Majority Leader and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has been exposed after it emerged that he was rather the one demanding an additional GHC190 million to be added to the budget earmarked for parliament.
A copy of minutes dated November 30, 2021 on the prepared budget sighted by MyNewsGh.com addressing one Mohammed, the minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu demanded that GHC20 million be added to the budgeted amount.
“Please add GHC20,000,000 to compensation budget. Board (Net recruitments)”, he demanded and signed off.
Hon Kyei Mensah Bonsu on the other hand, wrote “By my engagement with the Ministry of Finance I guess it is extremely difficult for them to go beyond the GHc510 million. However with the new recruitments capex involving the const. offices, they should be able to accommodate GHC190 million extra to bring it to a total of GHC700 million. I shall press for that”, and signed on December 1, 2021.
It emerged that the Speaker of Parliament Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin who was the last and fourth official to comment on the proposed budget on December 6, 2021 addressing the majority and minority leaders wrote “I affirm the GHC726m recommended by the Minority Leader. Parliament will have to cut down on a number of budget items”.
This is however in sharp contrast to claims made by the Suame lawmaker that the Speaker demanded a total of GHC1.7 billion from the budget as a pre-requisite to approving government’s entire 2022 budget.
Speaking at a Press Conference on Thursday, Mr Osei Kyei Mensah claimed the Speaker requested that a whopping GH¢1.7 billion allocation be made to parliament
“Distinguished colleagues, I told you that some clergy men, the cream of Christendom in the country have met me and I am not going to speak for a long time but the people of this country should know what is leading all of us into this crisis,” Kyei Mensah-Bonsu said.
“GH¢1.72 billion for what? He says that he has information that the total revenue of this country was going to be GH¢89 billion and that the Finance Minister should give him 2 percent of it and that works to GH¢1.72 billion,” he added.
“If he doesn’t give Parliament GH¢1.72 billion, then his budget is going to be thrown out. He was going to make sure the budget is rejected,” Kyei Mensah-Bonsu revealed.
“So, all that is playing out, is it to satisfy what the Speaker indicated at the very beginning of the presentation of the budget? That; this budget, he will make sure the budget is rejected? Is that the case?” he asked.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the “people of this country ought to know the mindset of this Speaker concerning this budget? So, all this playing out, really, and that is why he sits and elects to leave the chamber, to create problems”.
The Majority Leader said: “I told you that some clergymen, the queen of Christendom in the country, have met me. I’m not going to speak for any long time, but the people of this country should know what is leading all of us into this crisis”.
On the Speaker’s demand for two percent of the national revenue for parliament, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said: “GH¢1.72 billion for what?”
“He [Bagbin] says that he has information that the total revenue of this country was going to be GHS89 billion and that the finance minister should give him 2 percent of it, and that works to GH¢1.72 billion”.
“If he [Finance Minister] doesn’t give parliament GHS1.72 billion, then his budget is going to be thrown out; he [Bagbin] was going to make sure that the budget was rejected”.
“Is that where we are going as a country?” he wondered. “I’m hoping that this period that we have – between now and 18 January, we’ll be able to get to the bottom of this and rally together as one people in one country with a common destiny and not submit to the whims and caprices of just one individual”.
The Speaker of Parliament Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has said that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) risks losing the 2024 elections should the E-levy be passed.
Speaker Bagbin made this pronouncement when he addressed former Members of Parliament(MPs) at a forum Thursday.
He said “as you go around convincing Ghanaians to vote for your party and you, others with big pockets are facilitating for your parties and when you win power, they get the positions not you. So they don’t have that culture, they don’t have that understanding and there is that missing link.
They come to impose their ideas on you to put party interest first not Ghana first and we always vote ourselves out of power which my colleagues in
NPP are doing so don’t be surprised if the next election you don’t win”.
“Yes it’s very clear if this your e-levy goes through you have lost the election,” he said emphatically.
The Speaker absorbed himself of any blame in relation to the brawl that ensued in Parliament on Monday over the e-levy.
“I can give you a copy of my closing remarks which when I was leaving I passed through my Usher to give to them. It was after 10 in the night and I
had to go and take a rest because you delayed in sitting, I had to compel the house to sit after 2 and decided and said let’s discuss e-levy, you say no, vary the order of business, I kept on varying the order of business, we did about 6 important items, approving other loans until I had to hand over
getting to 6: 30 to the first Deputy Speaker now they say I refuse to preside that is why some numbers were not in the house.”
He continued” I’m not a Chief whip of any political party, I’m not entitled to bring members to the house, that’s not my duty. I am to preside and
apply the rules and I’ve applied them fairly, according to my understanding through literature, through experience”.
It could be remembered that the Majority in Parliament on Monday indicated that they cannot find the Speaker of Parliament who was expected to
preside over sitting on the day to ensure that e-levy is passed on certificate of urgency.
The first Deputy Speaker Joe Osei-Owusu had to preside over the sitting but had to hand over to the Second Deputy but this degenerated into a brawl between the Majority and the Minority in the house which has widely been condemned.