These days, much more so yesterday Tuesday 15th September 2015, The Ghanaian Times has been devoting its pages to the issue of the so-called corrupt judges. This shows the importance the paper attaches to the issue. There is, however, a missing link in the reportage which I should be allowed to highlight for the benefit of all Ghanaians.
The wholesale condemnation of the judges is quite predictable and characteristic of Ghanaians. When an issue arises and it is put in public domain, Ghanaians would shout and make a lot of noise about it and that ends it.
No serious efforts are made thereafter to find the root causes with a view to solving it. Ghanaians know the answer to every problem but are found wanting when it comes to how to solve their problems.
The second point is that every Ghanaian, pastors, chiefs, the so-called anti-corruption organizations, students, public servants, lawyers, politicians, journalists, teachers, accountants, bankers, workers, traders, et al, claims to abhor corruption but the same Ghanaian indulges in it and enjoys the fruits of corruption without blinking an eye. Corruption is a way of life here.
These days it is done boldly, openly and with impunity. In fact, in Ghana corrupt people, especially the rich and crooked ones, are revered, honoured and worshipped. Hey, do not believe any Ghanaian, high or low, young or old, who condemns corruption.
They are just pretending and will do everything to protect and defend it, especially if they are the ones benefitting from it.
Have you noticed that Ghanaians who condemn and shout the loudest about corruption fail the test miserably when given public office to manage?
They rather use their position to loot the coffers of the nation! I tell you, tackling corruption in Ghana is a herculean task.
It is like the camel passing through the eye of a needle! There are three institutions Ghanaians will always protect and cherish, corruption, prostitution and funerals. I know what I am talking about.
When the massive corruption at CEPS was exposed people cursed and shouted themselves hoarse. But one customs officer boldly said to me “Don’t mind them. Look, when water boils it cools down… They will soon shut their big mouths and everything will return to normal and business will continue as usual.”
The officer was 100% right! The irony is that, despite the unprecedented condemnation CEPS suffered, every year thousands of Ghanaians apply to join CEPS. Why should any Ghanaian want to join such a corrupt organization? Yes, why? Your guess is as good as mine.
Admittedly, the issue of corruption in Ghana is a serious one but, for now, we must exercise restraint and caution in castigating the judges.
For one thing, no competent court has yet pronounced them guilty of the crime they have been accused of. One may say that Anas has provided enough evidence. But, in my view, evidence per se is not always enough to prove guilt. Remember the pink sheets at the Supreme Court?
Evidence must first be admitted by the courts and proved beyond all reasonable doubts, especially in this era of digital wizardry where pictures and images can be manipulated, transposed and composed and voices can be planted, corrupted, infused and crafted to appear and sound genuine.
My position is that the judges are just victims of a corrupt society. We are free to condemn them but let us also sympathise with them. Corruption in Ghana is pervasive and massive. It starts right from the family and the churches/mosques.
If we seriously want to tackle it then we must start from the family and the churches/mosques. Indeed, the barriers against corruption must be built in the family. But who will bell the cat?
Do you think the so-called corrupt judges became corrupt overnight? There might have been a fierce struggle internally before they were finally subdued. Some of them probably fought hard, very hard to resist corruption but eventually succumbed to it.
Some had to fight with their conscience and sense of integrity but could not stand the ridicule, insults and pressure from their friends, peers, relatives and even immediate family who wanted them to get rich quick.
Our society is corrupt through and through and the moral fiber is rotten to the core. Anyone who dares to remain upright or clean or object to it openly is intimidated, harassed and victimised. In some cases such a person could be set up and sent to jail, may lose his job or could even be killed.
This is no fairy tale. It is happening. I shudder to think of what will happen if one day God would give up on us!
Yes, the judges may be corrupt but the fact remains that they are just a true reflection of our corrupt society.
In Ghana where corruption is a way of life, judges could hardly afford to be better than their society since they are not angels and I dare say that Ghana deserves the type of judges it has!
By the way, why did the investigation start from the tail of the judiciary and not the head? After all we all know that the fish rots from the head! True?
Find out from President Rawlings what happened to his probity, accountability and transparent revolution. Ghanaians ganged up on it and aborted it. The revolution could not stand the forces of corruption in Ghana.
You have probably heard this joke that “J.J sent his cannon to the bush but the bush was stronger than the cannon” (ref. The white man sent his cannon to the bush.)
Finally, while we are busy crucifying the judges may we not lose sight of the rot in other public agencies and establishments.
Hearty congratulations to incredible and courageous Anas. We look forward eagerly to the day he will release his reports on Bank of Ghana, Ghana Commercial Bank, Minerals Commission, Roads and Transport Departments, Lands Commission, GFA, GNPC, Cocoa Board, SIC and others.
It is then that we would realise that the judges’ case is a child’s play and that corruption is ingrained in the DNA of the Ghanaian. God bless our homeland Ghana.
By Kosi Kedem