Debates of 10 Jan 2013

PRAYERS 10:45 a.m.


Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 9th January, 2013.
Page 1 .....7 --
Mr William A. Quaitoo 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, page 7, item 4, number 11 -- “Quaitoo, William Agyapong (Akim Oda). In fact, I was present yesterday; I was not absent.
Ms Shirley A. Botchwey 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, page 7, item 4, number 2 -- Hon Agyemang-Manu was here yesterday but he is marked absent.
Mr Michael C. Boampong 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, page 7, number 4, item number 5 -- “Boampong, Michael Coffie”. In fact, I was present but I have been marked absent.
Mr George K. Aboagye 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, page 1 -- “George Aboagye” was here yesterday.
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Do you mean page 7 number 1?
Mr Aboagye 10:45 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker. Page 7, item 4, number 1. I was here yesterday.
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Very well.
Mr. James Agalga 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have a problem and I suspect that there is some general non compliance with the Standing Orders, specifically Order 33 (2) --
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Member, we are correcting Votes and Proceedings.
Mr Agalga 10:55 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker -- The correction --
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Member, we are correcting the Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 9th January, 2013; so if you are correcting that, kindly draw my attention to the page and the item.
So let me hear you now.
Mr Agalga 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the issue I wanted to raise has a direct bearing on the correction of the Votes and Proceedings, which is what we are doing.
I would want to make specific reference to Order 33(2), which talks about service of the Order Paper on Hon Members before Sitting commences.
Ever since we assumed office in this august House, I suspect there is non compliance, in the sense that the Order talks about service of the Order Paper and a Provisional Order Paper for the next day's Sitting.
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Members, order! Let us have some order on the floor. Hon Members, we are correcting the Votes and Proceedings.
Mr William Kwasi Sabi 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on page 7, item number 12, “Sabi, William Kwasi” is registered as absent but I was present yesterday.
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Very well. Clerks-at-the- Table to take note.
Any other correction at page 7?
Mr Simon Edem Asimah 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, page 12, item (B) should read “APPOINT- MENTS COMMITTEE”. The “A” should be deleted.
Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on page 11, number 6, yesterday, the Hon Member indicated that his title is “Dr” and he holds a doctorate degree in Law, that is, “Dr Dominic Akuritinga Ayine” but it is not there; so it should be corrected to add the “Dr” to it.
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Thank you very much.
Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 9th January, 2013 as corrected are hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I noticed that many people got up and they were alluding to the fact that they had been present in the House and yet they have been marked as absent.
Mr Speaker, you may recollect that the method of ensuring attendance, that is, recording attendance became a subject of serious disagreement in this House.
I believe we may have to come to some agreement about how to sort that one out and once we have that agreement, I believe this matter about “I was present yesterday but I was marked absent” so on and so forth becomes a thing of the past. So I believe we have to go back to that matter.
Beyond that, Mr Speaker, yesterday, I heard my Hon Colleague, the Member for Tafo make an intervention. I think we were all here in this Chamber; the intervention was in a coded language. I am not too sure that anybody attempted to decode the intervention made by the Member for Tafo -- [Interruptions.] My attention has been drawn to the fact that the correct name of the constituency is “Old Tafo” and not “Tafo”. So be it so recorded.
Mr Speaker, as I said, I got up this morning and I was bombarded by various radio stations that Parliament was threatening a boycott, which in my considered opinion, was not the matter transmitted in this House by my Hon Colleague, the Member for Old Tafo. So it appears there was a case of mis- reportage.
But Mr Speaker, I noticed that these are early days yet; we need to engage our brothers and sisters who constitute the Parliamentary Press Corps and I believe we can iron out these matters. These being the early hours of this Meeting, I will entreat that we find some space in time, the Hon Majority Leader and myself -- and I do not know whether we may have to involve the Speaker -- to engage the Press and discuss these matters when we do adjourn today. I believe we can correct whatever misinformation that might have been churned out, I believe, rather inadvertently.
Mr Speaker, I thank you.
Dr Benjamin Kunbuor 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, indeed, my attention too was drawn to that specific issue of the publication and my name was specifically mentioned and I think it is proper that we set the records straight.
Like all Hon Members here, we are certain that no salary has accrued for any Hon Member of the Sixth Parliament, which has not been paid and to which I
Dr Anthony A Osei 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, since in the matter referred to, my name has come up, I think it will be fair that I set the records straight.
Mr Speaker, those of us who have been in this House know the occupational hazards of being a Member of Parliament. But thankfully, our Hansard is a basis for what we say here.

The Hansard would give testimony to the fact that I never used any word like “strike”, otherwise, I would not be here this morning.

I know that the matter of emoluments to Members of Parliament is a sensitive one but we must find a way to make it less sensitive. After all, every worker anywhere earns a salary. It is no secret and I would want to urge the House to find a way to ensure that we de-sensitize this matter, so that it does not appear that we are always on the defensive.

I have got about ten calls this morning on my way to work, asking whether I was going to work or on strike; and I said it depended on what happened when I got there.

But of course, when we make these statements we have to be aware that it would be misreported. I do not worry about that but I think we need to craft a way to attack this matter, so that we can find a way to do our business without worrying about misreporting.

As for the misreporting, it would happen and once one is clear in his mind that he did not say that, I think it is all right. But we can always refer to the Hansard to ensure that what we say here is quoted and I agree with the Hon Minority Leader.

I think we need to have a way to communicate with our pressmen, especially those who officially are accredited, so that the reporting can be more accurate.
Dr Kunbuor 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think welfare matters for all employees elsewhere and particularly, a sensitive institution like Parliament, let us begin to find ways of discussing them within the appropriate fora, so that we can always expedite action and perhaps, prevent the situation in which misreportage would come. These statements between myself and the Hon Minority Leader have been
made in the context of the image of Parliament. Many people read in the media and interpret the media differently from the way we would interpret it and I guess there are avenues for us to be able to address these matters and achieve results. But the right of the Hon Member to register it on the floor of the House, is entirely his.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Members, the two Leaders saw me and we agreed that they make a Statement on this matter and that is why I called them. I do not want to take any further comments on this issue.
The Hon Minority Leader suggested, and I entirely agree with him, that we should engage the Parliamentary Press Corps on this matter, so that the impression that was created in their reportage is corrected. So that brings us to the end of this matter.
Hon Majority Leader?
Dr Benjamin Kunbuor 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, with no other business, I beg to move, that this House be now adjourned till tomorrow at 10.00 a.m. -- [Interruption] -- Wait!
Mr Speaker, certainly, committee meetings may continue if there are any. But if we watch the Order Paper a bit closely, we would see what has happened; we will deal with that.
So Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that the House be adjourned till tomorrow at 10.00 a.m.
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Before I put the Question, I would want to urge the Leadership of both sides to start working on the membership of the various committees to pave way for an early meeting of the Committee of Selection -- especially the Chief Whips of both sides.
Hon Members, Motion moved and seconded and it is for the consideration of the Honourable House.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 11:05 a.m.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 11.10 a.m. till Friday, 11th January, 2013 at 10.00 a.m.