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Ghana seems to be unknowingly but consciously expanding the corruption-inducing net

Stop Corruption 2 The country is trying to fight against corruption

Tue, 7 Jun 2022 Source: Rockson Adofo

Official corruption with its ramifications is the bane of the economic emancipation of Africa. Ghana, being in Africa, is not an exception. She suffers from the same canker and its entire adverse effects.

However, my close observations of the 1992 Constitution by which the country is governed, has consciously aided the expansion of official corruption in Ghana without many Ghanaians noticing.

The increase in official corruption with its ramified entrenchment in Ghana can be traced to the constitutional requirement of the creation of more constituencies and districts at any time when deemed necessary by the president of the republic.

I will choose to dwell more on the creation of districts than constituencies which are also a cause for bother.

Permit me to quote extensively from the constitution before concluding why and how in my understanding, the country itself has somehow lawfully aided the expansion of corruption in Ghana.

( l) Ghana shall be divided into as many constituencies for the purpose of election of members of Parliament as the Electoral Commission may prescribe, and each constituency shall be represented by one member of Parliament.

Commission and their roles are captured below.

Creation of Districts

Article 4(2) of the 1992 Constitution merely states that: "Parliament may by law make provision for the redrawing of the boundaries of districts or for reconstituting the districts", without specifying the legal procedures to be followed. Subsequently, Parliament enacted the Local Government Act, 2004 (Act 462) which spelt out the procedure and criteria for the creation of districts and robed in the independent Electoral Commission. The districts in existence immediately before the coming into force of the 1992 Constitution on 7 January 1993 were saved in the Local Government Act of2004.

Section 42 of the Local Government Act of2004 stipulates that: (Ghana 2004a);

"(2) The President may by executive instrument-

(a) declare any area within Ghana to be a district.

(b) assign a name to the district.

(3) In the exercise of the powers conferred on him, the President shall:

(a) Direct the Electoral Commission to make such recommendations as it considers appropriate for the purpose.

( 4) The Electoral Commission shall before making any recommendations to the President under sub-section (3) consider the following:

(a) in the case of

(i) a district, where there is a minimum population of seventy-five thousand people;

(ii) a municipality, that the geographical area consists of a single compact settlement and that there is a minimum of ninety-five thousand people.

(iii) a metropolis, where there is a minimum of two hundred and fifty thousand people; and

(b) the geographical contiguity and economic viability of the area.

(5) In this section economic viability meant "the ability of an area to provide the basic infrastructural and other developmental needs from the monetal)' and other resources generated in the area"

From the above, it is obvious that periodically, new and more districts are permissibly created. All such districts are run by Municipal, Metropolitan or District Chief Executives (MMDCE) with their team of staff members.

Most, if not all, of these MMDCEs, are excessively shamelessly corrupt! They engage themselves in acts of malfeasance as soon as they assume office. Within their first term in office, most of them acquire immense wealth, putting up mansions and purchasing cars for themselves.

Who among the MMCEs can before God and man swear on the Bible, Quran and the altar of the gods that they have not embezzled a pesewa since they took office?

Their normal monthly salaries will never be able to obtain the personal properties they acquire within the shortest possible time of their assumption of office as MMDCEs. It is obvious they engage in dubious acts like sole-sourcing of some projects to be realized for their municipalities, metropolis, or districts at a highly inflated cost to their areas from which they collect kickbacks. This fact is indisputable. It is only a fool and equally corrupt person that will make any attempts to deny it.

Until we tell the truth, calling a spade a spade but not a big spoon and taking the bull by the horn, Ghana will not be able to develop to the level of satisfaction and expectation by many a fair-minded person wishing to see black people live above reproach by doing the common needful things to shake off the robe of negativities they have themselves gladly been wearing since the days of biblical Adam until today.

This being the case and almost all of them, thus, the MMDCEs, or about 90% of them, use various means to acquire illegal wealth at the expense of their districts and its inhabitants, the fewer they are, much the better, and less the nation’s money that will seep into the pockets of these disgusting corrupt officials.

The more the districts and Chief Executives there are, the larger the expansion of official corruption.

However, the belief and purpose of having more districts was to better and quicker develop the districts to better the conditions of living of the inhabitants. Nevertheless, that intention or objective does get defeated owing to the infatuation with corruption by the Chief Executives and their subordinates.

Check most of the districts, one will not see any level of appreciable developments carried out by these Chief Executives and their team of staff but one will see how rich some of these same Chief Executives have become within a twinkle of an eye into their assumption of office.

Have we not lawfully expanded official corruption by the creation of these more needless districts in the country where the Chief Executives are more often than expected, come to pursue the personal acquisition of illegal wealth than to seek the collective welfare of the inhabitants of the districts?

I quite remember when we used to have the Sekyere East District that comprised Mampong, Ejura, Effiduase, Kumawu, Asokore, etc.; (if I am right) during Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s time. If at all the DCE, or whoever was the head, was going to be corrupt, it was only one person and his team. But today, that same district has been divided into about six or more. I don’t know how many districts are there within Mampong itself but I know that Asokore, Effiduase, Kumawu, Drobonso Afram Plains and Ejura have all been carved out of the former Sekyere East District to become districts in their own.

Look at the number of MMDCEs that we have now with almost each of them and their staff being excessively corrupt. Have we not officially helped expand the net of corruption?

A few honest people can develop Ghana no matter how large their district and larger the number of people living in it, than having such a large number of useless officers who love acquiring personal illegal wealth more than seeking to obtain the collective welfare of the people in their districts.

Being a dynamic citizen but not a drivelling spectator, I shall always tell the truth, regardless of the situation and whom it concerns. That is who I am, the proud and fearless son of Kumawu/Asiampa soil, Rockson Adofo.

Ghana shall remember my fearlessness and truthfulness one day, although posthumously, to say, if Rockson Adofo were around, they will not find me. I shall long be gone to join the departed ancestors, or will be in heaven enjoying time with the heavenly angels!

Columnist: Rockson Adofo