…As Speaker Refers Contemptuous Comments To Leadership
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, a financial analyst and social commentator, Mr. Sidney Casely Hayford, will appear before the Privileges Committee of Parliament on a date yet to be decided, to respond to a contempt complaint lodged against him.
The outspoken commentator and leading member of OccupyGhana, a pressure group, is alleged to have denigrated the House in the media, describing the parliamentarians as a bunch of persons who just sit in parliament “to make stupid decisions and pass stupid laws.”
Hon. Mohammed Ras Mubarak, Member of Parliament (MP) for Kumbungu, raised the issue on the floor parliament yesterday.
According to the MP, a publication on the Ghanaweb news portal quoted Mr. Casely-Hayford as stating, “These people are sitting there, spending money like crazy, making stupid decisions and passing stupid laws.”
He is alleged to have argued that rather than making the interest of the country priority, they capitalise on their position to exploit the country’s resources.
“All they can 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 and that’s the pattern,” he is quoted as saying.
Mr. Casely-Hayford, who, according to Ghana-web.com, was a guest speaker at a seminar, dubbed “The Economic and Political Rise of Africa,” said parliamentarians, contrary to their role of representing the voiceless by passing laws that help promote development in the country, pass laws without considering the relevant factors and the consequences their actions may produce.
While speaking as the guest speaker, he attacked the parliamentarians, saying, “They don’t read the papers that they are given, they don’t think through what the challenges are.”
He is also alleged to have said, for him, the parliament house is merely as good as a tourist site which will serve the country better by bringing in income through tourism.
He recommended that the country’s existing legislative body be dissolved, and regional ones formed to ensure measurable work is done and to promote accountability in the country.
“The first thing I will do if I had the opportunity is to break down parliament. We don’t need it,” he said, the Ghanaweb news portal quoted.
“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 post it all, so people can see,” he is quoted to have said.
“We should have regional parliaments, every region, we have 10 of them in Ghana, every region must have its own legal parliament, every region must have its own law courts, every region must have its ministries and down at that level, let the decisions be made as to where they want to go,” he added.
According to Hon. Mubarak what Mr. Casely-Hayford is quoted to have said amounted are contemptuous, as the comments are disrespectful to parliament and sought to ridicule the 275 legislators and therefore he must be cited for “Contempt of Parliament.”
The Deputy Minority Leader, James Klutse Avedzi, and Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, respectively requested the matter be looked into but, asked the Speaker for directions.
Hon Joseph Osei Owusu, first Deputy Speaker, who was sitting on the Speaker’s seat, referred the matter to the leadership of parliament to determine the fate of Mr. Casely-Hayford.
Mr. Avedzi described the financial analyst’s comments as unsavoury, and wondered why he would use such harsh words on the members who are only doing their work on behalf of the people of Ghana.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba