Governance expert Prof. Henry Kwasi Prempeh has expressed worry about an increasing Ghanaian numbness to corruption.
He said Ghanaians appear to have made excuses for which kind of corruption is really corruption.
“We have many, many classifications of what is corruption”, the Executive Director of the Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) said on the Joy FM Super Morning Show Tuesday.
Some excusable forms of corruption among Ghanaians are monies given to police officers in traffic to ignore infractions of road traffic regulations.
In an attempt to stress how dangerous these classifications can be in weakening a nation’s psyche towards wrong, he explained that a sign of great corruption is bribing police officers.
“We think the money is small…when you allow that kind of visible corruption to go on unchecked it normalises it,” he stressed ahead of the Kronti ne Akwamu Lecture, slated Thursday 30th August 2018.
The CDD Executive Director said there is nothing that most symbolizes a functioning government than the visible presence of a police officer. Giving him a bribe, is, therefore, bribing the entire government.
“If you can corrupt the police, you can corrupt pretty much everybody”, he said and pointed to this as ‘the beginning of sliding down a slippery slope to the point where it is getting out of hand’.
Prof. Prempeh who maintains an active presence on social media also expressed worry about what he observed as a legalistic attitude towards corruption.
“When you make an allegation of corruption, you are met with the lawyer’s response, ‘where is the evidence’ as if we are in the courtroom.
“When the people who are witnesses to the corrupt act, put you to the burden of coming up with evidence, you know you are not going to get anywhere in fighting corruption,” he noted.
Prof. Prempeh said instead of asking for evidence of corruption, the measure of corruption should be whether a government project or programme offers value for money.
“What fails the value for money test, also likely fails the corruption test. If you approach it from that angle, you will catch a lot of people without being met with all this show-me-the-evidence talk”.