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The Central Regional Police Command has said it has invited the Minister for Special Initiatives, Mavis Hawa Koomson, for questioning after she fired a gun at a registration centre at Kasoa on Tuesday.
Public Relations Officer of the Central Regional Police Command, DSP Irene Oppong, the invitation is to assist in ongoing investigations.
The Minister for Special Development Initiatives, Mavis Hawa Koomson, admitted firing gunshots at a voter registration centre in the Central Region.
“It was my gun. I fired my own warning shot,” the cabinet minister told Adom News in an interview.
The minister, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Awutu Senya East, claimed her opponent, Philis Naa Koryoo, had bused some people into the constituency to register at the Steps to Christ registration post in Kasoa.
The Minister of State at the Presidency, Hawa Koomson, said she was accompanied to the centre by her men, who were unarmed. Her police escort was not with her at the time of the incident, around 9 am on Monday.
She said she witnessed intimidating scenes at the polling station, with some motorbikes making furious turns around the centre. She believed it was men recruited by her opponents to cause fear.
“I realised that my peoples’ lives were in danger. I wanted to scare them,” the 54-year-old former teacher explained why she fired her gun, which she said was licensed.
Sack Mavis Hawa Koomson
Following the development, there have been calls for her dismissal.
Security analyst, Professor Kwesi Aning has called for the head of the Cabinet Minister, Mavis Hawa Koomson, for shooting at a registration centre.
Despite her reasons given for firing the warning shot, the security analyst wants her removed from President Akufo-Addo’s government for being “reckless”.
“It is my hope that his Excellency the President will ask Ms Hawa Koomson to step aside by tomorrow afternoon or probably dismiss her,” Professor Anning said in an interview on Joy News, which was monitored by theghanareport.com. “Hawa Koomson has done her party, constituents, and certainly the good people of Ghana a great disservice.”
Prof. Aning believes the actions of the cabinet minister is counterproductive to the fight against political militia which has been outlawed in the country.
“One would have thought a substantive Minister in a government that seeks to bring the issue of vigilantism to book; having spent substantial government and donor funds to develop a code of conduct, roadmap and for a Minister to behave like any other vigilante, I think raises very disturbing concerns,” Professor Aning noted.
The Director, Faculty of Academic Affairs & Research, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre said it was “unacceptable and premeditated”.
He said the minister put the lives of the crowd at the registration center at risk and her posture did not befit a ministerial role.
He was worried that acts of violence are “gaining currency” in Ghana’s society.
He has also called on Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other entities to condemn the actions of the minister.
EC condemns chaos at the Steps to Christ registration centre
Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana has condemned the violence which marred registration at the Steps to Christ registration centre in Kasoa at the Central Region.
EC officials conducting the registration exercise had to flee, bringing a temporary halt to the registration exercise in the area on Monday, July 20.
The EC said in a release that it had “noted with concern some acts of violence at some registration centres across the country in the form of physical and verbal attacks on its officials.”
The election management body raised concerns about the Rambo-style invasion of “unidentifiable gunmen” who “attacked officials at the centre and disrupted the process by firing gunshots.”
The EC described the action as “a breach of the Vigilante and Related Offenses Act, 2019 Act 999. The Act seeks to disband violent activities of Political Parties and makes political vigilantism an offence punishable by a prison term.”
They have therefore called on security agencies to investigate the incident and prosecute offenders.[The Ghana Report]