Kabral Is Using NMC As A Political Tool For Personal Gain - Dep Min
Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Nii Amasah Namoale has censured the Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Mr. Kabral Blay-Amihere for accusing the Police and Serious Fraud Office (SFO) of engaging in acts which impinge on press freedom. The Deputy Minister contends that Mr. Blay-Amihere’s carp about the law on causing fear and panic clearly shows his political bias. Speaking on e-TV Ghana’s ‘Breakfast TV’ Newspaper Review show, Hon. Namoale who tersely told the NMC boss off, accused him of using the NMC as a political tool for his personal gains and cautioned him against poking his nose in affairs not directly related to office. “We have come a long way, we are not in the times of Kofi Kumado (the first Chairman of NMC)…when the NMC was used as a political tool because it was presumed we were under political dictatorship. Now our democracy has grown so Kabral should be neutral and perform his duties as a statesman and not a politician,” he said. On Tuesday, November 29th, Mr. Blay-Amihere, at the first anniversary of the 6th Commission of the NMC, accused the police of “miraculously resurrecting an archaic law -causing fear and panic as an alternative to the criminal libel law - to cow the citizenry,” and also indicted the SFO of harassing and intimidating key personnel in the media. He was of the opinion that the actions by the police and the SFO were clearly in disregard to the public pledge made by President Mills not to do anything to muzzle the press. The former Ghana’s Ambassador to Cote D'Ivoire said the NMC, as a constitutional body, fully respects the rights and powers of the SFO (now known as Economic and Organized Crime Office) to investigate any alleged corrupt act in the state-owned media, “but that power should not constitute any impediment or intimidation of the media nor create fear and panic among the media.” But Hon. Amasah Namoale argues that the NMC Boss erred by accusing the police and SFO who were performing their duties. He pointed out that once the law on causing fear and panic has not been repealed, it is still operational no matter how long it has remained idle, and urged him to rather seek for the striking of that particular law from the country’s statute books. He accused Mr. Amihere of indulging in partisan politics instead of going about his job as a statesman. “The statement he made is a political statement;…all what he's doing now he made a mistake by saying what he said…and I wouldn’t be surprised if he issued the statement alone in his mandate as the chairman of the commission without the entire commission’s consent,” he said.