Debates of 21 Feb 2008

PRAYERS 10 a.m.

Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Order! Order! Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 20th February, 2008. Hon. Members, we have the Official Report for Wednesday, 23rd January, 2008.
Mr. Lee Ocran 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, column 65, the expression is “ramsar site” and not “ramsia site”.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Thanks for the correction.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to raise a tangential issue to the Official Report. We normally get it as we walk in and normally because of traffic we get here two minutes before -- So technically, we are not able to review this document and to comment meaningfully. For example, in the last one that we saw, one of the Ministers was left out of the list, I have noticed that but immediately we were not able to correct it. May I request that either the Table gives it to us the day before or at least we look at it and then back to you, sir. Otherwise we miss out very major correctional points, sir.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Thank you. The point is
well made. Majority Leader which is the next item we should take?
Mr. Ossei Aidooh 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, may I propose that we stand down or we defer item (3), Questions -- and move to -- Item 11, sir.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
At the Commencement
of Public Business --
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Hon. Member for New Juabeng North, yes.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10 a.m.
Hon. Speaker, it will be interesting to know why the Minister is not here and I believe we are entitled to an explanation. I think that this House must ask for the explanation, sir.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Majority Leader, I think I will stand it down and find out when the Minister is coming to the House to answer these Questions. It is stood down.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Item 5, Laying of Papers -- Chairman of the Committee on Poverty Reduction Strategy?
PAPERS 10 a.m.

Mr. A. O. Aidooh 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, shall we take motion number 7?
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Hon. Members, item 7.
Suspension of Standing Order 80 (10)
Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang (on behal f o f Chairman of the Committee) 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80 (1) which require that no motion shall be debated until at least
forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the motion is given and the date on which the motion is moved, the motion for the adoption of the Fifteenth Report of the Appointments Committee on the President's nomination for Deputy Ministerial Appointment may be moved today.
Mr. K. A. Okerchiri 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to second the motion.
Question put and motion agreed to
Resolved accordingly.
MOTIONS 10 a.m.

Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang (on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee) 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, that this honourable House adopts the Fifteenth Report of the Appointments Committee on the President's nomination for Deputy Ministerial appointment.
And in so doing, I would like to submit the Report of the Committee which is quite explicit, and I will ask the Hansard Department to capture the sentiments as expressed in the Report.
1.0 Introduction
PURSUANT to article 79 (1), of the
Constitution, His Excellency the President on the 18th of July 2007 communicated to Parliament for prior approval, his nomination of Mr.Ken-Wuud Nuworsu, as Deputy Minister. In accordance with Order 172 (2) of the Standing Orders, the Speaker referred the nomination to the Appointments Committee for consi- deration and report.
The Committee considered the nomination and submitted its report to the House on the 30th of July 2007. However, this honourable House deferred its decision on the nominee's “Prior
approval” to allow for further checks.
It may again be recalled that the Committee also suspended its Report laid in the House dated 29th November 2007 to perform further checks on Mr. Ken-Wuud Nuworsu.
Upon thorough verification from the Auditor-General's Department, the Appointments Committee has completed its work on the nominee and hereby submits its Report to the House.
2.0 Reference Documents
During its deliberations the Committee was guided by the following documents:
i. The 1992 Constitution of the
Republic of Ghana;
i i . Standing Orders of the
Parliament of Ghana;
iii. 12th and 13th Report of the
Appointments Committee;
i v. 2004 Aud i to r-Gene ra l s
Report on the Accounts of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Ho;
v. Report on the Review Audit of the Accounts of the NADMO, Ho -- December, 2007.
3.0 Procedure
The procedure adopted for considering the nominee was as set out in paragraph 3.0 of the 13th Report of the Committee to this House. It may be necessary, however, to emphasise that the Committee's decision was guided by the Auditor-
General's Report on the Review Audit of the Accounts of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Ho -- December, 2007, dated 4th February,
4.0 Mr. Ken-Wuud Nuworsu -- Deputy Minister-designate Manpower, Youth and Employment
Published Allegations
Mr. Ken-Wuud Nuworsu, who is currently the Volta Regional Director of National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) had to deal with very much publicized allegations against him and these were put before him at his vetting.
Consequently, questions to the nominee by the Committee were mainly centred on those allegations which bordered on financial impropriety and queries from the Auditor-General's Department as well as the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). Mr. Nuworsu duly and respectfully informed the Committee that he was surprised at the questions posed to him on those matters since according to him they had been sufficiently dealt with by various investigative bodies before his nomination.
Nevertheless, he explained and denied the many allegations made against him. Mr. Nuworsu told the Committee that he had responded to queries that were raised in an audit report and had also obliged the regional SFO directives which Members raised. Youth Employment Scheme
The nominee in a response to concerns
Mr. Okerchiri 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to second the motion.
Question put and motion agreed to.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Majority Leader, what is the next item?
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, item (6), the debate.
MOTIONS 10 a.m.

Alhaji Sumani Abukari (NDC -- Tamale North) 10:10 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for allowing me to make my very brief contribution to this motion on the floor of the House. Mr. Speaker, I am going to restrict myself basically to the conspicuous absence of the very important topic of national security in the President's Address.
Mr. Speaker, H.E. the President talked of law and order under which he congratulated Parliament for the good work done by my good Friend hon. Sallas-Mensah and his Committee. Then he moved on to another sub-heading -- Law Enforcement -- under which he again highlighted the role and the shortcomings of the police, shortcomings in respect that the numbers were not adequate as recommended by the United Nations (UN).
Mr. Speaker, that aside, nothing, absolutely nothing, was said about the very, very serious problems and our reputation as a country as experienced in the last year and two.
Mr. Speaker, I was really surprised that the President did not talk about the crime
rate that has gone high. He did not talk of the increase in murder and in ritual murder and contract killings. He did not talk about Ghana becoming the hub of cocaine; he did not express his concerns about this and suggest solutions to those problems. He did not mention any of these things.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Order! Order!
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, by its very definition, a hub is an acceptable description of the focus, the fulcrum of activities of a particular nature. If you say it is the hub for British Airways, the hub for Ghana Airways then it means that all the things originate from there, that this is where the core of the network is.
I believe we have had some challenges with regard to the narcotics but it will be irresponsible of us in this House if we begin to condone that statement that this country is the hub of the narcotics trade in the sub-region or in Africa for that matter. I believe that when issues such as this come from Parliament they carry a lot of weight and I do not think that the fact that we have had some challenges, for example, murders takes place in every country -- Can we say that a particular
The House was accordingly adjourned at 11.43 a.m. till 15th February, 2008 at

country is the hub of the murder trade if there is anything like that?

Mr. Speaker, I think that we should not really box ourselves into a corner and begin to accept that indeed, we are the hub of the narcotics trade. We have some challenges; yes, and we are dealing with them but I believe that my dear Friend and a former Excellency is completely out of order to, here in Parliament, refer to this country as the hub of the narcotics. It cannot be done. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Alhaji Abukari 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, whether you call it hub or transit point or route, to me it is the same. The important thing is that the President should have found it essential to talk about this menace that is giving us a bad reputation outside this country. He did not talk about it at all. He did not mention it.
Mr. Speaker, let me start with the murders. There are so many murders that are being committed in this country today that were not known a few years back. And nobody can be proud of them. I am compelled to mention these things not because I think I should highlight them for any benefit but because I think they are so important to the economic growth of this country and they are important to the upbringing of our children if they are to become responsible children tomorrow.
Some of such menace should be controlled or at least attempts should be made at controlling them, and our Excellency the President must be seen to be leading those attempts or policies that will eliminate this canker in our society.
Mr. Speaker, until recently, nobody was aware of -- people do not want to call them “contract killers” and so I will call them serial killings -- people who came
Alhaji Abukari 10 a.m.

to other people's homes, brazenly showing themselves up and not even bothering to cover their faces, not picking a pin from their homes and shooting them to death and turning around and walking away. Mr. Speaker, this was a very, very serious development in our country.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, our hon. Friend maybe inadvertently misleading the House. A few people were arrested and tried for murder and were acquitted. That is a fact. So to say that up to date, no one has been arrested for the murder of the Ya-Na and some others is incorrect.
Alhaji Abukari 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I did not want to delve deeply into this issue. But if I have to, I will. Mr. Speaker, people were arrested -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
You have already had five minutes; you have five minutes more.
Alhaji Abukari 10 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I am a Ranking Member and so I have ten minutes.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
You have already had five minutes.
Alhaji Abukari 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, some people were arrested with sacks of human parts dripping with fresh blood -- [Interruption.]
Nana Akufo-Addo 10:20 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. To add to the clarification that the hon. Member for
Sekondi, the former Attorney-General made, I was the Attorney-General at the material moment -- [Interruptions] -- not only were the people tried but they were the very people who were recommended by the Wuaku Commission for prose- cution. The people who the Wuaku Commission recommended as being responsible were the very people who were put on trial. And an Accra High Court in its own estimation found that there was not enough evidence to establish it. That fact should be on record.

I had the privilege of serving as a State Attorney; I had the privilege of preparing charges against criminals; I had the privilege of prosecuting and getting people convicted for crimes. Anybody who knows anything about the legal system will know that the charges that were preferred against those three people that the honourable flagbearer is talking about were the wrong charges.

These people were arrested with human parts, a human head and the limbs, still dripping with fresh blood. You do not charge such people with murder. That certainly was a wrong charge. So the Attorney-General's Department at the time deliberately preferred wrong charges against these people and got them acquitted. [Interruption.] It was deliberate, I did not want to go into all these things, and he the flagbearer was in charge.
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon. Member for Tamale North, I think you are using very strong words.
Alhaji Abukari 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, yes, I am compelled to. Because of what we are saying now, I am compelled to.
Nana Akufo-Addo 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, to make the allegations of deliberate misconduct -- that is what the Member for

Tamale North is saying that the Attorney- General deliberately brought the wrong charges; not that it was inadvertent or that it was mistaken but that he deliberately brought those charges -- is an extremely serious allegation to make without any shred of evidence against an Attorney- General or a prosecutor.

For the records, the reasons why the Wuaku Tribunal identified those particular people as those responsible for the death of the Ya-Na was for the very fact that he is alluding to that they were the ones that were found with the body parts of the late Ya-Na. That is the reason why the Wuaku Commission said they therefore must be held responsible for the death of the Ya-Na and that is the basis of the prosecution.
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon. Member for Tamale North, as I indicated those words were rather too strong “deliberately”. I think you may wish to reconsider the use of it.
Alhaji Abukari 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, instead of deliberate, I will say “incompetently”. They incompetently prepared these charges against them. I will go onto the case of the cocaine menace.
Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, for the avoidance of doubt and for records purposes, I believe it is traditional for him to withdraw that particular word and substitute. Otherwise, it may be misconstrued that he maintained that word. It must be expunged from the records of the Hansard for the purpose of history. And for the purpose of history, it
needs to be done; that is the tradition of this House. It cannot be done in any other way. So he must withdraw and expunge it from the records.
Mr. Doe Adjaho 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think that hon. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang is totally out of order. The hon. Member raised the point of order and you ruled on it by giving a certain direction to the hon. Member and you said that the words were rather too strong and he chose another word and he was proceeding. You have ruled on the matter; for him again to come and question your ruling shows -- He can only do that on a substantive motion. He cannot get up challenging the ruling of the Chair. He is absolutely out of order and he should be so ordered.
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon. Members let us make progress. Hon. Member for Tamale North, have you withdrawn the word “deliberately”?
Alhaji Abukari 10:20 a.m.
If Mr. Speaker is amending his previous ruling, then I withdraw and substitute “incompetently”. I would want to continue by going to the drug menace -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Abraham Ossei Aidooh 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, my Colleague is a lawyer of about 35 years or more, maybe 40 years. If somebody is dead, there is a murder and somebody is found with blood on his hands and body parts in his possession and he says that they were incompetently charged with murder, let him tell us what charges should have been brought against them. Because he must know that upon those circumstances, a charge of murder was most preferable. If he thinks I am wrong, he must tell me what other charges were preferable. I know that he is a senior lawyer, he must tell the House what other charges were preferable for
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon. Member for Tamale North, have you calmed down?
Alhaji Abukari 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I have calmed down. And I want to proceed. I will ignore the last comment. I want to move on to the drug menace. The rate at which drugs are being sold and circulated in this country is certainly on the increase and every honest person in this country will agree to it. And the rate at which drug offences fail in both the investigative and prosecution stages is becoming alarming. A number of parcels of drugs were confiscated, seventy eight of them are lost -- [Interruption.]
Mr. K. Okerchiri 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member made a certain statement which he believed is the fact, that the rate at which drug is being sold in Ghana -- I want him to prove it. Except he is one of those who peddle it, he must prove to us -- [Interruptions.]
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Order! Order!
Hon. Members let us have decorum, please.
Alhaji Abukari 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I actually said, “circulated”, I do not know where he got the word “sold” from; unless he is part of those selling them. Seventy- eight parcels of cocaine got missing, a committee was set up, up till today, nobody can tell us where that cocaine is. Cocaine in the strongroom of the Narcotics Control Board has been removed and substituted with cassava dough and up till now, even though there is a committee set up to look into it -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Lee Ocran 10:20 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, an hon. Member of this House is adding one more parcel to the cocaine. It is seventy-seven -- [Laughter.]
Alhaji Abukari 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, seventy- seven parcels had gone missing. We were all here when a South American boat got stuck in our waters and it was believed to be a criminal-cocaine carrying boat. The boat sent out a wild SOS message asking for food and water and it was a fishing vessel, a private fishing boat that sent food and water to the boat. The boat left our shores before our Navy even spotted where they were. All this is in the area of general security.
We do not even have the means. If out naval boats are not strong enough to pursue private boats, how can we check the cocaine menace? So I think that we have to equip ourselves and train ourselves to be able to pursue some of these criminal acts that will damage us and damage our children in the future. I do not think that it is in the interest of anybody to try to cover up these things and not talk about them.
These are all issues that I thought His Excellency the President should have addressed; to tell this country where we lack the resources and what resources we need to enhance our security personnel to perform their jobs very well.
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon. Member for Tamale North, you are fond of using this word “deliberately” -- [Laughter.]
Please, you may wish to forget about that word.
Alhaji Abukari 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, these were avoided in His Excellency the President's Address -- [Interruptions.] If you insist, I would not withdraw the word. Nothing is mentioned in the Address -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Whom are you addressing?
Alhaji Abukari 10:30 a.m.
Sorry, Mr. Speaker. So Mr. Speaker, I think that -- [Inter- ruption.]
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the context, even the word “avoided” is objectionable. To make a list of cocaine and all those things and say that the President avoided them imputes ill motive. So in the context, the word “avoided” is objectionable and I would urge him to withdraw it. In the context it is as objectionable as “deliberate”.
Alhaji Abukari 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would use their word “ignored”. The President ignored the security situation of the country and that is bad enough -- [Laughter.] Mr. Speaker, that is very bad enough.
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
You must be concluding.
Alhaji Abukari 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, with all the interjections? The security situation is very important and so very vital to the wellbeing of our country that this should have been highlighted by the President. And he should have told us exactly what is happening on the ground and what solutions he envisages for the future, even what policies he will put in place to guide the next President of the Republic

Oh, yes, the next President will come from this side of the House. But Mr. Speaker, you will remain there, you are my uncle.
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Are you concluding?
Alhaji Abukari 10:30 a.m.
Yes, Mr. Speaker, I am concluding. Security-wise, we are in a very precarious situation. Mr. Speaker, we know of the murders or serial killings recently in the Suhum area. It has become so serious that traditional rulers and family heads were called together to delve into this. Suhum was a very peaceful place, when I was State Attorney in 1973.
Suhum in the Eastern Region, my second region and where my good Friend hon. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang comes from has certainly become a serial point. And it is very worrying. Unless we take steps to stop these serial killings, with the coming of the elections, maybe many more things will come up that we should try to control.
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon. Member, you do not have much time.
Alhaji Abukari 10:30 a.m.
Yes, Mr. Speaker. The conflicts in Dagbon. I say that this Government should be up and doing, to take drastic measures and to pursue justice. This is because without justice and the enforcement of the traditions and cultures of the people, these flashpoints will increase. It is important that this thing should have been mentioned. The President should have acknowledged the presence of these conflicts and say that
Mr. F. K. Owusu-Adjapong (NPP -- Akim Swedru) 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate ably moved by the hon. Member for Tarkwa-Nsuaem.
Mr. Speaker, the President came to Parliament to perform a function as indicated in article 67 of the Constitution. And with your permission, if I may quote:
“The President shall, at the beginning of each session of Parliament and before a dissolution of Parliament, deliver to Parliament a Message on the State of the Nation.”
Mr. Speaker, it therefore means that the President is expected to deliver another message to this House before his terms ends. That being the case, the President was obliged to do certain things, which in my opinion, he has faithfully and sincerely discharged. He was expected to tell us the state of the nation as he found it in 2001. He was expected to tell us what positive advancements have been made for the period he has been in power. He was also expected to tell us if he has brought the nation lower than he found it. But I do not believe he was expected to tell us where he has maintained the status quo.
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon. Member for Wa
West, do you have a point of order?
Mr. Chireh 10:30 a.m.
Yes, Mr. Speaker, I have a point of order. The hon. Member is telling us what the President ought to have done. That is not what he should be saying. He should be saying something else because a State of the Nation Address is to talk about the nation as it is now, what he says to it. But this long lecture he is giving is not helping us. He is also not the President. Unfortunately, he did not get the nod of the party -- [Laughter.] So he should wait till he has the time. But what the President is to do is to tell us the state of the nation as it is now, not as it was discovered.
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Please, hon. Member for Akim Swedru, continue.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, in my opinion, the President is expected to tell us what positive advancements he has made. And if he has taken the country lower than he found it, he is expected to indicate it to us. In my opinion, Mr. Speaker, the President is not supposed to repeat the status quo. If he came or the time we gave him the power, he found that a ten kilometre road has been done and it is at that same state, I do not think he is expected to do it.
Mr. Speaker, when we talk about crime rate, I think for six-and-a-half years, I was privileged to have access to crime rate reports on this country. And I can tell you that in all cases, crime rate was going down. And those were facts that were being read to us.
Mr. Speaker, occasionally in this country, we tend to make unpopular generalizations and that is why I was expecting whoever was talking about increase in crime rate to have come with the relevant figures. In the absence of that
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon. Member for Tamale North, do you have a point of order?
Alhaji Abukari 10:30 a.m.
Very much so, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the hon. former Minister is aware that crime is crime. The serial murders that are going on in his region, if they are of no concern to him, he should know they are crimes that are being committed today. If the hon. Minister for the Interior were here, he would tell him that they are crimes. And those crimes were not known some time ago.
I have lived in the Eastern Region before and I know that those crimes were not there. If they are now happening, then crime rate in the region, at least, is on the increase.
These wars and battles that are going on across the country on chieftaincy matters and what nots, are criminal. They are all criminal. Is he saying that the crime rate is not going up? Are they not crimes? If he does not know the solution to them, he should please skip it and should not say that it is on the decline. This cocaine menace is on the increase.
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon. Member for Tamale North, you have no point of order. Let the hon. Member for Akim Swedru continue.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, as regards the inability of the Navy or possibly the Air Force to give sufficient protection to our territorial waters, it is a fact known to all of us, and I believe what we all need to do is to possibly encourage the President that during the remaining months left of his tenure of office he

should see to what extent he can help in providing these equipment to our Armed Forces. Also, we should encourage him to realize that if he were to send the request to Parliament for more planes to the Air Force or more ships to the Navy, we would be with him.

I believe that is a right signal that we should be giving from now on and I want to encourage that we, as part of the thanksgiving we would be sending him, may draw his attention to it that the House is prepared to team up with him so that we resource our Armed Forces with the required equipment for them to give us sufficient protection of our territorial waters.

Mr. Speaker, the President indicated on page 8 of his Address and with your permission, if I may quote:

“Mr. Speaker, you will recall that in this very House, government announced a programme of five priorities, namely, the following:

Vigorous infrastructural deve- lopment.

Modernized agriculture centered on rural development.

Enhanced social service de- livery, with special emphasis on education and health.

Good governance.

Private sector development”.

Mr. Speaker, in my opinion, the President took each of these topics one by one and proved to us that he has added positively to what he found at the time he became the President. It is possible that there may still be some of the President's promises that have not been honoured. There too we as a House need to draw his attention that yes, he promised he was going to do certain things and if he can look at them

again and make sure that at the end of his term he leaves us with all his promises fulfilled. That being the case, I do not see why we should have the “Castro” type of speech, six hours, eight hours for a State of the Nation Address in Ghana.

Mr. Speaker, permit me however, to make a small comment on the Ghana 2008 tournament. Mr. Speaker, my comment is not to discuss what went wrong or what should have been done at that time. As the President indicated we are supposed to congratulate the Black Stars and the handlers for a good job done. But there are two things I want us to look at -- the facilities.

We have now been able to construct four modern stadia and what we need to do is to ensure that we get good facility managers to look after them so that they would not deteriorate. This is so because we always keep on complaining that our maintenance culture is low and the management culture is low because we do not make people responsible for the maintenance of these structures.

Mr. Speaker, the next thing is to look at the way forward for the Black Stars. I do not think it is for me to stand here and say that the coach must go or must not go but what I think we need to hear as a nation from those who engaged him is what the terms under which he was engaged are and whether he has fulfilled all those terms. It is only from that angle that we may be able to make meaningful contribution to it.

Mr. Speaker, I believe it is high time we found out how we can encourage more and more Ghanaians also to get themselves trained to the highest level so that even if they cannot handle our teams at the national level, they would be handling something at the regional level. If we talk about self reliance, it should appear in all areas and I want us to set ourselves programmes so that possibly within the next “X” years, we should be able to achieve this when it comes to coaching.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, I want to make a small comment on the mini-hydros. I am happy to learn that we are going to have mini-hydros on some of the rivers like the Ankobra and Pra but I want to suggest to the Government that for us also to acquire technology, possibly we need to get the type of agreement that would enable our local experts to begin to have a feel of the construction of mini-hydros so that we would follow the Chinese experience that:

“I like the person who helps me to cultivate the maize or rice and not the person who only brings me the rice.”

Definitely, when we begin to get our people to have access to this new technology by being involved in the study, the design and the construction of these mini-hydros, we also may be on our own and be able to look at some of the other rivers for such uses when they are gone.

Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity given me to support the motion.
Mrs. Juliana Azumah-Mensah (NDC -- Ho East) 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the State of the Nation Address by the out-going President, Mr. J. A. Kufuor.
Mr. Speaker, a lot has been said by earlier hon. Members already. However, I was also surprised that there was no mention of the drug menace that has literally engulfed the country. I believe that if there is a problem we should talk about it, we should not sweep it under the carpet and every time tell people “You are talking about the same old thing”. I believe we need to deal with the problem.
Mr. Speaker, I believe most organi- zations now and even we as individuals tend to do SWOT analysis to approve or appraise ourselves as to our strengths,
Mrs. Juliana Azumah-Mensah (NDC -- Ho East) 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, if the President and his advisors or Cabinet had done that -- Apart from the glossy picture being painted and the legacies being claimed, this whole book is full of legacies and good things -- The challenges for the next Government which I know would be a National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government -- most of these -- are all missing in the President's Address.
Mr. Speaker, some of these challenges are the rising incidence of infant and maternal mortality, children under five years mortality, women “prisoners” with their children in Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, just to mention one hospital because they cannot pay their bills. Then if you go further on to find out -- [Interruption]-- I was in Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital myself to interview the ladies -- they could not pay for the premium that they are required to pay under the National Health Insurance Scheme -- [Interruption] -- They could not pay the premium.
Mr. Speaker, the indicators of the challenges above, that is the infant and maternal mortalities are critical determinants of a country's development and I think we should take these cases seriously.

Mr. Speaker, reduction in the infant mortality and the mortality rate of children under five years are expectations in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Malaria, for instance, alone is the number one killer of our children under five years, estimated at 20,000 deaths a year is really

worrying. Mr. Speaker, if we leave these indicators as they are, we are never going to achieve the Millennium Development Goals as we are expected to.

Mr. Speaker, with all these challenges of HIV/AIDS and malaria, we are happy that the American President who left this morning apparently has promised us. I do not know if the money is ready yet but he has promised $17 million to help us eradicate malaria as well as HIV/AIDS. Mr. Speaker, the past interventions for malaria really went into insecticide treated bed nets, anti-malaria and things as such. But Mr. Speaker, I hope that with this money that is being given to us now, we would try and channel it to the proper areas.

I believe it is only logical that we should direct the larger proportion of this money to spraying the breeding sites of the mosquito larvae. I know hon. I. C. Quaye has started that, I think two weeks ago. If we had been doing that I think we would have been preventing than curing because I believe the bed nets and the anti-malaria drugs come after the children or a normal person gets the malaria. Therefore, we should also put in place the education of our people as to how to prevent breeding sites so that the malaria parasites do not exist for the people to get malaria.

Mr. Speaker, I know that the President also touched on or praised himself for appointing a woman as the Chief Justice (CJ). As far as gender is concerned, I am very happy and I know all women are also happy that a woman has been appointed as the Chief Justice. But we have a Ministry called the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs which the President and the NPP Government brought as a new Ministry to help in dealing with the issues of women.
Mrs. Juliana Azumah-Mensah (NDC -- Ho East) 10:50 a.m.
That notwithstanding, Mr. Speaker,

Hajia Alima Mahama: Mr. Speaker,

on a point of order. Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament and my hon. Colleague on the floor is a Ranking Member of the Gender and Children Committee and she is fully aware of the achievements the Ministry has chalked. Definitely, we always campaign to have more resources but that does not mean that the Ministry is a white elephant.

If for nothing at all, this Parliament has contributed in supporting the Ministry to achieve a lot. The Domestic Violence Act is a major achievement, the Human Trafficking Act is a major achievement. All the other activities like gender mainstreaming in all the Ministries, gender budgeting that the Cabinet has approved are all part of the Ministry's achievements. If the hon. Member on the floor wants me to catalogue all the achievements of the Ministry I would do that; and if I am going to do that we would not leave here today. So please, as the hon. Member is campaigning for us to get more resources, I appreciate it but please, she would not use the words “white elephant”. She should please withdraw the words “white elephant”.
Mrs. Azumah-Mensah 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I believe the hon. Minister misunderstood what I was saying. If she had waited
till I finished what I was going to say she would have realized that I was actually going to help her, as a Ranking Member of the Committee. I was actually trying to impress upon the President that nominating a woman as the Chief Justice is in place. [Interruptions.] I want the President to give a lot more to the Ministry so that we can deal more with issues relating to women. That was what I meant.
I did not mean to disappoint the hon. Minister and to tell her that she has not been doing anything. Of course, she is a lady.
Mr. Speaker, I hope that when we come into power the Ministry would be given the 30 per cent that the women are expected to have in Parliament and in other areas so that we can see women moving forward. Mr. Speaker, it seems my time is running out.
Mrs. G. E. Kusi 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member on the floor did not withdraw the “white elephant” that she used. She has not withdrawn them. She said the Ministry is a white elephant. That is a fact that she stated in this House and that description must be withdrawn.
Mrs. Azumah-Mensah 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would move on quickly for other people to contribute. I believe the legacy that I will remember is the polarisation of this country. It is not too late; I believe the President still has enough time left to bring this country together.
I was very happy when I saw that my founder and my flagbearer plus their
[HAJIA MAHAMA] entourage were all present at the state banquet. In actual fact, I think that is a move in the right direction. When we take off like that, I think we can get somewhere.
Mr. Speaker, lastly, I believe that the President says we should be proud to be Ghanaians. What I have noticed of our President since the seven years that he has been in power is that he is always telling us that we are supposed to be proud to be Ghanaians but he is always in suit. I believe he should wear a lot more of Ghanaian attire to functions, especially state functions and do everything else to improve upon this image.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker for the opportunity.
Mr. Asamoah-Boateng 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, she may have finished, but she must withdraw -- She is misleading the House. My hon. Colleague said the President is always -- “always” -- maybe she does not understand the English Language. I think she has to withdraw. He is not always in suit.
Prof. Mike Oquaye (NPP -- Dome/ Kwabenya) 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this debate. Mr. Speaker, His Excellency spoke about the canker of corruption and it has generated a number of viewpoints in a number of arenas.
Mr. Speaker, we all agree that corruption is a menace and that it is something that affects economic development. And it is even more dangerous for the weak, the vulnerable and the poor and for that reason there is no doubt about the need to tackle this menace. His Excellency the President has consistently taken a stand against corruption.
Mr. Speaker, I would like it to be
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The hon. Professor Mike Oquaye seems to be indicting His Excellency the President. He knows that the President declared a zero tolerance for corruption slogan yet he just said that fighting corruption is not by slogans. Is he indicting the President?
Mr. Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon. Member for Tamale South, this is not a point of order.
Prof. Oquaye 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, His Excellency the President, being so knowledgeable and committed, moved beyond sloganism and led this country by repealing the Criminal Libel Law, for example. Mr. Speaker, it is a way of bringing sanity into the system, making everything plain, allowing people to speak, allowing people to publish whatever they may have so that things would not be swept under any carpet. Mr. Speaker, it is in this very spirit that the Public Procurement Act, the Financial Administration Act, the Central Internal Audit Agency Act and the Whistle Blower's Act were passed.
Dr. Kwame Ampofo 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
on a point of order. The hon. Member is misleading the House and the whole nation. The Criminal Libel Law was not repealed to fight corruption; it was repealed to give freedom and inde- pendence to the press; that is all that it
Mr. Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon. Member, you have no point of order.
Prof. Oquaye 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, under the 1992 Constitution, one of the main functions of the media is to unearth corruption; it is there in black and white. Mr. Speaker, by this provision, by empowering the media you are therefore asking them to fulfil their functions as provided by our law. Mr. Speaker, the Economic and Organised Crime Bill is also in preparation to broaden the scope of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and to provide against the proceeds of crime.
Furthermore, in line with public policy formulation to tackle corruption, the Public Officers Liability Bill is also under preparation under the leadership of the President. Mr. Speaker, it would include a code of conduct for public officers. This is based on a code of conduct prepared by the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ). Among other things, it would ensure the redefinition of conflict interest, provide more stringently on the declaration of assets and ensure better probity in public service.
Mr. Speaker, if you want to tackle corruption, you empower anti-corruption agencies and Mr. Speaker, with your permission, I would give a few very vital developments in the Republic in this direction. If you take the CHRAJ, in the year 1998, they were given ¢3.4 billion; in 1999 -- ¢6.1 billion, 2000 -- ¢5.6 billion, 2001 -- ¢5.9 billion, 2002 -- ¢12.4 billion, 2003 -- ¢24.9 billion, 2004 -- ¢25.8 billion, 2005 -- ¢25.2 billion, 2006 -- ¢31.9billion, 2007 -- ¢36.4 billion and in 2008 they have been provided ¢41 billion to operate.
Mr. Speaker, this kind of empowerment is what I describe as policy steps, administrative steps towards effectually combating corruption.

Nii Amasah Namoale: Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member is quoting absolute figures. We all know that there is a little inflation and definitely when they are presenting the budget they increase things. So if he is saying that since 1993, he is quoting and he is increasing it at an increasing rate, he is just quoting absolute figures. What was the dollar exchange for the cedi? What is the cost of petrol? What is the cost of other things? So the figures he is quoting are absolute figures; he should compare them and tell us the prices of things and why these amounts were given than telling us in 1996, this number and that number. When President Kufuor is no longer in office and anybody comes and increases it by even one per cent, it will be an increment.
Prof. Oquaye 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, if you consider that in 2005 CHRAJ was given ¢5.8 billion and that in 2008, it is ¢41 billion, that you cannot deny that is an astronomical increase and that is something to write home about. That is exactly the essence of this argument.
Dr. Kunbuor 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a point of order because my hon. Colleague is misleading this House, grossly. Apart from not seeing the relevance of those figures, the President does not appropriate. So when he is
Mr. Speaker 11 a.m.
Order! Order!
Dr. Kunbuor 11 a.m.
Any estimates at all that are brought to this House, it is the House that finally makes the appropriation, it is not the President.
Prof. Oquaye 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Executive found it necessary, in the light of its programme, in the light of the need to combat corruption, to ask and this honourable House graciously gave -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon. Member, you want to yield to him?
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I believe that our Colleague hon. Kunbuor is completely misleading everybody. What then is the essence of him and his Colleagues constantly chastising the Government or the Executive for making monies available to the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Electoral Commission and the rest? The Executive brings the proposals and when it does, Parliament has no authority to add to it anyway.
So what he is saying is a distortion of the fact. The fact that you give parliamentary approval to it, makes it just like a ratification process. If you ratify it, does it mean that you are the originator?
So I do not see how he can take exception to what my hon. Colleague is articulating on our side. I believe that he is trying to mislead the whole House and

the nation. He must understand, and I know he understands that the Executive is responsible for initiating any Bill that has to do with finance. It is constitutional; he is a Lawyer and he must understand that. He must understand he cannot initiate any Bill which has financial implications.

Why then does he arrogate to himself the glory as if there is anything like that within inverted commas of what is being said? I think he is completely out of order and Mr. Speaker, he must be so ruled out of order.
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon. Member for Dome- Kwabenya (Prof. Oquaye), hon. Member for New Juaben has taken plenty of your time so you may be winding up; please, go ahead.
Prof. Oquaye 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in actual fact, the Appropriation Bill, as we all know, is on the authority of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana. Mr. Speaker, just to continue with that very line, if you look at the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), a very, very important institution also in that same direction, Mr. Speaker, it moved from ¢5.20 billion in 2000 to ¢21.04 billion currently. Mr. Speaker, this is to show the commitment of His Excellency the President in this regard. Mr. Speaker, His Excellency the President referred to gigantic strides that this country has made in foreign relations.
Mr. Speaker, our President is not the inventor of economic diplomacy, but he has done so excellently in this regard, Mr. Speaker, that is worthy of note for the record.
Mr. Speaker, when I was appointed High Commissioner, His Excellency took the trouble to tell me that within one year, he would be in India in order
to put economic diplomacy on the level that it should be. And Mr. Speaker, His Excellency did come. As a result of his intervention, we had the Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in Information Technology. We had 3,000 tractors unprecedented in our relations. We had the Flagstaff House, a credit to this nation as a whole.
The Ghana Police was equipped as never before; and Mr. Speaker, his intervention is something that has brought progress, not only nationally but internationally.
Mr. Speaker, it is worthy of note, that our President was not in line for the Chairmanship of the African Union (AU). Mr. Speaker, someone else was, but Mr. Speaker, there was problem in their country and with Africa no longer wanting to do the thing regarding Idi Amin whereby because it is somebody's turn, it must be given to him no matter the circumstances, decided to step that particular person in line down and to go round and look for someone who could bring dignity to Africa. Mr. Speaker, that person happened to be our President; and we need all to be proud of that.
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I am one of the persons who were personally pleased when the President was considered as the African Union (AU) Chairman. But the hon. Member is misleading this House. The President became AU Chairman by default. Indeed President Tarbo Mbeki is reported publicly -- [Interruptions.] He became AU Chairman -- I was pleased by it, but it was by default. [Interruptions.]
It was meant for Sudan and because of the developments in that country, they
could not present their candidacy. If he says they went round -- Nobody went round to choose our President. It was there that they took a summersault decision to make him the AU Chairman.
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon. Member this is not a point of order; let him continue. I have ruled that there is no point of order; there is no further explanation to this. Hon. Member for Dome -- [Interruptions.]
Prof. Oquaye 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, as a general character of us, when the President spoke about the West African Gas Pipeline, we are not going to assume that he invented that wheel. Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact, as early as September 1995, the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) signed the Heads of State Agreement with regard to the West African Gas Pipeline.
Mr. Speaker, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) also worked on this in February 2000. These are facts on record, but after these, tremendous efforts were made by His Excellency the President. Mr. Speaker, if you have a look at the history of the gas pipeline in terms of Ghana's role, seeking finance, obtaining it, both from Nigeria and from development partners, up to the time when it was finally brought to the doorsteps of this country from the year 2005 to the moment, you cannot but congratulate His Excellency the President for the great work that has been done in that connection.

Nii Namoale: Mr. Speaker, my hon. Colleague is saying that in 1995, the PNDC signed the agreement on this West African Gas Pipeline. It was not PNDC, [Inter-ruptions] it was NDC, so he should correct the fact.
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon. Member for Dome, please, continue.
Prof. Oquaye 11:10 a.m.
Before 2000, the NDC was not there. That achievement in the 1990s -- [Interruptions.] Mr. Speaker, the Bui Dam achievements. In the same vein, despite the discoveries that were made earlier, as early as 1920, if you look at the history of that project, nothing significant was done, until His Excellency the President formed a Cabinet Committee on the Bui Dam and took that matter up personally as a crusade. Mr. Speaker, after that things started to happen quickly, September 2004, [Interruption.]
Dr. Kunbuor 11:20 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, I guess that my hon. Colleague who I know is sufficiently knowledgeable in political history, is misleading this House. When he said that from the history nothing has ever been done substantially -- Is he assuming? Does he know that the West African Gas Pipeline was actually based on a treaty that was signed and that other member states were also in their preparations before the implemen-tation could start?
So when the hon. Member behaves as if Ghana alone could unilaterally speed up what was taking place in relation to the Gas Pipeline, it is not an accurate situation. Regardless of what speed the President would have had, if the other partner states or contracting parties were not ready, that speed could not have brought about the commencement of the Gas Pipeline.
So it is not entirely accurate to let it look like unilaterally we just picked it and gave it impetus and it brought results, except the hon. Member wants to say that Ghana was lagging behind its commitments.
Prof. Oquaye 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, His Excellency also spoke about oil that we have found. [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Member for South Dayi, are you on a point of order?
Dr. Kwame Ampofo 11:20 a.m.
Yes, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, in is contribution, the hon. former Minister for Energy is saying that with the Bui Project, nothing significant had happened until His Excellency the President formed a Committee to follow it up. That is totally untrue because even by the year 2000 and 2001 the contract for the Bui Dam had been awarded to Root and Brown on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis.
They (NPP) came and stopped that project. In fact, the environmental impact studies were then going on, and that also was stopped in September, 2001. Therefore, it is never true that nothing significant was happening when already, the contractors to construct the dam were in place. Had it not been for the stoppage by this Government, the Bui Dam would have been ready by the year 2006 and we would not have had the power crisis that we had.
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Member for Dome, please, conclude -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Member, conclude on his behalf.
Mr. Kan-Dapaah 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am unable to conclude on his behalf. I just want to correct the statement that was made by the hon. Member who last spoke (Dr. Ampofo). I think because everything that we say here is recorded and for the sake of history let us always get it right. Mr. Speaker, the NDC had not entered into any formal contract with Root and Brown;
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Member, for Dome-Kwabenya you may now conclude.
Prof. Oquaye 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, I would say boldly that in fact one can say “never so good”. If you consider the HIPC, the MCA, the Cash- and-Carry, the cocoa that was below three hundred thousand tonnes per annum which under His Leadership has gone up to over seven hundred and fifty thousand tonnes, if you consider the peace that we are enjoying, the freedom that reigns throughout the nation, Mr. Speaker, we can say that, “never so good”.
Mr. Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo (NDC -- Wa Central) 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, let me start by doing a brief survey of the development terrain in the year 2000. When the NPP Government came into power, they found an economy that was favourably placed to take off and achieve. For the first time in all the major cities in Ghana, there had been roads that were asphalted and the communication system was superb.
We had a digital telephone network and the economy was ready for a take off. It saddens me so much that at any time that the President has an opportunity to present an Address to the nation, he does acknowledge the fact that he had been handed over a baton and that he did not start from the scratch.
There had been earlier pronounce- ments made by some hon. Members, about a tattered economy, about a situation
where the Government came to take over an economy that was in a shock and eventually, using the President's words, run into a stroke. Mr. Speaker, the difficulty we are having now is the fact that we cannot acknowledge the successes that were chalked in the past and that poses the difficulty and the challenge of leadership.
The problem we have now, which has also been the problem of most Third World countries is that we cannot move away from dependence on external support. That is the major problem this Government has now. We claim we have made a lot of successes in the economy, that we have achieved greatness; we have achieved success and growth from year to year. The truth about it is that it has been sponsored all by external support; it had been sponsored by the fact that we had our loans forgiven us through the HIPC initiative. We did not do that on our own; and we have to acknowledge that truth.
Mr. Baah-Wiredu 11:30 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, nobody has reinvented Ghana. The Nkrumah regime was there and Limann's regime was there before the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC). How much did we recognize Limann's Government?
Mr. Speaker, when we took over, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate was 3.7 per cent and it is now 6.5 per cent. On 1st January, 2000, ¢3,500.00 was for one dollar. At the end of the year, it
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Baah-Wiredu 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the road from Tetteh-Quarshie to Madina is being financed from the multi-lateral debt relief. The road from Neoplan Service Station to Ofankor is also being financed through that; the road from Asankragua to Enchi is being financed through that. So if they decided not to take that initiative, that was their making. So the GDP growth rate was 3.7 per cent.
The exchange rate depreciated by over 100 per cent from ¢3,500.00 to ¢7,000.00. The interest rate on treasury bill was 46 per cent and now it is 11 per cent. That is where the difference is coming from. We are prepared to take them on -- [Interruption.] He should come and we would take it [Uproar.]
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Member, I do not understand why you are standing. Hon. Member for Wa Central, please, continue except you want to yield to him.
Mr. Chireh 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, no, he is not yielding. I want to draw your attention to the fact that the Standing Orders are clear about raising points of order. But when hon. Members get up -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
I have not called you. Please, resume your seat.
Mr. Pelpuo 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the so- called point of order by the hon. Minister for Finance and Economic Planning has compounded the problem. The main purpose of this presentation is to say that we have a problem in this country and the problem is that we have a sick economy and the difference between what happened the last time, which he is complaining about and what is happening now, is the same. In fact, the difference -- [Interruptions.]
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Pelpuo 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, we inherited an economy that was almost growing at a negative rate. We took it to a positive rate of growth and that acknowledgement must be made public and must be accepted by my hon. Friends at the opposite side. When we cannot work together as a country, when we cannot work together and acknowledge common truths, then we have this problem that the hon. Minister for Finance and Economic Planning is facing.
Mr. Speaker, the truth is that this economy has always been oiled by
external support, foreign aid, and that is something that we need to move away from. Even when we want to go for the Euro bond, a private sector borrowing, what we do is to still go for external sources. The major problem we are facing, which is acknowledged and he also acknowledged it himself, is the fact that we are having a problem of domestic resource mobilization. He acknowledged it when he read the Budget and complained of our inability to tax mobile phones coming into this country.
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Member, we are dealing with the President's State of the Nation Address, not the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
Mr. Pelpuo 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the other issue I want to mention is the Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). The APRM that the President mentioned was just a headline introductory issue -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Minister, we are not debating your Budget. Hon. Member, you may resume.
Mr. Baah-Wiredu 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, he is misleading the House. We have six continents and all countries depend on
each other. China made a surplus of $1.2 trillion in the year 2006 and they invested US$900 billion in the US economy. Does it mean that the US economy depends on only external resources? Countries depend on each other. We have been exporting cocoa for more than 100 years now. Are we saying that those over there are dependent on our cocoa only? It is trade.
So I am telling my hon. Friend that what happened in 1979 -- the demolition of Makola and other things which are symbols of economic investment -- And when hotels are being pulled down, what did they think was going to happen? That was the economic effect of what they were doing. The Citizens Vetting Committee, what happened to it? The people's shops, how did they manage them?
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Member, please, continue.
Mr. Pelpuo 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, there is a simple truth we cannot run away from. We have a distorted fiscal policy regime and it is manifested in all its forms in this Government, that we cannot in fact -- and it is accepted throughout. In fact, the President himself accepted it that we cannot, mobilize funds within our own country and there is a high dependency rate on external sources. It is there; it is all the time there.
Mr. Speaker, I am again very unhappy about the President's pronouncement on the APRM. The APRM is a very important instrument that is accepted by African countries to do self-monitoring so that they bring out issues that can inform how we behave and how we run our economy, how we run our governance structure and how we run our corporate governance. At the end of the APRM work on Ghana, Ghana
accepted to be the first to present itself to the African Peer Review (APR). There were suggestions and recom-mendations to Government.
After seven years in office and after a whole year of presiding over the affairs of this country, the President finds it difficult to come here and tell us exactly what he is doing on the recommendations.
What he spelt out is just to tell us
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:30 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order that the hon. Member is seriously misleading this House by saying that the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana is subject to Executive control. That is a very, very serious statement to make on the floor of the House. He may have problems with the existing relations as structured by the Constitution but to say that as we debate in this House now, Parliament is subject to Executive control, is grossly misleading and he ought to withdraw that statement.
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Member for Wa Central, did you say that?
Mr. Pelpuo 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, what I am saying is that a report from the APRM -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
No! No! Did you say that?
Mr. Pelpuo 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am reporting from the report of the APRM and the book is here. Their finding is that Ghanaians are not happy about the fact that the Executive and the Legislature are so close and that there appears to be a control of the Legislature by the Executive. As a result of this concern, there is a recommendation that as much as possible, the Government should work to separate the functions of the Legislature from those of the Executive. [Interruption.] It is here. So I am saying that if the President is reporting on the APRM after one year, he should at least, inform us about what he has done in those directions. [Interruptions.]
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Members, let us have decorum.
Mr. Pelpuo 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the most critical problem is the recommendation by the APRM that there is a vast difference between the growth in the South and the North and that there is no equitable development. There is a very serious recommendation that we want to see equity in development, equity in the distribution of resources and that the Government should do something about it.
Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Please, wind up, you have had more than 10 minutes.
Mr. Pelpuo 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, human exclusion in the development of the region has increased in the Upper West Region, it is more than 50 per cent. These are problems and these are very palpable areas we would have wanted the President to report on.
Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, what I want to say is that there was the need for the President to report on every aspect of the economy, every aspect of our social life. Indeed on those areas that touch so close to our hearts he has ignored them. The situation of the economy is not the one we want to see happen. We are not seeing an economy dependent on Ghanaians themselves, we are seeing an economy dependent on external sources and it is a disturbance to us. We are seeing an economy supporting an economy that is skewed at one side.
Mr. Baah-Wiredu 11:40 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, my hon. Friend is misleading the whole country. I think the District Assemblies Common Fund is distributed equitably, and it is approved by us. The Canadians are also supporting with the District Assistance Programme which goes to all the districts in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
Mr. Speaker, the Bui Dam Project when completed is going to give us 400 megawatts to support electricity supply in the three northern regions. Mr. Speaker, the Northern Region Development Fund of Ghana is a fund that is being set up, and it shows that commitment to develop. What we have to do is to reduce the incidence of conflicts, which is very, very important in all our respective areas.
Mr. Speaker, nobody is going to be left out when even the oil find comes on stream
Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon. Minister, I will give you plenty of time to reply. Make notes in the meantime. Please, conclude.
Mr. Pelpuo 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, it is important for us to know that the Government and the economy have to be up and doing, and that you make policies to attempt to solve specific problems. If you do general policy approach to general problems, you fail and you achieve nothing. If there is a problem in the North, you attack it with specific solutions. The idea of a northern fund is good but it is half-hearted and it has not got the needed political will as we need.
Mr. Speaker, I will encourage him to work harder to bring on board in a more practical way so that we can see a more energetic approach to solving the problems of the North.
Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
You have finished?
Mr. Baah-Wiredu 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, our approach to it is never, never half-hearted -- [Uproar] -- We are going out with a full heart.
Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon. Minister, wait until you are called upon, please.
Mr. Oppey Abbey (NPP -- Awutu- Senya) 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the motion on the floor. Mr. Speaker, I have been asking myself, what has been the secret of the achievement chalked by His Excellency and his Government over the past seven years? Mr. Speaker, this secret has been answered in the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency on the 14th of
Mr. C. S. Hodogbey 11:40 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member is deceiving the House. He is only cataloguing infrastructure as if nothing had been done by previous governments. Then he was talking about insecurity. We know of the Mobilla and the Ya-Na case which have not been resolved, and he is telling us about achievements in that regard.
I think he should gear his comments on the motion to more pressing problems, when Ghanaians' pockets now are dried more than when they came to meet them. Today, Ghanaians are suffering from water shortage and other things. Go to Accra, go to Kumasi, go to other places to which they claim they are providing water. People are suffering, before they came to power, there were several areas which had been receiving water, but today, all these areas are dried up and you are taking credit --
Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon. Member, this is not the time to contribute. I will call you later. You have no point of order at all. Let him continue.
Mr. Abbey 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you for ignoring him. Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, we were in this country when a similar incident happened to His Excellency, President J. A. Kufuor which nearly cost his life yet, the man is still alive, defending himself in the law courts.
Mr. L. A. B. Fuseini 11:50 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to get my hon. Friend to state
the fact as it is. Mr. Speaker, to say that instant justice was meted out to a driver who was involved in an accident with the former President is to grossly mislead this House and the nation at large.
Mr. Speaker, that is so serious that it must not be allowed to pass and I call on him to withdraw the statement because it is so serious. To say that a driver was involved in an accident with the President and instant justice was meted to him -- By whom? Mr. Speaker, he must withdraw the statement.
Mr. Abbey 11:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I thank you for ignoring yet another hon. Member.
Mr. Speaker 11:50 a.m.
But did you say that?
Mr. Abbey 11:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I did not say that. I said what happened to the man is history. This was all what I said.
Mr. Speaker, a similar incident happened and the motorist is now defending himself in the law courts. Mr. Speaker, if this is not good governance, upholding of the rule of law; then what is it?
Mr. Speaker, thank you for your indulgence.
Mr. Speaker 11:50 a.m.
We will stand this debate down and attend to other matters. We may come back to it when we have time.
Item 9 -- Motion, Chairman of the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation?
Mr. F. A. Agbotse 11:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, we have just had discussion with the hon. Minister responsible and we will take this first thing tomorrow.
Mr. Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Item 11 -- Motion, Minister for Chieftaincy and Culture?

Minister for Chieftaincy and Culture (Mr. S. K. Boafo) 11:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, that the Chieftaincy Bill be read a Second time. Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the Bill is to consolidate with amendments to the Chieftaincy Act, (Act 370) to bring the Act into conformity with the provisions on the subject in the Constitution and to include new proposals. The Bill also consolidates eight pieces of enactment which are amendments to the Act:
a. The Chieftaincy Act, No. 370, has been in existence since 1971, i.e. for a period of thirty- seven years. Since then, there have been two Constitutions in 1979 and 1992, our present Constitution. There have also been several military procla- mations and statutes, all of which have made far-reaching effects on the institution of chieftaincy and on chiefs.
b. The current 1992 Constitution has made serious changes in the law pertaining to chiefs and chieftaincy which are in conflict with existing statutory provisions. Rather than leave issues on conflicts to the chiefs or to the courts, it is deemed necessary to make amendments which will bring the laws in conformity with the Constitution. This is well spelt out in the memorandum to the Bill.
c. There has been the tendency to continue the use of old expressions inherited from the colonial period but which do not reflect the realities of modern times. It has therefore become necessary to amend

even the language that is used on chieftaincy matters in the interest of the nation and in order to modernize the institution. Expressions in previous statutes which have the effect of creating the dominance of the Akan language or Akan culture in statutes covering chieftaincy have had to be re-examined and redrafted.

New Features

From the foregoing, new features which have had to be made in the amendments to bring about the stated objectives are these:

i. Purely administrative functions were originally assigned to the Office of the President at the time when there was no Ministry for Chieftaincy affairs. This is found no more relevant in view of the establishment of a substantive Ministry charged with responsibility for chiefs and chieftaincy.

ii. The period for the President and Vice-President of the National House of Chiefs have been amended to coincide with the life of Parliament so as to allow the chiefs to retire with the Government which appoints them for the performance of some statutory functions.

iii. To facilitate the work of members of judicial committees of traditional councils engaged in the performance of judicial functions, provision has been made for the first time for lawyers to be recruited for service there. In order not to burden the Government with over expenditure on chiefs, the provision has been so worded

as to allow the recruitment of national service personnel.

iv. For the first time, provision has been made for capacity building for chiefs so as to assist them to improve the quality of the performance of their duties.

v. To reduce the incidents that tend to bring the institution of chieftaincy into ridicule and to avoid abuse of legal processes, provisions on the use of injunctions and effect of stay of executions have been re-examined and amended appropriately.

vi. To give the Act a truly national character, expressions connoting general concepts have been used in place of words which seemed to emphasize on the dominance of one tribe. These include words like installation instead of enstoolment or enskinment, deposition instead of destoolment and deskinment, adikrofo which has for the first time been given the English equivalent for the benefit of non-Akan speakers.

Mr. Speaker, another area which we feel must be retained is section 52 of the Modern Act but it has been amended which is now section 77 or clause 77 necessary to retain that clause but with the new clause appearing in the memorandum to the Bill to read as follows:

“In order to forestall unnecessary violence and arrest potential troubles arising from chieftaincy disputes which often lead to loss of lives and property, it is important to retain this section as is stated in clause 77.”

So Mr. Speaker, I would like to conclude by saying that the Bill which is before Parliament now has seen nearly eight years of drafting and redrafting. Let me emphasize that this is a golden opportunity for this Parliament to modernize the institution of Chieftaincy and give our nation what every citizen fervently cherishes as essential part of national life.

Question proposed.
Mr. Kwame Asiamah (NPP -- Atwima Mponua) 11:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to present the Committee on Sports, Youth and Culture's Report to this august House.
1.0 Introduction
In pursuance of article 106 (3) and (4) of the Constitution, and Order 187 of the Standing Orders of Parliament, the Chieftaincy Bill was laid in the House on the 30th October, 2007 and referred to the Committee on Youth, Sports and Culture for examination and report.
2.0 Deliberations
The Committee held a two-day Stakeholders' Workshop and consultative session to deliberate on the Bill. The Minister for Chieftaincy and Culture hon. Sampson Kwaku Boafo and his technical team, the President and representatives of the National House of Chiefs, Mr. P. O. Appiah of the Attorney-General's Department were all in attendance at the invitation of the Committee to assist in its deliberations. Memoranda and other submissions were also received from stakeholders.
3.0 References
The Committee had recourse to the
underlisted documents in considering the referral:
i) The Chieftaincy Act, 1961 (Act
i i ) C h i e f t a i n c y (Amendment) Decree, 1966
(N.L.C.D. 112)
i i i ) C h i e f t a i n c y (Amendment) Decree, 1967
(N.L.C.D. 112)
iv) Chieftaincy (Amendment) (No. 2) Decree, 1967 (N.L.C.D. 136)
v) Chieftaincy (Amendment) (No. 3) Decree, 1967 (N.L.C.D. 203)
vi) Chieftaincy (Amendment) (No. 4) Decree, 1967 (N.L.C.D. 205)
vii) Chieftaincy (Amendment) (No. 5) Decree, 1967 (N.L.C.D.
v i i i ) C h i e f t a i n c y (Amendment) Decree, 1968
(N.L.C.D. 227)
ix) Chieftaincy (Amendment) (No. 2) Decree, 1968 (N.L.C.D.
x) Chieftaincy (Amendment) (No. 3) Decree, 1968 (N.L.C.D. 312)
xi) Chieftaincy Act, 1971, (Act
xii) Chieftaincy (Status of Chiefs) Act, 1972 (N.R.C.D. 99)
x i i i ) P r e s e n t a t i o n s a n d clarifications by Resource Person
xiv) Chieftaincy Bill
x v ) T h e 1 9 9 2 R e p u b l i c a n Consti- tution of Ghana; and
xvi) The Standing Orders of Par- liament.
3.1 The Committee also referred to memoranda from the following:
i. Presidential Commission on Chieftaincy Affairs
ii. National House of Chiefs
iii. Ashanti Region House of Chiefs
iv. Hon. Kosi Kedem
v. Volta Region House of Chiefs.
4.0 Background
The Chieftaincy Act, (Act 370) was enacted in 1971 and had since undergone several amendments. In recognition of the need to consolidate the amendments to the substantive Act, and bring it in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution, the Law Reform Commission initiated nationwide consultative sessions with critical stakeholder institutions on the subject-matter. Proposals submitted by the Law Reform Commission and the Chieftaincy institution identified legislative gaps and also highlighted areas of novelty all which necessitated the introduction of this Bill.
The Bill continues the existence of the various bodies subject to the provisions of the Bill. Under section 1 (9) of the current Chieftaincy Act, the tenure of office of the President, Vice-President and the other members of the National House of Chiefs is three years which can be renewed except that the President cannot hold office for more than two terms in succession.
Mr. Kwame Asiamah (NPP -- Atwima Mponua) 11:50 a.m.

5.0 Object of the Bill

The Bill seeks to consolidate with amendments in the Chieftaincy Act, 1971 (Act 370) to bring the act into conformity with the provisions on the subject in the Constitution and to include new proposals. The Bill also consolidates eight pieces of enactments with the amendments to the Act.

6.0 Provisions of the Bill

6.1 The Committee examined the Bill in detail and observed that it provides for the National House of Chiefs; Regional Houses of Chiefs; Traditional and Divisional Councils; Chieftaincy matters, Jurisdiction and Judicial Committees; Proceedings in Chieftaincy matters; Stool Property; Customary Law; Chief and Miscellaneous Provisions.

Provisions of various Clauses of the Bill

6.1.2 National House of Chiefs

The composit ion, election and functions of members of the National House of Chiefs are provided for in clauses 1, 2 and 3 while clauses 4 and 5 empowers the National House of Chiefs to make Standing Orders for the orderly conduct of business and stipulates its meeting schedule respectively.

6.1.3 Regional House of Chiefs

Clauses 6, 7 and 8 make provision for the composition of the Regional Houses of Chiefs; creates the offices of the President and Vice-President of the Regional Houses and their election. Functions and Committees of the Regional Houses, their power to make Standing Orders to regulate their operation and their meetings are provided for in clauses 9, 10 and 11 respectively.

6.1.4 Traditional and Divisional Councils

Clauses 12 and 13 establish in each region a Traditional Council and provide for the office of President for the Councils. Membership and meetings of the Councils are provided for in clauses 14 and 15. The Divisional Councils, their membership, presidency meetings and functions are covered in clauses 16 to 21.


6 . 1 . 5 C h i e f t a i n c y M a t t e r s ,

Jurisdiction and Judicial Committee

Provisions on the original and appellate jurisdictions of the National House of Chiefs as well as appeals to the Supreme Court are stated in clauses 22, 23 and 24. The Judicial Committee of the National House is established in Clause 25. Clause 26 to 30 provide for the original and appellate jurisdictions of the Regional Houses, the Judicial Committees of these Houses, jurisdiction of the Regional Traditional Councils and power to resort to customary arbitration in settlement of disputes respectively.

6.1.6 Proceedings in Chieftaincy Matters

Clause 31 empowers Judic ia l Committees of Traditional Councils to receive in evidence any matter including hearsay. Clause 32 makes provision for the award of security of cost in proceedings before the Committee while clause 33 provides generally for proceedings before Houses of Chiefs and clause 34 also makes provision for particular types of appeal to operate as stay of execution.

The provisions of clauses 35 to 43 cover the conduct of proceedings before a Traditional Council, filling of vacancies in Judicial Committees of relevant House or Council, the enforcement of judgement of Houses of Chiefs or Traditional Councils, the protection of parties, counsel and witnesses, criminal sanctions for

obstruction of proceedings, the right to institute proceedings for destoolment, the recording of proceedings in Chieftaincy matters in writing, the procedure for making application in chieftaincy matters.

6.1.7 Stool Property

Stool properties and the procedure for alienation and seizure of such properties are stated in clauses 44, 45 and 46.

Provisions on the recovery of stool property affected by chieftaincy disputes as well as its preservation are addressed in Clauses 47 and 48.

6.1.8 Customary Law

Clause 49 mandates the National House of Chiefs to promote the development of customary law and clause 50 spells out the functions of the Traditional Council relating to customary law. Under clause 51, a Regional House may draft a declaration which it considers to be the customary law rule applicable in the region or any part of it following representations from a Traditional Council on its own initiative or on a written request by the National House.

Alteration of customary law, effects of customary law on Regional House of Chiefs and assimilation of customary law are highlighted in clauses 52, 53 and 54. Clause 55 dwells on the assimilation of customary law and clause 56 indicates the method.

6.1.9 Chiefs and Miscellaneous Provisions

Clause 57 defines a chief and categories of chiefs are listed in clause 58. Clauses 59 - 63 deals with the National Register of chiefs, their contempt charges as well as issues relating installation and deposition. These clauses also include a

number of offences in connection with chiefs. In clauses 64 -70 the issues of Traditional and Divisional Councils as well as Accounts and Audit are addressed. Regulations are provided for in clause 71. Under clause 74 - 77, it is stated that the annual statement of accounts are to be submitted to stools.

It also makes regulations for elections and mentions the performance of functions conferred on the President. Clause 78 is the Interpretation clause and repeals, savings and transitional pro-visions is stated in clause 79.

7.0 Observations:

7 . 1 U s e o f E x p r e s s i o n s l i k e Stool, Destoolment and Deposition

The Committee observed that the two main symbols of authority in Ghana are the stool and the skin. Skin is used in Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions. Stools are used in the remaining Regions. The definition section of the Bill states that “stool” includes skin. The Bill uses destoolment and deposition in different sections. Destoolment means the unmaking of a chief who sits on a stool. Deskinment means the unmaking of a chief who sits on a skin.

The Committee further observed that to comply with the constitutional provisions in article 274 (3) (c), “deposition” which means destoolment or Deskinment must be used as the case maybe.

7.2 Categorization of Chiefs and the use of the word “Adikrofo”

The Committee was informed that “Adikrofo” is an Akan word and in fairness to chiefs who do not understand Akan, it will be safer to add “chiefs below the rank of a sub-chief” to that word.

7.3 “Appointment”/“Selection”
Mr. Kwame Asiamah (NPP -- Atwima Mponua) 11:50 a.m.

of Chiefs

The Committee was informed that in this country, chiefs (traditional or conventional chiefs) as envisaged by the 1992 Constitution are not appointed. Before becoming a chief, a person from the appropriate family lineage is no- minated, elected, selected, enstooled or enskinned in accordance with customary law and tradition in articles 274 (3) (c) and 277.

The Committee also noted that their status is ancestral and hereditary and the process is generally described as installation.

The term “appointment” may properly

be referred to unconventional or honorary chiefs such as migrant chiefs (for example Mosihene of Kumasi, Fante Chief of Accra, development chiefs --Nkosuohene, entrepreneurial chiefs - Bayerehemaa, et cetera). Such chiefs are indeed appointed to their positions as chiefs. Their appointments do not involve their having to belong to any special family or lineage in a particular family and they are not nominated, selected, enstooled or enskinned.

The use of “appointment” in the Bill to refer to conventional chiefs should be replaced by the word “selection”. This is actually the word used in the Chapter on Chieftaincy in the Constitution and deviation from it would be contrary to the Constitution.

7.4 Chieftaincy-Related Violence and Security of the State: Clause 77

In the light of the seemingly never- ending chieftaincy related violence, it is important that clause 77 be maintained. The Memorandum can be amended with a new clause to read: “In order to

forestall unnecessary violence and arrest potential troubles arising from chieftaincy disputes which often lead to loss of life and property, it is important to retain this section as stated in clause 77”.

7 .5 Some problems relat ing to chieftaincy

The Committee is of the view that problems that relate to chieftaincy in this country are hydra-headed. They need to be tackled seriously else there would be constant insecurity. Some of these are:

failure or inability of judicial committees to dispose of cases on time

insufficient financial allocation to institutions, for example who pays for allowances of judicial committee members at traditional council level? If the committees are allowed to levy their own charges, room might be created for systemic corruption.

inherent potential for disputes -- nomination, selection, enstoolment and enskinment, registration and lack of clear guidelines or on rules on succession

family issues -- royal family, lineage, timing of occupation, rotation and narrow family disputes.

7.6 Appointment of Lawyers for Regional and National Houses of Chiefs

The Committee again observed that one of the obvious problems facing the institution is the appointment of Counsel for Regional and National Houses of Chiefs. The Constitution under articles 273 (3) and 274 (5) provides for these appointments and every effort should be made to implement the constitutional


The Committee considered the suggestion that appointment of lawyers for traditional councils is of great importance because the bulk of chieftaincy disputes commence from traditional councils. To improve justice delivery at the traditional councils, it is suggested that at least National Service lawyers could be recruited to assist at that level.

The Committee recommends that this suggestion be included in the Bill.

7.7 Resourcing and capacity-building for Chiefs

The Committee further observed that, considering the pride chieftaincy brings to the people of this country and the fact that many Ghanaians identify their culture as what distinguishes them from everyone else, it is imperative to adequately resource chieftaincy as an institution and in particular strengthen its Research Unit which is engaged in ascertaining the lines of succession of chiefs in the country.

The Committee again noted that,

members of Judicial Committees are generally knowledgeable in their fields of expertise but are not lawyers or judges. It is considered necessary to insert in the Bill a clause on capacity building which would require members of Judicial Committees to attend courses -- at least on trial of cases, writing of judgments and performance of judicial functions. Without such a clause in the Bill, it may be difficult to get the chiefs to attend the training courses voluntarily.

7.8 Stay of execution, injunctions and rushed installations

It came to the notice of the Committee that by section 34 of the Bill, an appeal

to the Regional House of Chiefs or the National House of Chiefs operates as automatic stay of execution.

Again, where an order has been made dismissing a petition to install a chief, the winning parties may rush and install their chief within a record time of twenty-four to seventy-two hours, thus hardly giving the appellant any time to file an appeal. Whether or not they comply with the requirements of installation, all that the public would be told is that a new chief has been installed. The aim of the fast installation is to frustrate the effect of the appeal operating as a stay of execution.

In all these situations, the design is to spite the opponent or to derail or deflect the course of justice with a view to defeat the ends of justice.

To avert this, it is proposed that a new clause to this effect be introduced in the Bill:

a. No installation of a chief or queenmother shall be valid unless public notice of the installation has been given at least fourteen days prior to the day of the installation. The notice shall be in accordance with the custom of the area.

b. An interim injunction shall not be effective if it is granted within the last seven days prior to the day of the installation.

c. An appeal shall not operate as stay of execution if it is filed within the last seven days prior the day of installation to which a two-week public notice has been given.

These suggestions are to be added to clause 34.
Mr. Kwame Asiamah (NPP -- Atwima Mponua) 11:50 a.m.

7.9 Presidential Responsibilities and the Creation of Chieftaincy Ministry

The Committee took note of the fact that certain functions were assigned to the President at a time when there was no particular Ministry charged with the responsibility for chieftaincy matters. Now that there is a substantive Ministry in place, there is no justification for saddling the President with those purely administrative responsibilities. The Bill may reassign these functions and responsibilities to the Minister, as they are not entrenched in the Constitution. Some of these are:

a. Clause 71, add Minister for Chieftaincy to the clause

b. Clause 76, replace public officer with Minister for Chieftaincy.

c. Clause 62, include submission to Minister as well

d. All the administrative res- ponsibilities in clause 59 should be reconsidered and some of the Presidents' assignments there reassigned to the Minister for Chieftaincy Affairs.

7.10 In the l ight of the above

observations, the Committee proposes the following amendments for consideration by the House; the list includes corrections made to typographical errors, omissions as well as redraft of some of the clause to give clarity to the provision.

8.0 Amendments Proposed

(i) Clause 2, amendment proposed, subclause (3), delete and insert the


“(3) A person is not qualified to be President or Vice-President of the National House of Chiefs if that person:

a) has been sentenced to death or to a term of imprisonment exceeding twelve months without the option of a fine or has been convicted of an offence involving dis- honesty or moral turpitude and in each case has not been granted free pardon, or

b) is adjudged to be a person of unsound mind, or

c ) hav ing been dec la red insolvent or bankrupt under a law in force in the Republic or in any other country is an undischarged insolvent or bankrupt, or

d) having professional quali- fication, is disqualified from practising the profession by the order of a competent authority of that profession not made at the request of that person.”

(ii) Clause 2, amendment proposed, delete subclause (5) and insert the following:

“(5) The Registrar of the National House shall by notice published in the Chieftaincy Bulletin provided for under section 60 convene a meeting of the:

(a) National House, where the vacancy is in respect of the President or Vice-President of the National House, or

(b) relevant Regional House,

where the vacancy is in respect of any other member of the National House within sixty days after the publication of the notice for the election of a President, Vice-President or member of National House and shall invite the Electoral Commission to supervise the election.”

(iii) Clause 6, amendment proposed, subclause (2), paragraph (a), line one, delete “National” and insert “Regional”.

(iv) Clause 8,amendment proposed, subclause (1), paragraph (b), for “Electoral Commission” substitute “Registrar of the Regional House”.

(v) Clause 11, amendment pro- posed,subclause (5), line five, delete all the words after “member” to the end of the paragraph and insert the following after “member” “not present”.

(vi) Clause 15, amendment proposed
-- 11:50 a.m.

Mr. J. Y. Chireh (NDC -- Wa West) noon
Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the motion but to make a few comments. The first is that this law that is being revised was passed at a time when the system of government had two levels of leadership a Prime Minister and a Ceremonial President. This time round we have a Presidential system and therefore some of the suggestions that have been made by both the Ministry and the Committee are not far-reaching enough.
There are some responsibilities, that have been assigned to the President to perform in the Bill but I think that when we come to consider all the amendments that have been proposed we should look at the context in which this Bill is being passed.
Secondly, in future, if any Bill is to be referred to any committee or appropriate
Mr. J. Y. Chireh (NDC -- Wa West) noon

select committee, we should look at its import, particularly chieftaincy and the fact that we are making the law subsequent to article 274 of the Constitution that deals with Chieftaincy.

So I will prefer that in future when we are going to make a law that touches on the Constitution, the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs should be jointly charged with that responsibility.

Mr. Speaker, if you look at the recommendations that the Committee has made, particularly on the need to streamline the way people become chiefs, it requires research to be conducted, it requires a lot of work to be done so that we have a lineage succession, we know who is next to be chief so that the needless conflict that arise as a result of this will be avoided.

Unfortunately, we are leaving that big responsibility of the funding to donors and other people. Even Government's own involvement is limited. I know it is always due to lack of resources but if you compare that to the fact that because of chieftaincy conflicts we can deploy soldiers, security men and spend money, I think we should look at the issue of funding the research that will go a long way to minimize the conflicts.

I also think that the process should be incremental. Not that we should wait until we get a whole picture and then legislate or incorporate this into regulations. We should take even the first things first where chieftaincy is so clearly established and the systems are clear, it should not take that long to compile the succession lines.

We should go from one traditional
Mr. J. Y. Chireh (NDC -- Wa West) 12:10 p.m.

council area to another traditional council area and when people see that one traditional council area has been completely studied, the research is done, the lineages are established and it has been gazetted or put in the instrument the others will be encouraged to go the same direction, and we can make it faster.

Indeed, Mr. Speaker, the third point I want to make is about resourcing and building the capacity of chiefs. That is very important. Particularly, even the little duties we are giving them, the jurisdiction to determine cases, we need to let them know. Where it has not been possible for people who are educated and literate to be chiefs these people ought to be told in a formal system how they should go about their work in the judicial committees.

So it is very important that we build the capacity of the chiefs no matter their level of education. They should be guided through; and resourcing the chiefs, building their capacity particularly in relation to their judicial duties is very important.

I will therefore urge that again the Government should look at that because most of the conflicts arise from the fact that the chiefs too sit on committees. Some do not know the procedures; others do but let us eliminate the obvious ones through capacity-building and resourcing them to be able to do their work.

Again, the problem we have is about getting lawyers to serve as counsels for the various Houses of Chiefs and the Traditional Councils. We cannot again afford to leave this thing to chance because the cost of maintaining law and order when there is a conflict far exceeds the amount that we can pay handsomely to a lawyer to make him willing to serve on these councils.
Mr. J. Y. Chireh (NDC -- Wa West) 12:10 p.m.

I will therefore urge that we look at how we can enable these lawyers to be appointed as counsels for the various Houses of Chiefs and traditional councils so that justice, speedy determination of the cases is carried out.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for this opportunity.
Minister for Women and Children's Affairs (Hajia Alima Mahama) 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the motion. Mr. Speaker, we all appreciate the role our chiefs are performing, keeping social cohesion, adjudicating on matters at the community level. I will even dare say that more cases go to our chiefs than our courts - more cases go to their courts than the regular courts, especially in our rural communities.
Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity to visit the National House of Chiefs and I was pleasantly surprised that it was warm. I enjoyed my interaction with members of the National House of Chiefs. Mr. Speaker, I have also interacted with a number of queen mothers and they have raised some concerns and I believe it behoves me to present some of the issues that the queen-mothers have raised.
Mr. Speaker, the queen mothers are concerned about their inability to participate in activities of the National House of Chiefs or for that matter Regional Houses of Chiefs, Traditional Councils and even in the District Councils. I have looked through the current Bill and I appreciate the fact that under the definition of “Chiefs” - Clause 57, queen mothers are included. But in the categories of chiefs, clause 58, I realize that queen mothers are not mentioned.
At the Regional House of Chiefs level in their original jurisdiction to listen to matters, they have responsibility to also
look at issues on queenmothers.
But Mr. Speaker, I am concerned that we have not given visibility to queen mothers in this Bill. And reading through the memorandum, I recognized that some research had been done, they had gone out to talk to people and they have had some information and what queen mothers told them or whatever deductions they made on the responsibilities of queen mothers are not reflected in this Bill.
So I will urge the Minister for Chieftaincy and Culture to take a second look at the Bill and propose something that will make our queenmothers feasible on the face of the law. They do have a lot of responsibilities. Apart from saying that they are not present in the various Houses of Chiefs, the institutional framework set up, they do not also have any share of the various royalties either from stool or mineral resources.
Meanwhile they have a lot of responsibilities. Even on issues of domestic violence, they are the ones who take responsibility for that. They are the ones who disseminate relevant infor-mation to women in the rural com- munities. The queen mothers have also indicated that if for whatever reasons they cannot be in the National House of Chiefs, maybe legally we should put in place a framework so that they can have a Queen mother's Association or House of Queen mothers so that they can dovetail that into the work of the National House of Chiefs.
Mr. Speaker, it is my plea that hon. Members of the House will look at this issue and let this Bill go through and be within our relevant outlook, the outlook that we want to promote women's rights, the outlook that we are promoting gender equality, equity in women's empower- ment. And if an amendment is proposed in this regard it is my hope that hon.
Members will see it as their responsibility to reflect this belief in promoting women empowerment and human rights in this document and make our women more feasible by this law.
Mr. Speaker, when you look at the responsibilities and the functions as proposed in the Chieftaincy Bill, be it under the National House of Chiefs, be it under the Regional House of Chiefs, it includes adjudication of customary matters, it includes codifying our customary laws, it includes even reviewing the various customary laws and ensuring that they are in tandem with modern governance approach or even our human rights regime approach. And I believe that women have a role to play in these matters especially at the community level.
When it comes to really playing it out, working at the local level, it is women who work to keep the cohesion. They interpret the customs, they work with the communities to implement the various customs and they are also the ones who are affected by the negative impact of such customs. So if you look at the roles again, the interpretations of these various customs will definitely have a bearing on women and I will only plead that it is fair that there should be some kind of framework that they can input into the process of this exercise.
Mr. Speaker, it is again my hope that the section on traditional councils will also deal with the functions of the traditional councils so that we can clearly see if that is the area that we should put in fitting framework for the queen mothers. I went through it and it is not consistent with the various other provisions that have clearly defined functions of traditional councils.
I will urge the Minister to look at this and see if we can look at the role of
queen- mothers in traditional councils. Alternatively, he could look at how the Queen mothers' Association can relate at the traditional level within their various traditional council framework to the various traditional councils and make the work of the chiefs hold for the benefit of both men and women.
Mr. Speaker, let all of us take a share of the responsibility for promoting gender equality and women's empowerment in this country in any way or in any situation or under any circumstances that we find ourselves in. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. H. F. Kamel (NDC - Buem) 12:20 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am for the motion and I am very happy that the Bill takes into cognizance the changing times of society and how the institution of Chieftaincy which has played a very vital role in our developmental process should move along. But in spite of the very beautiful provisions, I have a problem with clause 19 of the Bill. I am saying I have a problem with clause 19 because it appears it might create problems if this House does not address the situation.
Maybe later on, I will evoke the necessary procedures to see if there could be an amendment. But with your permission, clause 19 says that,
“The presidency of a Divisional Council shall be held by the members of the Council on an annual rotational basis in alphabetical order of stool or skin name.”
What happens in many areas is that the Divisional Councils have a most senior chief and his authority is accepted, not questioned. They have for a very long time been presiding at Divisional Council meetings. If we are not careful and you

decide to allow the presidency to go on a rotational basis, it will create discontent because the most senior chief might not feel comfortable sitting with a junior chief presiding over the meeting. This is one grey area that I would like to draw the Minister's attention to. Maybe, when we come to the right stage, we might see what to do to be able to seek an amendment.

I also think that in spite of the laudable roles the chiefs have played in our local government administration, and even at the national level, there is still a lot of room to have chiefs to maximize the potential and expertise that they have in the administration of this country. If you look at the chieftaincy institution and you look at the constitutional provisions, you realize that chiefs are represented at the national level.

But at the local level where they are even much more needed there are no specific provisions for chiefs to play active roles at the local administration levels. Sometimes, as I move around as a Member of Parliament, I realize that there is a very big gap between the District Assemblies and the chiefs. What transpires in the District Assembly, what goes on in the District Assembly, whatever developmental programmes that are going on are not known to the chiefs. And you will realize that it creates a lot of discomfort for the chiefs and puts them in the dark.

If we can have chiefs on the Judicial Councils, Prisons Councils and Lands Commissions, I think that we should as a matter of role in the 30 per cent maybe specifically provide for a certain percentage of chiefs to be at the local level. By so doing we will be bridging the gap between the traditional councils and the District Assemblies and then the chiefs and the Assemblies.

One big concern of mine when I met my chiefs over the Bill had to do with money. We realized that the endowments are not the same. Royalties by way of financing the traditional councils, by way of financing the institution in certain areas is better more placed in certain areas than in other areas. In certain areas, we do not even have stool lands and when it comes to that the functioning of chiefs in that particular area is seriously called into question. It dehumanizes the chiefs and makes them lose the confidence that they have.

What I know is that some District Assemblies have taken it upon themselves to give some monthly allowances to their chiefs. I remember it was about, ¢1,200 a year those times. Right now in my area it is about - old Ghana -- ¢5,000; this is not the best. Various governments have put in a lot of interventions targeting specific segments of the society. But honestly, the chieftaincy institution has not benefited by way of any intervention in terms of financing them either individually or as an institution.

I know that some chiefs receive some allowances or remuneration on quarterly basis or at the end of the month. I think that it is time we took the issue up seriously and tried to see how we can remunerate some category of chiefs, at least for a start to make them function properly. Because as the hon. Minister for Women and Children's Affairs rightly said, at the local level the chiefs play a very big role in making sure that this nation moves. So I think the Ministry or the Government should look at the issue and once again see what can be done.

I also think that apart from the judicial committees that we are talking about, the capacity of our chiefs need to be built

on very seriously. Times are changing, new laws are being passed, new ways of administering people are being put in place. There is the need to build on the capacity of our chiefs to meet challenges either at the local level or the national level.

With these interventions, I once more wish to thank you.
Mr. Freddie W. A. Blay (CPP - Ellembelle) 12:30 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I also rise to associate myself with the motion moved by our dear Colleague and Minister for Chieftaincy Affairs. I have had the opportunity of looking a little critically at this Bill and I must confess that it is one of the most difficult Bills I can foresee that the Minister has tried to bring to this House, particularly dealing with an institution that is very old, that happens to be very different in terms of its nature depending on the kind of community that we are dealing with, as mentioned by my dear Colleague who just spoke.
He has mentioned that in some cases, in some areas, the chiefs have access to stool lands and therefore they have royalties. What about those areas where they may not even have stool lands? There are some localities, even in Accra here where chiefs are not entitled to royalties because the land may not belong to them and it creates a little problem. But I understand that the object of this Bill has been just consolidation of various laws that have been passed since 1971. Indeed, as he put it, we have had a couple of Constitutions and for that reason this is only brought to consolidate laws relating to that institution.
I am only a bit happy that there has
been a little attempt as to limit litigations and violence accompanying installations and succession which are brought up. It is good and we have done it in such a way that the court will have very little room in order that they may not lend themselves to be manipulated for the benefit of individuals who are struggling to be called chiefs. My biggest problem has been where they talked about coming out with the customary laws.

Mr. Speaker, I believe by the various laws we have in this country - the Constitution and so forth and so on - we have also captured the idea of customary laws forming part of our laws in this country. But in terms of its jurisprudence, it is a little bit controversial. Now that we have a modern state - one nation - and then we have this institution, are we saying that we are allowing the institution, whichever area chieftaincy or a custom is supposed to be pertaining, to come out with the development of some laws pari passu with the laws that we have given to ourselves as a nation? Is that what we want to do?

Is that what we want to say, that customary laws are also evolving and developing alongside the laws that we have, particularly laws that we in this House are making? Is that the intention? Do we think it will not, one way or the other, result in some conflict? Mr. Speaker, I am not too sure. But when we come to the consideration of the Bill itself, maybe, we will take a look at it.

But I must say, Mr. Speaker, that I also listened attentively when the hon. Minister for Women and Children's Affairs was talking and I could see she was making very serious efforts to introduce elements of gender into the institution
Mr. Freddie W. A. Blay (CPP - Ellembelle) 12:30 p.m.

itself as we have it now. I think these are very innovative and we may take a good look at them and see what we could do. Again, the contradictions may be a little bit building up, in the sense that this is an old institution that indeed the Constitution itself has made and we should not tamper with it.

We must hasten a little slowly as to how we want to introduce a modern trend with regard to gender into that institution. Some are even arguing that this is an institution which at the moment is a little anachronistic. Some do say that if we consider the factors responsible for the kind of disturbances in the country, the violence that we have in this country, next to land is chieftaincy. And are we to institutionalize it or we are to modernize it?

To modernize it, some have suggested just as the Committee's Report does, that we should be building the capacity of chiefs and putting them in tune with modern trends and developments. But again, if one is not careful, this suggestion itself may have to turn round the institution; the Constitution itself has placed some serious limitation on this House and other institutions with regard to dealing with chieftaincy. For that reason, Mr. Speaker, I am glad and I sympathise with the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture.

I think it is a good idea to consolidate but we should also take the opportunity to look at some of the issues that have been brought up critically so that we will not turn round the next day to say we want to do something. Some chiefs have even suggested at one time that we should now free them to take part in competitive politics or partisan politics. We have not
Mr. Freddie W. A. Blay (CPP - Ellembelle) 12:30 p.m.

tackled that issue now but I believe sooner or later, we might have to wake up to the reality as to whether to isolate or limit other people from various sections of the society from taking part in politics like other citizens.

Mr. Speaker, on that note, I support the motion on the floor.
Mr. I. A. B. Fuseini (NDC - Tamale Central) 12:30 p.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the motion on the floor.
Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity of sitting in when the Legal Resources Centre organized a seminar on this Bill and many issues were raised on the Bill. Mr. Speaker, I wish to identify myself strongly with the sentiments of the hon. Minister for Women and Children's Affairs.
Indeed, the women were of the view that this being a local government activity - chieftaincy principally - its activities are at the local level and they play very, very crucial roles and the Constitution recognizes queenmothers as chiefs and that there must be the need to incorporate them into the various Houses. In fact, they were very forceful on that and if there is an opportunity for us to do that we will be incorporating half or more than half of the population into the mainstream politics of chieftaincy in Ghana and that will go a long way to serve our purpose.
Mr. Speaker, clause 77 of the Bill presented a matter for worry. It says that the Minister should have a power to banish, prohibit a person from continuing to stay in a place if that person is identified as part of the problem of a chieftaincy conflict. I think this one is sending our Minister back to the colonial days and making him a District Colonial Governor and that he should have the opportunity to
determine who should be there and who should not be.
Mr. Speaker, I think this power should be conserved and reserved for the courts; the Minister should not have that power akin to the old power of giving recognition to the chiefs such that he can withhold such recognition. Subject to that amendment, I think that this Bill should be considered.
The chiefs were also of the view that the whole Bill is talking about administration and it does not give them functions. What are they to do? What functions do they play at those levels? Are they supposed to be adjudicating on matters? If they are, why is the Bill not giving them those powers?
In fact, an example was given by Nana Dr. S. K. B. Asante that in his area, the Assemblyman who had been elected had gone round to say that having been elected by the generality of the people to represent them in the Assembly, he was more powerful and important than the chief. The chiefs think that they should be given a role and their role should be defined in the Bill. Indeed, they had almost come to the conclusion that the hon. First Deputy Speaker came to, that on this Bill, we should hasten slowly because they do not see anything new.
I hope that we will take consolation in the fact that this Bill is to revise and consolidate. It is not introducing any new thing; it is revising and consolidating, except that in revising the thing, we should not give the Minister too much powers to determine who must live within our communities.
Mr. Speaker, with these few words, I support the motion on the floor.
Deputy Minister for Justice and Attorney-General (Mr. Kwame Osei-
Prempeh): Mr. Speaker, I also rise to support the motion on the floor. Mr. Speaker in doing so, I would like to say first and foremost that I do not agree with my hon. Friend who just spoke that the Bill does not assign any functions to chiefs.
Mr. Speaker, if you read the Bill, it has gone ahead to define clearly the lineage, the traditional functions of chiefs, the judicial powers and others and even summoning people - giving them powers. I believe anybody who reads the Bill thoroughly will agree with that.
Mr. Speaker, again, I agree with the Committee on violence from chieftaincy. This has been the bane of the society. It comes about because people do not want to follow the customary trend. Go anywhere in the world where we have monarchy or chieftaincy, whether it is in Britain, whether it is in The Netherlands, whether it is in Swaziland, whether it is in Lesotho, whether it is Saudi Arabia or in Ashanti anywhere else, chieftaincy is for a preserved few; it is customary.
If one has nothing to do with the installation of a chief, one has nothing to do with it. It is only a small group, which custom demands, who install the chief. The Constitution gives that mandate to them and the laws of this country give them the power to do so, such that if a concerned citizen sits outside and says that this person cannot be a chief, it should end there. Thus, if people get up and say that if this person becomes a chief, there will be bloodshed, we will fight and people will fight and people will die; it is unfortunate.
We are having this problem in this country because people who do not have the right to install and destool chiefs have taken that upon themselves to dictate who should be chiefs and who should not. And I believe that along with this Bill
Mr. I. A. B. Fuseini (NDC - Tamale Central) 12:40 p.m.

people must be educated that if one has no customary role to install a chief - if a young man on the street cannot install a chief - one does not have to assign that role to oneself.

Mr. Speaker, in Akan we say mmrantee nsi hene. It is not the youth on the street who install a chief. It is for those who have that power - And Mr. Speaker, if we accept that, I believe we can have some peace and therefore if the law is going to try to attempt to restore peace, a way must be found to deal with people who bring mayhem to their traditional areas through their self-assigned roles trying to determine who can be a chief. Mr. Speaker, if we allow those who customarily have the right to install chiefs to do their work, I believe there would be peace.

Mr. Speaker, the next one is the resourcing and building the capacity of the chiefs. I do not agree with the Committee that they should go through training or we should legislate. I agree that they should be given training but to legislate that members of the judicial committees and others must go through a certain kind of training before they can become members, Mr. Speaker, would be asking for too much.

Mr. Speaker, some of our chiefs, even though have not been to school when it comes to native wisdom and customary law, they are experts. So you cannot tell us that you have to train them and put them in the classroom to learn this and that before they can perform that function. I do not agree to that.

Mr. Speaker, the next issue is the appointment of lawyers for the Houses of Chiefs. This came to the fore when
Mr. I. A. B. Fuseini (NDC - Tamale Central) 12:40 p.m.

the recent troubles in Anlo came up. It is believed that it is the Attorney- General's office which appoints lawyers for the traditional areas. Mr. Speaker, that is a false notion. By the Constitution, the Attorney-General's office only recommends. Neither does the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture have any right to appoint counsel for the Houses of Chiefs.

It is for the Houses of Chiefs themselves to appoint. They should apply to the Attorney-General - [Interruption] - No, it is a different matter. Just like anybody is recruited, like the way hon. Members of Parliament are paid, the way lawyers in the Attorney-General's office are paid, the lawyers in the Ministries are paid, lawyers of the National House of Chiefs must be paid by the State.

Mr. Speaker, it seems it is out of ignorance that the Houses of Chiefs do not have counsel because everybody sits down thinking that somebody must do it. Mr. Speaker, from now on, I believe the chiefs must be more proactive and know that the Constitution gives them that right to appoint and they must exercise it.

Mr. Speaker, I also want to say that the drafters of the Constitution were very wise in taking Government out of chieftaincy matters and no attempt whatsoever should be made to push Government into chieftaincy matters. Mr. Speaker, it is not good for this country. If in a particular area people ask that the Government should step in to prevent a certain person from becoming a chief and the Government does so in that traditional area, next time the Government must be called upon to do it in another traditional area and it is not good for this country. I believe if there is anything that I found most acceptable in the Constitution, it is the insulation of chieftaincy from governmental interference and this nation

must strive to maintain that.

With these few words, Mr. Speaker, I support the motion.
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu (NDC - Tamale South) 12:40 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to associate myself with the motion and to make a few observations.
Mr. Speaker, this Bill reminds me of a very popular first year examination question - whether the chieftaincy institution is not anachronistic -- and it was subject to the interrogation of young people at the time as to whether the chieftaincy institution has not outlived its usefulness. Indeed, Mr. Speaker, traditionally our chiefs perform customary, social, economic, judicial, spiritual and military functions. Those were their primary functions.
Mr. Speaker, with time modernity or modernization has withered away the central and key role that the chief played in many communities. Undoubtedly, Mr. Speaker, in many traditional areas today they are as relevant as they were before because they still undertake those religious, spiritual and economic functions.
But Mr. Speaker, my greates t disappointment with the chieftaincy institution is the fact that today, they are the source of intra and inter violent conflicts in many different parts of our country; and I regret it personally because it is the institution which should uphold and ensure sanity and peace in the area. Regrettably, whether we are travelling from Anlo through Dagbon, through Sefwi or through Bawku, it is either an inter ethnic conflict which borders on chieftaincy, largely on succession. Mr. Speaker, it is because opportunists, selfish and the wealthy people have infiltrated
the chieftaincy institution and have taken advantage to doctor even time-tested known traditions and customary practices.
I think that is what has withered away the centrality of the chieftaincy institution. Where even there are known customs, even defined rotational systems, it has been circumvented at the altar of the wealthy, the powerful, being persons in government. Indeed, I was glad when the hon. Deputy Attorney-General mentioned it.
Mr. Speaker, politicians and in particular governments in power must stay clear off the chieftaincy institution as was the wisdom of the drafters of the Constitution when they said that chiefs are not to be engaged in partisan politics even though some of them, in their public utterances are more partisan than those of us who do open partisan politics. But Mr. Speaker, in saying so, may I refer you to article 270 of our Constitution and to support an argument hon. I. A. B. Fuseini made.
Mr. Speaker, I hope that the hon. Minister would ensure that before we even proceed to the Consideration Stage, some grey issues are properly addressed. For instance, Mr. Speaker, with your indulgence, I quote clause 270 (2):
“Parliament shall have no power to enact any law which …”
and I am particularly interested in section (b) which states - and with your permission, I quote:
“in any way detracts or derogates from the honour and dignity of the institution of chieftaincy”
Mr. Speaker, how do we reconcile that
Mr. Isaac K. Asiamah 12:40 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think not to deviate from what my hon. Colleague is saying, this is what the Committee has also recommended to the House; so it has already been catered for by the Committee that the hon. Minister in consultation with the National Security Minister, by a court order - So a court order is there and the court is the final determinant of the Minister's action. So that has been catered for in the Committee's report.
Mr. H. Iddrisu 12:40 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I have read comprehensively the report of hon. Asiamah's committee and I have accordingly even filed, with the blessing of my hon. Colleague, hon. Fuseini an amendment to support the Committee's own recommendation.
Mr. Kwame Osei-Prempeh 12:50 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. Mr. Speaker, with respect, hon. Asiamah has no committee; the Committee is for Mr. Speaker.
Mr. H. Iddrisu 12:50 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I recognize your Committee chaired ably by the young hon. Isaac Asiamah. Mr. Speaker, I have just refused to have a beard, I am older than him. [Interruptions.] Mr. Speaker, I was referring you to article 242 of the Constitution and it is just to buttress the point.
Mr. Speaker, if you look at the composition of our District Assemblies - and I make this in reference to earlier Members who have made comments about the role of chiefs in our decentralization effort. I think it is captured here under article 242(d) of the Constitution where traditional authorities - But Mr. Speaker, in some areas, the chiefs have not been given their pride of place in our District Assemblies and I think it is important that we take a cue from it and ensure that the appropriate thing is done. Some of the chiefs are left out sometimes on the basis of other unacceptable considerations.
Mr. Speaker, I was developing - and that is my final point. Political interference - There is ample evidence right from President Nkrumah, through Busia, through Acheampong, through the PNDC up to date unnecessary interference by our political bigwigs in the chieftaincy institutions and even the colonialist; I agree with the hon. Member. I think Mr. Speaker, that is the position we should take and the chiefs themselves must help themselves.
Mr. Speaker, I am aware, for instance that when you come to the allocation of Mineral Development Fund, there is a fund which is normally given to the District Assemblies to be allocated further
Mr. H. Iddrisu 12:50 p.m.

to chiefs; and they spend the money as if it is their personal bona fide - Mr. Speaker, the contest all over is about who controls resources, who controls political influence; it is just like we jockey for political leadership every four years.

Many of the unresolved conflicts have to do with who is in control. I think that many of the chiefs are not fair to their subjects. They do not have to take the money on behalf of the community and then disburse it at their personal level, and then the community suffers under- development, yet they pride themselves as chiefs. I think that is important.
Mr. S. K. Boafo 12:50 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, my intervention is just to assist this House. There is a provision already that if a person personally deceives his subject it is not for me as a hon. Minister or for this House - there are enough provisions to handle those instances. Let us not tread on areas that would bring more or less controversy.
Mr. H. Iddrisu 12:50 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, finally, I have heard comments about queen mothers and the role of queenmothers. Persons who would normally carry gender issues to absurd limits would make strong position on it. Mr. Speaker, let us be very careful about who a queen mother is; the role of a queen mother differs from traditional area to traditional area and from usage and customary law to it. I come from a culture very close to that of the hon. Minister for Women and Children's Affairs and she knows in our culture what the role of women are as it relates to chieftaincy as an institution. Therefore, a definition of what they may be able to do in the Volta Region or in particular in Ashanti Region may not hold for persons from northern Ghana. I think it is important that we keep that in view.
Mr. H. Iddrisu 12:50 p.m.

Hajia Mahama: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order and I take a very strong exception to the statement he made, that we are taking gender issues to absurd levels. He should withdraw that.

The fact is that we have queen mothers in Ghana and whether we have queen mothers in the Northern Region, Upper East Region or Upper West Region is not the point in question here; we may have other arrangements in the three northern regions.

So for him to say that we are taking gender equality to absurd levels is - [Interruptions.] He said we are taking gender to an absurd level and I take a strong exception to that and he should withdraw it. The fact remains that we have queen mothers in Ghana and we should not come to this House and in any way demean the role of queenmothers in Ghana; we should not do that.

Mr. Speaker, talking about queen mothers, we are not introducing any modern element; they have existed from time immemorial, before he was born, maybe even before his father or his grandfather was born. So we are not introducing any new element; we are only saying that this Bill recognizes queen mothers and in the definition of chiefs in clause 57 of this Bill, it includes queen mothers.

Therefore, it raises the question, is that all? Can we not give more visibility

to what we mean by that? So the hon. Member should be informed. He should not say things he feels like saying.
Mr. H. Iddrisu 12:50 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, whether queenmothers existed before her father or before my father or before my mother - [Interruption.] In any case, Mr. Speaker, let me put it on record - and if she wants to know she should go and listen to the replay of my comments, I have not made any comment derogating queen mothers.
I said gender activists - and “gender activists” does not mean queen mothers. So first of all, she should be corrected. When gender activists take this gender issue, what they say is that where there is a role of a chief who is a male they want a role of a chief who is a woman; that was what I meant by “to unreasonable heights”.
Mr. Speaker 12:50 p.m.
Hon. Member, for us to make progress, withdraw and let us go on.
Mr. H. Iddrisu 12:50 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I have done what is gracious but not at her behest. [Interruptions.] Mr. Speaker, finally, a comment was made by hon. Fuseini and then the hon. Deputy Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and the comment was to the effect that the functions - [Interruption.]
Hajia Alima Mahama - rose -
Mr. Speaker 12:50 p.m.
Hon. Minister, my impression is that he has withdrawn - except you want him to say that again. Hon. Member, have you withdrawn?
Mr. H. Iddrisu 12:50 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, unless you do authorize, I am not fond of repeating myself. I said I have done what is gracious. If some people are still not comfortable with what is gracious, let them have their conscience bother them. But I have done what is gracious that the word ‘absurd' is offensive and that let it be -[Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 12:50 p.m.
By implication, he has withdrawn. Please, let us move on.
Mr. Speaker 12:50 p.m.
Hon. Minister, you must also apologise to the House for speaking without being called upon. I did not call on you but you have spoken.
Mr. H. Iddrisu 12:50 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, “absurdity” is graciously withdrawn but certainly not on the directives and the whims of the hon. Minister; it is done with respect to the Chair. [Interruptions.] Mr. Speaker, finally, hon. Fuseini made a comment about - [Interruption.]
Mr. K.A. Okerchiri 1 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member for Nalerigu/Gambaga, Hajia Alima Mahama took objection to the use of a certain word. Mr. Speaker in your wisdom found that to be unparliamentary and said he should withdraw. But to say that he has graciously withdrawn as if it is by his grace - No! Mr. Speaker says he should withdraw. Therefore he should withdraw and stop using the word
graciously as if it is on his whims and caprices that he must withdraw. It is the use of the word, “graciously” that we take objection to.
Mr. Speaker 1 p.m.
Hon. Member for Tamale South, what do you say?
Mr. H. Iddrisu 1 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I accordingly said I have done so per your directive, respecting the Chair. Mr. Speaker, if it is to ask for withdrawal, I take offence when she said queen mothers existed before my father and mother; it is offensive. I have not asked her to withdraw it. [Interruptions.] If you want, we would proceed on that. I thought that we were debating a matter. I take offence. Should I ask her to withdraw? [Inter-ruptions.]
Mr. H. Iddrisu 1 p.m.
She could have used her father or her mother to say that; they also existed; she did not - [Inter-ruptions]
Mr. H. Iddrisu 1 p.m.
I thought that we were all having a beautiful debate. She uses offensive words and she can get away with it and then -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 1 p.m.
Order! Order!
Mr. H. Iddrisu 1 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, my final comment - I was making a comment in relation to the hon. Member for Tamale Central, Mr. Fuseini about functions of chiefs. Mr. Speaker, I heard some other hon. Member make a comment that provision had been made in the Bill for the functions of chiefs; I have a difficulty with that. Mr. Speaker, per the Constitution - [Interruption]
Mr. Asiamah 1 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, this issue of gender, I think we must be careful with it. The Committee considered this seriously. Membership from the traditional to the National House of Chiefs is not discriminatory; that is why “chief” is
Mr. Asiamah 1 p.m.

defined here to include the queen mother. If at a point in time an area decides to elect a queen mother to a traditional council, Regional or National House of Chiefs, so be it.

There is no gender distinction here; so that solves the problem. That is why it is peculiar to that particular traditional area which decides to elect or select somebody to that respective House. That issue has been settled by the Committee. So we are clear that there is no gender discrimination in our report.
Mr. Speaker 1 p.m.
Hon. Member, conclude, please.
Mr. H. Iddrisu 1 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am concluding. I am saying that when we refer to the functions of a chief in the Bill I do not think that it has been defined. But I can understand the difficulty today in modern Ghana in defining what constitutes the true functions of a chief. But if you go and take reference to the functions of the National House of Chiefs, it is not the same as the functions of a chief. But I understand the difficulty.
How are you going to define the functions of a chief in modern Ghana as in several areas they differ? Again, that boils down to the comment that the First Deputy Speaker made. I think that we should fine-tune all these things in getting a deal which is consistent with our constitutional provisions because the Constitution is very clear that Parliament shall have no authority to pass a law which affects some aspects of the chieftaincy institution.
Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.
Mr. E. K. D. Adjaho (NDC - Avenor/ Ave) 1 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to support this motion. I have a major problem with clause 77 of this Bill. I had the privilege of joining your Committee which looked at this Bill at Koforidua at a workshop. There was an agreement there that there was a problem with clause 77 despite all
Mr. Adjaho 1 p.m.
Please, you are coming to wind up.
Mr. Speaker 1 p.m.
Deputy Minority Leader, we are now at this stage dealing with the principle applying to the Bill.
Mr. Adjaho 1 p.m.
Precisely. Mr. Speaker, I know that at the principle level we look at the Committee's report, we look at the memorandum to the Bill and we also look at the Bill itself. These are three things that we look at and the Committee's report dwells extensively on clause 77. In fact, my first observation, for the records, as we even teach the young ones, especially the Chairman of the Committee who is very active, is that the memorandum does not form part of the Bill and therefore the attempt to amend the memorandum in the Committee's report is against the rules of this House.
Mr. Asiamah 1 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. The hon. senior Colleague is misleading this House. I do not know where he claims I have amended any memorandum; I do not know where he claims the Committee has amended - [Interruption.]
Mr. Adjaho 1 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would refer him to his own Committee's report which he has signed - paragraph 7(4); It is headed “Chieftaincy-related violence and security of state: Clause 77” and Mr. Speaker, with your permission I quote:
Mr. Speaker 1 p.m.
Order! Order!
Mr. Adjaho 1 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, he has thrown in the towel; let me continue. Mr. Speaker, they say any person who is reasonably connected to any dispute should be moved from the traditional area. Mr. Speaker, this legislation has a colonial background and for a subject of the Golden Stool who the colonial powers used to send Prempeh I to Seychelles to be given this to exercise in modern-day Ghana should not be supported by this House.
Mr. Speaker 1 p.m.
Have you looked at the proposed amendment at page 13?
Mr. Adjaho 1 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I have carefully looked at the amendment. In fact, it was on the insistence of some of us that they introduced “the national security” and “the court.” But Mr. Speaker, the essence of this power, of that clause -- there are a lot of laws. If a chief misbehaves there are a lot of provisions under the Criminal Code; if it is an infraction of the Criminal Code go and deal with him. There are conducts conducive to the breach of the peace; we have so many provisions in our Criminal Code - [Interruption.]
Mr. S. K. Boafo 1 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, in making references, my hon. Colleague should be very careful. There has never been any Act, modern Act that says that the Ashantis were sent to the Seychelles Island from the Golden Stool. He has to prove that there was an Act of Parliament under the present rendition. Please, he should not just make general statements about Seychelles. He is completely out of order.
Mr. Adjaho 1:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, the point being made is that the hon. Minister wants the power to be given him in his original Bill, which we introduced in the House. Where any person is reasonably connected to a chieftaincy - [Inter-ruption.]
Mr. Osei-Prempeh 1:10 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, “Minister” as stated in the Bill is impersonal, it is Mr. S.K. Boafo. Tomorrow it may be somebody from the Northern Region who would be the Minister for Chieftaincy. So to say that to give that power to an Ashanti whose chief was sent to Seychelles is not only derogatory -- [Interruptions.] Anybody can hold that position tomorrow morning, so his inference is wrong. Tomorrow if he is not there and it is hon. Freddie Blay who is the Minister for Chieftaincy Affairs, would he say so? Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate and he should withdraw that.
Mr. Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Did you make reference to the sector Minister?
Mr. Adjaho 1:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think they have to listen and listen carefully. The point that I made is that clause 77 is akin to the powers exercised by the Colonial Government that allowed them to move Prempeh I to Seychelles. And he is a subject; that is the point I made; and that he is a subject of the Golden Stool, the person who introduced this Bill into this House.
Mr. Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Please, calm down. Hon. Minister, do you have a point of order? What is it?
Mr. S. K. Boafo 1:10 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, he does not have to refer to me as the subject of the Bill. It is completely irrelevant. Do I have to say that we are moving a motion because you are from Volta Region. Please, let us not bring in these tribal issues. He should withdraw it.
Mr. Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Please, do not address him.
Mr. Adjaho 1:10 p.m.
Are you not an hon. Member from the Ashanti Region? Are you not a subject of the Golden Stool? Are you not the one who introduced the Bill to this House? So what statement of fact I am to withdraw? Tell me and I would withdraw so that we can make progress. What statement of fact have I made on the floor which is not correct? Tell me and I would withdraw so that we can make progress.
Mr. Speaker, the point being made is that if you look at the whole principle, it can lend itself to abuse. To what degree of reasonableness? Is it because I am a potential or I am close to a particular chief or I am a legal adviser to a particular chief.
Mr. Speaker, as was said earlier on, this House must take a second look and a closer look and scrutinize that provision.
Mr. Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Deputy Minority Leader, if we come to the Third Reading you can make an amendment, please.
Mr. Adjaho 1:10 p.m.
Yes. So this is the provision we may have to take a serious look at; and I am quite opposed to it. Mr. Speaker, the second point I want to make - [Interruption.]
Mr. Asiamah 1:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Chieftaincy Act 1971, Act 370 - that is where we got these three provisions from. Mr. Speaker, I think what informed Leaders then was obviously that this situation still persists because of the frequent disputes all over the country. So it was well informed but later on we considered that it could be abused and that is why we inserted by a court order. So what he is saying has been catered for already and we should move ahead. The court is the final determinant of any Minister's action and this has been catered for by the Committee.
Mr. Speaker 1:10 p.m.
We are not dealing with the - [Interruption.]
Mr. Adjaho 1:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I know that the Chairman of the Presidential Commission who is located at the seat of Government, the Castle -- Justice Lamptey has questioned this clause. A retired Supreme Court Judge has questioned it and Mr. Speaker, I know that they have submitted a memorandum to this House through you. Other legal brains
have questioned this particular clause and I would want to proceed from there except that he wants to come in.
Mr. Speaker, another important point is that the chiefs from all the 10 regions raised the issue of resources to enable them perform their functions as chiefs. As put by the Mamponghene in a very brilliant way, we can have a very good Bill for chiefs, but if you do not give them the financial resources, they might not be able to discharge their functions. And they asked this honourable House, in the course of their deliberations on the floor of the House, to ensure that adequate provision is made to ensure that resources are made available to them. At the Consideration Stage, some of us would file an amendment in that direction.
Mr. Speaker, my last point is with regard to the definition of “chief” in the Bill. I want to think aloud. How do you reconcile the definition of “chief” in the Constitution vis-à-vis the definition of “chief” in this Bill? The definition of “chief” is provided for in our Constitution - and with your permission, I quote article
277 --
“In this Chapter unless the context otherwise requires, “chief” means a person, who, hailing from the appropriate family and lineage, has been validly nominated, elected or selected and enstoolled, enskined or installed as chief or queen mother in accordance with the relevant customary law and usage”.
So if the customary law and usage says she should be a woman, so be it. If the customary law and usage says he should be a man, so be it. Therefore, in defining “chief”, we should be very careful not to give a definition that runs counter to the definition in our Constitution. It is very, very important to look at that point.
Where the Constitution which is the fundamental law has provided a certain type of definition, the subsidiary law should not give a certain definition which seems to run counter to it.
Mr. Speaker, I believe that when we come to the Consideration Stage, we would examine these matters into detail and make sure that we improve upon the Bill which has been introduced into this House.
Mr. Speaker, with this comment, I support the motion.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NPP - Sekondi) 1:20 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I also rise to support this motion. This Bill has been long outstanding. I distinctly recall that in the previous Parliament, such a Bill was introduced and then withdrawn by the Government to enable us have further consultations on it. Of course, the fact that under the auspices of the Minister of State responsible for Chieftaincy matters, we have had this Bill without much controversy and after necessary consultations emphasizes the importance of that position in the Government.
Mr. Speaker, from the memorandum,
the purpose of the Bill is to consolidate with amendments, the Chieftaincy Act, to bring the Act into conformity with the provisions on the subject in the Constitution and to include new proposals.

Mr. Speaker, new proposals have been made and I believe they go to enrich the quality of the legislation relating to chieftaincy. But I also note that even introducing this Bill, we must ensure that any clause or any section of the previous enactment which seems to run contrary to

the provisions of the Constitution should not be repeated.
Mr. Okerchiri 1:20 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, I am inclined to believe that the hon. Member who just spoke is misleading this House because we have passed a law in this country where any spouse who seems to misbehave towards the other is banished from entering about one hundred and fifty metres away from that person. So he must be mindful of that.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:20 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I said for good reasons. But certainly it means that it relates to the person rather than an area, that is the difference. So it means that wherever the spouse is, whether he is in Tamale, or Bolgatanga or Wa or Elubo you do not go near the spouse within a space of 150ft. But to say that in this modern day and age, like I know that a former lawyer was banished from Shama indefinitely, he should not enter Shama, I said that in this modern day and age, I do not believe that such punishment is usual and we ought to look at all these things.
If you want to incarcerate a person, you do it. We are not debating the clauses of this Bill now, but I am saying that since we are discussing the object of the Bill, repeating sections of existing enactments which may sound very controversial
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:20 p.m.

because times have changed, we ought to be careful. I also believe that when we talk about resources, chiefs are not to be supported by the State. What the Houses of Chiefs need as creations of statutes is necessary resources to undertake the duties assigned to the various Houses of Chiefs.

Mr. Speaker, the time too has come for us to note that where chiefs by reason of where they occupy their Stools have resources, resources that they can use to support their Stools, they do so. We should not create a situation where chiefs would be subject to Government largesse and would be going round asking Government to give them this and that. We should also look at that. But it is important that we preserve our traditions, we preserve our Constitution, our cultural institutions and bring them in conformity with the realities of Ghana.

Chiefs are agents of development, even now, and I believe that this Bill recognizes it. I am looking forward to a situation where like in colonial times, chiefs would be setting up major endowment fund for education to support brilliant students. Not only a few chiefs, all chiefs should know that it is their responsibility to support their communities. They should not be seen as leaches, they should be seen as bringing something of benefit to their communities.

With these few remarks, I support the motion but I believe that when it comes to the Consideration Stage, arguments would be proffered as to why certain clauses of this provision may at best be seen as controversial and not helpful to the resolution of chieftaincy disputes in this country.
Minister for Chieftaincy and Culture (Mr. S. K. Boafo) 1:20 p.m.
Thank you very much Mr. Speaker, and I thank my hon.
Minister for Chieftaincy and Culture (Mr. S. K. Boafo) 1:20 p.m.

Colleagues for all their comments and their concerns.

I want to just draw hon. Members' attention to a few comments. First article 270 (1) which we all know states that and
Mr. Speaker, with your permission I quote 1:30 p.m.
“The institution of chieftaincy, together with its traditional councils as established by customary law and usage, is hereby guaranteed”.
It is not practices but there are certain customary laws that we do not need specifically to bring a Bill or an Act of Parliament on which are also recognized and guaranteed. There are so many customary practices and these practices differ from region or tradition to tradition.
So generally speaking, if we do not take care, we may say certain things that would be contrary to the traditions and customs and cultural practices of the particular area. So to bring a Bill of this nature, care must be taken very seriously. All the concerns that my friends have expressed, the women's problems - that the queen mothers must be seriously looked at in the Bill are good ideas but constitutionally, I do not see how we can make it now.
The queen mother is a chief and any chief is a chief once you fall within the definition of the Constitution. I heard so many complaints and petitions from the queen mothers and I am looking into them. I am only trying to impress upon the Houses that when they are conducting elections, they should elect the queen mothers as well. That is another area where we can make it, we do not have to spend much time on it.
Talking about decentralization, I also agree very seriously that Nananom are always complaining because the constitutional provision is not being
adhered to. They need to be consulted. It depends on whoever is there, either the Chief Executive or the Regional Minister. I worked as a Regional Minister and I did not have a problem with that. We need to consult Nananom and they would bring in their membership and that would be the end. I do not particularly think that we need specific Acts otherwise we would have to amend Act 462 to comply with the Constitution. So that is no problem at all, we can easily handle it, it is a human institution.
Mr. Speaker, the main concern, judging from the debate, is clause 77 and that is what I do not want people to be emotional or sentimental about. It is the law that sometimes I am going to refer most hon. Members to consider. If one looks at the present Act which was passed 37 years ago, the clause is there and it is more serious than what we are considering now and I have so far not heard of any Minister who had even enforced this provision because there are so many things we do.

Some are arguing that we should allow things to remain as they are. Hon. Members would agree with me that lots of lives have been lost. I do not want us to kill people and then come back and sit down and do the very thing we ought to have done. Bad cases bring bad laws, people tend to say sometimes. So we must consider this passionately.

Mr. Speaker, if I would ask my hon.

Colleagues to refer to article 14 of the Constitution, Chapter 5, heading -- “Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms”, Mr. Speaker, with your permission I beg to quote:

‘14(1) Every person shall be entitled to his personal liberty and no person shall be deprived of his personal liberty except in the following cases and accordance with procedure permitted by law -

x x x

(g) upon reasonable suspicion of his having committed or being about to commit a criminal offence under the laws of Ghana.”

That person should be prevented. So the law is clear about that. You do not have absolute freedom. We can always prevent.

There are a lot of people who have lost
Mr. Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Hon. Minister, please you are winding up. You do not want to introduce all these measures. Hon. Minister, as a matter of interest, who is to implement article 14(1)(g) of the Constitution?
Mr. S. K. Boafo 1:30 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, it
is the courts. So we have stated at the amendment stage that the Minister together with the national security -- You can always make an application to the court for the person to be prohibited. It is not an automatic right. This is the issue that should not disturb hon. Members because you can file ex parte application and all that and do it. But the issue is
Mr. Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Leadership, what
is outstanding? Is there anything outstanding?
Mr. Okerchiri 1:30 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, we have
exhausted almost everything there that we are capable of doing today. There are committee meetings and I would respectfully move that we adjourn this Sitting till tomorrow at 10 o'clock in the forenoon.
Mr. Adjaho 1:30 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, in seconding the motion for adjournment, it is important to state that we are not happy with the way some of our hon. Ministers are treating this honourable House. A Question has been programmed for an hon. Minister who has two Deputies. The Question has been printed, the Answers have been printed and we decided to see whether at the close of the day any hon. Minister or his Deputy would show up to answer the Question but it was a ‘no show.'
If we continue like this, this House would lose its respect. It would not be able to perform its oversight responsibility to the Executive. I think that we need an explanation from the government bench as to why the hon. Minister for Health has not come to this honourable House to answer Questions standing in the name of the Ministry. We ought to know from the government bench - very good reasons.
Mr. Okerchiri 1:30 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, his
Mr. Okerchiri 1:30 p.m.

concerns have been well noted.
Mr. Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Deputy Minority Leader,
I wish you had raised this matter even before his application for adjournment. This is a matter of tremendous interest. I hope you would raise it tomorrow morning.
Mr. Adjaho 1:30 p.m.
Very well, Mr. Speaker.
I bow to the Chair. Mr. Speaker, as I said, I seconded the motion before expressing the concern.
Question put and motion agreed to.