Matter arising out of Special Prosecutor vetting

The Special Prosecutor nominee, Martin Burns Kaiser Amidu noted for his gargantuan words, yesterday had a gruelling session with the Appointments Committee of Parliament and released another term-structural violence.

Before we delve into matters arising out of his vetting, it is important to revisit the works of Johan Galtung, the Norwegian Sociologist, mathematician and the principal founder of peace and conflict structure, who crafted the concept of structural violence.

Simply put, structural violence concept refers to a form of violence in which some social structure or social institution may harm people by preventing them from meeting their basic needs.

Indeed, structural violence has been violently unleashed on the Ghanaian taxpayer; it is routine exercise public officers carry out in our social institutions.

Particularly, these exercise goes on in public financial management systems, through acts of corruption manifested in over invoicing, payment for sometimes no work done, embezzlement and disregard of the rules and procedures in handling public fund to mention but a few. These are routine in the books of the Auditor General.

Agreeably, these acts of structural violence has caused a lot of harm to the citizenry because public funds that are meant to address their basic needs such as provision of water, education, healthcare, infrastructure and other social service are diverted to private pockets. So the people remain perpetually poor, though the central government has been making financial transfers to the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to address poverty.

Today, there is no need for anyone to use arms to forcefully take away the properties and entitlement of other members of society, but resort to the use of structural violence which is more peaceful but debasing.

For the sake of analysis, we are putting side by side the Citizen Vigilante’s expose at the Appointments Committee’s vetting and a story we carried on the Wa East District Assembly officials in the Upper West Region, who were a subject of scorn at the Public Accounts Committee sitting in the Northern Regional capital Tamale, on Tuesday.

The District Chief Executive, the District Coordinating Director, the District Finance Officer and the Internal Auditor reduced themselves to a laughing stock as they were openly disagreeing with one another and also gave false and conflicting responses to the 2015 and 2016 Auditor General queries.

As a matter of fact, the Wa East Assembly failed to account for over GH¢ 67,000 of school feeding funds for 2015.

The officials are reported to have been rebuked for the flimsy excuses for the wanton violations of the financial regulation in the assembly.

Simply, the conduct of the top officials of the Wa East Assembly is most appalling and their excuse of inheriting the problem is untenable. The question is what have they done to correct the wrong since they assumed office?

The northern parts of the country, precisely the Upper East, Upper West and the Northern Region have been classified as the poorest regions in the country, and need every pesewa to develop that part of the country. It is, therefore, unacceptable for the officials of the Wa East Assembly and other offending public officials to put up such attitudes that clearly undermine the efforts of the government in addressing poverty in the region.

It is widely known that, some parts of the country are experiencing extreme poverty not because of lack of resources, but because of wanton dissipation of resources meant for the good of the public by public officials who should know better.

The corruption in the public sector is getting out of hand. Is the scorn and the reprimand by the Public Accounts Committee inducing change? Is the naming and shaming making any impact? Well, the Auditor General has started surcharging them and the Special Prosecutor is also coming.

The clear signal we get from yesterday’s vetting is that the Special Prosecutor is not going to give anybody the excuse to get away with corruption. All public office holders are therefore, advised accordingly.




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