10 July 2019

Ghana: KT Hammond Concedes New Parliament Chamber Poorly Communicated

KT Hammond, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Adansi Asokwa Constituency in the Ashanti Region, has admitted that the plan to construct a new and expanded chamber for Parliament was not properly communicated to the citizenry.

"The plan to erect the new legislature structure reached the citizenry when the proposal was only at the discussion stage, what I understand is, it was all discussion, somehow it got to public domain, I am not sure it was concrete decision, following rancour, we won't continue with discussion or we will suspend it for time being.

"In all insult, expletives, vituperative churned out, I concede there hasn't been proper communication," Mr Hammond said.

Parliament courted fierce public anger when it suddenly announced plans to erect the multi-purpose 450-seater capacity chamber at a cost of $200m. Mr Hammond's recent comment on floor of parliament recently stoked public criticism against project after comments many thought was insensitive.

While making a brief submission on the matter on the floor of parliament last week, he made comments many said meant if there were schools under trees parliamentarians cannot sit under trees.

According to Mr Hammond, "Some of us don't know if it is a stated policy parliament is going to be built, indeed who is taking the initiative, parliament chamber is not for Members of Parliament, it is one of the significant symbols of democracy.

"We won't have democracy without Parliament, I'm sure the press will take me on this, parliament won't sit under trees, whole matter should be brought to the fore, let it be debated, the part of my comment parliament won't sit under trees was grossly misconstrued.

"What I meant was parliament already had a structure, hence there was no need for MPs to sit under trees to do their work because some opponents of the project had taunted the plan for a new chamber by suggesting just like how some pupils study under trees due to lack of classrooms, the MPs too should be made to sit under trees to do their work," Mr Hammond alluded. -myjoyonline.com

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