General News of Sunday, 16 July 2017
Kumbungu MP Ras Mubarak has said Sydney Casely-Hayford’s apology for alleged derogatory comments he made against parliament does not save him from eventually being hauled before parliament.
A contempt of parliament charge looms over the OccupyGhana member for his remarks about the law-making arm of government at a summit a week ago.
The Kumbungu MP on the floor of parliament on Thursday July 13 requested Speaker Mike Oquaye to invite the financial analyst to answer for comments he deemed injurious to the reputation of the house.
According to him, Mr Casely-Hayford had said the following about current and past MPs:
(1) “These people are sitting there, spending money like crazy, making stupid decisions and passing stupid laws…”
(2) “All they think of is ‘let’s pass this thing quickly, let’s go to Senchi Royal, let’s go and sit there and chill and come back…’”
(3) “They don’t read the papers that they are given, they don’t think through what the challenges are…”
(4) “The first thing I will do if I had the opportunity is to break down parliament…”
Mr Casely-Hayford, in an interview with Cit FM in Accra apologised for his “over the top” comments.
“I indeed went over the top, I do apologise for that. I used some language which I suppose I should not have used. I unreservedly apologise, because in mature conversation when you say something that you offend somebody and you are prompted, the least you can do is to say ‘I’m sorry’. It wasn’t meant to be offensive, this is where I was going and if it came out the wrong way then I do apologise sincerely, I have no reservation doing that,” he said.
But the MP wondered why Mr Casely-Hayford retracted the said comments only after he had petitioned parliament – a week after they had been uttered.
“If I had not taken this matter to parliament would he have come out to apologise for his comments? Because it’s about a week since he made those comments, so what was he waiting for all this while?” Mr Mubarak questioned on Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM on Friday July 14
In his view, he did not see how Mr Casely-Hayford, whom he described as a friend of more than 10 years, would be able to wriggle out of a likely conviction for contempt should he be brought before the legislature, adding that it would be the place of parliament to determine what sanctions, hence his apology would not preclude an invitation to the chamber.
“His comments are so contemptuous, I don’t see how he can escape the problems he has created for himself,” he told show host Chief Jerry Forson.
“It’s not up to him as an individual to say he should be forgiven or punished. There are 275 of us plus the Speaker of parliament, the clerks. All of us have been tainted by the insult, so it will take all of us [to make a decision]. So at the end of the day, in line with the workings of parliament, the majority decision will carry the day.”