“We, the people of Ghana, are to blame for the impunity with which politicians are stealing our God-endowed wealth.
We know that many, if not most, politicians are thieves. Yet, in fashioning out the way forward for the then imminent Fourth Republic in 1992, we treated the canker of corruption with levity. We left the investigation of corruption and punishment for the corrupt in the hands of politicians who may be corrupt themselves, or not takers of instructions from benefactors outside government. Even though we put in a line about “causing financial loss to the state”, we did nothing concrete to ensure that corrupt members of a sitting government are brought to book during the tenure of that administration. One of the results has been that when politicians are out of power and anxious to get in, they coin all sorts of anti-corruption catch phrases, but once in power, and are reminded to deal with the corrupt elements in their administration, they take refuge in claims that corruption is as old as Grandpa Adam.
Even, when sitting heads of state do find the courage to refer some of their lieutenants for investigation, as happened during President Jerry John Rawlings’ second term, because the final decision to punish or not is left to politicians, the head of state, if he does not lose his courage half-way, gets obstructed by the party machinery. A White Paper is often used to white-wash the image of the indicted party men/ministers. Though the framers of the 1992 Constitution failed woefully in not giving us a Special Prosecutor, by separating the Office of Attorney General from that of the Minister of Justice, with the kind of protection they thought necessary for the Electoral Commission, The Chronicle does not think that all is lost in the fight against corruption.
It is now seeping into the heads of all politicians that currently, in Ghana elections ARE NOT WON by mere reliance on the voting pattern of foot-soldiers. Though the thumbprints of party supporters are the base and trunk of the cake of victory, the votes of FLOATING VOTERS are the icing on any victory cake, and would continue to be so for the foreseeable future. We think the absence of a Special Prosecutor who can stare any President down and dare him to do his worst, provides a golden opportunity for the opposition parties to INGRATIATE themselves with floating voters in preparation for Elections 2016.
What should the parties outside government do to woo floating voters to vote for them in 2016? Simple! They should separately, or collectively, put together a private members bill for the creation of the Office of the Special Prosecutor, who, like the Electoral Commissioner, is subject only to the direction of the 1992 Constitution and none other in the performance of his or her duties – be they the President, Speaker of Parliament or Supreme Court.
The occupant of the post of the Special Prosecutor must be a known card-bearing member of the largest opposition party. He should be empowered by law to be a “busy body” of sorts, who automatically, investigates all allegations of corruption, publishes his conclusions publicly, and initiates prosecution, where necessary. The Chronicle believes if the John Dramani Mahama administration is, indeed, as corrupt as it is perceived to be, it would use its majority in Parliament to shoot down the bill. Should that happen, it would constitute eternal proof to floating voters that they cannot rely on the Mahama team to fight corruption in the country.
And a word to the wise would be enough!”