On Thursday 3rd October 2013, the Anti-Corruption Coalition will launch the first in a series of demonstrations against corruption in Accra.? Anti-Corruption demonstrations will be held in all ten regions and as many districts and municipalities as possible.? This is a call to all who agree to the need to remove this rot called corruption from our system to join the demonstrations at the national, regional or local levels.? More important, if you agree with us, support the cause and make a personal commitment to work to remove corruption from our system wherever you may be.
The Anti-Corruption crusade is a cause that is a crucial pre-requisite for lasting peace and prosperity ? a crusade against corruption and an undying commitment to fundamental change of our political system in Ghana.
Although the Coalition is led by the Progressive People?s Party (PPP), this crusade against corruption is not just another political action. It is a call for all leaders ? social, religious, men, women, political, business, students, etc. to make an irreversible personal commitment to the principle of incorruptible leadership in a very practical sense. Incorruptible leadership is practical leadership that cannot be perverted, bribed, orcorrupted. It is honest and just.? It is this incorruptible integrity we are demonstrating for.? These demonstrations are not aimed at the current President or his political party.? There is corruption in our churches, educational institutions, factories, offices, political parties, radio/television/newspaper companies, indeed everywhere in Ghana.? It affects all of us.? We cannot win this crusade by merely pointing fingers at other people. No one can plead, ?Not Guilty?.
Corruption is expensive to the nation and its people.? We estimate that corruption and waste of public funds costs the nation at least GHC3 billion every year. Imagine how many first class roads we can build with that money.? Just think about how many complete school compounds with classrooms from kindergarten to senior high school, libraries, toilets, dining rooms, ICT centers, sports facilities and housing for teachers that we can build with that kind of money.? We can facilitate the creation of millions of jobs, jobs, jobs for Ghanaians with GHC3 billion.? We can stop preventable diseases such as malaria and cholera with that amount of money.? That is how serious this crusade against corruption is.
It is time for our political leaders to stop hiding behind a legal smokescreen saying that when a law compels them to be transparent and accountable, they will comply.? Real leaders lead from the front.? Moral persuasion is the best teacher.? Moral authority lasts a lifetime.
From the beginning of the 4th Republic, I have written at length about how the winner-takes-all nature of our political system destroys the hopes and aspirations of our people.? I have written extensively about the negative attitude of those who win power towards Ghanaians who are not perceived to be members or allies of their party.? This remains one of the most critical problems that is holding our nation back today.? A corrupt system has allowed governments to continue to act with impunity. The Ghana Revenue Authority, SFO, BNI and other state agencies have been and continue to be used as a hammer to punish and silence those who the people in power do not like.
Bribery and corruption have been invoked by many of our past leaders but due to the lack of personal commitment to make this a continuously running crusade on the part of our leaders, the problems are still with us. Our First President Kwame Nkrumah?s Dawn Broadcast was to deal with corruption.? Those who overthrew Nkrumah in 1966 invoked bribery and corruption as some of the reasons for their action.? The late General I. K. Acheampong used corruption in state institutions to shoot his way to power.? In the end, corruption was used as a key justification in removing him from office.? J. J. Rawlings brought his ?revolution? about on the backs of corruption allegations.? Former President J. A. Kufuor proclaimed ?Zero Tolerance for Corruption?.? So it is not as if we Ghanaians are not aware that corruption is bad or that it kills our national spirit.? It is just that we have not decided to launch a sustained national crusade against it let by all of our leaders.
Transparency, accountability, the truth and personal discipline are needed if we want to move Ghana into a higher level of performance and give our people the opportunity to enjoy a world class standard of living in our lifetime.
Ghana?s democracy has been clothed with bribery and corruption.? Indeed, many are asking, why they should vote ? a lot of the educated, professional and knowledgeable in our society have already stopped voting.? Many of those who vote look upon it as an event and an opportunity to demand an instant reward in cash and materials with the knowledge that their vote will not fetch them anything good during a presidential term of office.? If we do not all join together to halt this decay, our dear country can become a failed state and/or a chronic underachiever.? In the Fourth Republic, judgment debts and negotiated settlements have become a fiendish art and a path to riches for those with the right contacts in government.
The Anti-Corruption Crusade offersthese and other suggestions that we believe will help fix our broken system if we raise our voices and demand these changes NOW:
1.???????? Turn the Office of Attorney-General into an Independent Prosecutor?s Office separate from the Ministry of Justice so that that Office is removed from the negative influence of partisan politics.
2.???????? Separate the Legislature (Parliament) from the Executive (Presidency) so that effective checks and balance can occur.
3.???????? Set up a non-partisan National Commission to examine all judgment debt claims and settlements in the Fourth Republic with the aim to prepare recommendations to drastically reduce the incidence of negotiated settlements and judgment debts.
4.???????? Remove the ?hand? of the Executive (Presidency) from the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies and take away the opportunity for partisan patronage from the center.
5.???????? Establish a Ministry of Public Service to continuously seek improvement in the way work is done and take steps to strengthen public institutions.
By dealing with corruption, we can double government revenue which we will use to pay for our transformational initiatives in education, healthcare and job creation.
So join the Anti-Corruption Crusade by making a personal commitment to wage a relentless battle against it wherever you are.
God Bless our Homeland Ghana
October 1, 2013