Story: Reuben Sackey
The 2023 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) report released by Transparency International (IT) shows the abysmal performance by Ghana as far as the fight against corruption in the country is concerned.
Ghana scored zero for the fourth consecutive year, according to the CPI 2023 report.
The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the local chapter of Transparency International in its report said, “Ghana scored 43 out of a clean score of 100 and ranked 70th out of 180 countries and territories included in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2023 released today, 30th January 2024 by Transparency International (TI). This marks the fourth consecutive year of stagnation in Ghana’s anti-corruption efforts, as indicated by the CPI.”
Transparency International attributed Ghana’s stagnation to the deteriorating justice system, which it said, was reducing the accountability of public officials and therefore allowing corruption to thrive.
“Under the theme for the CPI 2023 – Corruption and Justice, Ghana’s stagnated score highlights a global trend of deteriorating justice systems, which is reducing the accountability of public officials and therefore allowing corruption to thrive.”
“The connection is reinforced by Ghana’s performance in the Rule of Law Index produced by the World Justice Project, which demonstrates a concerning decline. In the 2015 Rule of Law Index, Ghana scored 0.60 and ranked 34, but by 2023, Ghana’s score had decreased to 0.55, with a corresponding drop in ranking to 61”, it said.
GII recommended that Parliament take steps to lay the Conduct of Public Officers’ Bill to ensure that provisions on assets declaration require verification and come with severe sanctions for non-compliance.
The Executive should urgently take steps to lay the Conduct of Public Officers’ Bill in Parliament ensuring that provisions on assets declaration require verification and come with severe sanctions for non-compliance while GII also calls on the Legislature to attach an equal level of urgency to its timely passage. The Executive and the Legislature must take steps to bridge the legal gaps necessary for the prosecution of selected corruption cases outside our current legal framework. ”
Meanwhile the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, has expressed disappointment in Ghana’s stagnated position, highlighting the country’s lack of progress in the fight against corruption.
In response to the CPI findings, Mr Kissi Agyebeng expressed his disappointment, stating, “we are standing at a single spot spinning around slowly on one foot in a circle, much like a gyroscope, the conversation is becoming sterile.
“The fight against corruption is proving to be an unruly bride indeed…we are not recording much success and progress is hampered, and we are unable to move the needle appreciably to improve our scorecard.”
He highlighted the awareness of the solution to address corruption but emphasized a lack of commitment to implementing effective measures.
Agyebeng lamented, “we certainly know the cure to the malaise but we are unwilling to take the medication fully, it is as if we don’t want to actually cure it though we reckon it is slowly killing us. it is as if we do not know what we want.”
The Chief of Staff Akosua Frema Osei-Opare called on civil society organizations (CSOs) to trust anti-graft bodies. She urged CSOs to refrain from harbouring suspicions once anti-graft bodies have exonerated individuals under investigation for alleged misconduct.
Osei-Opare made these remarks during a roundtable discussion on the Corruption Perception Index 2023, where Ghana scored 43 out of a clean score of 100.
The discussion aimed to address the challenges and perceptions surrounding corruption in the country.