Anti-graft crusaders in Ghana have stepped up efforts in the fight against corruption by launching social media platforms to empower citizens to report and document acts of corruption in state institutions.
The have also launched an advocacy and legal advice centre with toll free to facilitate victims and witnesses of corruption to quickly report their experiences in state agencies.
The Ghana Integrity Initiative – local chapter of Transparency International, SEND-Ghana and Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, which form the consortium, encouraged citizens to visit the "I paid a bribe" website www.ipaidabribe.org.gh to report all demands for and payment of bribes.
Spokesperson of the consortium, Vitus Azeem told journalists at the launch of the platform on Wednesday that the decision to introduce a social media corruption reporting platform was based on its pervasive nature as it manifested in various forms in "very high profile and sensitive" sections of society.
"It has become even more crucial that the nation gathers information on the nature of corruption across the country," he said, referring to the reports of the scandal that rocked Ghana's judiciary system in recent times.
Seven high court judges and 22 lower court judges have been suspended after they were caught on camera receiving bribes to influence judgements.
The anti-graft crusaders condemned some state institutions for subjecting visitors to "unlawful" searches and called on the government to call heads of the responsible agencies to order, although Azeem fell short of mentioning those names of the institutions allegedly involved.
"The attention of the GII Consortium has been drawn to the fact that some state institutions have started searching visitors to their offices before allowing them in for fear of [being recorded]," he said.
"We wish to state that we are not aware of any law in this country that provides for any such searches and so it must stop immediately. We hope that these searches are not sanctioned by the government.
"We call on all Ghanaians to resist such unlawful searches and report them to the authorities, clearly, the aim of these searches, which are probably sanctioned by the heads of these institutions, are aimed at hiding any corrupt acts that may be taking place inside their offices."
In another development, Ghana's Centre for Public Interest Law (CEPIL) has called on the government to carry out reforms in the state anti-corruption agencies, including retooling and given them autonomy free from direct government control.
Key state institutions like the Economic and Organised Crime Office, Commission and Human Rights and Administrative Justice and Public Account Committee of parliament, have been established to implement and enforce anti-corruption laws but they have been seen to ineffective due to political control and lack of funds and trained personnel.
Ghana's challenge has always been enforcement of the regulatory regime, not the existence of regulatory regime itself. Спорт и отдых – www.bigsport.lt купить товары для спорта и активного отдыха.
Thus, in the fight against corruption, even where there has been progress in introducing stator and regulatory intentions, the enforcement of these mechanisms has always been abysmal due to institution and structural deficits in the anticorruption enforcement institution or agencies.
"If you have an executive not serious about fighting corruption, they'll choose not to fund and resource anti-corruption agencies, the issue is about the executive, it is not serious in fighting corruption, there are too many anti-corruption bodies but they lack central point to coordinate their activities," CEPIL executive director, Augustine Niber said at a press briefing on Wednesday.