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Until the Special Prosecutor arrives, everyone is evidently a mere whistle blower

New Prez Akufo Addo President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Tue, 7 Nov 2017 Source: Isaac Kyei Andoh

In 2006, The Whistleblowers Act was passed to protect individuals who leak important information bordering on crime to the security agencies and reward them accordingly.

In 2013, Parliament improved it by approving an amendment to the Act to give more protection to those who may volunteer information on crime to the security services. If the idea behind passing the Whistleblowers Act was that it will end corruption or reduce it drastically, hindsight has thought us that everyone was wrong.

The only time the Whistleblowers Act works is when the culprit is an ordinary turkey thief like Kofi Asante who received a 10-year sentence a couple of weeks ago for stealing two turkeys belonging to his neighbour. The fact that he confessed and pleaded for clemency did not prevent the judge from giving him more punishment than some rapist received.

The Whistleblowers Act doesn’t move our Security and anti-corruption Agencies when the accused is linked to the NDC or NPP.

It is the inactiveness of State Institutions that partly instigated many Ghanaians to vote for Nana Akufo-Addo, the man touted as incorruptible by his colleagues to once and for all make corruption unattractive and punish those who decide to live on the food meant for many alone

Ten months into his government, like ordinary whistleblowers, a lot of allegations have been made against former government appointees and associates in relation to corruption but none has been prosecuted so far.

Every week is dominated by one wild allegation or the other against the former government but they all end up as topics for discussion.

Government’s position is that the Almighty Special Prosecutor will deal with the issues one by one with none escaping.

Until the Special Prosecutor starts working, allegations of corruption from the President, Vice President and even the Attorney General is as good an allegation from an ordinary whistleblower with the only difference being the media making it an Agenda for our national discourse when the blower of the whistle is in government.

How long are government functionaries going to make wild corruption allegations without any frantic effort from State Institutions to interrogate the matter?

Does government’s plan to use the Special Prosecutor prevent these state institutions from doing their constitutionally mandated duty?

The Special Prosecutor is one of the many politicisations of the fight against corruption that has taken us nowhere and brought state institutions mandated to fight the canker on their knees.

The most important step to indicate our commitment to fighting corruption should be the empowerment of existing institutions and give them the tools and more freedom to work.

Our State Institutions have enough legal backing to fight any kind of crime. The only hindrance is interference from politicians who unfortunately have become the loudest in exposing corruption despite being the guiltiest.

If the politicians can’t appoint, fire or promote people in these agencies, they will have the confidence to work and deal with corrupt people.

President Akufo-Addo can be an exception to the rule if he is indeed incorruptible as we have been made to believe by strengthening these institutions to champion the fight.

The Special Prosecutor can be an addition and not the substitute because we have people paid with TAX payer’s money to fight the rot.

If the allegations made against the previous government are not mere political gimmicks for attracting votes and diverting attention from the shortcoming of this government, then I don’t see why the Attorney General’s Department in collaboration with the relevant institutions cannot deal with some of the allegations.

Additionally, nothing stops the President from attaching another Deputy Minister to that Ministry with the singular duty of dealing with these issues.

We are gradually getting to the point where allegations of corruption against public officials carry no weight because it has become a mere anthem.

As government awaits the never arriving Special Prosecutor, as current appointees make their own mistakes, the moral right to take action and the fear of being at the receiving end when power changes hands will result in a compromise.

This is why immediate action is needed to send a signal to those currently at the helm of affairs that corruption won’t be condoned

We need State Institutions capable of bringing corrupt people in and out of government to book.

From all indications, the special prosecutor will come and deal with NDC thieves. What happens to NPP thieves? Do they have to go to opposition before the law can be applied to them?

If people have indeed stolen money as we have been made to believe, are we waiting for them to spend it or make profit off it before pushing them to refund?

I am particularly tired of the allegations and using same allegations to equalise and justify alleged wrongdoing in this government.

The allegations of corruption have lost the spark; those accused no longer feel embarrassed: action is needed to back the wild claims.

A government with the power to act cannot behave like a powerless whistleblower and waste our ears on daily basis with much ado about nothing

Enough of the talking: it’s time to get ahead of the Special Prosecutor and act.

Columnist: Isaac Kyei Andoh
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