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‘Ghana Is Losing Corruption War’
 
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30-Apr-2014  
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Mr. Andrew Awuni
 
 
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Ghanaians have once again been alerted to wake up from their slumber and fight corruption which is slowly retarding the progress of this country.

Executive Director of the Centre for Freedom and Accuracy (CFA,) Andrew Awuni, who made the call at the first anniversary of the launching of the national anti-corruption campaign, said the wake-up call is necessary if the country is to arrive at a reasonable destination in the fight against the national canker.

“After one-year of crusading against corruption in Ghana, we are sorry to say that the problem [corruption] has gone from bad to worse….,” Mr. Awuni stated.

His fear, he added, lied in the fact that people who are to spearhead the fight seem compromised and hence are reluctant to pursue individuals who engage in the act.

“…it appears the phenomenon has overtaken the country particularly at the top and those who are supposed to lead us fight corruption appear to be deeply immersed in it themselves….,” Mr. Awuni said.

Chronicling a series of scandals in the current administration to buttress his point, the former Press Secretary to President John Agyekum Kufuor stated “impunity backed by political power has become the order of the day.”

The CFA, he said, after a year of the launch of the campaign has in conjunction with Tiger Eye helped to unravel series of shoddy deals being embarked upon in the country which he says all amounted to incidents of corruption in the country.

That, he said, was in fulfillment of a simple objective which was to “name, shame and jail.”

The Scandal newspaper which was established to help in the naming, Mr. Awuni added has done a tremendous work in trumpeting the names of individuals who are engaging in corrupt acts.

“Unfortunately, however, the shaming did not take place apparently because the people and institutions that were named were simply not perturbed and those who were expected to do the jailing were not interested in carrying out their duties,” he lamented.

He could however not tell whether the failure on the part of the agencies to prosecute corrupt officials has pushed Anas Aremeyaw Anas of Tiger Eye company to go to court on his latest undercover at the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Authority (DVLA).

Mr. Awuni however, stated categorically that the lukewarm approach to the corruption fight has affected donor inflows into the country over the last few years.

Anti-corruption works done by CFA in conjunction with Tiger Eye Productions included investigations into cocoa smuggling, the sale of assets of the infamous Quality Grain Company to another American company, Praire Volta in 2008; the sale of ten (10) state enterprises, and an undercover at the Tema Port to reveal acts of corruption.

Despite admitting the issue about the cocoa smuggling syndicate carried out at the western border of the country dominating the media headlines in the country for more than a month, he lamented over why the suspects are yet to be brought to book.

Assets of the Quality Grain, which according to him, worth eight million dollars ($8m) was passed on to another American company, Prairie Volta, despite the absence of an agreement between the Ghana Government and Prairie Volta.

“What it means is that for all these years this company has benefited from Ghana government loan without paying any interest or dividend. As it stands now the eight million dollars could actually go for free and nobody cares,” he stated.

On the sale of the ten (10) state enterprises, Mr. Awuni said the 8.3 million dollars accrued from the sale cannot be traced in the Consolidated Fund causing the Auditor General to repeatedly ask of its whereabouts.

Still at the ports, the CFA executive director called on the Judgment Debt Commissioner to investigate shoddy deals at the ports including the reason for the exclusion of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in all valuations of imports and exports.

The issue of the abrogation of the Bankswitch contract which was built with an investment of over 40 million in favour of private companies, he added, must also be investigated.

“The CFA wishes to call on the Judgment Debt Commissioner to investigate the Bankswitch judgment debt and let Ghanaians be told the truth about what happened,” he intimated.

The interest of CFA to unravel the truth, Mr. Awuni said, will motivate the Centre to “officially petition” the Commission “and insist that the investigation be done publicly.”

“We believe that the abrogation of the Bankswitch contract was unilateral, capricious, self-serving and totally against the interest of the country,” he said.

These, together with issues that have gotten to do with GYEEDA, SADA and ASONGTABA, the CFA director said, are incidents that point to the fact that Ghana is losing the corruption fight.

He however promised that his outfit “will continue to carry on with the crusade” despite its policy to pay more attention to its core business of “working for free enterprise.”
 
 
 
Source: Today
 
 

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