03.08.2006 Health

Media Practitioners Cautioned To Use Press Freedom Within The Law

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Mr Emmanuel Asamoah Owusu-Ansah, the Ashanti Regional Minister, has called on media practitioners not to misuse the press freedom they enjoy to create confusion at certain levels in the society.

He said it was because of the important and the dual roles they play as the fourth estate in nation building that the criminal libel law, which militated against their activities was repealed.

Mr Owusu-Ansah said this during an interaction with media practitioners in Kumasi.

He said they have all the avenues to investigate all the information they receive and it was therefore appropriate for them to fully investigate issues before going to press.

He said he would not be glued to his office and would endeavour to visit the various press houses, as well as the district assemblies to know of their problems and how best to assist in addressing those problems.

Answering some questions from the practitioners on the Asafo market interchange in Kumasi, Mr Owusu-Ansah said the contractor had assured him that he would complete the project within six months period.

He indicated that with his influence and the pressure from some quarters, he would ensure that the project was completed on schedule and called for patience and support from the public.

On political polarisation in the country, the Regional Minister pointed out that polarisation in terms of politics exists all over the world and so it was not strange that such a thing was prevailing in the country.

He said what was important was for every individual who had been assigned a responsibility do it well to enhance the proper development of the country since, "We all cannot belong to one party".

Mr Owusu-Ansah said his doors were open to all media houses and the general public for all sorts of issues that would contribute to the rapid development of the region.

On a question of rifts between District Chief Executives (DCEs) and Members of Parliament (MPs), Mr Owusu-Ansah stressed that the problems were sometimes human-related and as the head of the region he would do well to handle the problems as they come.

Madam Patricia Appiagyei, the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, said the 1.5 billion cedis that was used for the general clean-up exercise in the metropolis this year was not wasted and that the equipment and tools that were purchased through the money has become the property of the assembly.

He said the assembly would soon distribute the assembly's bye-laws to all press houses for study.

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