Caught Disrespecting 1992 Constitution & Political Parties Law On Foreign Funds
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), has taken its begging bowl to China for some foreign cash to support its November 2016 presidential and parliamentary electioneering campaign.
Interestingly, despite stern warnings in the 1992 Constitution, as well as the Political Parties Law; Act 574 of 2000, against non-Ghanaians funding political parties, many Chinese nationals were at the event donating to the NPP and receiving gifts of appreciation from Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who led the delegation to the Asian country.
The blatant disregard comes, following news that the NPP coffers, have been drained by especially, its flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, for his expensive travels abroad, while other expenditures made by Freddie Blay and Kwabena Abankwa Yeboah acting National Chairman and National Treasurer respectively, cannot be accounted for.
The NPP is in a dire financial stress after losing two general elections in a roll. The party, which used to flood the country with huge billboards, different kinds of posters, expensive branded pickups, radio and television advertisements, now lacks visibility less than 5 months to the November 7 election.
According to information available to The Herald, the party decided to join forces with it branch in that country to organize what it dubbed “Dinner dance and fundraising” programme, under the theme “contributing for change, the role of NPP China branch”.
The venue of last Friday’s programme was, Hengda Hotel, Guanzhou, and it lasted from 4-10pm.
On the trip with Dr. Bawumia, were John Boadu, who is the elected NPP National Organizer and acting General Secretary, and National Women organizer, Otiko Afisa Djaba.
There was also the self-acclaimed financier of the party, who doubles as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central in the Central Region, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, and colleague MP for Dome-Kwabenya, Sarah Adwoa Safo.
Incidentally, Ms. Safo is the mother (baby mama) of Ken Agyapong’s two children. The two have been in an amorous relationship leading to the birth of the children, but for a long time, there has been some disquiet between them. The Chinese trip is seen as a reconciliation trip for the estranged lovebirds.
The NPP, has a penchant for raising funds outside Ghana, but what makes this particular one suspicious and interesting is that, the number of Chinese national, seen at the event outnumbered the Ghanaian residents and party members who organized the ceremony.
The Chinese received gifts, NPP mufflers and handshakes from Dr. Bawumia and the executives for their generous contributions to the party’s 2016 campaign. The Chinese also got broad smiles.
It is, however, unclear what the Chinese were promised, especially so when the state security agencies are struggling to rid them away from many mining enclaves in Ghana. It is not clear whether the NPP promised them a return to Ghana, if it wins the November polls.
Article 55, Clause 15 of the 1992 Constitution state that, “only a citizen of Ghana may make a contribution or donation to a political party registered in Ghana”.
PART III of the Political Parties Law Act 574, (2000) on – Funding of Political Parties, also insists “Only a citizen may contribute in cash or in kind to the funds of a political party”.
It mentioned that, “A firm, partnership, or enterprise owned by a citizen or a company registered under the laws of the Republic at least seventy-five percent of whose capital is owned by a citizen is for the purposes of this Act a citizen”.
On “No contribution by non-citizens, it states that “A non-citizen shall not directly or indirectly make a contribution or donation or loan whether in cash or in kind to the funds held by or for the benefit of a political party and no political party or person acting for or on behalf of a political party shall demand or accept a contribution donation or loan from a non-citizen”.
Contraventions of this Part.
“Where any person contravenes section 23 or 24, in addition to any penalty that may be imposed under this Act, any amount whether in cash or in kind paid in contravention of the section shall be forfeited to the State and the amount shall be recovered from the political party as debt owed to the State. The political party or person in whose custody the amount is for the time being held shall pay it to the State”.
“A non-citizen found guilty of contravention of section 24 shall be deemed to be a prohibited immigrant and liable to deportation under the Aliens Act, 1963 (Act 160)”.
“The provisions of sections 23 and 24 do not preclude a government of any country or a non-governmental organization from providing assistance in cash or in kind to the Commission for use by the Commission for the collective benefit of registered political parties”.
It is unclear what the Electoral Commission (EC), might do about this issue.