made cloth to the 500 delegates. The candidates targeted 500 delegates which they needed to win.
Meanwhile a Corruption Watch follow up check on the GLICO insurance cover found that the cover took effect three days to the election, June 17, 2020 and will expire on June 16, 2021. The “Insurance Interest” was for the benefit of “Delegates of the Dome Kwabenya Constituency”
Senior Programmes Officer at the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) Paul Kwabena Aborampah says for Ghana to mitigate the phenomenon of vote-buying in the various electoral process, certain drastic measures would have to be taken including expanding the various electoral colleges.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, he said the move would make it extremely difficult for aspirants to pay their way through the electoral process.
Hajia Abibata Shanni Mahama Zakaria, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), has refuted claims by policy think tank Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), that she used MASLOC funds to induce NPP delegates during the June 2020 NPP primary in Yendi which she lost.
In a two-page rejoinder copied to GhanaWeb, Hajia Zacharia indicated that CDD-Ghana’s Corruption Watch report was not factual, and questioned why the reporters used the caveat ‘allegedly’.
“I would like to point out that there is no iota of truth in this statement. If the reporters were truly confident in their ‘findings’, why did they find the need to use the caveat ‘allegedly’? You make a categorical statement in your headline that votes were bought and yet in your opening paragraph, you introduce alleged inducement,” parts of her statement read.
She indicated that the term ‘buying’ connotes the presence of offer and acceptance and ‘inducements’ would imply persuasion.
Hajia Abibata Zakaria stressed that there was no vote-buying on her part and it is false for an organization with a huge stature and capacity such as the CDD to state that MASLOC money was used to induce NPP delegates during the primaries.
“There is no evidence to back this claim. Unless they were purposely excluded, some of the beneficiaries of a transparent loan scheme were always going to be members of various political parties including the NPP and some would-be delegates. The generalization that the beneficiaries were all delegates is unfair and unproven. They were not and I told you so but you chose to call them delegates,” her statement read further.
The CDD-Ghana’s Corruption Watch report stated that, On Thursday, May 21, 2020, Hajia Abibata Zakaria distributed GHC1,000 state cash under the guise of MASLOC loans to NPP delegates of Yendi constituency where she was a parliamentary aspirant for the June contest.
This, she noted that, was “an unfair impression of dolling out state money. I wish to emphasise that it was MASLOC that distributed the loans and not me as an individual. I supervised the process in my capacity as a deputy CEO.
CDD indicted Hajia Abibata Shanni Mahama Zakaria told the NPP delegates in a video that, although MASLOC loans were not yet to be distributed, she had ensured that as deputy CEO of MASLOC, loans to her constituents were not only distributed to them but also the number of recipients had been increased above what was permitted.
“Though this gathering is not a political rally for me, there is no way we will do this without letting you know why we brought [it] here,” Hajia Abibata Shanni Mahama Zakaria told the delegates back in June. “Here is my Northern Regional Manager, he’s aware that MASLOC gives to a maximum of five groups in the Northern Region, but I’ve not regretted the fact that Yendi alone has been honoured with 35 groups. If I’ve not done so, you have the right to blame me because I can’t have such an opportunity and not help you my people.”
Some constituents in the Effia and Kwesimintsim Constituencies in the Western Region are in shocks over the parliamentary candidates of the New Patriotic Party cited in the vote-buying exposé published by Corruption Watch.
Speaking to Citi News the constituents said the investigative piece is only a confirmation of allegations they heard during the primaries.
The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has disclosed that it will petition the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to further probe corruption allegations leveled against Deputy CEO of Masloc, Abibata Shani Mahama Zakaria.
According to the Centre’s Corruption Watch arm and it’s partners, there is evidence following investigations that the Deputy CEO of MASLOC breached the provisions of the Constitution when she distributed public funds to supporters of the governing NPP during the party’s primaries last month.
https://corruptionwatchghana.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/NPP-Primaries-Yendi-2.jpeg540720adminhttps://corruptionwatchghana.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/CW-logo-100by80.pngadmin2020-07-14 10:30:182020-07-14 10:30:21CDD-Ghana to petition CHRAJ over corruption allegations against Deputy MASLOC CEO
A Corruption Watch investigation has found that the deputy MASLOC CEO, Hajia Abibata Shani Mahama Zakaria facilitated the use of MASLOC money to allegedly induce delegates in the Yendi Constituency during the recent New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary primaries.
The investigation uncovered that she used state resources for her personal gain just as other candidates were also captured by Corruption Watch inducing delegates with money, machinery and appliances in seven regions monitored by Corruption Watch.
In the Yendi Constituency, aspirants even gave out food packages including a bowl of dried fish, a box of Maggi and a pack of powdered salt.
These are part of findings from widely conducted investigations that were carried out before, during and immediately after the NPP primaries in the Ashanti, Bono, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Northern and Western regions.
https://corruptionwatchghana.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/NPP-logo.png10261200adminhttps://corruptionwatchghana.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/CW-logo-100by80.pngadmin2020-07-09 01:56:232020-08-14 13:52:15EXPOSED: How Candidates Bought Votes in NPP Primaries