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05.12.2005 General News

Adhere to Zero Tolerance for Corruption - Rev

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Accra, Dec. 5, GNA - The Reverend Dr. Fred Deegbe, Chairman of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) on Monday called on the government to commit itself to the motto of "Zero tolerance for corruption" by ensuring that independent institutions set up to fight against corruption were well resourced to perform their constitutional mandate.

He said: "our aim to meet the Millennium Development Goals would be waned if the fight against corruption in the country, which is very weak, were not sustained with commitments and rewards." Rev. Deegbe made this statement at the launch of this year's Human rights and Anti-corruption week in Accra.

The week, which runs from December 5 -11, 2005 is under the theme: " Advancing human rights and combating corruption". The Coalition, which is affiliated to Transparency International, is made up of civil society organisations, private and public institutions comprising the CHRAJ, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) among others.

Rev. Deegbe said there was the urgent need to build the necessary institutions to enforce the laws against corruption in both private and public institutions.

He called for a second look at the law on declaration of assets by public officials and make sure that these instruments were more transparent and relevant.

He appealed to the political parties to adhere to Political Parties Act 2000 as well as asked the Electoral Commission to ensure that all the parties abide by the law.

"As a country, our anti-corruption strategy will be blind and miss the target if we are not able to identify the main drivers of corruption and target them for reform," he said.

Rev. Deegbe, who is also the General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana urge the government to show more political will in the fight against corruption by passing a more credible Whistle Blowers and Freedom of Information bills.

Ms. Anna Bossman, Acting Commissioner of CHRAJ said the commission, in discharging its mandate is guided by both national and international human rights jurisprudence.

She said even though there is almost universal acceptance of the rights enshrine in the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights, there continues to be flagrant abuse and disrespect of human rights in most country even in developed ones.

She said the fight against corruption could make a more meaningful impact by building coalitions and networks with key institutions like the media and civil society organisations. She said the commission would also use the week celebration to raise awareness about the effects of corruption on the nation as well as come out with draft guidelines on the prevention of conflicts of interest in the public service.

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