Prosper K. Kuorsoh, GNA
Chegl, (U/W), July 11, GNA – Ghanaians have been urged to detest corruption by reporting acts of suspected corrupt practices by individuals, groups or organizations to the appropriate agencies for swift investigation and prosecution.
Citizen’s commitment to report corruption is deemed the most appropriate and effective way to curb the canker and its related consequences on society.
Mr. Sebastian Ziem, Deputy Chief Investigator at the Upper West Regional Office of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), gave the advice during an anti-corruption community durbar organized by SEND Ghana at Chegli community in Wa Municipal.
Mr. Ziem who was speaking on the topic “Anti-Corruption laws in Ghana” mentioned the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the Financial and Administration Act, the Criminal and other Offenses Act and the Whistle Blowers’ Act among others as some of the anti-corruption laws in the country.
The Whistle Blower’s Act 2006 (Act 726), he said directly empowered citizens to report acts of corruption to appropriate anti-corruption agencies while guaranteeing the confidentiality of the whistle blower.
The Deputy Chief Investigator advised the people against applying the “Tijaa Bunyeni” (we are all one) syndrome when it came to acts of corruption.
He said doing so would not only prevent perpetrators of corrupt practices from being punished but also encouraged others to engage in the practice of corruption.
Mr. Ziem however cautioned community members against making corruption allegations against persons or organizations out of hatred, saying in doing so one may be inviting his/herself into trouble if it was found out to be false.
Mr. Huseini Musah Awinaba, the Upper West Regional Crime Officer, noted that the main challenge faced by the police during investigation was that people were not willing to give information or step out as witnesses to cases sent to court.
He therefore appealed to the public to help the police in the fight against corruption by volunteering information and also be prepared to serve as witnesses when the need arose.
Mr. Awinaba added that the fight against corruption could not be left only in the hands of the police or human rights advocates but rather all hands must be on deck to adequately fight to eradicate the canker.
Madam Akua Zakaria, the Wa Municipal Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), noted that corruption often started from the family level.
She therefore appealed to parents not to overlook the little corrupt practices their wards engaged in, but endeavour to correct them to enable them grow to become responsible adults.
Madam Barikisu Mohammed, Advocacy and Legal Advise Centre (ALAC) Project Desk Officer for the Upper West Region, noted that the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) under the Integrity, Mobilization, Participation, Accountability, Anti-corruption and Transparency (IMPACT) Project which was being funded by Global Affairs Canada through Transparency International, would be organizing 10 mobile ALACs in the form of community durbars.
“The mobile ALACs dubbed “know your rights” will offer ALAC the opportunity to engage directly with citizens at the community level on how they could contribute to fighting corruption in Ghana”, she said.