CSOs to help fight corruption in Ashaiman

23 October 2015

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Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the Ashaiman Municipality in the Greater Accra Region has renewed its efforts in the fight against corruption at all levels of the society.

The Principal Anti-Corruption Investigator of CHRAJ, Ato Breboh, made the call at a sensitisation workshop on the mandate of anti-corruption institutions.

He tasked the CSOs and other partners drawn from the Ashaiman Municipality in the Tema Sub-region, to serve as anti-corruption watchdogs to expose wrong doings in their respective jurisdictions.

The workshop was organised by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) under its Accountable Democratic Institutions and Systems Strengthening (ADISS) project.

The four-year project, funded by the USAID, seeks to renew and build upon ongoing efforts with increased capacity building of anti-corruption CSOs to motivate citizens to apply pressure on policy makers and institutions through targeted and focused actions with the aim of reducing corruption to its barest minimum.

Mr Breboh stated that corruption had eaten deep into the social fibre of the Ghanaian society and it would take conscious efforts by mandated institutions, CSOs and the citizenry to reverse the practice, which had become pervasive in recent times.

According to him, with the immunity provided under the Whistle Blowers Act, Ghanaians should be bold enough to expose acts of corruption and impropriety to authorities such as the Police.

Mrs Joyce Danquah, the National Coordinator for the ADISS Project, urged CSOs to as much as possible, condemn and fight corruption, making its practice a high-risk and low-gain activity.

She noted that in spite of the various mandate that some state institutions had to fight corruption, the practice was still prevalent.

She said, the project was instituted to curb acts of corruption with increased advocacy by civil society for legislative change related to accountability.

According to her, the GII consortium comprising the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) and SEND-Ghana, was implementing two out of the four components the project, which covered 50 citizens’ groups in 50 districts in all the 10 regions.

The project, she said, is from September 2014 to September 2018, and it will promote active citizens’ participation; build strong partnership with governance institutions and CSOs; and train and work with investigative journalists to unearth corrupt acts; among many key strategies.

Mr Jacob Ahuno, a Project Officer, speaking on the Manifestation of Corruption in Ghana, indicated that it was criminal under Section 329 of the Criminal Code 1960 (Act 29) for public officials to willfully oppress or extort.

He noted that the impact of corruption in developing countries were adverse as it led to the loss of development funds, retardation of economic growth and exacerbated poverty.

An ardent anti-corruption campaigner, Mr Innocent Adamadu, was elected an Anti-Corruption Champion in the Ashaiman Municipality to help in the fight against corruption.