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02.04.2007 General News

I will make corruption unattractive – Arthur Kennedy

By myjoyonline

A New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential aspirant, Dr Arthur Kennedy, has toured the various constituencies in the Ashanti Region to outline his vision for the country.

He said he would make corrup¬tion unattractive to public officials and the general public by offering attractive wages and salaries to workers.

Besides, he said he would prescribe stiff punishment against corrupt officials to deter others, if given the nod to lead the party in the 2008 general elections and eventually voted into power to succeed President John Agyekum Kufour.

"We need to increase the cost of being cost of being corrupt and decrease the benefit of benefit of being corrupt," he stressed and said that "in addition to the requirement of declaring assets in Ghana I will make it mandatory for assets that had been declared to be published in the various newspa¬pers for everyone to see".

He noted that the assets of public office holders would be made public periodically when voted into office as the President of Ghana and questioned those whose lifestyles and expenditures were beyond their means.

He added that he would ensure that the police, Customs, Excise and Preventive Services (CE.P.S), as well as the immigration Service and other public officials, were paid realistic salaries to prevent them from indulging in corrupt practices.

Dr Kennedy said further that he would come up with aggressive accountability measures for those who were perceived to be corrupt.

He said most of the activities of the police, CEPS and Immigration Service personnel would be automated to reduce corrupt practices.
"As a society we need to reward honesty and frown upon dishonesty," he said.

According to Dr Kennedy, consti¬tutional bodies like the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) would also be streamlined, strengthened to make them more autonomous to investigate corrup¬tion and bring corrupt officials to book.

He said in Singapore, for example, there was a body which could investigate people on the presumption that "their lifestyles exceed their income and punish those found culpable".

He noted that the tariffs paid for importing products into the country were very high and the average length of time of carting the prod¬ucts from the ports was too long and gave the assurance that if given the nod to be the President of the Republic of Ghana, he would not only reduce the cost of importing products but would also reduce the length of time to enhance revenue generation.

"It would also be my Priority to embark on public education for people to resist corruption and make it unattractive because corruption seems to be endemic in the country because churches have endorsed it by inviting only the affluent in society to chair functions because they would donate more," he said.

According to Dr Kennedy, his tour of the various constituencies had given him an indication that the delegates were yearning for a change and needed a visionary like himself, who has the political will and zeal to move the nation forward, and were therefore eager to endorse him as the next person to lead the country to achieve accelerated development and improved standard of living.

Be said the rumour that he was a minnow in the political arena was irrelevant because apart from the experience he had acquired over the years from his student days at Legon to his sojourn in the United States of America as a political refugee, he always proved to be a committed and dedicated politician ready to lead the country to achieve accelerated development.

He explained that past leaders had failed miserably to fight corruption because they did not look at the cost benefit of corruption.

He pointed out that it would also be his priority to appoint honest people who would be committed to the programme to achieve accelerated socio-economic development of the country instead of using their offices to acquire wealth at the expense of the country.

He said honest leaders who had the nation at heart were the best examples we could give the nation to enable the youth to emulate them to turn the nation around.

He said his vision for the country was better than the visions of all the other NPP aspirants and therefore stood the chance of winning the hearts of the delegates.

He said he was the only candidate with a website that had laid out policies and outlined all his visions and programmes that would accelerate the socio-economic development of the country.

"I also have an executive mindset, which endeared me to the people I worked with in the US and supervised a lot of people in a country where 1 was not a citizen and believe that leadership is universal," he said.

Culled from the Daily Graphic