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The Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Josephine Nkrumah says Members of Parliament who have contracted COVID-19 should be arrested if they insist on coming to the chamber.
It comes after a revelation by Majority leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu that some MPs, staff and journalists who have tested positive for the virus are still reporting to work in defiance of the safety protocols which requires them to self-isolate.
Speaker of Parliament Professor Aaron Mike Ocquaye has consequently ordered another round of mandatory Covid-19 testing for those who could not be captured by the first 2 exercises.
Speaking to Francis Abban on the Morning Starr Monday, Mrs Nkrumah said it is irresponsible for legislators with the virus to continue to endanger the lives of others.
“I think it is damn right preposterous and irresponsible. I think people should be made to answer for why they are endangering other lives. I don’t understand why some of the MPs have chosen to lament about it. It is almost nonsensical to think that this is going on.
“Personally, I can’t believe that somebody has Covid-19 and is still walking around. How do you convince your constituents that this is real? I think honestly they must be brought to book, none of us is above the law. The speaker of parliament should call them to order and insist that they self-isolate. They shouldn’t be allowed into the chamber. And if they insist the security agencies should pick them”.
Meanwhile, the Africa Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA) says Parliament has failed to provide leadership in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Speaking on Starr Today on Friday, June 12, 2020, Executive Director of the Africa Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA) Dr Rasheed Draman said the latest development in parliament sends the wrong communication to the populace.
“It sends all the wrong signals. You tell us, citizens, observe social distancing, when you have the virus self-isolate, people are coming into the country that is infected and are quarantined, so on and so forth. And then we have members of parliament who have the virus and they are not self-isolating, they are not being quarantined just so as to avoid the spread of the virus. I mean it’s sad…”
Dr. Draman reminded the legislators of the havoc COVID-19 is wreaking in Burundi, East Africa. Where its president Pierre Nkurunziza is rumoured to have died after contracting coronavirus but the rumours have not been confirmed as government officials there emphasize that Mr Nkurunziza died of cardiac arrest.