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General News of Thursday, 25 July 2019


Parliament detects error in Vigilantism Bill 3 days after passage

The vigilantism bill, which was passed barely three days ago, is to be rescinded following the detection of an anomaly.

Speaking in an interview with Kwabena Agyapong on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Ben Abdallah Banda, disclosed that the anomaly, which had to do with the sentencing regime, was detected during the compilation of the various clauses in the bill.

He explained that the clause in the bill where a person convicted of vigilantism related offence who served a minimum of five years in prison could not hold public office, contradicts the provision in the 1992 constitution, which has capped that same offence at 10 years.

He disclosed to the host the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Ms Gloria Akuffo, would move a motion for the rescission of the third reading to take the bill to the second reading stage for the clause to be amended from a minimum of five years to 10 years to be consistent with the provision in the Constitution.

When asked if the move clear proves the lack of diligence on the part of MPs, he disagreed saying the diligence of the MPs has rather led to the detection of the anomaly.

The purpose of the law is to disband political party vigilante groups and forbid acts of vigilantism in the country, following the continuous violence that has characterised the country’s by-elections.

The law applies to persons who participate in the activities of a vigilante group that is associated, related, connected or affiliated to a political party, political party officials, or a political party member.

It also applies to persons who act as land guards and those who engage in other acts of vigilantism.

A person who fails to comply with provisions of the law commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years and not more than 15 years.

Similarly, a person who violates the provisions will be liable on summary conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years and not more than fifteen years.