To: Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, Jacob Osei Yeboah, Hon. Kwabena Donkor, Hon. Sherry Ayittey, Dr. Raymond Atuguba
Ref: Ghana Campaign Finance Disclosure
I noticed that during and after the 2012 Presidential campaign, Dr. Paa Kwesi disclosed how much he had spent. This implies that he kept some account of his spending. I am sure Jacob and Hon. Kwabena and others also did. I am not sure about other MPs and candidates or political parties. It is quite possible they all do but since nobody is requiring it, nobody bothers to disclose.
I'd like for our Lawyers to tell me if there is not a requirement for all political parties to file and disclose their sources of finance, and by what time, and if so, if it has been done or not in the past and during the last elections. If not, would you Honorable members of our society, Paa Kwesi, Jacob, Kwabena, Mustapha, and Sherry champion and lead, and GLU to support and demand and push for the EC to demand and make this part of our electoral system culture. During all political campaigns and at any time, all political parties should keep track of all sources of funds beyond say Ghc50, and even if below Ghc50, keep a record of how much funds were received for a day or week, and to make public disclosure of such funds every Quarter in an open format such as their Websites or that of the EC to make such disclosure public. I am not talking about any major accounting using CPA, but simple list of Date, Name of contributor, expenses made, and then at the end of the Quarter Summarize the accounts. If too many give above Ghc50, we can raise the limit to Ghc100.
I am very concerned, and we should all as a young nation trying democracy, be concerned about the influence of illegal sources of financing in our politics, and the direct payment as bribes or inducement to individual political delegates. We should also be concerned about the apparent unlimited amount of financial cost involved in our politics that should have been made a simple system of selecting the best candidate in a constituency without all the Western trappings of expensive advertisement. I know many businesses benefit in this process but lose or win, many have taken huge loans which can be avoided if we are smart. If people live in the communities, and care about their people, traditional values of our people should be able to have a few town-hall meetings where every candidate will have the chance to speak and take questions, and out of such candidates the people should be able to select a representative for office. In a nation where more than 80% are reported to live on less than $2 per day, it is hard to expect even well-meaning people to represent their constituencies unless they borrow huge amounts of money. It is wrong and we should fix it right now before too long.
We have had at least two or three GLU member who returned home to get involved in politics and they have reported on demand for money beyond the normal feeding and other expenses of the campaign. We will not go into details, but we all know as educated people with a conscience, without the police standing on our necks, that it is illegal to induce people with gifts and money for their vote. Since everybody knows this is unethical, if not direct bribery and hence illegal, nobody talks about it. We should have clear laws, and enforcement about this. I invite our own Hon Dr. Kwabena Donkor, MP, and Hon. Mustapha Ahmed, MP, to join us in this campaign. If this is the norm and even some have been forced to do this, it does not mean we cannot stop it. We should all have a conscience and desire to create a fair platform for all to compete for public office without the expectations and obligations that come after people in influence in constituencies and districts have been bribed or paid off in some capacity.
The President has promised to allow towns, metro areas, districts and regions to have elections and select their own representatives, and we believe that at that time, our best people with love and concern for their people, will eventually emerge so far as they don't have to rely in illegal financing.
Dr. Ray, we like your cooperation in this and solicit the inputs and comments of the President in reshaping our political culture. I hear the 100 days honeymoon is coming up but I believe the people will be with him if he means what he says and says what he means, no matter the outcome of the Supreme court debacle.
Dr. Kwaku A. Danso
President - Ghana Leadership Union (NGO), Moderator-GLU and GLF Forums. Author: Leadership Concepts and the Role of Government in Africa: The Case of Ghana