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The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) is urging President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government to pass the Public Officers Conduct Bill before their term ends in January next year.
The bill is crucial for verifying asset declarations and preventing people from using public office to enrich themselves.
The GACC’s Executive Secretary, Beauty Nartey, emphasized the need for stronger legal frameworks to monitor public officials’ financial backgrounds during a one-day media capacity-building workshop on Serious and Organized Crimes (SOC).
The workshop was themed ‘Safeguarding Ghana’s Stability in the Face of Serious and Organized Crime Threats During the 2024 Elections’.
She cautioned that the absence of a robust asset declaration law undermines the country’s fight against corruption and other serious organized crimes, rendering the current system ineffective at preventing the misuse of public office for financial gain.
Beauty Nartey pointed out a concerning pattern where individuals enter political office with significant debts, only to use their positions to settle these financial burdens.
“Because our asset declaration law is weak, we are not able to understand or appreciate how and why they come into office,” she remarked, underscoring the urgency of passing the bill to prevent such abuses of power.
Beauty Nartey further criticized the practice of vote-buying and superficial road construction projects launched by politicians ahead of elections, which often fail to withstand environmental challenges like heavy rainfall.
She urged citizens to hold public officials accountable and to recognize that accepting short-term handouts like GH¢50 from politicians compromises long-term developmental goals for the community.
“The Constitution has given you the power and the mandate so don’t sell it so cheap. We must wise up as Ghanaians and hold politicians accountable. Don’t be robbed of your development by selling your goods cheaply to a politician just to enrich himself and his family,” he added.
The GACC’s call for legislative action comes at a critical moment as Ghana prepares for the 2024 elections, with the coalition advocating for a more informed electorate and for systems that ensure public officers are held to higher standards of transparency and accountability.
The passage of the Conduct of Public Officers Bill, according to the GACC, is a key step towards achieving these objectives to fortify Ghana’s democratic institutions against the threats posed by serious and organized crime.