This Week in Parliament [7-10 November, 2017]

Highlights of what MPs discussed 7-10 November

  • MPs discuss Odekro’s approach to assessing Parliament

According to Laadi Ayi Ayamba (MP, Pusiga), considering the misconception about what Parliament does, it is necessary that non-state actors who assess Parliament engage the law-making body before publicizing their reports. The MP called on Parliament to revive public education on its work to ensure that Ghanaians appreciate the critical roles Parliament play in our democratic governance.

Dr Emmanuel Marfo (MP, Oforikrom) supported his colleague stating that “Parliament is a master of its own rules”.

Alexander Afenyo-Markin (MP, Effutu) indicated that though some MPs have received communications from Odekro, the parliamentary monitoring organization cannot independently assess MPs without engaging leadership. The Speaker suggested that the MP take up the matter with leadership of the House. Afenyo-Markin withdrew his comment subsequently. Minority Whip Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka (MP, Asawase) admonished his colleagues to diligently scrutinize the votes and proceedings (the official record of attendance and proceedings of the House) before the public does.

The Speaker has tasked the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to work with leadership to develop criteria for assessing Parliament.

It is worth mentioning that Odekro has extensively engaged both political and administrative leadership of Parliament prior to the undertaking of earlier and recent assessments.

  • Northern Development Authority and Zongo Development Fund Bills passed

Parliament has passed the Northern and Zongo development bills after MPs concluded the second consideration stage of both bills. The bills will be sent to the President for his signature (or accent) to become law.

  • Major Mahama Trust Fund Bill passed

Parliament this week passed the bill which will create a trust fund for the surviving wife and children of deceased Major of the Ghana Armed Forces, Maxwell Adam Mahama who was lynched in Denkyira Obuasi.

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo pledged a cash support of GH¢500,000 to the family of the fallen soldier which will be put into a trust fund under this bill. This is a private bill in the name of Major Mahama; the second after the General Kotoka law passed in 1978. The Major Mahama trust fund ceases to function if/when the wife chooses to re-marry or dies.

  • Ministers in Parliament for questioning

Ministers for the sectors below have stated the following development plans:

Health

a. Establishment of a district hospital in the Daffiama/Busie/Issa district (this project is contingent on budgetary allocations for next year);

b. Upgrade of Kajaji Health centre in the Sene district into a hospital;

c. Upgrade of Angola Clinic established in 1952 into a Polyclinic.

Roads and Highways

a. Engineering design studies on 6.25km town roads in Peki for possible rehabilitation/upgrade;

b. Initiation of a new contract for 44.91km road in Todome-Toh, Kpalime-Tongor Dzemeni together with other roads upon expiration of contract signed on 12th July, 2016.

  • Update: Office of Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017

The Consideration of the Office of Special Prosecutor Bill is still ongoing with amendments being made to clauses in the bill. These amendments are made to ensure that the bill does not have any errors or ambiguity when passed. The office will have an independent special prosecutor who will investigate and prosecute corruption and/or corruption-related cases in Ghana involving public officials and private individuals who have been charged with such crimes.

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©2017 This Week In Parliament