One of the main forces driving our democratic dispensation is the local governance and decentralization process. The chapter 20 of the 1992 constitution of the fourth republic rightly acknowledged. Interestingly, the 1992 constitution came to affirm and democratized that which was started under the PNDCL 207 of 1988.
Chapter 20 of the 1992 Constitution of the fourth republic espoused the need for Ghana to practice local government and decentralized system of government. Since the promulgation of PNDCL 207 in 1988 through 1993 when the local government act 462 was passed by parliament, Ghana has subscribed to decentralization. In 2003, the local government service act of parliament Act 656 also came into force to give further meaning to our local government and decentralization process.
Furthermore, local government act of 1993, Act 462 was amended by parliament and that brought the current local governance act 936 of 2016 to enhance the course of democracy and deepened local governance and decentralization. Having practiced the system for 30 years, it should have been possible now to acquire Ghanaian passport at the district assembly level.
The main objectives of local governance and decentralization were to bring governance closer to the people for accelerated development and citizens participation.
The fight against corruption must be a decentralized one and not centralized to make it accessible to the citizenry.
It’s the independence of Mr. Martin Amidu which is in doubt and not his competence. What is supposed to make the office of the prosecutor special was its total independence in the areas of personality, framework, and process of appointment… Ghanaians will appreciate if he brings the expected independence to bear in the exercise of his duties as the Special Prosecutor.
Despite the implementation challenges, government’s flagship programs of one district one factory, one village one dam, Zongo development funds, one million dollars per constituency amongst the rest could be a breeding grounds for corrupt activities because of extreme monopoly and exercise of discretion over resources. Do you expect the poor citizens to travel from the district to the Office of the Special Prosecutor in Accra to lodge a complaint of any act of corruption?
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at a recent encounter with the press charged Ghanaians to provide evidence to back allegations of corruption against his appointees. This to some, it was a call for citizenship with responsibility for others, it was a discouragement of citizenship to spectatorship.
The Vice president Alhaji Bawumia was alleged to have said recently that, the one million dollar per constituency was ready and sitting in Accra, and that, if the citizens he was addressing did not go for it, it would be misappropriated by some unscrupulous officials in Accra. This is a clear justification for local governance and decentralization. Hence my call for the Office of the Special Prosecutor to be Decentralized.
Other institutions of similar characteristics in the fight against corruption such as Economic and Organized Crime Office EOCO, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice CHRAJ, Attorney General’s Department and Public Procurement Authority are seriously challenged in terms of decentralization.
Section 18 (1) states that the Office of the Special Prosecutor shall have the Administrative, Investigative, Prosecution, Assets recovery and Management divisions. Section 18 (2) mentioned that the board may establish any other division necessary for the performance of the office.
The structure and mode of operations have made it possible for some Ghanaians to perceived Office of the Special Prosecutor as a political witch hunt model rather than an independent national anti-corruption device incorporated in a progressive democracy.
Written by: James Gunu,
Fmr DCE , Akatsi north.