General News of Tue, 5 Dec 201714
Police, judges most corrupt in Ghana – CDD
Afrobarometer, A pan-African, non-partisan research network led by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) that conducts public attitude surveys, has stated in its current survey that about 64% of Ghanaians want corrupt officials prosecuted.
Mr Daniel Armah-Attoh, Project Manager of Afrobarometer, Anglophone West Africa, presenting the latest findings on what citizens think about the fight against illegal mining, mob justice and political party vigilantism in Accra, said citizens want corrupt officials to return stolen funds, jailed when found guilty and publicly named and shamed.
At the forum yesterday, Armah-Attoh said their findings showed that the police and the judges are perceived as most corrupt in both government and private-sector leadership.
“But public approval of the government’s efforts to combat corruption has increased dramatically since 2014, after more than a decade of decline,” the Project Manager stated.
Breakdown of findings
The release also revealed that about one-fifth (22%) favour government retrieval of stolen funds without prosecution, while one in 10 (9%) would opt for prosecution without retrieval of stolen funds.
It further stated that six out of 10 Ghanaians (59%) say ‘most’ or ‘all’ police officials are corrupt, and substantial proportions say the same about judges and magistrates (38%), national government officials (35%), and other public leaders. Perceptions of corruption in the private sector are somewhat lower.
The proportion of Ghanaians who think the government has performed “very well” or “fairly well” in fighting corruption more than doubled between 2014 and 2017, from 25% to 60%. After more than a decade of declining approval ratings, this puts popular approval near the 2002 high of 63 %.
Mr Armah-Attoh explained that the purpose of the survey is to provide solid backing for government and reformers seeking to strengthen laws and their enforcement in the fight against corruption.
He said, “The findings are being released a few weeks after the passing of the Special Prosecutor’s Bill, which is expected to help the government effectively crack the whip of justice against corrupt public officers, political office holders, and accomplices.”
The project manager also pointed out that three-fourths (74%) of Ghanaians say no citizen should be permitted to engage in illegal small-scale mining or “galamsey” for any reason while eight out of 10 Ghanaians (81%) approve of the government’s performance in clamping down on illegal small-scale mining.
He said that “of “galamsey” and approval of the government’s handling of the fight against it is particularly strong among better-educated Ghanaians and among residents of the Central, Brong Ahafo, and Ashanti regions. Opposition to small-scale mining is weakest in the Upper East, Northern, and Upper West regions.”
The release further revealed that eight out of 10 Ghanaians (80%) approve, including 52% who “strongly approve”, of the idea that the government should be responsible for providing alternative livelihoods for former “galamseyers.”
He added that about two-thirds of citizens with no formal education oppose illegal mining (66%) and think the government is handling the issue effectively (67%), much larger proportions of better-educated citizens hold these views (71% to 81%) for no illegal mining and 80% to 93% for positive rating of government effort).
According to him, “Both rejection of “galamsey” and approval of government performance are somewhat stronger among urban residents than their rural counterparts. Moreover, there are clear differences by region. Rejection of illegal small-scale mining is strongest in Central (92%), Brong Ahafo (87%), and Ashanti (79%) regions, as is approval for the government’s performance (96%, 93%, and 90%, respectively).”
But he said the Upper East Region stands out with the lowest popular rejection of “galamsey” (45%), followed by the Northern (56%) and Upper West (59%).
The Project Manager, however, explained that these three regions also express some of the lowest levels of approval for the government’s handling of the problem.
“They are “galamsey”-prone areas, making these findings something of a paradox compared to results in other noted “galamsey” regions such as Western, Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Eastern, and Central,” he said.
The release also stated that Greater Accra presents a break in the pattern, with strong rejection of illegal mining (76%) but comparatively weak approval of government performance (68%).
Whereas a large majority of supporters of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) (80%) opposed illegal small-scale mining, much lower percentages of National Democratic Congress(NDC) (64%) and other opposition parties (58%) share this position.
Similarly, approval of the government’s performance is higher among NPP adherents (90%) than among NDC supporters (74%). Views on these questions differ only marginally by gender, age group, and employment status.