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Constitution doesn’t support thorough corruption fight – Vitus Azeem

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Vitus Azeem, an Anti-corruption Campaigner and former Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, has opined that the fight against corruption may never be won due to the current structure of the 1992 Constitution.

He said the Constitution was written and implemented at a time when Ghana was transitioning from military rule to democratic rule. For this reason, a lot of incentives were given to the then government to quicken the transition.

Also, the then government and the executives involved in the process arrogated a lot of powers and benefits to themselves. This is because members of the military government were worried that the Constitution would be used to prosecute them.

As such, the president being the most powerful person in the country has total discretion over the appointment of a huge number of people in sensitive areas of the country. These people, loyal to the president are expected to appoint other people, oversee procurement; a process he describes as very lucrative.

“We have an overpowering Executive. We see so many benefits. In doing that, we have created a situation of inequality. The President is allowed to appoint people of his choice into office without any background check or whatever. These people also then go to appoint PROs or whatever, to work with them; so of them may be friends, some may be family. When they come and they are engaging in corruption, he or she will find it difficult to deal with it.”

“It is the same with the President. He can appoint anyone to the Council and no one will challenge him. He can bring his family and nobody will question him. If he begins to siphon State resources, it becomes difficult to question him or act. If he is not performing, it becomes difficult to control him. So yes, the Constitution keep supporting corruption,” he said.

Mr Azeem was quick to add that a ‘radical’ leader bent on bringing change and fighting corruption can still make remarkable progress in the fight against corruption under the 1992 Constitution.

The former boss of the GII named appointment of ministers, CEOs, Heads of Departments et al as well as procurement as viable areas for corruption to thrive.

Mr. Azeem made these statements when he spoke to Samuel Mbura on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East.

On the same platform, Mr. Azeem has described Ghana’s score and performance on Transparency International’s 2021 Corruption Perception Index as a complete failure and a divergence from the virtues and ethics leaders of the county often proclaim.

He said Ghana’s score of 43, the global average, is an indictment on the supposed political and financial commitment to the fight against corruption by this current Administration. Mr. Azeem said the situation is even made worse, when a look is taken at Ghana’s position when it comes to the African ranking, taking into consideration Ghana’s position as the first in democracy, political enlightenment and many others.

A1Radioonline.com|101.1MHZ|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Bolgatanga|

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