Three Years After Black Rasta’s Public Appearance
Journalists covering proceedings at Privileges Committee of Parliament’s sitting on the Assin Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong’s demeaning claims against Parliament, were yesterday ordered out of the proceedings in an Animal Farm formula “Four legs good, two legs bad”.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP, was hauled before the Committee after he allegedly called his colleague legislators “useless” for making Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu the Majority Leader.
This comes exactly three years this month, when Musician and Radio Host, Black Rasta, was publicly dragged to the same Privileges Committee of Parliament, for alleging that about 80 percent or more of Ghana’s legislators “might have used marijuana before or are using it.”
Black Rasta’s proceedings and subsequent apology was live on most TV and radio station across the country and beat people’s imagination why Ken Agyapong’s much-hyped appearance, was held behind closed doors with suggestions of preferential treatment.
Ken Agyapong’s comments, were deemed to be in contempt of parliament and was accordingly cited as such by the MP for Asawase, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak.
When the Committee sat on Tuesday, June 26, its Chairman, Joseph Osei Owusu, said the media were not invited and asked them to leave the room for proceedings to continue.
He said, the media would be invited at the appropriate time.
Meanwhile, the chairman said both the witness and accused, were given notice to appear before the Committee.
Mr Agyapong was last week referred to the Privileges Committee by Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak for allegedly describing Parliament as a “useless” institution.
This followed a motion brought before the Speaker by the Minority Whip.
Kennedy Agyapong, got angry about the interference of the Majority Leader in Parliament in his fight with ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament, Muntaka Mubarak, stated that he had in his possession, a recording of Agyapong’s comments.
“Mr Speaker, I have the tape here, our colleague is referring to this House as useless. If I am to paraphrase, if this House is not useless, we will not have the likes of Osei Mensah-Bonsu to be its leader,” he said.
The Assin Central MP, who feels uncomfortable by the action of the Asawase Constituency MP, indicated blatantly that the former was dumb several times in an interview with the press.
He said: “I am not scared of anybody in this country…I live my life…that is a dumb statement he has ever made…he is a dumb MP and now I will take him on, let him go to the privileges committee and say that I said so because he did not listen to the context of the issue and just dragged the matter to the committee.”
He stressed, “I am surprised there are dumb MPs…they will prove it because the video and tape are there.”
“I am surprised we have MPs who just consume information without digesting it… I am not afraid, the tape is there let them play it if I insulted any MP…I respect him but the way he tries to disrespect me, I don’t like that,” he stated.
In the case of Black Rasta, the radio host in 2015, had made the comments on his radio show and also asked for the Constitution to be translated into a local language [Twi] because according to him, Parliamentarians speak bad English.
He mimicked “My God I check on this grammar and it’s terrible. And I really want to know if our laws can be written in Twi so we will understand that better, rather than this English that we are terrorising ourselves with.”
The decision was taken after an angry NPP MP, Dr. Hennric Yeboah, asked the then Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, to allow them to summon Black Raster before the committee.
“Mr Speaker there is a serious indictment in the Today’s searchlight. There is a Musician called Black Rasta, he said 80 percent of MPs smoke wee and I think it is an indictment,” Dr Henric Yeboah told the House on Wednesday.
The Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho in response to Mr. Hennric’s request, said appropriate sanctions would be taken against the Radio Show Host.
“At the appropriate time we will take the matter up,” Doe Adjaho said.
On Thursday, the House agreed that Black Rasta should face the Privilages Committee.
Section 5 (1) of Narcotic Drugs Control and Enforcement and Sanctions Law says : “No person shall without lawful authority or excuse smoke, sniff, consume, inject in his body or otherwise administer narcotic drug on his body.”
Section 5 (2) of the same law also indicates that : “Any person who without lawful authority injects any person with, or in any manner administers narcotic drug to any person commits an offence.”
However, the marijuana advocate [Black Rasta] who was calling for the legalization of the substance in Ghana, accused the MPs of being hypocritical for not supporting the campaign.
He wondered why government, was dragging its feet on legalizing a “God given herb” which could generates more revenues to revive the ailing economy.
“We can get a lot more products from marijuana than cocoa, marijuana doesn’t kill, we can use it for commercial purposes which Ghana can make a lot of moneyfrom” he said on his radio show.