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05.03.2009 Editorial



One of the major problems thwarting the rapid development of this country is the high level of corruption level in the various government institutions. People who have been put in positions of responsibility, behave as if they have been given the opportunity to siphon state funds, to the detriment of the people of this country.

Last week, we broke the story about the misappropriation of over GH¢410,000 by some revenue collectors at the Ho Municipal Assembly (HMA). The officers used dubious means to siphon the money, which would have gone into development projects to benefit their own people. The Chronicle thinks this unpatriotic attitude among Ghanaians would not help this country in the long run.

We are, therefore, happy that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the Volta Regional Minister have shown interest in the Ho case, and are doing everything possible to get to the bottom of the matter. People are using all sorts of dubious means to steal government money because they feel they would get away with it. The investigation agencies, therefore, have the responsibility to ensure that anyone who deeps his hands into state coffers is punished according to the laws of the country, to serve as deterrent to others.

When the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was in opposition, they made a lot of noise about corruption and their determination to fight the canker if they won power. Today, the party is in government, and Ghanaians are anxiously waiting to see them translate their political rhetoric into action. With the reports coming from the HMA, which if proven to be true by the relevant agencies, would be a serious economic crime that must not be thrown into the dustbin of history.

The Chronicle suspects that what has been reported from the HMA could be a tip of the iceberg. Similar financial malpractices might have been perpetrated in the other assemblies in the country, and we call on the BNI and SFO to extend their investigations into all the assemblies. We also call on the ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to come out with stringent measures to curb corruption at the local level of governance.

This is the only way the country can stop government officials from using their position to amass wealth as it has occurred at the HMA.

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