GII calls for inclusion of anti-corruption laws in manifestos
Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo, the Executive Director of Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), has asked political parties to incorporate the gaps in anti-corruption legislation in their manifestos.
She said this is necessary because manifestos launched during pre-elections become the main development planning tool that is implemented after elections by the party that forms the government.
Mrs Ofori-Kwafo was speaking at a news conference in Accra to make presidential and political parties to demonstrate commitment to the fight against corruption.
The aim was to take advantage of the pre-election opportunity to influence the development of political parties’ manifestos to reflect appropriate strategies that have the capacity to address some of the gaps and strengthen the anti-corruption legislative framework.
She said this would give the parties specifics they need to work on in the legislation to make the country a safe haven for all.
Over the years, parliament had passed a number of laws and signed a number of international and regional anti-corruption conventions.
Despite the progress made, she said, the impunity with which some public officials are engaging in corruption is worrying.
She said though several factors may account for this, such as the lack of enforcement, laws confirmed during the review of Ghana’s implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption in 2013 also brought to the fore some weaknesses in the anti-corruption laws that need to be addressed.
She said the GII, in consortium with the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition and SEND-Ghana, is not calling for new laws but rather the need to strengthen the existing ones to make them binding.
The documented gaps presented to the President and political parties are made up of corrupt conducts that should either have been criminalised, or if already criminalised, are deemed inadequate to deal with the offence more effectively, she said.
“If political parties are able to incorporate some of the demands in their manifesto, they would help to tackle such issues to shape the nation,” she said.
Some of the areas in the Act that needs amendments include bribery, illicit enrichment, compensation for damage, abuse of functions, embezzlement, trading influence, laundering of proceeds of crime, concealment, obstruction of justice in criminal process, protection of witnesses, transparency, public reporting and access to information.
She advised the electorate to desist from selling their votes and rather vote based on key issues.