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25.07.2002 General News

Fight Corruption The Zambian Way - PNC to JAK

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Extremely disappointed at the rate at which corruption is being prosecuted in Ghana, the People’s National Convention (PNC), Dr Edward Mahama has dared the Kufuor administration to emulate their Zambian counterpart in the fight against corruption.

According to him, “corruption is one of the main problems that we campaign against; corruption is the bane of Ghanaian politics or even African politics”. Dr Mahama was speaking to The Crusading Guide in an interview. He asserted that Kufuor administration has failed to honour its campaign promise to fight corruption, adding that, corruption was a debilitating economic canker that cannot be wished away and hence must be fought “truly and forcefully”.

He said “Look at what is happening in Zambia, ex-President Chiluba, even the Chief Justice, the Foreign Minister – they have all fallen to the anti-corruption crusade”, adding that “Zambia has done something that we should emulate”. He deplored the snail pace rate at which the Government is moving in the prosecution of corruption, stating that the Kufuor administration in almost two years have been able to prosecute only one case of corruption – the Victor Selormey case. “One case in two years, how long is it going to take?”. Mahama wondered.

He explained that the Mallam Issa’s conviction was based on a charge of negligence but not corruption. Reminided that the operations of the Fast Track Court (FTC) were brought to a standstill because of Tsatsu Tsikata’s intervention that led to the Supreme Court’s earlier 5-4 ruling that the (FTC) was unconstitutional, Mahama blamed the Kufuor Government for its inability to close the “loopholes” that Tsikata exploited to throw the FTC proceedings into abeyance.

He said Tsikata “was in hot waters and had to defend himself. If I was in his place I would have done the same thing to get out of trouble”. He reiterated his position that corruption must be fought and “fighting corruption means prosecuting people who are corrupt and getting them convicted”. The PNC leader dismissed the NPP Government as a failure in honouring its campaign promises of creating jobs and improving the economy.

He said the PNC has offered itself as a credible alternative to a struggling NPP Government with ideas that will move the country forward, pleading that Ghanaians should mandate the PNC in the next elections, to effect a change in their (Ghanaians) lives. Dr Mahama said, the way out of the economic mess the previous government bequeathed to the NPP Government is not to declare the country highly indebted and poor, but to embark on a nationwide campaign for food production that will provide food for al and curb the rising cost of the living and inflation.

He cited the Military ruler, Mr. I.K. Acheampong’s Operation Feed Yourself Programme that yielded immense dividend in terms of food production for the country, as what the NPP Government should have done in the short term to alleviate the suffering of the masses. According to him, the NPP Government has failed to address the plight of inadequate remuneration for workers. He said this notwithstanding the economic problems that confronted Dr Hilla Limann’s Government of 1979, it raised the minimum wage from ¢4.00 to ¢12.00 a day “which was equivalent to $4.80 a day”.

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