Debates of 9 Dec 2019

PRAYERS 11:08 a.m.


Mr Speaker 11:08 a.m.
Hon Members, correction of the Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 5 th December, 2019.
Page 1 … 7
Mr Speaker 11:08 a.m.
Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Avedzi 11:08 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on page 6, item 3(12), I have been captured as being absent with permission. Mr Speaker, I have not sought permission to be absent; in fact, I was present. And on page 22, I was in a meeting and I was captured as having been in that meeting, so if the Table Office could do the correction.
Mr Speaker 11:08 a.m.
Thank you.
Page 8…27.
Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 5 th December, 2019, as corrected is hereby admitted as the true record of proceedings.
Hon Members, we also have Official Report dated 14th November, 2019. Any corrections?

Hon Members, item listed 3; Statements. There is a Statement on “Low Representation of Women in the Upcoming District Level Elections” by Hon Catherine Abelema Afeku, Hon Member of Parliament for Evalue-Ajomoro Gwira Constituency.

Hon Member?
STATEMENTS 11:18 a.m.

Mrs Catherine Abelema Afeku (NPP -- Evalue Ajomoro Gwira) 11:18 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to share with this august House the worrying trend of the decreasing number of women participating in the upcoming district level elections.
At the close of nominations for the upcoming district level elections which will be held on the 17th of December

Mr Speaker 11:18 a.m.
Thank you very much, Hon Member.
Mrs Betty Nana Efua Krosbi Mensah (NDC -- Afram Plains North) 11:18 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this very wonderful Statement made by my Hon Colleague; Hon Catherine Afeku.
Mr Speaker, I appreciate my Hon Colleague for bringing this unfortunate trend to light. This is as a result of some historical discrimination against women such as legal discrimination and unfair social norms and attitudes that are perpetrated against women. Specifically, a lot of men would say
that there are no laws or rules that discriminate against women and so nothing stops the ordinary Ghanaian woman from putting herself up for election or for a decision-making position.
However, we all know that over the years, cultural practices and some discriminations against women such as traditional discrimination have discouraged coming out to participate in leadership positions.
Mr Speaker, again, it would surprise you to know that much as 51.2 per cent of our population constitute women, less than 20 per cent of women are employed in the formal employment sector.
I believe that the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5, which is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls addresses issues of discrimination against women. I believe that once the SDG 5 is achieved, all the other SDGs would eventually be affected and achieved.
Mr Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to appreciate you for showing leadership in the decision to get the Affirmative Action Bill passed.
Mr Speaker, unfortunately, as an Hon Member of the Committee on Gender and Children I know the Affirmative Action Bill has not yet been
brought to Parliament. However, we appreciate you for showing leadership and ensuring that we work very hard on the Bill, so that by the end of 2020, it would be passed. This is to ensure that as many as possible and not less than 40 per cent of women would be part of decision-making responsibilities.
Mr Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin 11:28 a.m.
(NPP -- Effutu): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to comment briefly on the Statement ably made by my respected senior, Hon Catherine Afeku.
Mr Speaker, I was rushing out to another meeting but when I followed her submissions on the television, I prayed that the Lord would grant me the opportunity to be here to comment.

Mr Speaker, graciously, I am here and I am commenting on the Statement.

In the year 2006, I had the honour of serving the Kojo Badu Electoral Area at the then Awutu Effutu Senya District Assembly. Out of the 67 members, none was a woman. We had three Government appointees

who were women. Again in the year 2010, in the Effutu Municipal Assembly, out of the 18 members, none was a woman.

Currently, we have only one woman Hon Sena who is serving as the Assembly woman for the Kojo Badu North. So the issue the Hon Member has raised is a very important one of concern.

Mr Speaker, the challenges include lack of funding. Going into an Assembly election as a woman would mean one must have deep pocket; you must have resources. So if as a Parliament, we would want to take our women seriously, then we should also look at the possibility of introducing partisanship at the District Assembly level, so that political parties, as they are doing now, can sponsor and encourage some of their members who are women to participate and fully use the resources of the party to back them.

There is no doubt in the fact that if for instance, an individual is contesting an election in the Volta or Ashanti Regions, no matter what, the party machinery would help such an individual to win. If the same person is to contest as an independent candidate, there will be problems. Therefore, let us look seriously at the issue of introducing partisanship; by
Mr Afenyo-Markin 11:28 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on the floor of this House, Hon Members are entitled to their opinions --[Interruption.] -- I am not introducing controversy, they are intimidating me.
Mr Speaker 11:28 a.m.
Avoid controversy.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 11:28 a.m.
Mr Speaker, very well. I yield to your superior intervention.
Mr Speaker, all I am saying is that we have to find --
Mr Speaker 11:28 a.m.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 11:28 a.m.
Mr Speaker, our political parties must be encouraged to sponsor candidates and encourage their women to participate.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 11:28 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minority Leader is on his feet. May I yield to him and come back?
Mr Speaker 11:28 a.m.
Very well.
Mr Avedzi 11:28 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you.
I think that you have advised my Hon Colleague to desist from the angle he is towing. He should not introduce controversy in his contribution or comments on the Statement.
Mr Speaker, it is not a debate; he should not provoke debate. This is because if he is still talking about political parties sponsoring candidates, then the controversy you have advised him not to delve into is the same thing he is doing.
So if he could be directed again not to mention anything of that sort but comment on the Statement and not introduce debate into the Statement.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 11:28 a.m.
Mr Speaker, may I refer him to Standing Order 72
-- ?
Mr Speaker 11:28 a.m.
Hon Member, Standing Order 72, otiose and we all know it by heart. What is it in Standing Order 72 that you want to talk about by way of justifying your pathway? Go on.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 11:28 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Colleague who made the Statement made certain proposals, and in commenting on it,
we only had to reiterate her point and expatiate same. All I am saying, in clear language, is that one way of encouraging women to participate in future local level elections is to introduce partisanship. That is my view by way of comments on the proposal made. This is not controversial.
Secondly --
Mr Speaker 11:28 a.m.
Hon Members, Order!
Mr Speaker 11:28 a.m.
Hon Members, you are making this unnecessarily controversial. The Hon Member is entitled to say that party politics can be an avenue for sponsoring women participation at the district level. It is a good point.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 11:28 a.m.
Mr Speaker, secondly, we should avoid unnecessary discrimination.
What am I referring to by way of discrimination? There is too much emphasis on male participation in decision -making. When it goes to the grassroots at the district level, the way
society responds to efforts made by women, it is time we talk about it. Women gave birth to us they do the trading and all sorts of businesses and it is important that we encourage them to participate in decision-making.
Mr Speaker, I am also calling on those Non-Governmental Organi- sations (NGOs) and civil society organisations that are into advocacy for the rights of our women to step up their advocacy, resource our women to go down to the grassroots -- it is not only about talking on the radio -- set up units at the various district levels and encourage our women to participate. That would go a long way to help.
We know the contributions of the few women in this House; how eloquent and intelligent they are. It is also their duty, as we call on NGOs and other civil society organisations, I am also calling on the women in this House to mentor other women. It is important. They have to find a means of mentoring them so that they would also come to the point of realisation, that if others have made it to this level, they can also make it. This will require some resources to be made available to our female Hon Members of Parliament (MPs) who would take up this mission because without resources, they can do nothing.
Mr Speaker 11:28 a.m.
Hon Member, withdraw that.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 11:28 a.m.
Mr Speaker; I am withdrawing that but you saw their conduct and you commented on it --
Mr Speaker 11:28 a.m.
I do not know any conduct, would you withdraw that one too?
Mr Afenyo-Markin 11:28 a.m.
I have withdrawn that one too.
Mr Speaker, I would resume my seat.
Ms Abena Durowaa Mensah (NPP ---Assin North) 11:38 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement on the floor of the House.
Mr Speaker, I am making a very brief contribution. The late Dr Kwegyir Aggrey once said and I quote:
“If you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a whole nation”.
This goes to say that when women are pushed to leadership positions, they are also going to perform very well. We would see that in our society today, we have so many women in high positions. We have the first lady Chief Justice in Ghana, first Chief of Staff and so on and we all attest to how they are performing in this nation.

Mr Speaker, so all that I am saying is that the ridiculing and name calling and all the bad things that some of our men do to the women when it comes to contesting for leadership positions must stop. Mr Speaker, women should be encouraged, pushed and supported financially.

Mr Speaker, this is my humble contribution.

Thank you.
Mr Andrew D. Chiwitey (NDC -- Sawla-Tuna-Kalba) 11:38 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am
most grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement.
Mr Speaker, the role of women in our society is so huge that we cannot use just one hour to talk about it. In all aspects of life, women play very critical roles. Mr Speaker, beginning from our homes, women ensure that our homes are clean, women ensure that children are fed and even in churches, women play very critical roles. I am a Catholic and in our church, we have the Catholic sisters who play very important roles. They teach catechism, and teach us how to pray with the rosary and they serve as role models to the young girls in the Catholic church.
Mr Speaker, the Pentecostal church also has women who are pastors and the Anglican church also has women who lead in several roles.
Mr Speaker, in the education sector, we have women who are teachers, and at the basic level, most of the children are trained by women. So we cannot do without women in politics and so it is important that as Hon Members of Parliament, we must encourage women to play political roles as well.
Mr Speaker, for instance, in my constituency, the NDC Women's Organiser has been an Assembly member for so many years, and she has been one of the pillars in the Assembly as far as Sawla-Tuna- Kalba District is concerned. Unfortunately, she bowed out this year and we now have just a single woman who is struggling to become a member of the Assembly. Mr Speaker, as has been said, because of the attitude of some men and community members towards women, they are not strong to defend whatever they want to achieve.
Mr Speaker, so I would thank Hon Afeku for bringing this issue out. I would encourage all of us to play critical roles to ensure that most of our women are in positions to help our country to move forward.
Mr Speaker, I thank you once again for this opportunity.
Mr Speaker 11:38 a.m.
Thank you very much.
Dr Kojo Appiah-Kubi (NPP -- Atwima Kwanwoma) 11:38 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement ably made by Hon Afeku.
Mr Speaker, this Statement is, indeed, opportune because despite
Mr Speaker 11:38 a.m.
I would take the final contribution.
Mr Richard M. K. Quashigah (NDC -- Keta) 11:48 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to a very well-meaning Statement by Hon Catherine Afeku who happens to be my sister-in-law.
Mr Speaker, the issue about women having a meaningful and quality voice within the political space is very critical and important. And we all know the Rt Hon Speaker's position on this matter; therefore it is not surprising that the Hon Member who made the Statement called on the Rt Hon Speaker to make a strong advocate for the Affirmative Action Bill.
Mr Speaker, these issues are very important, especially in a society where 51 per cent of the population are women. Meanwhile when it comes to top positions where decisions are made, the women do not even make up to 20 per cent. Mr Speaker, it is unfair, and so there is the need for us to re-engineer the whole political architecture to ensure that our women have their rightful place.
Mr Speaker, today, when you take a look at the legal field, a lot of women are outshining the men, and they are beating the men in other fields as well. So why is it that when it comes to leadership positions, we find a way to supress them? Mr Speaker, they have raised a number of issues that make it difficult for women to really
come out to participate in politics at the various levels, whether at the national or local levels.
Mr Speaker, issues about stigmatisations and creating the impression that women belong to the kitchen and so on are still going on. She alluded to our cultural practices and so on as things that we need to really look at, and that is why I believe strongly that as long as these cultural tendencies prevent women from actively participating in politics, then we must reserve some seats for them.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member who made the Statement made a strong point on that and it is high time we took the bull by the horn. Mr Speaker, what is preventing or stopping us? We do a lot of talking but when it comes to taking action, then it becomes a problem.

I have said in this Parliament before that I have decided not to contest as an Hon Member of Parliament for the good people of Keta again. I urged women of the area to come forth and show their might; but a lot of the women I really thought would move into the political fray of Keta and show their might just because I knew they had the capacity and ability all chickened out for fear of being insulted, and perhaps somebody
Mr Speaker 11:48 a.m.
Any contribution from Leadership?
Mr Rockson-Nelson E. K. Dafeamekpor (NDC -- South Dayi) 11:48 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to make a few comments in respect of this very important Statement made by the Hon Member for Evalue-Ajomoro- Gwira.
The problem the Hon Member drew attention to is one of legislative structural reforms. I say so because I heard my Hon Brother argue with
article 55(3); that if we introduce partisanship at the local level, it would rather encourage women's partici- pation in politics. I disagree. It would rather create an acrimonious atmosphere that would further discourage women from participating at that level.
Mr Speaker, if we look at Tanzania, by legislative reforms, they practice proportional representation. Therefore there are certain identified seats that are only to be occupied by women, and they do so using the quota system. So after the general elections, the various political parties that succeeded in getting people elected to the National Assembly are allocated the seats proportionally. These seats are therefore allocated to women only. By this reform, the level of women representation in the National Assembly has increased. This is not just by wishful thinking, but by deliberate legislative means.
Mr Speaker, if we take the Parliament of Uganda for instance, last year, a delegation from that Parliament was here. As a member of the Young Parliamentarians Forum, we interacted with them. Some of the explanations they gave, which I further read about, were that in addition to the directly - elected representatives from the constituencies, they also have
representation of what they call District Women Representatives, particularly crafted for women alone. Then they have persons with disabilities also specially represented in Parliament; ex-officio members also nominated women representatives; the Workers Forum Representative; and the Youth Front.
Mr Speaker, if we look at the statistics, in the Tenth Parliament of Uganda for instance, which was inaugurated in April 2018, out of the 452 Members of Parliament, 271 were directly elected. Out of that number, only 19 were women. Only 19 women went through the rigour of politics to get elected. When the District Women got the opportunity to nominate women, they nominated as many as 120 women. This automatically shot up the number, in addition to that number.
The Workers Representatives also nominated three women; the youth representatives nominated two women; the persons with disabilities nominated two women; and the ex- officio category, where there is opportunity for other persons to be nominated as ex-officio members, nine women were nominated. In all, it brought the women representation to 157, out of which only 19 went through the rigours of direct politicking where they campaigned to win their seats. This was by legislative reforms.

Mr Speaker, I just returned from my Constituency South Dayi. The District Assembly got dissolved a couple of months ago. Out of 21 electoral areas in my Constituency, only one woman was elected; the lone ranger among 20 men. When the Government got the opportunity to appoint the other nine, they appointed only one woman. So out of the 30 Assembly members, only two were women in the just dissolved Assembly. We might lament; but if we do not deliberately reform, we would keep lamenting without achieving the results.

Mr Speaker, I have also just observed that in the soon-to-be- conducted District Assembly elections, the women are particularly attracted to filing for unit committee membership. Now, if they see that the number of the unit committee members exceed five, they are willing to discontinue the process. They only stay and file theirs when they know that it is five out of five, which is automatic that they would get elected. As soon as they sense competition, however, they do not want to go through that. So it is important that by deliberate --

Mr Speaker, I know that you are making a lot of headway in terms of the reforms. You just held your

Speaker's Forum last week Thursday, where we were taken through the possibilities of Private Members Bills and the help that your Office would extend to Hon Members so that some of these reforms could be occasioned in Ghana to give opportunity for women to be more represented.

Indeed, they made a point that if one educates a man, one educates an individual, but if one educates a woman, one educates a whole nation, and that is the point we are making. It means that if women were also given the opportunity to get into directly elected representative positions — The point is that the impact that they generate among their communities far outweigh the impact that men generate relatively.

So I associate myself whole- heartedly with the Statement made by my Hon Sister on the other Side, and encourage that we all make the deliberate effort and introduce reforms so that at the end of the day, women representation at whichever level, local or national, would increase.

Mr Speaker, with these words, I thank you for the opportunity.
Mr Speaker 11:58 a.m.
Thank you very much.
Finally, the Majority.
Mr Matthew Nyindam (NPP — Kpandai) 11:58 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for this great opportunity to also contribute to the Statement made by our Hon Colleague.
Mr Speaker, I know you are so passionate about this subject matter. At most times, when we get the opportunity to talk, you would want to see more women being represented. Especially when we travel for programmes and you look at the number of women that some African countries carry and unfortunately, the representation of women from Ghana which you are so passionate about does not really speak well of us.
Mr Speaker, I also think that women are doing well in Ghana. In some sectors like medicine, we have a lot of women being medical doctors and senior nurses these days. If we go to the Ghana Education Service in most areas, we see women in charge of various regions and districts, and women are doing very well even in the Judiciary.
Mr Speaker, the unfortunate area, which is a subject that we are talking
about, has to do with the political landscape where women are not doing very well. The issue here is about how politics in this country has become. That is where we must all look at. The kind of financial resources that one must marshal to win an election is what most of our women are not able to do. If we do not make deliberate attempt for appointments, women would still suffer where they are.
Mr Speaker, I am sure that if one was to ask our few Hon Colleague women how they got here, we would not be happy with the story they would tell, because it takes a lot of resources. That is where the issue is.
Mr Speaker, if we leave it the way it is, then it would be a dream that might not come to pass. For that matter, there must be a deliberate policy.
I am happy the Hon Colleague talked about 30 per cent appointment at the local level. Is it not possible that we relook at this 30 per cent and create a special quota for women? If it is about 15 per cent that must go to women, then we all know that at the local level 15 per cent of the appointments must be women. So that amendment should be proposed.
Mr Speaker, then also, the proportional representation — Is there a way that as a nation, we could
Mr Speaker 11:58 a.m.
Hon Members, today is United Nations International Anti-Corruption Day. There is a Statement to that effect by the Hon Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Time is far spent on Statements, so there would be one contribution from each Side. Hon Leaders may decide to appoint.
United Nations International Anti-Corruption Day
Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh (NPP — Nsawam-Adoagyiri) 11:58 a.m.
Mr Speaker, today marks 16 years since the United Nations passed the Convention to tackle corruption and its retrogressive effects on the development of the world as a whole, international institutions, national institutions and individuals, more specifically. In the convention, it is clearly put out that the promotion and strengthening of measures to prevent corruption are priority in the fight, and it dawns on member states of the United Nations not only to create awareness on corruption and its effects, but also to outline actionable measures and steps that would ensure our certain victory over this enemy of progress.
Mr Speaker, corruption is very often attributed to governmental organisations, and I believe this to be because public resources are managed by the Government. This narrative is not far-fetched because there have been many recorded cases of embezzlement of funds and the exploitation of resources at the governmental level in different parts of the world, including African countries. This is not to say that corruption is alien to the private sector and even in homes and churches, but the Government usually takes the biggest blow when people lose trust in the systems set up to protect our collective interests. This reason alone is enough to steer Government institutions and its officials to fight the hardest and set the good example for all other citizens to emulate.
Mr Speaker, today marks International Anti-Corruption day, I would take the opportunity to talk about some of the measures the Government of Ghana has established to increase its capacity in fighting corruption. I also wish to resound a communiqué from this honourable House about my assessment of Ghana's determination to deal with corruption that impedes sufficient value-for-money, in the provision of goods and services and in two other major areas; the appointment of
competent human resource based on merit, and the establishment and strengthening of autonomous monitoring of institutions backed by law.
Mr Speaker, in October 2019, the Deputy Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) mentioned that an estimated 20 per cent of the national Budget, which was in fact twice the amount of annual foreign aids received, were lost through endemic and systemic acts of corruption.
The United Nations also reports that every year, US$1 trillion is paid in bribes while US$2.6 trillion is stolen annually through corruption. The UN Secretary General, Mr António Guterres, ahead of International Anti- Corruption Day 2019, urged all people “…to continue to work on innovative solutions to win the battle against corruption…”, and I use this opportunity to state my viewpoint that Ghana is still united against corruption, following the campaign launched last year.
Mr Speaker, according to Transparency International, the situation of corruption is much dire than many see it to be, especially now. This is because the international community is resolving to position itself for climate action. The issue is that, it involves the allocation of large funds for addressing global needs concerning climate change.
Mr Speaker 12:08 p.m.
One appointed person from each Side.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, who speaks? I see two Hon Gentlemen standing.
Mr James K. Avedzi 12:08 p.m.
Mr Speaker, Hon Kwabena Donkor.
Dr Kwabena Donkor (NDC -- Pru East) 12:08 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to put on record my gratitude to the Hon Member who made the Statement, and to you for admitting it.
Mr Speaker, the concept of corruption has often been taken just at the legal level, and quite often when we talk of corruption, we just talk about the breaking of laws. Corruption goes deeper; it permeates
social, political and economic fields. In our social approach to corruption, society must have a sense of what is right and what makes for the cohesion of society, rather than what makes an individual stand out on the back of criminality or a certain advantage.
Mr Speaker, most Ghanaians would respect people because they are rich. I believe that is wrong. We must respect people who have genuinely, through hard work, ethical behaviour, inventions and discoveries, contributed to the society and have therefore amassed some wealth. We are not against amassing wealth, but it should not be at the expense of society.
In most business journals, one would come to the conclusion that people who have made real wealth are those who went out seeking to find answers to societal problems. In wanting to solve societal problems, they therefore make a discovery and then the money follows the solution. In our country, we have had a situation where we subvert society just to make money, and we seem to applaud all sorts of wealth, irrespective of how the money was made.
Mr Speaker, we would have expected guidance from our spiritual leaders; but even there, we have not got it. There was a case in my
hometown where the wife of a pastor told a congregant who asked for accountability that it is her husband who has had his gift, and that if the husband of the said congregant also gets his gift, he could run the church the way he wants. So from the spiritual arena, we do not have the necessary guidance. Corruption has, therefore, permeated our spiritual life.
Mr Speaker, the worst thing about corruption for a developing country is not corruption per se, but the capital flight that arises out of it. We have millions, if not billions, of dollars across the African continent stashed in banks in Europe and elsewhere, and the continent is denied the use of these resources arising out of capital flight. That is my biggest worry as a student of development. We lose the scarce resources that we do not have for capital flight because of corruption.
Mr Speaker, corruption also undermines our national cohesiveness. It makes it impossible for the Ghanaian State to provide the resources, services and the basic needs that the good people of Ghana need in order to be informed citizens.
12. 18 p.m.
Corruption therefore sucks out the energy from the body politics.
Mr Speaker, if we are to go for an election today, even at the unit level, people do not ask what ideas we are bringing on board. The first question they ask is, ‘‘what am I getting from it?'' What is it that you are bringing to me? To the extent that in some constituencies, even at parliamentary level, maggi sauce, matches, cutlasses and wellington boots have become currencies in elections rather than ideas.
Mr Speaker, therefore corruption must be fought on all fronts-- economic, social and political, with those of us who have been privileged to occupy positions of responsibility at the helm of this fight. How many of us could proudly say that we refused to keep foreign accounts, and that whatever wealth the Almighty has blessed us with is invested properly and optimally in the Ghanaian economy in order to create job opportunities and openings for other Ghanaians who are less endowed?
Mr Speaker, I know your personal stand on this. I believe under your leadership, the House would take steps to minimise the incidence of corruption in our body politics.
Thank you for the opportunity.
Mr Matthew Nyindam (NPP -- Kpandai) 12:08 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
I beg to make some comments on the Statement ably made by the Hon Member for Nsawam-Adoagyiri on corruption.
Mr Speaker, it is a fact that corruption is counter-productive, and we all must do whatever we could to fight this canker head-on. It is a fact that any time we get the opportunity on the Floor to talk about matters of corruption, unfortunately, it takes a different dimension where we introduce partisanship into the matter.
I remember that in my first term in Parliament, the then Hon Majority Leader, Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, made a very profound Statement and I was touched. I think, as a House, we must take it seriously. He said that when issues of corruption come to the Floor, even if we do not know anything about it as Hon Members of Parliament, we try to justify and defend the issues. At the end of the day, we leave this House as if we are corrupt. Meanwhile, for all we know, we do not know anything about what has taken place.
I think it is part of the reason why the current perception out there is such that Hon Members of Parliament are corrupt. This is because we do not take away politics and let those who have been alleged to have done something wrong defend themselves; but we rather take it up and defend those issues. I think, as a House, we have to look at this very carefully.
Mr Speaker, it is also true, like we earlier said, that people out there see us as corrupt. If any Hon Member of Parliament comes here, and to the large extent, all politicians in Ghana -- let me limit myself to Ghana because that is when I can talk much. People out there think that if one is a politician, he is corrupt. There is nothing they could say to explain or justify themselves. Even people who have distinguished themselves very well before becoming politicians could not exonerate themselves from the public perception because we do the unthinkable.
Mr Speaker, people sell their houses and share the money to people because they want the people to vote for them. People come to the politicians' houses every morning, and they make sure that everybody leaves their house smiling. Whichever way it would take the politician, he must do it. So, if the politician is a Jack of solving all problems -- the best
people could say is that maybe, the politician is abnormal; but they think if the politician cannot get extra money from somewhere, how does he solve these problems? If he is capable of solving all those problems for them, it then means he is making money from somewhere else.
Mr Speaker, I think that we must again look at the kind of politics we do in this country because it is becoming capital intensive. Just like the first speaker said, now that people are lacing their boots to go out there and get the mandate - if we tell you the property people sell in order to get money, which would eventually get them to Parliament, you would not believe it. Unfortunately, people also come here thinking that things are here. However, they are disappointed. If we want such people to sit in the Chamber, we cannot get them because they would have to go and fight the next battle ahead of them.
Mr Speaker, it is a good Statement, and I commend the Maker. There are laws; in Ghana, we have those institutions, which he mentioned doing their best; but I think the perception out there is just too much. We also need to educate our people. If one is an article 71 office holder, there are some entitlements that, are due him. Even if, excuse my
language, and I say this with all respect, one is a security man and does not have a bicycle and his people decide to give him the mandate to come to Parliament, obviously, he is entitled to some benefits, and that does not mean he is corrupt.
Mr Speaker, because he did not have a bicycle but now sits in a Toyota Land Cruiser, it means he has stolen public money. I also think that we have to try as much as possible to wean ourselves, and get our people more educated on this matter. Especially, the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) and the media should help us do this kind of work. Unfortunately, we have to defend ourselves; how do we defend ourselves? If we want to defend ourselves, it means we are defending ourselves because we have been accused. I think that as a House, we have to look at this issue very seriously and find some kind of solution to these kinds of perceptions.
Thank you for this opportunity; I am grateful.
Mr Speaker 12:08 p.m.
Thank you very much, Hon Members. That ends Statement time.
At the Commencement of Public Business, item listed 4; Presentation of Papers.
Item numbered 4(a) by the Hon Majority Leader.
Mr Nyindam 12:08 p.m.
Mr Speaker, with your leave and that of the House, I beg to present the Papers listed 4(a) on behalf of the Hon Majority Leader.
PAPERS 12:08 p.m.

Mr Speaker 12:08 p.m.
Item numbered 4(b), by the Hon Minister for Health.
Mr Nyindam 12:08 p.m.
Mr Speaker, item numbered 4(b) is not ready, so if we could take item numbered 4(c)?
Mr Speaker 12:08 p.m.
Item numbered 4(c), by the Hon Chairman of the Committee for Works and Housing.
By Chairman of the Committee --
Report of the Committee on Works and Housing on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Works and Housing f or the year endi ng 31st December 2020.
Mr Speaker 12:08 p.m.
Item numbered 4(d).
Mr Nyindam 12:08 p.m.
Mr Speaker, item numbered 4(d) is not ready, so if we could take item numbered 4(e) and with your leave, if the Hon Member for Kumawu, Mr Philip Basoah, would be allowed to present the Paper on behalf of the Hon Chairman of the Committee?
By Mr Philip Basoah (on behalf of the Chairman) --
(i) Report of the Special Budget Committee on the Annual Budget Estimates of the National Media Commission (NMC) for the year ending 31st December, 2020.
(ii)Report of the Special Budget Committee on the Annual Budget Estimates of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) for the year ending 31st December,
(iii) Report of the Special Budget Committee on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) for the year ending 31st December, 2020.
Mr Speaker 12:08 p.m.
Item numbered 4(f), by the Hon Chairman of the Committee.
By the Chairman of the Committee
-- 12:08 p.m.

Mr Speaker 12:08 p.m.
Item numbered 4(g), by the Hon Chairman of the Committee.
Mr Nyindam 12:08 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the Committee is not readily available so with your leave, if the Hon Vice Chairman of the Committee could present the Paper?
By Mr Collins Owusu Amankwah (on behalf of the Chairman) --
(i) Report of the Committee on Defence and Interior on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of National Security for the year ending 31st December, 2020.
(ii)Report of the Committee on Defence and Interior on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Defence for the year ending 31st December,
Mr Speaker 12:08 p.m.
Item numbered 4(h).
Mr Nyindam 12:08 p.m.
Mr Speaker, items numbered 4(h) and (i) are not ready, so with your leave, if I could present item numbered 4(g), on behalf of the Hon Chairman of the Committee on Environment, Science and Technology.
By Mr Matthew Nyindam (on behalf of the Chairman) --
Report of the Committee on Environment, Science and Technology on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation for the year ending 31st December, 2020.
Mr Speaker 12:08 p.m.
Item numbered 5 -- Motion.
Mr Nyindam 12:08 p.m.
Mr Speaker, all items on the Order Paper are not ready, so if we could take the Order Paper Addendum?
Mr Speaker 12:08 p.m.
Hon Members, Order Paper Addendum -- Presentation of Papers, by the Hon Chairman of the Committee on Education.
By the Chairman of the Committee --
Report of the Committee on Education on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Education for the year ending 31st December
Mr Nyindam 12:08 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Motions listed on the Order Paper are not ready. The Committees are seriously working on their Reports and we all want to join in the Committee meetings to make sure that we get the various Reports ready by tomorrow. So with your leave, and the indulgence of the House, I beg to move that we adjourn the House till tomorrow.
Mr Speaker 12:08 p.m.
Not to suspend Sitting but to adjourn it?
Mr Nyindam 12:08 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we would want to adjourn the House.
Mr Speaker 12:08 p.m.
Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Avedzi 12:08 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion for the adjournment of the House because the Motions for the Papers that have been laid are not ready and the Motions on the Order Paper are also not ready. About nine Committees are sitting at the moment, so if we could adjourn the House till tomorrow.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 12:08 p.m.