Members of Parliament (MPs) of Ghana’s chapter of the Africa Parliamentarians Network against Corruption (APNAC) have insisted that they would not stop the fight against corruption despite the lack of political will from successive governments to fight the canker.
Speaking to Journalists at the 2022 8th Biennial General Meeting of APNAC at Cotonou, Benin, the Ghanaian MPs said that though they knew that fighting corruption is a difficult task, they would not relent in their effort to wipe it from the national life of Ghana.
Virtually every country in the African continent from Southern, Northern, Eastern, and Western faces perpetrators who bypass or exploit weaknesses in existing laws and regulations to execute schemes, which have been increasing in scale and sophistication.
Corruption undermines the credibility of the public sector and erodes trust in government and its ability to steer to achieve high economic growth and shared prosperity.
It often weakens the impact of public services delivery, adversely affecting all citizens, especially the poor, and denying needed development that benefits the larger society.
This, the Ghana Chapter’s PNAC members believed there should be a concerted effort to tackle the menace despite the stiff opposition and challenges as they become the target and some often lose their parliamentary seats.
Chairman for Ghana’s Chapter, Hon Emmanuel Kwesi Bedzrah who led Ghana’s delegation said despite the daunting challenges the Ghanaian MPs have been doing well to minimize corruption in the country.
He said the chapter would take a step further and reach out to senior secondary schools to create awareness to minimize corruption practices in the country.
Other members of Ghana’s delegation to the 8th Biennial General Meeting including Hon Dr. Emmanuel Marfo, MP for Oforikrom, Hon Kofi Okyere Agyekum, MP for Fanteakwa South, Hon Morris Elvis Donkor, MP forAsebu/Abura/Kwamankese, Hon Albert Akuka Alalzuuga, MP for Garu and Hon Peter Kwakye-Ackah, MP for Amenfi Central.
Hon Kofi Okyere Agyekum
Hon Agyekum, MP for Fanteakwa South is the Vice Chairman of the APNAC Ghana Chapter and the Ranking of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament.
He said, fighting corruption is necessary even though there are challenges due to a lack of political will.
In his view, continued awareness of the consequence of corruption and its associated danger to development and society, in general, itself is a step in the right direction.
Hon Agyekum said he was impressed by the level of discussion that took place during the APNAC 8th Biennial General Meeting, as it would reinforce the interest of members to whip other members to join in the fight against corruption in the Africa Continent.
Hon Peter Yaw Kwakye-Ackah
Hon Kwakye-Ackah, MP for Amenfi Central is a Member of the APNAC Ghana Chapter and as well a member of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament.
He said apart from prostitution, corruption is one of the oldest undefeated crimes among human being and its fight should not be limited to only Parliamentarians who have the interest to join the fight but every person who want development in his or her community.
The Ghanaian lawmaker said he supports the activities of APNAC fully because it is the avenue through which African parliamentarians who dare to fight corruption could meet to strategies and take action.
He shared a similar sentiment with his colleagues on the fact that there is political interference in the fight against corruption, stressing that, “the time we can get like UK parliament where the ruling party MPs take steps to remove their own colleague on suspicion of corruption is what we want, but we are not there yet. But I hope with more advocacy and awareness creation, we shall get there, where an MP can criticize his own government without fear of being expelled from the party.”
Hon Elvis Morris Donkor
Sharing his experiences after the 8th Biennial General Meeting of APNAC, Hon Morris Donkor, MP for Asebu/Abura/Kwamankese said corruption must be fought by all for it does not only taint the government but retard the development and progress of nations.
According to him, politicians are the most receiving end of the corruption allegation but the technocrats are the worse and that the canker must be uprooted at all levels and sectors of the nation.
He admitted the APNAC conference was self-revealing and educative but believed Ghana has a lot to do as the country’s performance index on corruption remains high.
Hon Albert Akuka Alalzuuga
Hon Akuka is MP for Garu , political leadership and commitment to fight corruption at the highest levels is one of the most important preconditions for success in the fight against corruption.
According to him, fighting against corruption is not an easy task, “if you want to fight corruption, corruption will fight you as MP, “ but believed with self commitment and cooperation an association like APNAC, Africa would make headway in the near future.
He said it takes personal commitment to fight corruption and that he joined APNAC while bearing in mind that people who are fighting corruption draw more enemies than friends and they could fall victim to political maneuvering in their constituencies in line with their work.
He pointed out that while there has been tangible progress in establishing the legal and institutional framework to tackle corruption, there is a continued absence of a clear demonstration of political will from the government to fight corruption.
In some respects, Hon Akuka said there has even been resistance to and obstructions of the anti-corruption process, actions that may demonstrate a lack of political will to bring the process further.
Nevertheless, he asked APNAC to continue with the fight but as well try to check its own activities and ensure transparency and accountability to its APNAC chapters and members.
Dr. Emmanuel Marfo
Dr. Marfo, MP for Oforikrom has called on APNAC to take steps to regulate monetization in politics as part of measures to fight corruption.
According to him, it has resulted in a situation where only the rich or persons with money bags can only contest for political offices and those who have ideas and are capable of delivering the results but do not have money will be voted out.
He said there was no doubt we cannot play politics without money but a situation where money is placed above every other factor is not democracy and such continue to influence corruption.
He stressed that APNAC must also gather the courage of political will to take good governance seriously by ensuring respect for human rights and the rule of law to make regulations on the monetization of politics,
Dr Marfo said for a successful fight against corruption, African must strengthen democratization and promote transparency and capability in public administration.
APNAC is an anti-graft organization aimed at coordinating, involving and strengthening the capacities of African parliamentarians to fight corruption and promote good governance.
It was formally formed in 1999 in Kampala, Uganda; APNAC has promoted accountability, transparency, and public participation in the processes of government, as the best ways to control corruption.
It membership is drawn mostly from the elected representatives of the people known commonly as Members of Parliament.
The objectives of APNAC are to build the capacity of parliamentarians to exercise oversight roles, especially on financial matters.
It is also aimed to share information on best anti-corruption strategies and practices, promote projects to control corruption based on best practices and as well cooperate with other organizations and civil society members with shared objectives.
Source: expressnewsghana.com/ Felix Nyaaba,Benin
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