Ghana's Corruption Perception Index (CPI) score on the recent survey published by Transparency International is 46, up from 45 last year. The nation scoring just 1 point for the whole year means that Ghana will literally need 44 years to completely eradicate corruption, if current efforts to fight this canker is not improved, other things being equal. Interestingly, the corruption cases we are yet to solve, like SADA and GYEEDA, plus ... available figures from the Auditor-General’s Department indicate that Ghana lost GH¢4,559,976,756.76 within five years as a result of irregularities in public institutions.
Effectively combating corruption has been a major global issue, with impunity's head being demanded on a plate. Stopping the corrupt has made many to dig deep, with organisations funding promotional activities to reward those who can unearth innovative ways to help bring down the walls of corruption. The most fascinating idea yet, for me, is the ZERO-RUPEES, which is an Indian anti-corruption gimmick launched by 5th Pillar (an anti-bribery campaign). The notes look exactly like the 50 Rupees, and people are actually encouraged to hand them to corrupt officials ... more like the brothers of Ghana Police!
More than 2.5m pieces of the Zero-Rupees has been distributed by 5th Pillar since 2007 with the leaders of the campaign branding it as a "non-violent weapon of non co-operation", and activists from Nepal, Benin, Argentina and Mexico making inquiries about the notes. Malaysia has already conceived a similar project, while in Yemen, a worthless note like the Zero-Rupees, will be launched next year. The whole idea is to embarrass corrupt officials, and make them feel stupid, considering the fact that most corrupt officials hurriedly pocket the bribes they receive, even though givers are steeled to hand the notes unfolded.
This campaign may equally be effective in Ghana if we are seeking to change the mindsets of our corrupt officials, especially those in the public sector. The media is playing a major role in the fight to eradicate the canker and that will be advantageous to using worthless notes. Some experts on what is known as civil resistance campaigns are of the opinion that worthless notes offer some protection to givers, if in case the receiver is annoyed with receiving the note. That is, indirectly communicating to the receiver, the givers affiliation with a larger group who are fighting against corruption.
Don't be surprised if I give you some zero-cedis notes for your wallet. It may happen sooner than we all think. "Corruption deε εnyε!!!"