23.5.08

Gays To Boycott Elections?

A group calling itself Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Trans-sexuals of Ghana, have threatened to boycott the December polls if nothing concrete is done to bring them into the mainstream of socio-economic life in terms of recognition of their human rights.

The leader of the group, Prince MacDonald, said “we are discriminated upon because of our sexual orientation and no one dares talk for us.”He called on the various parties to factor them in their policies.


Mr. MacDonald said another area of concern to them is the treatment they receive from the nation’s health professionals, stressing that ‘if you have an infection and you go to the hospital, you will be told to provide your partner before treatment. How can I provide my male partner in such a wicked environment”.

According to him, he is surprised at the way human rights activists have all kept quiet pretending not to be aware of their plight while they jump on the airwaves making their voices heard on issues of what he considers to be less important. He said his people always leave the hospital with disappointment and go to the drug stores for drugs they think would help with their problems or see their friends for assistance, saying this makes them feel as if they are second class citizens in their own land of birth.

“In some cases, the drug stores will also ask you to go back to the hospital for treatment and you continue to suffer till you find a way to deal with your sickness or situation”, he told this paper.

r MacDonald said though gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender lifestyle is criminalized in the country’s criminal code, it does not say it is illegal for a man to have sex with another man nor vice versa clearly.On the other hand, he maintained that most of his colleagues too are dying from the deadly HIV/AIDS unnoticed, and sometimes subjected to beatings from people who call themselves straight in certain communities.



“We have no access to treatment when sick and we cannot wait any more for treatment, for our people are dying. It is election time and not even the ruling party or the other parties will say because we are lesbians and gays we should not vote” he noted, adding that “when they win, they forget we voted for them…we pay taxes and abide by the rules of the country so why are they worrying us”.He insisted that the group would vote only for a political party that has a policy which would be touching on “issues of our health and once they fail it means no vote for them”.



Source:
gye nyame concord

6.5.08

Ghanaians Have No Respect for Time

The outgoing US Ambassador to Ghana, Her Excellency Pamela E. Bridgewater, says she has been facing the same challenges that Ghanaians have been facing, during her three year duty stay in the country. According to Bridgewater, she was not exempted from the disturbing effects of power outages, short in water supply, and the flooding incidence in the country.

The Ambassador disclosed that during her three year stay, she observed that Ghanaians had no respect for time, but added that that attitude was gradually changing for the better.

Bridgewater made the observation, when she paid courtesy on the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, in Sunyani, as part of her two-day working visit to the region, to bid the people farewell.

Her Excellency disclosed that the visit was to share ideas about the region, and strengthen the cordial relationship, between Ghana and the United States of America, for future development.

Her Excellency Bridgewater expressed her happiness, when the Regional Director of Health Services, Alhaji Dr. Mohammed Bin Ibrahim, disclosed that Guineaworm infestation cases, as at the year 2007, in the region was 42, and hoped that after few years guineaworm would be eradicated totally from the country.

She was also pleased, when Dr. Bin Ibrahim stated that Brong-Ahafo would in five years be a net exporter of nurses, as the collaboration between the Ghana Health Service and the the Brong-Ahafo Regional Coordinating Council, had established more health education institutions.

Her Excellency Bridgewater gave the assurance that the American Embassy would continue supporting the Ghana Health Service, to help eradicate Guineaworm and reduce the prevalence of malaria in the country.

Mr. Baffour Awuah, on his part, noted that the relationship between the Embassy and the region had been cordial, ever since Her Excellency assumed office in Ghana, and wished that the cordiality would be sustained. According to the Minister, the region was a major food producer in the country, since 60% of the population was into agriculture.

He however noted that modernization in agriculture still remained a problem.

Mr. Awuah commended the America for its high credentials, when it came to democracy, saying Ghana looked forward to emulating her.

He, however, lamented about the high rate of school dropouts in the country, which could affect Ghana's democracy in the long run.

He stated that technical education in the region was inadequate, and called for a partnership with the Americans, to establish technical education institutes in the region.

The Ambassador and her entourage, later visited Berekum to ascertain the progress of work on Self Help Projects, and the construction of a Rehabilitation Center for the Physically Challenged, which was sponsored with an amount of $3,000 from the Special Self Help Program, instituted by the American Embassy.

According to the Coordinator of the Special Self Help Programe, Peace Adwoa Nunoo, the Ambassador would also present the leader of the Berekum Association of the Physically Challenged, Mr. Samuel Amfo Abankwa, with a motorized wheelchair.

She disclosed that the Embassy had been releasing an amount of US$70,000 annually, for the whole country, for the past three years, to support the less-endowed in society.

Source:

Ghanaian Chronicle

5.5.08

Four killed in renewed violence in Bawku

Four people have so far been killed and more than 12 houses burnt in the Bawku Municipality since violence erupted in the area on Sunday night.

The Security Personnel have arrested 32 people in connection with the conflict and confiscated five guns and ammunition, Mr Ofosu-Mensah Gyeabour, Upper East Regional Police Commander, told the Ghana News Agency in Bawku.

He said security personnel had intensified surveillance and the situation had been brought under control as at 1400 hours on Monday. The Police Commander said the Security Personnel were doing their best to bring calm to the area.

Mr Daniel Nar-ire, Deputy Coordinating Director of the Bawku Municipal Assembly, told the GNA that the violence started on Sunday night at about 1900 hours when some people attacked worshippers at a mosque.

He said the Security Personnel could not cover the entire place at the same time and people at suburbs that were not covered at a particular time continued to fight until the security brought the situation under control but this lasted just for a while and resumed again immediately the security personnel moved to other areas.

"However, the security has been reinforced with personnel from Tamale and there is hope that they would calm down the situation by afternoon," he said.

Today Monday, is Bawku market day but there would be no market for the people.

Meanwhile, the Interior Minister Kwamena Bartels said the Government was imposing a 22-hour curfew on Bawku Municipality, Zabzugu, Binduri, Pusiga, Zoosi and their environs with new curfew hours, from 0900 hours on Monday until 0700 hours on Tuesday. Mr Bartels reminded the public that the ban on all persons in the Bawku Municipal Area, Zabugu, Binduri, Pusiga, Zoosi and Garu Townships and their environs from carrying arms, ammunitions or any offensive weapon still remained in force, and any person found with any arms or ammunition would be arrested and prosecuted. He said a number of vehicles had been burnt in the fighting that started on Sunday when a Kusasi Opinion Leader was shot after prayers. The Kusasi Opinion Leader died while being transferred to the Bolgatanga Hospital.

Mr Bartels said reinforcements of security personnel were being sent immediately to control the situation.

The Government a week ago eased the curfew imposed on the Bawku Municipality and its environs from 2200 hours to 0400 hours to 2400 hours to 0400 hours, citing continued peace and stability in the area. It also commended the chiefs, elders, opinion leaders and all stakeholders in the Bawku Municipality and its environs for "the improved security situation in the area".

The Government again appealed to all the factions to help to consolidate the peace by exercising maximum restraint and tolerance and to partner the Government to bring permanent peace to the area.