Market Queens at the La Market in the La Dadekotopon Municipality, in Accra, have pledged to support the Municipal Assembly and National Commission for Civic Education in their efforts to eliminate corruption.
They would, therefore, discourage corrupt practices in the market such as the padding of containers (Olonka) of measurement to gain undue advantage, overpricing of their wares and adulterating of products to increase their volumes.
They would also sensitise their members and report the culprits to the appropriate quarters.
They were speaking at a programme in the Market, organised by the La Dadekotopon Municipal NCCE and the La Dadekotopon Municipal Assembly (LaDMA) with funding from the European Union (EU), on Monday.
The programmme was under the theme: Accountability, Rule of law and Anti-corruption Programme (ARAP).
Appreciating the programme, Mrs. Christiana Yemley Laryea, the Queen of La Market, said they had, hitherto, perceived corruption as only relating to actions of Members of Parliament, Ministers of State and other public servants.
“Today we’ve been taught that cheating a customer during the course of trading also amounts to corruption, which could be even bigger than what we’ve assumed MPs are taking,” she said.
“We are, therefore, going to monitor the actions of our members very closely from now, so that traders whose actions infringe upon our laws are reported to the appropriate quarters and dealt with so that we’ll be able to arrest the situation”.
Mrs. Mabel Larsey, the Secretary of the Market, buttressing Mrs Laryea’s point, stated: “Since we’ve been educated as to what constitutes corruption in our market, we, the leaders here, will take it upon ourselves and continue with the education to bring corruption in the market to the barest minimum”.
Mr. Domeh David Jnr Kwame, a Civic Education Officer of the La Dadekotopon Municipal NCCE, told them that corruption was a canker, which needed to be tackled with all seriousness.
It was high time the society looked beyond MPs, Police Officers and other public servant officers to consider the entire society.
“Corruption isn’t only about bribing that headmaster in that institution in order to get admission for your ward. Corruption doesn’t only mean exchanging money for something or it isn’t only that a person in that Ministry who has been tasked to purchase vehicles on the State’s behalf has inflated the prices but corruption even exists within our families.
“Corruption, therefore, means using one’s position to fulfil one’s parochial interest”.
In order to win the fight against corruption, he said, it was important that every citizen was educated on the negative impacts corruption had on the development of the country.
“We’ll, therefore, be visiting the churches, the mosques, the clan houses, the schools.
“We’ll have to catch them young so that when they also go home they can educate their parents very well. For the NCCE, we are everywhere- wherever there is group or an institution; and our education cuts across,” he stated.
He urged the market women to report all forms of corrupt acts to the appropriate authorities so as to enable the State to fish out and punish culprits.
“You can report the culprit to your Market Queen, if the act should happen in the market.
“You can also report to the Police, your MP, a Unit Committee Member or the Municipal Chief Executive”.
The ‘Whistle Blower’s Act’, he said would protect anyone would report any act of corruption, he encouraged.
“We want discipline to prevail in every corner of the country and this can only be achieved when we are law abiding”.