’My govt first ever to punish its own people’ - Mahama flexes anti-corruption muscle


’My govt first ever to punish its own people’ - Mahama flexes anti-corruption muscle

President John Mahama has rejected suggestions that he is soft on his appointees whenever he has to deal with corruption in his administration.

In an interview with Volta Star Thursday, the President suggested that dropping ministers is part of his strategy in fighting corruption.

I have dropped more ministers and dealt more with my appointees than other governments have done, he said on the final day of his Accounting to the peopletour of the Volta region.

President Mahama has been constantly berated for turning the Presidency into a dumping ground for appointees accused of shady deals and embezzlement of state funds.

The President of the Central University College, Prof Kwesi Yankah drew first blood after he criticized President Mahama for making the Flagstaff House a comfortable refuge for the corrupt.

Professor Kwesi Yankah

The reassignments of Sports Minister, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah to the presidency and his deputy to the Ashanti region as the deputy Ashanti regional minister are popular examples cited to back this accusation.

But the President has shrugged off the charge. The President said has not shied away from investigating and sanctioning corrupt officials.

According to him, a remarkable difference between his fight against corruption and past governments is that he punishes his own people.

This is the first government that actually is investigating corruption under its tenure and sanctioning people who hold these positions" he trumpeted.

However, in the interview with few follow-ups,the President did not point out names of appointees who have been punished. However, one government appointee standing trial is Abuga Pele, NDC MP for Chiana/Paga

The former National Coordinator of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) has been charged with causing financial loss to the state, defrauding by false pretences and aiding and abeting crime.

Photo: Abuga Pele has maintained he is being used as a scapegoat

Explaining his anti-corruption track record further, President Mahama also pointed out that credible anti-corruption bodies have recognized his fight against corruption since he took over in 2012.

Dwelling on reports from Transparency International, the President noted that his government has done well.

The table below shows the Ghana's ranking on the Transparency International's corruption index.

The President explained that because corruption is measured only by perception, it will be perceived to be high in countries with expansive media freedom than countries with tight media controls.

Corruption, a talked about subject in Ghana may not have to mean that menace is in reality high, the President analysed.

The more you discuss corruption, the more peoples perception of corruption heightens he explained. Nonetheless, President Mahama said I am not afraid to talk about corruption.

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