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General News
Criminal Code Amended 6/15/2007
Parliament has amended the Criminal Code (Amendment) Bill with a minimum sentence of five years and not more than ten years for persons engaged in female genital mutilation during the consideration stage.

The amendment was proposed by Haruna Iddrisu (NDC-Tamale South) after counter amending the original amendment of ten years and not more than 25 years as proposed by the Committee of Constitutional Legal Parlia-mentary, Defence and Interior.

Members of Parliament were unanimous in the condemnation of the act and intensive educational campaign against it but were at variance with the degree of punishment.

While some agreed to the original amendment of ten years and not more than 25 years to deter people from the act, the majority of members held the view that punishment must not only be deterrent but also reformative.

Mahama Ayariga (NDC-Bawku Central) supporting the counter amendment said punishing people engaged in female genital mutilation must not be exceedingly punitive since it was introduced by cultural practices and not a willful act.

supporting the counter amendment said punishing people engaged in female genital mutilation must not be exceedingly punitive since it was introduced by cultural practices and not a willful act. He supported an intensive public education to get people to appreciate the harmful effects of the practice so as to stop it.

Mrs. Angelina Baiden Amissah (NPP-Shama) and Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Sports supported the original amendment to make it punitive enough alleging that during a tour of the areas where the act was prevalent, some women vowed never to stop the practice.

and Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Sports supported the original amendment to make it punitive enough alleging that during a tour of the areas where the act was prevalent, some women vowed never to stop the practice. Hajia Alima Mahama (NPP-Nalerigu/Gambaga) and Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs had earlier proposed a counter amendment of 5 years minimum and 25 years maximum.

and Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs had earlier proposed a counter amendment of 5 years minimum and 25 years maximum. Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom (CPP-Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem) advocated harsh punishments for offenders adding that the practice was dehuma-nising.

advocated harsh punishments for offenders adding that the practice was dehuma-nising. Alban Bagbin (NDC-Nadowli West) and Minority leaders proposed a minimum of five years, which he noted was deterrent, adding that the maximum sentence of 25 years was unacceptable.

and Minority leaders proposed a minimum of five years, which he noted was deterrent, adding that the maximum sentence of 25 years was unacceptable. Dr. Richard Anane (NPP-Nhyiaeso) while expressing concern about the harmful effects of the practice to women and their children said as legislators, they should come out with reasonable laws that would serve as a disincentive to practitioners.

while expressing concern about the harmful effects of the practice to women and their children said as legislators, they should come out with reasonable laws that would serve as a disincentive to practitioners. He advocated more educational campaign to rid society of the act noting that at places where education was intensive, the act has reduced.

Other contributors were Freddie Blay (CPP-Ellembele) and first Deputy Speaker, Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu (NPP-Suame) and Majorty Chief Whip, Alhaji Abubakari Sumani (NDC-Tamale North) and Yieleh Chireh (NDC-Wa West).

Meanwhile the leadership of parliament has agreed to reschedule the half-hour motion debate on the energy crises to next week Tuesday or Wednesday when it will be taken as a full-blown debate.

Earlier the Minister of Energy, Joseph Kofi Adda appeared to answer questions on Self-Help Electrification projects in some constituencies.

In other business, the Amendment to the Mining Lease dated March 5, 1994 between the government and Ashanti Goldfields Company Limited was laid before the House.

Mr. Bagbin urged the leadership of the House to invite the Governor of the Bank of Ghana to brief MPs on the cost of the redenomination exercise which comes into effect next month.

Source:
Times

 
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