So we are told of how vote buying is ‘normal’ and the fact that all political parties engage in it.
This should not be a normal occurrence because the People’s representation law makes it a crime. Section 33 of the Law says; a person commit an offence of bribery;(a) if he directly or acting through another person; (i) gives money or obtains an office for a voter in order to induce the voter to vote or refrain from voting or ; (ii) corruptly does such an act on account of a voter having voted or refrain from voting or; (iii) makes a gift or provides something of value to a voter to induce the voter to vote in a certain way or to obtain the election of a candidate or; (b) if he advances or pay money or causes money to be paid to or for the use of a person with the intent that the money or part of it shall be expended in bribery at an election or knowingly pays money to be paid to a person in discharge or repayment of money wholly or in part expended in bribery at an election.
This clearly indicates that it is a crime for anybody to engage in vote buying. So, the question is why are we not punishing those who engage in this act or have we accepted it as part of our political system? So nobody cares if someone decides to engage in vote buying. Thought we made laws to sanitize institutions or fields? This law was made to sanitize the conduct of the political parties So why are we not implementing these laws? Is it because certain people or certain individuals are bigger than the law? Thought the law was a no respecter of persons?
We must move beyond the talk and deal with those engaged in these acts. Vote buying is bribery and offenders must be prosecuted. Let us sanitize our political system. If we want an issue based campaign, then we must be prepared to cleanse our system of vote buying.
Ghana deserves better!
By Winston Amoah
The writer is the host of ‘Sunrise’ on 3FM.