Former Commissioner of Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Justice Emile Short, has taken a swipe at politicians who dip their hands into state coffers after securing huge loans to fund their election campaigns.
According to him, financial hardships and the increasing rate of corruption can be attributed to the usage of state resources by parties in power to fund these campaigns.
“Political campaign financing is the major source of corruption in the country. It is an open secret that in Ghana, candidates spend much sums of money to get elected and afterwards, they will do anything to recover the expenses by ruining the public purse,” he said.
The former CHRAJ boss made these observations at the launch of a report on the Right to Information (RTI) journey in Ghana.
Justice Short established that public appointments were invariably made to benefit party supporters and loyalists who funded campaigns thereby undermining meritocracy as well as weakening state institutions.
“…they have been sponsored by individuals or organisations, the later extent to get a return for the expenses are to award contracts, invariably inflated contracts or appointments to positions. Sometimes these appointments are not made on the basis of merits,” he pointed out.
The RTI Law was assented to by the President of Ghana in May this year.
The law seeks to give effect to Article 21 (1) (f) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana which states that “All persons shall have the right to information subject to such qualifications and laws as are necessary for a democratic society.”
Meanwhile, Ghana’s first Special Prosecutor, Martin A.B. K. Amidu, has called on Ghanaian leaders to end the practice of freeing elites who spend short term in jail after being convicted for corrupt practices while individuals jailed for misdemeanours rot in prisons for years.
In his opinion, Ghana needs a regime where there will be tougher punishments for officials found to have engaged in corruption to make the misconduct a high-risk area to reduce graft in the country.
According to him, the country’s systems make corruption fester as public officials often find a way to escape punishment through the aid of political figures.
Mr Amidu who attributed corruption in institutions to greed emphasised that authorities “must make the risk for that greed very high to deter people from going there and as long as you don’t do that it will continue.”
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
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