The 2-year anti-corruption project which is being implemented by Socioserve Ghana, JMK Consulting and iWatch Africa with support from Star Ghana Foundation and funding from the EU, UKaid and DANIDA which targets to build citizens’ capacity to fight corruption in their engagements with the Police and to also increase the responsiveness of the Police Administration to cases of corruption involving Police Officers in 5 selected districts of Akwapim North, Upper Manya Krobo, Yilo Krobo, Ho West and North Tongu in the Eastern and Volta regions respectively in Ghana, held a stakeholder meeting to review the project and also to present a report on road monitoring survey on 30th May 2019 at Hotel Star Villa close to Kpong in the Eastern region.
The project review meeting brought together key stakeholders and partner agencies including Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice, National Commission for Civic Education, Ghana Integrity Initiative, Ghana Anticorruption Coalition, the Ghana Police Service, MMDCEs, Transport Unions, Drivers, Opinion Leaders and the Media.
The review meeting touched on the progress and challenges of the project since its inception in April 2018 to date.
John Obuaba who is the Project Coordinator, in presenting the Project Update, reiterated the fact that, the purpose of the Together Against Corruption project is not to name and shame but rather to work together as citizens and police to eliminate acts of corruption in our engagements.
The aim of the project is to build citizens capacity to fight corruption in their engagements with the Police and also to increase the responsiveness of the Police Administration to cases it corruption involving police officers and citizens.
Mr. Obuaba took the panel through key activities implemented in the 1st year and presented updates on the 5th quarter of the project- activities which included conducting a baseline survey on acts of corruption involving the police and drivers/citizens, building the capacity of project implementers on anti-corruption, organizing orientation workshops for citizen groups on anti-corruption and organizing the same workshop for police officers from all the 5 project districts.
The activities also included training of volunteers for road monitoring survey, formation of anticorruption advocacy committees in each district and police engagement on anti-corruption through radio.
He further took the panel through the 5th quarter activities which had to do with introducing anti-corruption advocacy committees to key stakeholders, police-driver engagements on traffic regulations, police-citizens engagement on community policing, radio engagements on key topics, road monitoring surveys and social media campaigns on anti-corruption.
iWatchAfrica’s Philip Banini who moderated of the program took the panel through the Projects Social media activities and handles to follow for regular updates and online engagement.
Yahya Ahmed who is the General Manager of JMK Consulting in presenting the road monitoring survey in the 5 selected districts revealed that issues involving taking bribe on the roads have not reduced significantly across the 5 selected districts surveyed.
He also intimated that, the survey on the roads revealed that commuters are unwilling to address traffic violations especially ‘open boots and ‘overloading’ and will instead bribe their way through.
He recommended that the project implementers re-engage the police command to present specific officers demanding bribery on the roads for sanctions.
Reacting to the findings of the road monitoring survey, Mrs. Beauty Emefa Narteh of Ghana Anti-corruption Coalition, stressed on need for a collective effort from all stakeholders including the police and transport unions to combat corruption as it is negatively affecting the country’s reputation.
The main concern from the Police service is the need for resources and logistics to be provided to them to eliminate the desire to be drawn towards accepting bribes from commuters will fall foul of the law.
by Justice Kumordzi | iWatch Africa