President Mahama has explained to Ghanaians the reason for his seeming leniency towards alleged corrupt officials in the country. The President has said he would have ordered the arrest of corrupt public officials in his government and put them behind bars if it were in the days of the Provisional National Defense Council, the PNDC era.
The Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) was the government after the People’s National Party (PNP) was overthrown on 31 December 1981, by Jerry Rawlings, former head of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council. It was a military dictatorship that induced civilians to participate in governance through pragmatic policies which reflected a revolutionary government.
Ghana is currently under a constitutional regime and according to Mr. President, his hands are tied as he would have to go in line with the constitution when taking any action.
Mahama in recent times, has been accused of condoning corruption in the country in so many ways. But speaking at the Presidential Encounters hosted by the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), the President said that though corruption needs to be tackled, it has to be done in accordance with the constitution.
Mahama denied being lenient towards prosecuting alleged corrupt officials. He said that he is only being careful not to go against the country’s constitution. He explained that it would have been easy to arrest and lock up anybody accused of a corruption if it were in the PNDC era. Mahama noted he is not a dictator hence, will follow due process, adding that the constitutional procedures for prosecuting corrupt practices are very slow.
The President also responded to allegations by the NPP, that his government misappropriated funds meant for social intervention programmes such as GYEEDA and SADA. On that, Mahama said that government has been able to retrieve about GHc40 million from officials who siphoned taxpayers’ money in the National Service scandal.
He also said that his government is prosecuting persons accused of corruption.