Former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Reverend Professor Emmanuel Martey, has identified the country’s constitution, culture and the Church as the root causes of corruption in the country.
He has, therefore, underscored the need for the country to fight corruption from what he called the 3Cs (constitution, culture, church), or else “we’ll be scratching where it is not itching”.
Speaking at a corruption roundtable organised by the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) on Wednesday, on the theme, “Can Ghana win the fight against corruption?” Prof. Martey indicated that corruption was being tackled at the wrong places and “we are scratching where it is not itching.”
Root causes of corruption
He emphasised that the nation, predominantly a Christian one, has “not really touched the root causes of corruption” which he identified as the country’s constitution, the Ghanaian culture and the church.
He was of the view that anti-corruption measures had not been channelled to these areas that served as major contributors to the canker.
He also pointed out that: “Our constitution promotes corruption”.
Additionally, he noted that “Ghanaian culture promotes corruption”.
Culture appreciates gift-giving
Explaining further, Prof. Martey said the Ghanaian culture appreciated gift-giving and gift-receiving which made it difficult to draw the lines where an act of corruption was being committed.
“So even if a politician on an election year goes round and takes gifts [along] and gives to traditional leaders it is appreciated.
This is killing our nation,” he lamented.
He also bemoaned the “winner takes all” posture by political parties and raised concerns over the “overwhelming power given to the Executive” arm of government.
Prof. Martey said the whole country was complaining about the huge size of government but “do you know why? He [President Akufo-Addo] is a lawyer and he believes in the rule of law, he must go according to the Constitution and the powers that the Constitution has given him, he has realised that he is not a superman.
So he is getting people to help him to discharge the duties which the Constitution has given him…He is not ubiquitous, he cannot be everywhere that is why for me, my analysis of the situation [tells me] that is why he has brought in hundreds of ministers and this will not augur well for our nation”.