Prove Corruption Allegations -JAK
President J.A. Kufuor has dared his critics to refrain from perceiving that his government is corrupt, but rather provide tangible evidence to support their claims.
He made this point at the press confab he held last Tuesday at Castle, the seat of Government.
Fired with the question as to what steps were being taken to eradicate the perception of corruption in his government, President Kufuor said perception of corruption did not mean that in reality there was corruption in his Government.
He conceded that though in politics perception tended to be even stronger than reality, “reality is reality and if we are going to stamp down corruption firmly, then the key agency should be the rule of law”.
The rule of law in determining the existence of corruption as part of one's conduct, would not be fair and just.
“That I may not have a face you like, should not make you continue to lambaste me with 'I perceive him as corrupt'” said the President.
He said those who were determined to accuse others of being corrupt should be able to prove their allegations.
“If you cannot prove them please, hold your gun. Let your perceptions remain in your heard”, the President underscored.
He cited the report of the Centre for Development of Democracy (CDD) as vaguely stating “corruption was perceived to be rife” and also “corruption is endemic”, as very speculative and not very helpful in the fight against corruption.
He, however, said that he was not against anybody expressing genuine fears and doubts when “we have cause to, but I am saying when you have the cause to make such statements then you should have the courage of your conviction to say that Mr. A who is here is suspected to have taken etc. and I say this because of this and that”.
According to the President, it was only when one had proven his/her allegations with concret evidence, and nothing was done about it by the authorities and the relevant institutions that one had a case.
He therefore disagreed with those who, without proving their allegations, post such allegations on the internet as “endemic and perceived corruption” etc.
The President also had a problem with the unfounded accusation of nepotism that was being levelled against him.
He asked the media whether his Ministers seated on the rostrum were not qualified to be appointed to their designations?
According to him, his brother, Dr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor who is the Defence Minister, was very qualified to be appointed to his current designation.
He said Dr. Addo-Kufuor had long ago decided to enter politics and therefore had a track record which culminated in his current status as a Minister of State.
He also cited the case of Mr. J.H. Mensah – his brother-in-law – as someone with merits befitting his current status.
According to him, J.H. Mensah over forty years ago, was an economic advisor to President Nkrumah – Ghana's first President.
He said he did not see why his Government should be denied such a valuable human resource.
He warned Ghanaians of the dangers of the negative image that was being projected about their country and themselves on the internet regarding the perception of corruption and nepotism, saying such image had the potential of undermining the country's capacity to attract foreign investors.
He cited Malaysia and Korea which at independence were at par with Ghana, but currently belonged to the class of emerging economies.
The President said, the repeal of the criminal libel and seditious laws from the statute books was in line with the Government's declared intention of zero tolerance for corruption.
He said the Whistle Blowers bill, and the Right To Information bill were all geared towards curbing corruption.