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Parliament can’t fire non-performing ministers – Minority Leader

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Kyei-Mensah Bonsu

Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Minority Leader in Parliament, on Wednesday said the practice of reshuffling non-performing ministers by the President enfeebled parliament’s control over the executive.

He said parliament was constrained to remove such non-performing ministers from office since the convention had been that instead of firing them they were rather reassigned.

The Minority Leader was contributing to a motion on the approval of two Deputy Ministers designates Dr Mustapha Ahmed, Deputy Minister Designate for Water Resources, Works and Housing and Mr San Nasamu Asabigi, Deputy Minister Designate for Northern Region.

He said article 78 Section “1” of the 1992 Constitution prescribed that anyone, who is qualified to be elected as a member of parliament is eligible to be a Minister.

Papa Owusu-Ankomah, member for Sekondi in a rebuttal, disagreed with the Minority Leader and said Parliament had the mandate to cause the removal of non-performing ministers.

In his explanation, he asked whether parliament would approve a person found not to be fit for a ministerial position.

Papa Owusu-Ankomah further argued that what the constitution prescribed was legitimacy but not mandatory in the appointment of ministers adding that parliament could be constrained in a way but there was a way out.

He said if that was the case why parliament vetted them and added that there were clauses in the constitution that took care of this anomaly.

Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, Second Deputy Speaker, said the concern was a legitimate one and would be considered.

Mrs Joyce Bamford-Addo, Speaker of Parliament, said it was only the Supreme Court that could interpret the issues satisfactorily.

She asked whether if a person who could not read and write English, would qualify as a minister.

The Minority Leader in an answer said the constitution did not frown on such persons becoming ministers adding they could become ministers without hindrance.

On housing, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu expressed worry over how government would acquire enough land to execute the 600 thousand housing units promised Ghanaians.

He said the first phase of 400 thousand units alone was a whole community that could stand on its own.

Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Member of Parliament for Bantama said government must do all in its power to complete the affordable housing project started by the previous government.

She said Ghanaians must not trivialize water shortage adding that good water supply was life.

Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development said, the Deputy Northern Regional Minister designate, Mr San Asabigi must assist his Minister to put the necessary mechanism in place to avoid conflicts in the region.

He said the humility, hard work and diligence of Mr Asabigi would propel him to success in his new appointment.

Source: GNA

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