GII urges political parties to tackle corruption

Mrs. Linda Ofori-Kwafo(on microphone)addressing the media.With her is Mrs. BeautyEmefa Nartey,Ag.Executive Secretary of GACC.  Photo. Maxwell K .Bilson...

Mrs. Linda Ofori-Kwafo(on microphone)addressing the media.With her is Mrs. BeautyEmefa Nartey,Ag.Executive Secretary of GACC. Photo. Maxwell K .Bilson

The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has urged presidential aspirants for Election 2016 and political parties to factor the tackling of corruption in their manifestos for implemention if they win the polls.

According to the organisation, the inclusion of issue of corruption in their manifesto would demonstrate the political parties’ commitment to fight against the canker.

Speaking at a news conference in Accra yesterday, Mrs. Linda Ofori-Kwafo, Executive Director, GII, said despite the passing of several laws and Ghana being a signatory to a number of international and regional anti-corruption conventions, some public officials continued to engage in corruption with impunity.

The reason for this, she explained, was as a result of weaknesses, identified in 2013 review of Ghana’s implementation of the United Nations Conventions against Corruption (UNCAC), in the anti-corruption laws that needed to be addressed.

In light of this, Mrs. Ofori-Kwafo noted that GII in consultation with Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) and SEND-Ghana, a non-governmental organisation, catalogued corrupt activities and proposed action required to address gaps in the existing legislation into a document titled “Gaps in Ghana’s Anti-corruption Legislation- 2016.” to supplement on-going advocacy against corruption.

Throwing more light on the document, the Executive Director said it contained a list of corrupt conduct that should either have been criminalised or if already criminalised, was deemed inadequate to deal with the offence effectively.

“Bribery, illicit enrichment, embezzlement, misappropriation or diversion of state property, abuse of functions, office or power, concealment, laundering of proceeds of crime, obstruction of justice in criminal process, protection of witnesses, experts and victims and compensation for damage must be criminalised to check corruption”, Mr. Ofori-Kwafo said.

The document, she noted, also captures the existing legislation of various offences, the gaps that have been identified and the action proposed to close these gaps.

Mrs. Ofori-Kwafo urged presidential aspirants and political parties to reiterate their commitment towards rendering corruption a high risk and low gain activity by reflecting in their manifestos appropriate strategies that have the capacity to address some of the gaps needed to strengthen the country’s anti-corruption legislative framework.

She noted that corruption was an activity that continues to drain resources of the state, retarding development in the process and called for a concerted efforts from political actors and Ghanaians to fight the canker.

By Claude Nyarko Adams and Lisanne Dornoff 

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