Daily Graphic of Monday, 10 March 2014, Mark-Anthony Vinorkor reported that, seasoned and doyen of the Parliament of Ghana from Nadowli/kaleo, now Majority leader of the Parliament of Ghana Mr Alban S.K. Bagbin, has admitted that ‘some Members of Parliament (MPs) take bribes to articulate the views of some individuals and organisations on the floor of Parliament” This is disastrous and goes to inform the repulsive and weaknesses of State institutions.
Mr Appiah-Ofori in 2008 had alleged that members on the Majority side (NPP) had been paid $5,000 each by the government to push forward the Vodafone deal and this statement was paradoxically affirmed by Mr Bagbin at the BUSAC meeting at Koforidua in that governments on both ends give out brown envelopes to push forward their controversial bills.
In another development, earlier report in 2003, the editor of the Ghanaian Times Mr Tom Dorkenoo; his deputy, Robert Bentil, and the reporter who filed a story that MP for Mpohor had alleged some MPs take bribe at committee level were hauled before the Privileges Committee of Parliament of Ghana and after threats, they were made to retract the story and apologise to the House.
Professor Adei’s hey on corruption charges levelled against some Members of the Parliament of Ghana must be an awakening call, a message to the Parliament of Ghana and Ghana’s policy think tanks that something is wrong and that something heinous is itching hard towards explosion and that leadership must sit up, cautioned and call all to order all members of the House who want to take advantage of constitutional protective provisions to cheat on the masses to desist and refrain from any such actions whatsoever to protect the interest and image of House.
Members of the Parliament of Ghana must not undermine the protective constitutional provisions to misconduct, dishonour and abuse the integrity and honour associated with the only longest living August House Ghana has ever had. To derail and demean the honours associated with the Parliament of Ghana and act viciously against the Peoples House whilst being a member of the house shall be too damaging to one individualistic welfare and of the entire nation.
To the Ghanaian layman, what the previous Members of Parliament said about some of their colleagues is to be accepted as the normative truth whether justified or otherwise and that people of the house must mindful that the credibility of the House is at stake and none of them should do anything incriminating to erode the credibility of the House.
Safe Democracy Ghana would not contend that Article 117, 118, 122 and 123 of the 1992 constitution were enacted as protective gear and for the defence of illegality or mischief.
Article 117 (1992) Civil or criminal process coming from any court or place out of Parliament shall not be served on, or executed in relation to, the Speaker or a member or the Clerk to Parliament while he is on his way to, attending at or returning from, any proceedings of Parliament.
Article 118.2 (1992). The certificate of the Speaker that a member or the Clerk is attending the proceedings of Parliament is conclusive evidence of attendance at Parliament.
Not to erode the significance of the Parliament of Ghana pari passu other democratic nations under the telescopic watch of Transparency International, mother Ghana requires institutions of state comprising the Executive, the Parliament and the Judiciary to act independently of one another under a strict guidance of the rule of law to defeat the spate of corruption affianced to institutions of state that are primarily available for law enactments, enforcement and implementations.
Corruptions are rife where democratic institutions do not work. Unlike the authoritarian regimes, democracy is about the people and people in public offices must guard against corruption in all its facets, more so policy makers and those in the helms of affairs of our institutions of state must also guard against this evil canker that disrupts the efficacy of our democratic rule with the resultant effect to plunder the nation in abject poverty which may lead to war and carnage.
With the Ghanaian past disgusting experience in republicanism, it is time every civil and public servant distance itself from any act that may plunder the nation in a seemingly disastrous counteracts that brought about untold revolutions on the people of Ghana.
Executive Director of the Centre for Freedom and Accuracy, Andrew Awuni, on February 21, 2015 told TV3 Network his centre has information on “much more scandalous and dreadful cases of corruption in Government that could destabilize the nation when revealed”. He said “the effects of destabilized country will outweigh the benefits of disclosing such information hence he has a duty to protect it.”
The larger picture and the fear about these charges are instability of the state of Ghana in the wake of public anger and mistrust against the government of Ghana comprising the Presidency, the Parliament and the judicial system of this republic.
To repeat what the Majority leader said to an audience of Centre for Social Democracy that “the threat to our democracy now is not the military, its civil society.
“You see where Burkina Faso is? The threat to our democracy now is not the military; its civil society,” “…Political leadership, religious leadership, leadership in any facet of our society, must fight hard to earn the credibility. All this is happening because of loss of credibility. People now don’t believe in leadership, you don’t trust, you don’t have confidence in leadership. Something must be done about it.”
Safe Democracy Ghana contends that, the panacea to warp and rake-down on corruption and to build confidence and trust in civil and public lives must be based on just and equitable rule of law under which nobody trumped or stampedes.
The people of mother Ghana must reconsider the rigid laws of separation of powers and reconstitute the existing structures of Ghana’s constitutional bodies to match those nations from whom we seek to learn from and on whose donor fund we seem to be striving on for our developmental programmes.
Where those transparent rigid laws of checks and balances were enacted, the rate of corruption is low and witness to such are the humble works of Transparency International in the global village. States with working democratic institutions ranked the least in terms of public office corruption.
Polybius theory on separation of powers broaden by Charles, Baron de Montesquieu adopted by most of the European nations and the United States of America helped them cure human aptitude towards corruption and evil doing.
Mother Ghana requires a Ceremonial Presidency in the person of the President of the National House of Chiefs who evidently is the Head of the fiduciaries of land that makes up mother Ghana, the head of the custodian of our culture and tradition and the leader of two hundred and seventy four Traditional Councils headed by Paramount Chiefs.
He is elected as the President of the National House of Chiefs by his counsels made up of five representatives each from the ten regional houses of chiefs of Ghana. The other forty nine members adjudicate with him matters affecting the house and the nation in its entirety. His term of office is four years renewable only once.
The Presidency rotates among the elected representatives of our traditional authorities to the National House of Chiefs and today the President of the House is Professor Nabila of Northern Regional House of Chiefs.
They are debarred and disqualified to be members of parliament of Ghana under Article 94(3c) and debarred under Article 276 (1) from active politics but may be appointed to public office for which they are otherwise qualified under Article 276(2). And under Act 574 (2000) they are debarred not to participate nor canvas for vote for any political party.
People’s power must rule through the congenial political parties from which the Chief Executive Officer of the people of Ghana must be gotten from to execute a position of a member of the majority political party in the August House to be ceremoniously appointed by the Head of all Traditional Councils in Ghana.
Much as the government is of the people and for the people, the State shall require a second thinking body to represent the interest of the state in tandem with the people and a countervailing authority to check on the house of the people from where we make the Chief Executive officer of Ghana.
Safe Democracy Ghana advocates that, the house must not wholly be political inclined institution and membership must be limited to organizational representatives from within and without Ghana labour Union and the Trade Union Congress, then twenty representative from regional houses of chiefs throughout Ghana of which half of them shall be female and representative each from the constituent of the National Peace Council under Act 818.
The population quota for the determination of electing Members of Parliament be increased and the number of Members of Parliament of Ghana be reduced to about one hundred and fifty whilst that of the council of state be elevated to a Second Chamber Parliament with about 70 members and empowered to deliberate, to approve and disapprove of legislations of the Primary Chamber Parliament and to investigate all malfeasance without the need of approval from the President as so indicated in Article 98.2 of the 1992 constitution.
What this advocacy desires to do is among other things, consolidate the Ghanaian culture and tradition in our democracy, activate participatory democracy where all members of the society are involved in decision making of the only place we call home, reduce the influence of big corporations on government, open the government to public scrutiny, and hold public officials accountable for their misdeeds and eliminating hang-ups, detestable electoral laws and the cost of electioneering of the President of Ghana under this dispensation where corporate bodies aligned themselves with political parties with the sole objectives of securing government contracts and favours.
Almighty God has already blessed mother Ghana and it is our turn to blossom it for our grandchildren yet unborn.
Long live Ghana
BY : Munir Saani
Safe Democracy Ghana.