A former Commissioner of the Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Justice Emile Short has classified the sharing of goodies to citizens by political parties as corruption which must come to an end.
“Vote buying is corruption under the definition of corruption in our laws and yet few months to elections, you read about distribution of goodies like outboard motors, bags of rice and so on”, he observed.
These distributions, he said are done close to the elections and it constitutes corruption but it seems politicians are not aware of it and it continues because there are no sanctions.
Justice Emile Short was speaking on Bribes and Gifts at the second series of a symposium organized by Forum for Media Accountability and Democratic Governance (FoMADeG) in Accra on Wednesday under the theme; “Redefining Our ethos as a society”.
According to him, surveys by Center for Democratic Development (CDD) and Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Anas revelations and some recent public statements by respected public figures have implicated all three arms of government in corruption, saying it’s considered the norm rather than the exception.
The former CHRAJ boss pointed out that there is a general perception that many people aspire to public office not to serve the people but to promote their own personal interest, their next of kins and cohorts.
“It is not too long ago when we had a deputy minister in a secretly recorded conversation that her intentions was to quickly make about a million dollar before she quits politics”, he added, quizzing that people who go into public office must be questioned on their motive.
Justice Short further observed that it seems the greed for wealth and the desire to acquire it in the quickest possible time is partly responsible for where Ghana finds itself currently.
To see an end to corruption, he suggested that it mandates agencies, like CHRAJ, National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), house of chiefs and other stakeholder organisations to be empowered to organize regular public education and awareness programme on the evils and cause of corruption.
Again he suggested other activities including modules and elements to highlight and strengthen good ethical values in primary, high Schools, formal and informal education and also establish integrity clubs in schools.
“All these are activities which should be done in conjunction with the imposition of sanctions and also another important leg of the national and anti-corruption plan in the redesigning our institutions to make it difficult for corruption to be perpetrated” Justice Short offered.