Bawku West District Assembly campaign against corruption

By Samuel Akapule

Zebilla (UE), May 26, GNA – The Bawku West District Assembly has pledged its support to collaborate with mandated institutions such as the CHRAJ and the National Commission for Civic Education to campaign against corruption.

By this the District Assembly would help CHRAJ and the NCCE with logistics including fuel, to embark upon vigorous public education against the phenomenon, at public places such as the market square, churches, mosque, lorry parks and schools.

The District Planner of the Assembly, Mr Nuodio Benjamin, said this at a Policy Dialogue forum held at Zebilla in the District to disseminate the findings of a Survey Report on Knowledge, Perception and Experiences of Corruption in the area.

The forum, organized by SEND-Ghana, was aimed at sharing the findings of the survey report with stakeholders, elicit their views and commitments on how to address issues raised in the report as well as develop an action plan based on their commitment for an effective follow up.

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It attracted stakeholders including senior staff from the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Police, the National Commission for Civic Education, representatives of political parties, the District Assembly, Persons with Disability, the Media, Civil Society Organizations, traditional and religious leaders.

The Assembly also gave the assurance that it would strengthen the Public Relations Unit of the Assembly and encourage citizens to report on issues of corruption to the Assembly as part of the measures to help tackle corruption.

‘The Assembly will also widen up the involvement of more citizens during its policies, programmes and project implementation during town hall meetings, the media and other public engagements, ‘the District Planner stressed.

The stakeholders also proposed the ‘name and shame method’ and stiffer punishment among the measures that could be used in fighting the menace.

A Senior Programme Officer of SEND-Ghana, Mr Gregory Tiigah, explained that the Policy Dialogue on Knowledge, Perception and Experiences of Corruption survey report formed part of the Accountable Democratic Institutions and Systems Strengthening (ADISS) project, being implemented by the Ghana Integrity Initiative Consortium comprising SEND-Ghana, Ghana Integrity Initiative(GII) and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) with funding from the United States Agency for International Development(USAID).

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He said as part of the project, anti-corruption champions had been formed in the communities of the project implementation Districts and their capacities built to monitor and to report issues of corruption to the Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC) for further actions.

Mr Tiigah noted that corruption had denied many communities social amenities and some anti-corruption champions were now actively involved in monitoring activities of corruptions at their respective communities and reporting some cases to ALAC to be pursued.

He said his outfit would embark upon monitoring visits to the entire beneficiary Districts to ensure that all the action plans put by the stakeholders in fighting corruption were implemented effectively.

Whilst over 88 per cent of the respondents had the perception that the level of corruption had increased in the District over the last twelve years, twelve per cent were of the view that corruption had remained the same.

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The survey which was conducted in the year 2016, also indicated that whilst 22.7 per cent of the respondents did not know who to trust to fight against corruption, majority rated NGOs as the best entities to fight against corruption. Ironically CHRAJ was rated 10 per cent among the least trusted institutions to fight against the canker in the District.

Participants at the Policy Dialogue meeting held at Zebilla in the Bawku West District