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23.05.2005 General News

“Come again Mr. President”- Experts

By JOY ONLINE

Accra, May 23, JoyOnline -- The President's stance on how allegations of corruption against public officials should be dealt with continues to generate debate across the political divide and general members of the public.

Sections of the public disagree with President Kufuor's demand that people who allege corruption should follow up by substantiating the allegations in a report to the relative investigating bodies.

A media co-coordinator at the Integrated Social Development Centre Dr. Steve Manteaw says it will be irresponsible for government to disregard media allegations of corruption against public officers.

According to him, it will be in the interest of government and its officials to have the allegations investigated and its outcome made public for the sake of its own integrity.

Also responding to the President, the acting general secretary of the NDC Bede Ziedeng argued on Joy Fm that the President is expected to subject his officers to public scrutiny as a sign of the government's commitment to fighting corruption.

“The President has the discretion to deal with those particular political cases that will set the tone for people to know that government is committed to reducing corruption, he says.

Mr. Ziedeng says there are some issues that must be given political attention and the NDC expect the president to act on those matters because people are interested in those political issues

He also faulted constitutionally mandated anti-corruption bodies like CHRAJ and the SFO for failing to follow-up on leads of alleged corruption.

But a co-ordinator at the National Governance Office, Yaw Buabeng Asamoah says the pressure on the President to lead in the fight against corruption gives him too much power.

“ We keep pushing the frontiers for democracy, we have put all our power in the presidency but that is not what the constitution is designed to do,” he says.

According to Mr. Buabeng Asamoah the Constitution makes room for alternative sources of power which indicates that institutions should develop alternative sources of power in order to effect checks and balances.

“ If all these allegations are going on, does it have to take the president to act on them, what is he going to do for them, refer them to CHRAJ or the police. What stops those institutions from moving of their volition as the Constitution demands of them?” he asks

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