18th May 2024

If the religious narrative of how Satan misconducted himself in the creator’s kingdom is true, then corruption precedes creation — perhaps. Corruption is strong.
Not even King David, who defeated the giant terrorist, Goliath, nor Samson, who could kill lions with his bare hands, nor Daniel, who survived in the lions’ den, nor Abednego and his brothers, who could not be consumed by fire, could defeat corruption.

So far, no one has won the fight against corruption. These include the generals of our military, the commissioners of our police service, the judges of our courts, the speakers of our Parliament and the presidents of our land.
The scourge thrives, ensuring that our country remains and jostles with Benin and Burkina Faso for the 41st position on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), the annual report of Transparency International.
Certain things have perked up my interest in the last couple of months as the campaign towards Election 2020 prepares to climax.

The truth

One, I hope to not just hear, but also see what those who seek our thumbprints have done in the past and hope to do in the future to fight corruption.
I want to not just hear, but also see the tools, weapons and utensils they used in the past and hope to use in the future in this battle.
I want to hear them confess and accept the fact that they are but human and may have failed in some aspects of the fight against corruption.
I want to hear them name and shame some of those who they appointed and who may have stolen money, diverted funds, breached procurement processes and generally taken advantage of their positions to acquire wealth at the expense of the rest of us. I want to hear some truth.
Blame game
Two, I am intrigued by the extent to which the fight against corruption has become a game.
The name of the game remains the same without shame. It is the blame game. The blame game has become a means by which a successor administration excuses its disappointing performances.
The blame game, a sickening indulgence never resisted by successor administrations, rests on the logic that if your predecessor handed you an Augean stable, you are not in much luck because you are forced to clean it out to help you see your way before planning your forward movement. You see, the fact is that corruption does not fully capture the act of stealing.
A person can indeed be corrupt without stealing a dime because corruption encompasses many things. If we do not expand and elevate the definition of corruption beyond its current confines of public officers and their minions freely helping themselves to our common wealth in state treasuries, we will at best be doing the “trotro” mate style of fighting.
“Trotro” mates often get into fights with one other, but none of them ever throws a blow. They keep punching the air, never really hitting or hurting their enemy. That is how we have fought corruption all these years. We are not serious as a nation in chaining the rogue.

Corruption commentary

The more I listen to political commentary and arguments concerning the fight against corruption, the more I am persuaded that the anti-graft war has largely failed because its commanders and foot soldiers have concentrated their arsenal on noisily cutting off the branches, not in uprooting the tree itself. If a tree lives, it will always grow its cut off branches back.
The tree of corruption lives on because over the years we have only been pruning the branches.
Not too long ago, it emerged that indeed some excavators which had been seized from illegal miners had mysteriously gotten lost. Not too long before that, the media reported that some tricycles had also mysteriously either “flown” away from the Northern Development Agency (NDA) compound in Tamale.
As usual, instead of asking for proper investigations into these matters, we intelligently found a way of introducing the blame game politics.
The umbrellas accused the elephants of stealing the excavators and the tricycles. The elephants quickly responded by reminding the umbrellas of the guinea fowls that “flew to Burkina Faso”. I have always maintained that guinea fowls are not migratory birds and could certainly not have flown anywhere.

Shame on blame

Today, there is talk about how it has been established by a UK court that some persons in Ghana, between 2009 and 2015, were engaged in fraudulent deals during the acquisition of some aircraft for our country.
Dear Ghanaian, recently, when the 2019 CPI was announced, I sat back and watched how our leaders behave like Musa my classmate in primary school.
We were thirty in class after the end of term examinations; Musa was adjudged the 29th best pupil out of the 30.
He happily sent his report card home and said to his father “you must be proud of me because this term, I wasn’t last”. Musa had only managed to beat Karim who had been taken ill and, therefore, could not write the examination that term.
It seems to me, and I am not making this argument for the first time, that ours appears to be a country where the angels are always in the present and the devils are in the past.
That’s why only former officials are ever prosecuted for alleged acts of corruption.
But somehow, by a system of political metamorphosis, when tomorrow comes, the angels of today find themselves in bed with the horned one.
I blame the blame game. It has no shame and its name will remain the same. Shame on blame.


SOURCE: Abdul Hayi Moomen

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