Sam Jonah calls for a review of 1992 constitution

Sir Sam Jonah11 Sir Sam Jonah is Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC)

Sat, 23 Apr 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Sam Jonah says the Constitution must be reviewed

He said there must be changes in powers granted to the executive

Jonah noted there is an 'executocracy' not democracy

Samuel Esson Jonah, Knight of the British Empire (KBE) is calling for a review of Ghana's 1992 Constitution in order to completely make changes to powers granted to the Executive arm of government.

Describing it as an "executocracy", not a democracy, the Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) said that the Constitution in its current state has “created a monstrous Executive which looms large over the other arms of the governance structure.”

Delivering a speech virtually to members of the Rotary Club in Ghana and abroad on April 21, the Leadership Consultant said it is unfortunate that “for 28 years, we have failed to make any meaningful changes to strengthen our democracy.”

“Actually, what we have is an “Executocracy”, not a democracy. The President is supposed to appoint the majority of his Ministers from Parliament. By definition, that makes Parliament a rubber stamp, because no MP in the ruling party will be able to stand up and demand accountability from the Executive – they are all scrambling for positions,” Sam Jonah emphasised.

The speech by the Knight of the British Empire touched on every aspect of the country, including corruption, governance, the economy as well as the role of the media and academia in shaping the future of the nation.

He further touched on how the current constitutional irregularities have affected the Judiciary.

Sir Jonah said, “the Judiciary is no different. The President has a determining role in the appointment of all the judges of the Supreme Court, including the Chief Justice. This fosters the perception that the situation compromises the impartiality and independence of the judiciary.

“Indeed, a large section of the citizenry believe that the judiciary is not impartial with 85 per cent of Ghanaians in a recent Afrobarometer survey perceiving the judiciary as corrupt and ineffective.”

He observed that the Legislative arm of government is also facing the same fate with corruption among sitting Members of Parliament.

“Few years ago, a prominent MP said publicly that parliamentarians take bribes to pass bills that favour their sponsors.

“Ladies and gentlemen, if a fish comes out from water to tell us that the crocodile has one eye, who are we to doubt it? Incidentally, the said MP, Mr. Alban Bagbin is now the Speaker of Parliament,” Sir Sam Jonah stressed.

The former President of AngloGold Ashanti is therefore proposing a change in the Constitution to correct these imbalances.

“To have a meaningful democracy, we cannot continue on the path of a tripod with one leg stronger than the other two combined. We must commit to [reviewing] the experiment with the aim of strengthening accountability and ensuring that democracy delivers real development to the people,“ he said.

To him, Ghana's democracy is meaningless until we "achieve this" stressing "the Constitution must change.”

Source: www.ghanaweb.com