Some Ghanaians are reportedly expressing outrage after the
Public Accounts Committee and the Auditor General's report suggested that there
is a high level of corruption throughout the public service. They blamed
President John Kufuor for reneging on his promise to root out corruption.
Meanwhile the presidential candidate of the main opposition National Democratic
Congress has criticized President Kufuor for amassing wealth since coming into
office to the detriment of ordinary Ghanaians. Evans Atta-Mills described
President Kufuor's graft fight as ridiculous and an affront to all Ghanaians.
But President Kufuor's government says the opposition wants to score cheap
political points ahead of this year's election.
Pratt is the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Weekly Insight, an
independent Ghanaian newspaper. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from the
capital, Accra that the rate of corruption is astronomical.
is evidence of very high level of corruption throughput the public service. And
in fact the report of the Public Accounts Committee and the Auditor General are
very clear on that. The levels of corruption run into hundreds of billions of
cedis (over $86 Million) and there is no doubt it's all about that. In fact a
parliamentary investigation into corruption established that the judiciary has
been quite corrupt. So, there could be some basis for this allegation," Pratt
said President Kufuor has reneged on his promise to fight corruption since
coming to power.
promise was abandoned long time ago. About three years ago, President Kufuor
said publicly that he was not going to expose corruption in his government in
order not to make his government unpopular. That for me is the clearest
indication that the promise to fight corruption has been abandoned a long time
ago," he said.
said recent alleged corrupt practices among close relatives of government officials
have led some Ghanaians to express outrage against President Kufuor's
too long ago, one of his ministers was found to have had a deposit of two
billion cedis (about $2 million) in his account. This became public knowledge
and the reaction of the Kufuor administration was to ask the minister to
resign. There has been no investigation and there has been no prosecution. So,
the commitment to fight corruption was abandoned a long time ago," Pratt,
said Ghanaians are expressing a lack of confidence in the current
administration's fight against corruption.
Ghanaians feel a sense of outrage have spoken out against the massive levels of
corruption in public administration. You know the levels of wealth that have
been acquired by people in government and their relatives are amazing. In the
first few months of Kufuor's assumption of office his son, bought a hotel
valued at about $8 million, I mean this is clearly unthinkable. You know the
son who was not a businessman before the father came into office manages to buy
a hotel at $8 million dollars," he said.
reiterated that Ghanaians seem to be displeased about the allegations of wealth
being amassed by some government officials and their relatives.
have a sense of outrage, especially at a time when public sector workers are
suffering unduly. Newly recruited teachers for example have not been paid for
14 months; newly recruited nurses have not been paid also for more than a year,
and railway workers have not been paid for six months and so on. And in the
face of all of these there is evidence that people in government and their
relatives are amassing wealth," Pratt said.
said although a sizable number of media outlets are in bed with the government,
some independents are saying what is wrong in the society.
think that the Ghanaian media is completely polarized, and a large section of
the media is in bed with government. A large section of the media feels that it
is part of government, so the media has not done as much as it ought to do.
However, it is also important that the opposition parties also have some
support within the independent media. And also there are a few clearly
non-partisan media and these media houses have been in the lead in exposure of
corruption," he said.