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A consortium of Non-Governmental Institutions has launched an anti-corruption project to help fight the corruption perception within the Ghana Police Service.
The project dubbed, “Together against corruption project” is in close collaboration with the Ghana Police Service and other stakeholders in a bid to intensify the fight against corruption in the country.
The aim is to empower citizens to help in the fight and to increase the responsiveness of the Police service to the perceived acts of corruption against the police reported by the citizenry.
The consortium, made up of Socioserve Ghana, JMK Consulting and IWatch Africa, with funding from Star Ghana and its partners, the UK aid; the European Union; and DANIDA, are employing a multi-stakeholder approach to reduce this corruption perception.
The consortium therefore held a day’s workshop for all the important stakeholders needed for the success of the project at the Star Villa Hotel at Kpon in the Eastern region, including some members of the Ghana police service, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).
The others were civil society organizations such as the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) and the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), as well as some motorists and transport organizations such as the Ghana Private Road and Transport Union (GPRTU).
According to the project coordinator, Justice Kumordzi from I watch Africa, they are billed to undertake this project in some five selected districts across the country over a period of two years, after which an evaluation exercise would be conducted and further implemented across the remaining districts in the country.
The selected districts include, Yilo Krobo, Upper Manya Krobo, Akuapim North, North Tongu and Ho West.
In her welcome address, the Chief Executive Officer of Socioserve-Ghana, Josephine Sackey, indicated that the project is not meant to denigrate the police service but rather meant to build the capacity of the citizenry to fight corruption in their engagement with the police.
“This project does not aim to bring the Ghana Police Service into disrepute but rather to work together with the police hierarchy and administration as well as other stakeholders to deal with the menace of corruption within the service. Together we can build a credible institution which we can all be proud of.”
According to a Co-founder of I Watch-Africa Mr. Philip Kwasi Banini, their interactions with the police administration has shown that the top hierarchy is tired with the tag of corruption as emphasized in the baseline study which forms the bases for this project. And therefore added that he is not surprised the police service has demonstrated its commitment to the implementation of the project.
While launching the project, the Public Affairs Director of the Ghana Police Service, ACP David Eklu, expressed the police administration’s confidence in the outcome of the Together Against Corruption project because of the involvement of the police service right from the start.
“We don’t want to see one person taking the holier than thou position where I sit here, I conduct a study and then I say the police is corrupt then I get money from donor funding.
“I will say that this project is different from other projects in the sense that, we are also making inputs so that when the study is finally done we can work together to bring about the necessary changes.” He indicated.
He also observed that the Ghana Police Service has been undergoing a transformation process internally in order to project itself as a world class police service and therefore require the involvement of the citizenry to shape up its new image.
In her supporting message, the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), Beauty Emefa Narteh, observed that if Ghanaians could collaborate in the fight against corruption, it would bring it down to the barest minimum.
She also bemoaned the fact that some of the laws of the country have not been helpful in the fight. According to her, the part of the law that says, ‘both the giver and the receiver of bribe are guilty before the law’, does not encourage citizens to report such acts of demand for bribes to the right authorities.
On the other hand, Michael Boadi from the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) pointed out that although the top hierarchy of the Ghana police service are doing their best to clean up the image of the institution, there seems to be a disconnect between the top and the lower hierarchy which must be addressed in order to make progress.
Source: Clement Akoloh || Ghananewsonline.com.gh