Statement By The Media Center For Social Justice (MCJ Ghana) On The Recent Media Exposures On Alledged Corrupt Practices Involving Some Private Businesses, Individuals And State Agencies & Attacks On A Section Of The Media
1.The Media Center for Social Justice (MCJ Ghana), has been following recent media reportage on allegations of corrupt practices costing the nation millions of dollars and involving some individuals, private businesses and state agencies as well as the subsequent attacks on some Investigative Journalists and media houses.
2.In particular, MCJ Ghana has taken note of reported transactions over $74 million Software for the state actuary, the Social Security & National Insurance Trust (SSNIT); alleged cost inflation in the award of $74million Waste Bin and Bin Liner Supply awarded to 5 companies all belonging to the Zoomlion Group, and Corruption allegations against Deputy Chiefs of Staff at the Presidency made by a leading member of the ruling party.
3.As an anti-corruption, civil society and advocacy organisation, MCJ Ghana wishes to applaud the work of the media in general and some entities such as the Multimedia Group and Citi FM as well as their individual Journalists such as Manasseh Azuri Awuni and Bernard Avle who have taken on the herculean task of probing possible causes of leakages to the public purse as well as factors militating against the socio-economic growth and development of the ordinary Ghanaian.
4.It is the view of the Media Center for Social Justice, that such individuals and entities within the media space by their actions are only affirming the role of citizens of Ghana as enshrined in Article 41 (f) of the 1992 Constitution under the Directive Principles of State Policy, that “ it shall be the duty of every citizen to protect and preserve public property and expose and combat misuse and waste of public funds and property” as well as the preamble to the Constitution of the Ghana Journalists Association in which the association affirmed its resolve to among other things “ to strive for public accountability and to serve as the watchdog of the people’s rights and liberties against all forms of infringements or abuse of rights”.
5.We wish to recall the tireless effort displayed by Investigative Journalist, Manasseh Azuri Awuni in the infamous GYEEDA Scandal which culminated in the retrieval of millions of cedis from the AGAMS Group. Such efforts give us the hope that there are still genuine Journalists and media entities out there who are desirous of ensuring incidence of corruption and corruption perceptions are fought.
6.MCJ Ghana deems as unwarranted and uncalled for, cautions on Journalists, laced with innuendos, insults, threats and mischievous inferences, seeking to unjustly undermine the work of Manasseh Azuri Awuni and therefore condemns such subtle attempts to gage a professionalism, when indeed what such persons require are commendations and moral support.
7.The Media Center for Social Justice hereby challenges government to make good its promises to fight corruption by swiftly but dutifully investigating the said allegations and punishing offenders through prosecution in the law courts to deter will-be perpetrators. This, we believe is the surest way to make corruption unattractive to its beneficiaries while at the same time bringing reward to Journalists and media outlets who have dedicated their time and resolves towards the fight against corruption, corrupt persons and corrupt practices.
8.We are by this statement, also calling on government to urgently take steps to review both the Public Procurement Act (Act 663) and the policy and legal framework guiding Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Ghana which has produced a number of suspicious deals between some private sector people and some government agencies resulting the loss of millions of tax payer’s monies.
9.MCJ Ghana hereby re-affirms its trust and the ability of the new government as well as a section of the media to be resolute in the fight against corruption in Ghana.
James Kofi Annan
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