A report released by the U.S. Department of State in its 2021 Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices has revealed that the 2020 general election was transparent, free and fair.
According to the report, despite violent scenes at some of the centres, the verdict, which saw President Akufo-Addo winning another term to govern Ghanaians, was very credible.
The report released on April 12, 2022, said Ghana’s Presidential and Parliamentary election results reflected the will of the people.
“Domestic and international observers assessed the December 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections to be transparent, inclusive, credible, and reflecting the will of the people.”
“Some observers noted concerns regarding the misuse of incumbency, the lack of enforcement of regulations on campaign financing, and unequal access to state-owned media during the campaign,” the report added.
Again, the report observed that corruption is still prevalent in Ghana.
According to the document, “officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.”
It also noted that although laws stipulate punishments for corrupt officials, the government hardly implements them effectively.
“Corruption was present in all branches of government, according to media and NGOs, including recruitment into the security services,” parts of the report read.
Citing the Auditor General’s June Report, the US States Department mentioned that graft is widespread in the country’s public sector.
This, has resulted in the loss of huge sums of public funds.
“The honorary consul general and the Ghanaian consulate in Washington D.C. could not account for visa fees totalling $355,000. The Free Senior High School Secretariat misspent more than $3.16 million.
“A former Minister of Tourism retained three official vehicles for personal use after leaving office. The report concluded that corrupt practices resulted in $340 million of financial mismanagement, including misapplication and misappropriation of funds, theft, and procurement mismanagement.”
Corruption continues to be a major problem the country battles with although governments implement various measures to curb the menance.
In 2018, President Akufo-Addo, established the Special Prosecutor office to clamp down on corruption.
However the US State Department noted that “Since the first special prosecutor took office in 2018, no corruption case undertaken by that office resulted in a conviction.”
“When the new special prosecutor took office in August, his staff included one investigator and one prosecutor, both seconded from other offices.”