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29.04.2019 General News

Anti-vigilantism Bill Delayed For Further Consultations – Majority Leader

Staff Writer
Anti-vigilantism Bill Delayed For Further Consultations – Majority Leader

Consideration of the Vigilantism and Related Offences Bill currently before Parliament has been slowed to allow for more consultations.

According to the Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Osei Mensah Kyei Bonsu, the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament informed him that “further consultation is required” before the Bill could be passed.

The Majority Leader indicated that the delay is also necessary to enable the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee receive recommendations from the anti-vigilantism dialogue between the governing New Patriotic Party and the opposition National Democratic Congress and being mediated by the National Peace Council.

“…As honourable members may recall, the House was informed of a possible recall from recess to consider amongst others, the Vigilantism and Related Offences Bill, 2019. However, indications from the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs reveals that further consultation is required, including the Professor Emmanuel Asante Committee Report on the Bill. In the circumstances, consideration of the Bill at this Emergency Meeting may not be done,” Osei Mensah Kyei Bonsu told Parliamentarians on Monday.

Parliamentarians had been recalled from recess to consider some pressing issues including the Companies Bill, 2018.

“The House would, however, concentrate on the Companies Bill, 2018, the Sinohydro-related tax exemptions as well as other very important agreements requiring urgent consideration by Parliament,” the Majority Leader added.

Last week, the stakeholder conference on vigilantism and other related offences Bill which was scheduled for 24th April 2019 was suspended indefinitely.

According to a press statement from the Parliament, the indefinite suspension was to ensure that every Ghanaian had the opportunity to give their input.

The deadline for submission of a memorandum from Ghanaians has been extended to 13th May 2019.

President Nana Akufo-Addo had vowed to use legislation to address political vigilantism if the two main political parties fail to resolve it through dialogue.

The two parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) have held meetings in this regard.

The meetings are being mediated by the National Peace Council.

Though more meetings are expected, the NPP and the NDC have among other things agreed to stop the ownership, hiring and the utilisation of vigilante and or militia groups by political members.