General News of Friday, 14 July 2017
Outspoken anti-corruption campaigner and leading member of pressure group, Occupy Ghana, Sydney Casely-Hayford is likely to be in hot waters as he has been cited for a possible contempt of Parliament.
Casely-Hayford who is noted for his frankness on topical issues, is reported to have said Members of Ghana’s Parliament make “stupid decisions.”
Mr. Casely-Hayford who is also a financial analyst is further reported to have said at a summit on “The Economic and Political Rise of Africa” that Ghana would have been better off without Parliament and if given the chance he will “break down” the law-making house and turn it into a tourist site.
“These people are sitting there, spending money like crazy, making stupid decisions, and passing stupid laws. They don’t read the papers that they are given, they don’t think through what the challenges are…The first thing I will do if I had the opportunity is to break down parliament. We don’t need it. Maybe if we break it down we are wasting money but maybe we can use it as a tourist attraction, we can say, this is what we used to do in the past, so come for a tour and then we should just poster it all so people can see,” he reportedly said.
Unhappy about Casely-Hayford’s comments, the Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak on Thursday called on the Speaker of the House to haul the anti-corruption campaigner before the House to justify the claims.
Meanwhile, the First Deputy Speaker, Joe Osei Wusu who chaired the session referred the matter to the leadership of the House for consideration.
“I have a news report with caption: Ghanaian MPs only make stupid decisions and pass stupid laws by Sydney Casely-Hayford. Mr. Speaker in the said story the gentleman by name Mr. Sydney Casely-Hayford is reported and there is an accompanying video to the story where he is seen and heard making comments that affronts the dignity of this honourable House. Mr. Speaker not only are his comments an attack on the integrity of all members of Parliament, past and present but if one were to stretch it, it even borders on promoting hatred and vandalism when he talks about breaking down parliament. Mr. Speaker we have a duty to defend and honour the integrity of this House.”
“Mr. Speaker if this nation cannot honour Members of Parliament, then we must not sit down for people to abuse both past and present members of Parliament who have and or are working tirelessly or striving for the best interest of the ordinary Ghanaians. The gentleman has indicted all of us here and those before us,” Ras Mubarak added.
Ras Mubarak further argued that if Casely-Hayford’s claims are swept under the carpet, “it will set a very bad precedent and create more room for people to impugn the reputation of members of this house.”
“So Mr. Speaker I wish therefore to call on this honourable house to call the gentleman to appear before the house to answer contempt charges,” he added.
Persons cited for contempt of Parliament
Parliament has in the past hauled several persons including radio personality, Blakk Rasta, Mark Anthony Vinorkor, a Daily Graphic reporter for contempt of the House.
Prof. Alex Dodoo, a lecturer at the School of Medicine and Dentistry of the University of Ghana was also summoned to appear before Privileges Committee for allegedly attacking members of Parliament (MPs) over a suspended Ebola vaccine trial.