corruption since the year 1994 when I started chairing the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation in this House and I have toured and gone round attending so many conferences. Corruption is really difficult to fight unless we are all committed to fighting it.
Mr Speaker, coming back home, we cannot fight corruption with bad politics and bad governance. We cannot fight corruption with this architectural design that we have as our legal framework where all power is concentrated in the hands of one person.
We keep on saying that, ‘‘Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely''. We have a system where somebody is elected. One only has power when power is given to him; except God, He is the all-powerful.
When we elect a person and he is the head of State, he is the President, he appoints everybody. He is also the leader of his party, he is the master of all that he surveys and we have concentrated so much power in the hands of this person called the Executive President.
In the Constitution, he is above the rule of law; there is immunity. Then he is the one to lead the fight against corruption. That in itself is a corrupt product. We must exorcise it. Democracy is about diffusion of power; it is not about the concentration of power. That is the result of what we have now.
On the recent appointment of Hon Martin Amidu as the Special Prosecutor, permit me to say, this country does not lack in the prosecution of cases. That is not where we have a problem. One cannot prosecute without investigation. Have we tooled those bodies to investigate to make
the evidence available for the prosecution to take place? We have not.
Even the court system where somebody speaks vernacular and another struggles to translate into English and the judge or magistrate listens to the one translating, because that is where he gets his source of information, and we know a word in vernacular could mean so many things in English. At the end of the day, they base on this to pronounce judgement.
Mr Speaker, we have a lot to do; that we set up a body called the Ghana Anti- corruption Coalition, and they have submitted a report which we debated in this House. The NACAP Report is there. It is for Governments to implement and not to pick and choose. [Interruption.] Yes, the Hon Majority Leader has stated it; he confirmed it.
The process to be elected to this place is all prone with corruption; the pressure people put on us. This issue about wild allegations we have been making without evidence is based on that. So the people believe that with politicians, the money is just there and one can go and fetch for them.
This is because they say “chop chop” that somebody has taken so and so billions of money. He has ‘‘reads and hears this'' and he moves on with it that if A could take, why not B?
We are all in the same profession working together, so they walk to our offices every day looking for money to go and do business and when you explain to them that you do not have, they do not believe you, because you drive a land cruiser, a BMW, et cetera. There is everything around you that shows that you are wealthy, and that fuels corruption.
Mr Speaker, I am going to make a few recommendations. I believe what the Bible said is the truth, and that is what we should follow; teach a child the way he should go, and when he grows up he would not depart from it.
We have to return all the schools back to the religious bodies. We have missed the road. That is where we start, by instilling integrity and honesty into people; the young ones. Now we do not talk about virtues; we talk about values, which is wrong.
Today, the value in our country is money; the root of all evil. It is not your wealth that would make people follow you; it is your worth -- w-o-r-t-h -- but we do not value worth these days. With your pocket, you could get the best seat in the church. With your integrity, nobody would respect you.
So please, let us go back to our roots.
The next thing is for us to carry through the constitutional reforms. We have done a lot of work on it, but let us see it to the end and stop the political differences.
The Hon Majority Leader talked about the Auditor-General. The Auditor-General, in a good system, is an officer of Parliament. He is not an officer of the people he is auditing, the Executive Arm. How could you audit yourself? We in Parliament are the arm of government to lead the anti-corruption crusade. With such weak institutions, how could we do it?
Mr Speaker, we have to change the system. We have to diffuse the power. We have to make everybody equal. Democracy is about the rule of law, not
the rule of man. What we have in Ghana is the rule of man. If the President coughs, nobody can say no. We cannot accept that.
We would always have a majority, and what the President says is the position of the majority, and so they would come and support that, whether they like it or not. Some could keep quiet, but vote against it, and they would report you. It has happened a number of times in this House.
In some voting, they say, “show your vote to the one closest to you.” The one who refused to show, he or she was reported and summoned. How could you fight corruption with this kind of thing?
So Mr Speaker, let us get back to the basics. Let us pick the National Anti- Corruption Action Plan, sequence it, follow it through and make sure we strengthen the institutions that are to anchor Parliament to fight corruption.
How much do we give to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice? We have not even been able to resource the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to lead us in the education of Ghanaians to really understand what multi-party democracy is.
They do not know what we are doing. They only think about voting. That is all. We cannot continue this way.
Mr Speaker, again, when they say a country is rich, it is not the natural resources that make the country rich. It is the human resource, the state of mind. If it had been so, by now Israel would have been one of the poorest countries in the world. It scarcely rains there; there are no natural resources there, yet they are