General News of Thursday, 16 March 2017
The Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, has likened President Akufo-Addo’s ministerial nominations to the game of ‘chaskele’ saying it appears the portfolios were just being passed on to “everyone.”
‘Chaskele’ is a local Ghanaian game somewhat similar to cricket.
It is unclear what analogy Hon. Muntaka sought to put across, but he generally described as shameful and ridiculous the president’s decision to appoint over one hundred (100) ministers, including deputies and regional ministers, the largest by any government in the 4th Republic.
President Akufo-Addo on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, submitted a list of 50 deputy ministers and 4 new ministers to serve in his government.
The list brings to a total, 110 ministers appointed to serve in government.
But speaking to Citi News’ Duke Opoku-Mensah in Parliament on Wednesday following receipt of the president’s list, the Member of Parliament for Asawase said, “It is just so shocking because, for the first time in the history of the 4th Republic, we are crossing the 90 mark.
Check President Rawlings’ ministers, check President Kufour’s ministers, the late President Atta Mills, President John Mahama, this is the biggest. It is so shameful that you will even have a Minister of State at the office of the president who also has a deputy.”
He added that, “This is the most ridiculous. Someone who is telling the whole country to tighten their belt. Look at the goods and services of more than 22 ministries put together. It is not even up to the goods and services of the government machinery. They are just adding on as if with the greatest respect, it is some ‘chaskele’; you just keep passing. I think that is just unfortunate.”
Muntaka Mubarak expressed regret that, the president had appointed many committee chairpersons in parliament to serve as ministers.
According to him, this has left the majority side of parliament with many first-time Members of Parliament who may not be able to effectively play oversight roles as Chair of the various committees of the house, as most of them have now been appointed ministers.
“I’m not doubting the capability of my colleagues who have been mentioned. The size is just too unwieldy. It cannot bring productivity.
It is a recipe for chaos, it is a recipe for confusion, people will now be struggling for turf. People will be battling for superiority.
I don’t know what has come over them. I think this is wrong.
Just look at what has happened. They’ve just swept all the committee chairpersons, weakening oversight,” he said.
“Now we’ll have to come and redo it, I’m not saying in any way that those who are left are not competent but if you have taken all the crème, you are now leaving the house with first timers, people who are really not very experienced to chair committees and you expect parliament to be stronger?,” he quizzed.
Committees in parliament usually have a member of the majority as Chairperson and or Vice Chairperson with those of the minority usually serving as Ranking and Deputy ranking member.