Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper Kwesi Pratt Jr has stated that the church is indirectly contributing to the rise in corruption by continuously preaching about riches for members to be recognized.
He said most churches treat the rich and the affluent in a special way, thereby persuading others to go out of their way to do things which might make them appear rich in order to get similar treatment.
Speaking on Radio Gold’s news analysis programme ‘Alhaji Alhaji’, Mr Pratt said “the church by its own conducts encourages people to be rich because where you sit in church is determined by your status. So everybody wants to be known and you cannot blame people when they want to be acknowledged as better than the other”.
According to him, all one needs to do in order to be treated special in church is “is to appear on TV, be someone who is well known or contribute huge monies during special events in the church then you will be given a special seat”.
He said the people who donate these huge sum of monies are not investigated to determine how they make such monies. They are hailed and deemed to be better than the ordinary person.
Mr Pratt also noted that the rise in corruption cases in the country can also be blamed on political leaders who claim to be serving their parties.
According to him, these political leaders expect that “when they go for meetings, the party pay for their accommodation and also cater for their feeding as well as other expenses incurred while at the meeting”.
He questioned also, how political parties are able to get money to sponsor thousands of delegates from across the country to one central place for a congress and that “if the parties are not doing any business, then how do they get the money to do all these?
“If they do not come from corrupt activities then where do they come from and I charge anyone to challenge me”, he continued.
He bemoaned the act where aspiring Members of Parliament borrow monies from banks with commercial interest hoping to pay back those monies when they get to Parliament because “they know that when they get to Parliament they will get contracts to award to people and make monies from them.”
Mr Pratt said that for the fight against corruption to be won, “all of us need to reflect on our actions and the demands we make in order that we are all able to live within our means and stop this attitude of cutting corners”.
He said that even though the temptation to be corrupt is huge – especially within the public sector, government has the responsibility to ensure that citizens are comfortable and are provided with the basic necessities that make life comfortable for them.
“People must be assured that if they go on retirement they will be taken care of, they must be assured that there is free medical care for them and their families and free education must be provided at all levels so that people do not have to steal to survive.
He continued that “Unless we are able to build a society which takes care of its people, we will continue to go through this and we cannot fight corruption”.
He however advised that people who talk about corruption should be ready and be prepared to provide evidence to back any corruption allegations they make.