The Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo, has urged the media to step up their fight against corruption.
She said, corruption, which was a global canker, could not be fought in a day, and stressed the need for the media to continue the fight against the menace.
Speaking at a day’s capacity building workshop for some selected media personnel in Accra last Friday, she encouraged the media to step up their investigative stories to bring out corrupt practices to the fore for public and national attention.
According to Mrs Ofori-Kwafo, it was through investigative journalism that several alleged corrupt practices and corruption cases, including the sale of contracts at the Public Procurement Authority were exposed.
Sponsored by the Netherlands Embassy in Accra, the programme was to build the capacity of media practitioners on investigative financial and business reporting as part of efforts to combat corruption in the country.
It formed part of the GII Business Integrity Forum project which started in 2018 to galvanise public support against corruption in the country.
Mrs Ofori-Kwafo said corruption was a “persistent problem that plagues the world,” adding that “it knows no border”, and stressed that there was no comprehensive and universally accepted definition of corruption, saying some international organisations just describe it instead of defining it.
However, she said one popular working definition of corruption was “the use of a public or private position for direct or indirect personal gains.”
Mrs Linda-Kwafo said some form of corrupt practices were bribery, extortion, thievery, vote buying, abuse of incumbency, illicit enrichment and diversion of public funds.
The Executive Director observed that even though there were so many laws in the country’s statute books, the menace was described as a “misdemeanour by the criminal code.”
A Former Editor of the Graphic Business, Lloyd Evans, in a presentation titled, “Promoting business integrity, the role of the media,” called for the Public Procurement Law to be amended to make it stronger to help combat corruption.
According to him, the law was rather promoting corruption in state procurement instead of curbing it, saying that the law gave ministers too much discretionary powers, and stressed that the Public Procurement Law “provides unfettered ground for corruption.”
BY KINGSLEY ASARE