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General News
Corruption still a canker in the Ghanaian society 6/21/2008

Amasaman (GAR), June 19, GNA - A survey conducted by the Ghana Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) on corruption this year has found that 75 per cent of households regard the phenomenom as a serious national problem.

It also found that 86 and 59 per cent saw it as the major problem reigning in the public and private sectors respectively.

This high level of corruption which has penetrated both the public and the private sectors has caused the poor in the society to be denied basic services and amenities.

Speaking at a workshop at Amasaman for the Ga West Municipal Assembly on corruption, Miss Lucy Marie Danso, Deputy Regional Director of the National Commission on Civic Education, urged all Ghanaians to do everything possible to fight corruption. It was organized by the Ghana Integrity Initiative.

She cited the declaration of zero tolerance for corruption, the promotion of the national integrity system, the creation of the Anti-Corruption Coalition, the Serious Fraud Office and the Office of Accountability as some of the means by which the government was fighting corruption.

Speaking on how to combat corruption in the country, Nana Kwesi Agyepong, Acting Executive Secretary of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), called for the passage of the Freedom to Information Bill to complement the Whistleblowers Act which are aimed at giving the people greater access to public information.

He said the incorporation into laws of an elaborate definition of corruption would reflect the internationally accepted definition of corruption which clearly criminalized the offence.

Nana Agyepong also called for the strengthening of existing laws to include the imposition of stiffer punishment such as long prison terms for perpetrators of corruption and the institution of awards in the public sector for those who exhibited high standards of commitment and performance in their duties.

He urged the government, employers and trade unions to organize a national debate on income policy since research had found that low incomes were the root cause of bribery and corruption. Nana Agyepong urged all voters in the forthcoming elections to desist from any act which could undermine the credibility of the elections.

"For allowing any undemocratic practices such as vote buying, abuse of incumbency on the part of some candidates, misuse of state resources, partisan campaigns and the like will do nothing but question the legitimacy of those who will get elected," he said.

Source: GNA

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