The Majority Leader has called on the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee currently deliberating on the Vigilantism and Related offences Bill 2019, to eschew partisanship. 

Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu observed that the draft bill in its current form does not tackle the root cause of vigilantism. 

Charlotte Osei at Parliament

He, therefore, charged the members of the committee to eschew their differences and ensure that an effective bill is passed.

“Be less partisan and adversarial as possible in the consideration of this bill in order to help Parliament craft a law that will decapitate this menace,” he remarked. 

The law on vigilantism may see the light of day soon as Parliament re-engages on the draft bill. 

The bill until recently had been left unattended to following Parliament’s recess. Now it is being considered under certificate urgency. 

The January 2019 by-election at Ayawaso West Wuogon, which was marred by violence, set in motion series of executive actions which were meant to put to rest, political violence.

The Emile Short Commission tasked to investigate the violence has submitted its report.

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Equally, the two leading political parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP), are currently in a conference being moderated by the National Peace Council, to voluntarily disband party vigilante groups loyal to them following a directive by the president.

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The Bill before Parliament is perhaps the final push to completely bury political vigilantism.

The ten clause Bill seeks to “disband political party vigilante groups and proscribe acts of vigilantism in the country.

“Failure to comply with the requirements of the Bill is punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than five years and not more than fifteen years,” the Preamble to the bill reads.

At a forum Thursday aimed at eliciting stakeholder views before the bill is passed into law, the Suame legislator said “the two main political parties are guilty of these (Political violence). I do not want to talk about the extent of guilt but stealing is stealing, guilt is guilt.”

He warned that even though Ghana is touted for its peace-loving nature, nothing must be left to chance.

That was not all.

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On her part, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Gloria Akuffo, promised support for Parliament in the passage of the bill into law.

She is optimistic that incidents of politically motivated violence will be a thing of the past once the law comes into effect. 

It will strengthen Ghana’s democracy and promote the rule of law, the Attorney-General noted.