Muntaka admits parliament selectivity in dealing with contempt

Ghana Politics

Politics / Ghana Politics 79 Views

Minority Chief Whip Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka has accepted criticism that parliament appears to protect MPs who denigrate Parliament but goes after ordinary citizens for doing same.

But offering an explanation for this selectivity, the Asawase MP said in the case of MPs "sometimes it is very difficult to get someone to send you the evidence".

He has urged the public to send in audios of loose-talking MPs for leadership to take action because the evidence is the name of the game.

The accusation of selectivity has been resurrected after Parliament zoomed in on a social activist and financial analyst Sidney Casely-Hayford who has branded Parliament as "stupid" institution which makes "stupid" laws.

Sydney Casely-Hayford

Social activist and financial analyst Casely-Hayford

The explosive commentary, Muntaka has vowed, will not be countenanced.

 "We expect positive criticism but we are never going to accept condemnation where you just use harsh words like stupid for your representative. What kind of behaviour is this?"

"We pass stupid laws for which people? We are a reflection of the people and to denigrate the house, you yourself you will be denigrating yourself because you queue to go and elect them", he fumed.

The Asawase MP wants Ghanaians to appreciate that Ghana's parliament is still the youngest of all three arms of government and therefore, is the weaker of the three.

"Parliament has its own weaknesses...even when there is a coup d'etat, you still have the semblance of the judiciary in the form of martial courts..under coup d'etats you still have a semblance of the executive. But do you have a semblance of Parliament? No!"

This he said, is enough reason for all Ghanaians to help defend the dignity of parliament from contemptuous attacks.

Mr. Casely-Hayford has apologised to the MPs for being overly emotional in his attack.

Muntaka said Parliament can do better in addressing the perception of selectivity.

"If an MP goes to insult and say other things that are contemptuous it is the responsibility of the House to be able to deal with its member because we need to be able to deal with our own so that we will hve the moral courage to deal with others".

To this end, he said there are proposals to reserve the Privileges Committee for ordinary citizens and the Ethics Committee for erring MPs.

"I want to encourage the general public, if an MP is doing anything that you think is an affront to us, please talk to us, give us the audio"

The latest contempt charge against Casley-Hayford comes exactly two years after an eminent citizen and WHO scientist Prof. Dodoo was also hurled before the MPs for describing them as ignorant.

In that same year,  the former Rector of GIMPA, Professor Stephen Adei in a highly explosive commentary said eight out of 10 politicians are nothing more than ‘glorified thieves’.

He was not invited to face Parliament.