A renowned lawyer and lecturer at the Ghana School of law, Kwame Gyan, has called for a strict enforcement of the requirement that anybody seeking to be a parliamentarian must prove that he is of sound mind.
This has become necessary because the utterances of some former and current MPs leaves much to be desired, some are frankly “irritating” and the time has therefore come for the appropriate authorities to insist that every aspiring MP submit a bill of clean mental health before being allowed to file to contest, he insists.
Lawyer Kwame Gyan made the call on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem morning show of Monday April 8, 2013 in the wake of public outrage over comments by former Asokwa MP Maxwell Kofi Jumah, who insisted that doctors and others could not compare themselves to MPs and therefore should not expect to be paid the same amount of money.
Mr Jumah’s comments, made while defending government’s payment of at least Ghc276,000 (Ghc 2.76 billion old cedis) to former and currently serving MPs while insisting it had no money to meet the demands of striking university lecturers and doctors on a previous edition of Dwaso Nsem, has infuriated persons on both sides of the political divide and attracted massive condemnation.
But Lawyer Kwame Gyan believes this is not enough, and the time has come to demand that all aspiring MPs go through mental screening as required by law.
“The Constitution says you must be of sound mind (before you become an MP), so everybody must bring his certificate of soundness from the psychiatric hospital. When you are being employed you go for a medical check up. How many of the 275 Mps have medical clearance from the Chief Psychiatrist that they are of sound mind?”
“Are you sure some of the MPs who are talking now are of sound mind? Are you sure they are correct (mentally)?” he questioned.
Mr Gyan, who named a number of his students who have now taken seats in Parliament as well as others now serving as judges, said their new exalted positions did not make them better human beings than the one who taught them, and it was therefore wrong to say teachers should not compare themselves to MPs.
He challenged the media to give the same attention to his call as they did in the case of the Ghc45 million the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) claims to have invested in a Guinea fowl and afforestation projects in the northern region.