General News of Thursday, 27 September 2018
A meeting between executives of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) and Parliament’s Communications Committee Thursday was suspended abruptly following what has been described as an “embarrassing spectacle” between two members of the committee.
Chairman of the Committee Kennedy Agyapong and a committee member Sam George were said to have engaged in nasty exchanges forcing an abrupt suspension of the meeting.
GIBA members are mourning what they describe as an unfair invasion of the Ghanaian market by a Chinese competitor Startimes and are seeking help from Parliament.
For weeks they have engaged in a media war with the Communications Ministry in a desperate attempt to have government rescind its decision to award the contract expansion of the Digital Terrestrial Television platform to Startimes, a Chinese Company.
On Thursday, the GIBA members went to Parliament, hoping to rally the support of the law making body to intervene on their behalf.
But the institution whose help they seek is divided along party lines. It did not take too long for cracks within Parliament’s committee to emerge.
A member of the committee Ras Mubarak would not say what exactly happened but told Joy News’ Parliamentary correspondent Joseph Opoku Gakpo the incident was “embarrassing.”
“It was a dent on the credibility of Parliament,” he said, adding Parliament must move quickly to reconstitute the committee.
When asked what exactly happened he said “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”
He said given the important role the committee plays and its oversight responsibility over number institutions, something urgent must be done in terms of reconstituting the committee.
“I will not want to be a member of a committee that can’t conduct itself well in the presence of guests,” he said.
However, reports say there was an altercation between Kennedy Agyapong and Sam George right in the presence of the GIBA members which forced a suspension of the meeting.
The chairman of the Committee, Agyapong, was alleged to have used a word Sam George found insulting and the Ningo Prampram MP demanded a retraction and an apology.
Kennedy Agyapong refused to retract and apologise which led to a degeneration of the matter. The meeting had to be suspended for at least 30 minutes reports said.
The members were later recalled to continue with the meeting.