Corruption still remains a major issue for citizens as it affects efficient and equitable service delivery with implications for their quality of life. Corruption also erodes the trust of citizens in government as they do not observe significant improvements in the country from one government to another.
The 2020 Election should be seen as an opportunity for political parties to develop and present meaningful plans for significant anti-corruption reforms for next four years, if elected by the people of Ghana. It is also an opportunity for citizens to share their views with political parties on the anti-corruption reforms to focus on.
To mitigate the corruption canker, the Ghana Integrity Initiative (Gll) and Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) with funding support from STAR Ghana Foundation facilitated the process of giving citizens a voice in the anti-corruption policies of the next government through the ‘Making All Voices Count in the 2020 Anti-Corruption Agenda of Political Parties’ project.
In the project, Ctizens’ views were elicited through extensive consultations with interest groups and individuals and the results collated into the Citizens’ Anti-Corruption Manifesto.
The Citizen’s Manifesto (CACM), was launched in Accra on Wednesday 26th August, 2020, at the Coconut Grove Regency Hotel, with the objective to make combating corruption a key election issue in 2020 and to improve Ghana’s anti-corruption performance in subsequent years.
It is to create stakeholder awareness of citizens’ view on anti-corruption reforms for inclusion in political parties’ manifestos and to increase support and commitment in fighting corruption.
It further seeks to create the pathway for political parties to design and implement appropriate legal and policy administrative reforms to tackle corruption on a more sustainable basis.
Launching the Citizens’ Manifesto, the Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Joseph Akanjolenur Whittal, Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), indicated that the time has come for Ghanaians to take matters into their own hands and let political parties prioritize the fight against corruption.
According to him, the report tells how important the the fight against corruption is to CSOs, and thus created such a great platform that would set out the conversation for the next several months leading to the 2020 elections.
Mr. Whittal, emphasized that, “if I give you my vote to come to power to govern, then I should as well let you know what I want you to do for me.”
He quoted an ancient Latin adage that goes like, Vox Populi, Vox Dei which literally means, ‘the voice of the people is the voice of God’.
The Executive Secretary for the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), Mrs. Beauty Emefa Narteh, noted that, the overall goal of the project was to increase citizens’ voices in the anti-corruption agenda of political parties’ manifestoes for 2020 and beyond.
Mrs. Narteh, said, they are hopeful that political parties would embrace the issues identified by the citizens, guided by a wider recommendations to iron out their own specific approach to addressing corruption in the country.
Mrs. Mary Awelana Addah, the Programmes Manager for the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), said, as it’s becoming a norm in Ghana, especially during elections the fight against corruption becomes a no go area, therefore, they are going to do everything possible to sustain the discourse by mobilizing the various CSOs in the country as well as the media, to begin to interrogate the sources of funding of political parties.
Dr. Esther Ofei-Aboagye, Chairperson, STAR-Ghana Foundation, also noted that, CACM is in recognition of the fact that in spite of the promises and commitment of political parties, as well as various legislations, the perception of corruption had not conquered.