The Minority Member of Parliament for Bodi, Sampson Ahi, has taken a swipe at the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, over the impending ban of mobile phones in the chamber.
“It’s a suggestion, but it will remain a suggestion. Because I don’t believe that members of Parliament will agree to what he’s saying. He himself, on several occasions, has been receiving calls and making calls when he’s in the chamber.
The Majority Leader, who double Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, made the announcement on the floor of the house on Thursday, March 5, 2020.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the MP for Suame, accused the MPs of using their mobile phones when serious parliamentary businesses were ongoing.
Parliament to ban MPs from using phones in the chamber
But the minority MP said the Majority Leader could not dictate to them what they should or should not do.
“I think someone should remind him [Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu] that, we’re not school children. So he should be very careful when making some of these pronouncements. The fact that he’s a majority leader does not mean he’s some headmaster somewhere and we’re school children and he can dictate to us,” he told Joy FM.
In Ghana, the Ministry of Education has banned mobile phones use in public basic and senior high schools.
Despite the opposition by some minority MPs, some MPs on the other side seem to agree with the move.
Ban on mobile phone in Parliament
The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, made the announcement when the MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, asked a question and later turned to fidget with his phone.
The Majority Leader was quick to draw the attention of his colleague to the fact that he was ready to answer his question.
At this point, he[ Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu announced that MPs would soon not be allowed to take their mobile phones into the law-making chamber.
“No member will be allowed to bring cell phones into this chamber. We need to demonstrate seriousness. When the President of the Republic is talking, members are seriously using their phones. When a minister is talking, members are seriously fidgeting [with] their phones”
“Mr. Speaker, Parliament is not the only Parliament in the world. There are established parliaments in the world who do not allow members to come to Parliament with their cell phones. Mr. Speaker, we should apply this religiously once we pass those standing orders,” he said on the floor.