The Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, today delivered a scathing critique of the country’s stagnant fight against corruption today in a speech titled “Corruption and Justice: Where Does Ghana Stand?”. He characterized the battle as an “unruly bride” resisting “agreeable domestication,” lamenting Ghana’s continued score of 43 on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).
Mr. Agyebeng acknowledged commendable efforts like the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan and the creation of his office, but emphasized that these haven’t translated into progress. He likened Ghana’s situation to a spinning gyroscope, stuck in the same spot despite considerable effort.
The Special Prosecutor lamented the ineffectiveness of anti-corruption initiatives, questioning the commitment to genuine change. “We know the cure to the malaise,” he stated, “but we are unwilling to take the medication fully.” He attributed this hesitancy to a lack of clarity about truly wanting to eradicate corruption.
Mr. Agyebeng highlighted the vital role of a just society in combating corruption. He argued that without untainted scales of justice, anti-corruption efforts will prove futile. He presented the absence of truth and integrity as the bedrock of corruption, emphasizing the need to prioritize both in legal institutions.
The speech addressed the public’s perception of anti-corruption institutions as compromised by political influence and impunity. Mr Agyebeng also acknowledged the scepticism towards the judiciary, which is seen as part of the same system as the government. He stressed the importance of addressing these perceptions to regain public trust.
Mr Agyebeng concluded by proposing concrete steps to strengthen the fight against corruption. These included:
– Entrenching anti-corruption institutions in the Constitution and expanding their powers.
– Protecting these institutions from political interference and reprisals.
– Guaranteeing adequate resources and true judicial independence.
– Establishing a specialized anti-corruption court and providing competitive salaries for legal officers.
– Fostering a culture of truth and integrity within these institutions.