Coalition Against Witchcraft Accusations in Ghana pays a courtesy call on the Speaker of Parliament

The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin, has underscored his resolve to admit statements that will address the concerns and plights of the marginalised in society.

He said the legislature had the mandate to ensure that marginalised groups, including the aged, were protected under the laws of the country.

In situations where there is a vacuum for the full protection of such groups in the laws of the country, the Speaker said, it was incumbent on legislators to make moves with their individual and collective powers to fill such gaps.

The Speaker was speaking in a meeting with the Coalition of NGOs Against Witchcraft Accusations in Ghana when they paid a courtesy call on him in Parliament.

The coalition called on the Speaker to make a case for the need to put in place appropriate legislation to criminalise witchcraft accusation and help reintegrate inmates of existing camps with their families.

The Executive Director of Sanneh Institute, Prof. John Azumah, who spoke on behalf of the group, said the government must make it illegal to accuse people of witchcraft and ensure the safe integration of women accused of same into any society of their choice, as well as stop the practice of sending people to camps.

Prof. Azumah stressed the need to increase advocacy and education programmes to “disabuse the minds of people against the beliefs surrounding witchcraft”.

In addressing the concerns of the association, the Speaker assured the coalition that Parliament would take up the issue of legislation seriously.

Already, the House is considering decriminalising attempted suicide and opening up death sentence for public debate.

“I will encourage some members of the House to make a statement on the floor on this matter so that I can give appropriate directive not only in legislation, but how we can support the ministry to come up with policies that could assist government to bring this to an end,” he said.