In Ghana, Will Vast Judicial Corruption Scandal Undo 23 Years of Political Stability?

Investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, the man behind the sting operation which uncovered vast corruption within Ghana's judicial system. (GhanaWeb)

September 23, 2015

by Clement Sefa-Nyarko    

Republished from: IPI Global Observatory

One of the foundations of Ghana’s much-touted democracy is on the verge of crumbling after 12 high court judges, 22 lower court magistrates, and over 100 judicial service personnel across the country were captured on video collecting bribes, extorting money from litigants, and negotiating the release of persons standing trial in their respective courts.[1] The West African country—governed by a single constitution since 1992, after many bouts of post-independence coup d’états and authoritarian regimes[2] —is ranked the 7th best in overall governance in Africa in the 2014 edition of the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, which credited it with very high scores on safety, rule of law, and national security. The video was premiered for public viewing on September 22, 2015.[2a].

This latest revelation smacks in the face of accountable governance and is a confirmation of increasing perceptions of corruption among the judiciary, the police, and the seat of government, according to latest Afro-barometer surveys conducted by the Centre of Democratic Governance. The barometer indicators and other forms of public grievances against the judiciary have remained speculative until now. A painstaking two-year investigation by Tiger Eye PI, an Accra-based private investigative company led by Anas Aremeyaw Anas, has made alarming revelations of massive corruption, secret justice-for-sale deals, and scheming of judges and judicial service personnel allegedly negotiating the release of criminals. These were contained in secret video recordings that have the potential to lead Ghana into an abyss of confusion and instability – the hallmark of many African countries.

In memory of the unbowed Professor Wangari Maathai

By Njoki Wamai

September 25, 2015

Republished from ThisisAfrica

In admiration and loving memory of the first African woman Nobel Laureate, who passed away on September 25, 2011.

Photo: Niaje

Wangari Maathai was always there with us in our house in Kenya when I was growing up. She was there on our television screens; she was in the morning news on the radio before we went to school; and she was there in our living room as my parents’ and their visitors talked about her courage in animated yet hushed conversations.

Wangari Maathai, the strong, dark woman clad in African prints and braided hair speaking truth to power when no one dared question former Kenyan dictator Daniel Arap Moi.

Protect women through better healthcare


By Njoki Wamai

Re-published from Daily Nation

September 11, 2015

In Summary

  • Few women can afford a mammogram for breast cancer and pap smears for cervical cancer every three years.
  • I am told gynaecology and obstetrics is one of the most profitable specialisations.
  • Quality assurance is another failing of our medical system.
  • Devolved governments should be supported in managing health.

There is a storm raging in Kenya.

We are all angry at one Mugo wa Wairimu.

How could he do that?

For years, he allegedly got away with his dubious clinics operating under the very eyes of the county government of Nairobi, the Ministry of Health Services, and the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board.

This storm will likely die down, the way all storms do in Kenya, after two weeks, but I hope that at the end of it all, he will be a guest of the State at Kamiti for many decades to come.

Will those women he allegedly raped ever recover?

Let us face it. In Kenya, gynaecological services are for the privileged few.

Migrants and the ‘elephant in the room’

September 08, 2015

by Moses Onyango

Republished from: Strife

The intransigence of the British Prime Minister on the issue of migrants crossing into Europe through the Mediterranean Sea fails the test of logic. The migrants are not economic ‘swarms’ as Prime Minister David Cameron had previously stated. These migrants are fleeing from political systems that have collapsed. It is important to clearly state from the outset that some western powers, such as the UK, have partly contributed to the collapse of these political systems.

Most of the countries currently troubled by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) menace were relatively stable before the western powers started demanding regime change in Iraq, Libya and Syria. Led by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and NATO, western powers doomed the leaders of Libya and Syria, and began to bomb these countries.[1] Significant portions of the migrants currently streaming into Europe are from Syria and Libya.

Although the UK parliament prevented Cameron from unleashing British bombs on the sovereign states of Libya and Syria, Sarkozy succeeded in making a case for regime change in Libya. The result is undisputed- Libya and Syria were bombed and the consequences of instability in these countries has had ripple effects on migration into Europe we are experiencing today. The wave of instability in this region had already been triggered by the bombings of Iraq, and destabilisation by former US President George Bush Jr. and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. These countries are currently under the marauding forces of lawlessness and despair.

Democracy and Security: State and Democratization in Nigeria

September 04, 2015

by Akinbode Fasakin

Republished from: Taylor & Francis

The article interrogates the relationship between democratization and people power in Nigeria. It argues that the broadening of the Nigerian public sphere has not led to reciprocal development of democratic principles and practice. As civilian rule reigns and economic growth is reported, Nigeria’s democratization is fraught with many challenges. Democratization remains questionable in Nigeria; it is rudimentary and distorted by irregularities. These have had implications for national development and human securities as the poverty level worsens and acclaimed economic growth and “democratic dividends” fail to enhance Nigerians’ quality of life.

The trivialization of democratization raises critical questions about its state and relevance to Nigerians and the Nigerian state. Is Nigeria democratizing or de-democratizing? How does the democratization process bring the Nigerian people closer to state (power)? How has it helped their developmental quests? The article contends that Nigeria’s democratization process is indeed on trial. As Ake argues, Nigerian state democratization does not only trivialize the essence of democracy—it also continues to reverse the democratization process. Against this background, the article concludes that the democratization process in Nigeria requires elite political will and people’s consciousness to advance to the next stage for better democratic consolidated and economic development relevant to Nigerians.

Click here to download the full article

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