WELCOME

HANDLING THE PRESIDENT'S PHONE 18

 I kept wondering what to write today. Then I kept scanning through my thoughts. Then many issues kept running in my mind. To choose to dwell on two major issues may be too boring. Yet, I knew they are still going to be part of our discussions this week because some people wish it so. Then I knew it all feeds into a perception that would eventually result in some established references in the future.

Then I saw a certain story on an online portal linked to the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) which is said to be a report of some research conducted by the institute the result of which established that the Office of the President is the second most corrupt institution in Ghana.

Then I heaved a sigh. Not because I am satisfied by what I read, but, I did so because it feeds into my own beliefs on the effects of fighting corruption by the procedure adopted by this government. 

Governance has become more challenging in this era of technology. Whereas we believe the citizens have access to information more than before, we must also appreciate the fact that our detractors equally have broader, complex and/or sophisticated medium(s) to obfuscate issues further for us.

Then I asked myself, how do we fight corruption? In fact, to break the complex subject down the more, how do we announce a thief to the public?

Before addressing that, let me posit that, we are governing a country in which many people cannot tell the difference between government as in government (president and his appointees) and civil servants.

For that matter, any civil servant who is caught engaged in corruption, feeds into the perception that government is corrupt because all corrupt cases are laid at the doorsteps of government. I will get back on how I believe we can address this.

In addressing the subject on how to announce a thief, let us assume a process. Assuming I have a thief at home whom I caught stealing. How do I announce him to the public to be noticed as a thief? If I beat the thief in the room, and he refuses to cry loud, and I fail to bring him to show to the world, have I announced the presence of a thief?

On the other hand, if I catch a thief, assuming I dont even beat him in the room, but bring him out and announce to the public that this is a thief, have I enabled the public to be wary of a thief or not?

While you answer that, let's assume that workerS of government steal (thieves) and we call them to the castle, now Flagstaff House, and told them "we have heard this and that, go and do no more", have we dealt with thievery?

In the same light, assuming we catch A thief working for government and then we decide to bring the person to the public for all to know, and not under the circumstances discussed above, does that mean in the second scenario that there is more stealing in government?

If we are clear in our minds, then we can proceed to identify an effective way of fighting corruption. We can know which administration to classify as being corrupt than the other.

Fighting corruption is a complex issue. Sometimes, friends are involved. Members of one's party are involved. The most important means of measuring the fight is to watch the disposition of the president and the steps taken on specific cases.

Everything that relates to corruption, feeds into the perception that goes a long way to establish one corrupt government from another.

Friends of this government who have been charged with corruption are undergoing trial. That doesn't make this government corrupt than the previous where a party chairman had alleged that a sitting president from a party of which he was a chairman, was receiving kickbacks and disbursing same from the Castle.

I know corruption had been one constant basis upon which governments were overthrown or voted out of power. 

Since the government cannot be a prosecutor and an arbiter at the same time, corrupt acts are adequately processed before the courts for adjudication. That is as far as every democratic government can go. An alternative approach which is undemocratic would be to catch people against whom corruption allegations are made, and then throw them into jail without trial. I don't know which of you would applaud such a process. 

In an attempt to see these processes as unsatisfactory, the alternative would be to vote for a government which would shield its people and refuse to give them up for investigation. If you doubt, watch this. How do we expect a presidential candidate who cause the dismissal of party officials for raising  corrupt acts against another executive, to give up freely, his appointees to be investigated for corruption when he become president?

As stated earlier, fighting corruption is a tough exercise. Two options are opened: (1) cover it up so there appears no corruption? Or (2) open all cases up for everyone to know - which also feeds into the perception that there is so much corruption?

For me, in advising the man whose phone am handling, I will tell him to keep putting them out. The efforts would be realised and appreciated if not now, in the future and he will be gladly appreciated for his relentless efforts.

..............to be continued........

ASK