Manner and source of funding political parties create room for corruption - Elvis Afriyie
Fighting corruption in the country will continue to be an unsurmountable hurdle if the manner and source of funding of political parties is not monitored and regulated, a former Minister for Youth and Sports has observed.
Recounting his experience as an appointee of the erstwhile President Mahama, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah indicated that it usually is an awkward and difficult position when a party financier becomes the subject of investigations or a government contract is terminated due to financial malfeasance.
“…I was appointed as Minister for Youth and Sports and I was confronted with GYEEDA… it was started as a pilot programme so there were no proper institutions in place, the systems were not in place so it was virtually a free for all. We came to power, expanded it and people took advantage of the weaknesses in the system; so by the time I took office it was virtually a mess and the President said ‘clean it up’… that was when my problems started” he recalled.
It was a very awkward, difficult situation because most of the service providers were people that I knew personally and they were people that had supported us and I know they support both sides (NDC and NPP). So you have a situation where you have gone to take money from the person to run your campaign and then you come back and say you’re now investigating the person, cancelling the persons contracts… it was very very difficult.
He suggested that funding of party activities be open to members of the party to contribute to enable the minimization of the influence of financiers in the party. He cited the contributions of party members and footsoldiers to accounts of flagbearer hopefuls to help them raise the filing fee being charged by the party leadership.
The former Youth and Sports Minister was speaking at a programme by the Institute for Democratic Governance themed Strengthening Developmental Political Parties in Ghana; a call for regulatory and funding reforms?