Accra, Oct 12, Chronicle -- THE PRESIDENTIAL candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, has attacked President Kufuor's anti-corruption policy saying, Mr. Kufuor's public utterances on combating corruption is a clear manifestation of his incompetence and a defeat of his much-touted commitment to 'zero tolerance for corruption'.
Citing what has come to be known as President Kufuor's “infamous Waa Waa” speech during the recent New Patriotic Party (NPP) delegate's conference in Cape Coast as an example, Prof. Atta Mills observed that such pronouncements clearly attested to how incapable the President was in fighting corruption in his government.
According to Atta Mills, statements by the President on corruption at that conference to the extent that “corruption exists everywhere; corruption is as old as man, dating back to the days of Adam in the Garden of Eden; corruption is a matter of degree; and some corruptions are more serious than others,” were serious indictments on his anti-corruption policy.
Prof. Mills pointed out that the president had said again that at a point in time, he (President Kufuor) was tempted to succumb to corruption due to pressures but tried very hard to resist it, even though it was not easy.
Prof. Mills made these remarks during his recent tour of the Ashanti region, the home turf of President Kufuor.
The NDC flagbearer also said President Kufuor indicated at the congress that when it became known that any member of his government was found in corrupt activities, he would call on the one to rebuke him or her. This, Atta Mills added, was a testimony of incompetence on the part of President Kufuor - a man who promised to clamp down on corruption to ground zero.
On the Office of Accountability, the NDC flagbearer averred that the only thing the President had said on that office was that it had been set up to advise on corruptible ministers of state and other government functionaries.
He quoted President Kufuor as saying, “I, Kufuor, will not go on the airwaves and say I called Minister A or B because we heard this or that against him since that will destroy our government; we try to correct ourselves and that is why we set up the Office of Accountability but everyday we are confronted with temptation.”
He wondered how a President who had made a commitment to 'zero tolerance for corruption' could fight corruption in such a manner, adding that the new NDC, when given the mandate to govern the country, would mount a crusade against corruption through the strengthening of the anti-corruption institutions of state.
He said institutions of vertical and horizontal accoutability should be made independent of political control and free from political manipulation.
“Our anti-corruption crusade will not have any place for the self-serving Office of Accountability set up by the NPP government, perceived more as a protective device to shield corrupt NPP officials. We shall accordingly abolish that office,” he stressed.
Prof. Mills indicated that the price of corruption would be made so high that it would be a commodity that very few people would want.
According to him, the party would not make excuses for corrupt ministers, officials and office-holders generally, as well as givers and takers of bribes and corrupting gifts.
“We shall promptly investigate allegations of corruption and allow the law to take its course,” he said.
The NDC presidential aspirant noted that his party had sought to reflect the tenets of social democracy in its manifesto with the view of a vision for a good future towards a 'Better Ghana.'