Ministry drafting policy to regulate religious activities

Mr. Samuel Kofi Dzamesi (left) and Mr Lawrence J. Sichalwe with the delegation.Photo.Ebo Gorman

Mr. Samuel Kofi Dzamesi (left) and Mr Lawrence J. Sichalwe with the delegation.Photo.Ebo Gorman

The Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs is drafting a policy to regulate religious activities in the country, the sector minister, Mr Samuel Kofi Dzamesi, has disclosed.

The plan, according to him, was aimed at regularising the mode of worship by religious bodies and their modus operandi.

Mr Dzamesi announced these when he interacted with a six-member delegation from Zambia that paid a courtesy call on him, last Friday in Accra.

The delegation, which was led by the Zambia Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, Mr Lawrence J. Sichalwe, was in Ghana to study the chieftaincy institution, and how chiefs participate in national development, as well as the utilisation of resources in traditional areas to the benefit of the communities.

According to Mr. Dzamesi, some churches abused the rights of its members in the name of religious doctrines.

He said the policy when completed would give clear direction on how religious activities should be handled in the country.

 

Mr Dzamesi said chieftaincy is enshrined in the 1992 constitution of Ghana, adding that chiefs were part of the governance of the country at various levels.

He noted that there were laws regulating the enstoolment and destoolment of a chief, adding that “this is well taken care of at the traditional council, regional and national house of chiefs.”

Mr Dzamesi urged members of the delegation to ensure that their country considered the handling of chieftaincy disputes when enacting laws.

He said Ghana was fighting illegal mining, adding that the menace could be effectively dealt with if chiefs were involved.

The minister urged the delegation to implement what they had learnt in Ghana in their country, to ensure peaceful co-existence between the government and chiefs.

Mr  Sichalwe indicated that the delegation would ensure Zambia’s  National House of  Chiefs created an endowment fund,  to supplement  government’s support for in its operations.

He said the delegation had taken note of the tenure of office of the president of the National House of Chiefs in Ghana  was four years, and would consider reviewing the tenure of the president of Zambia’s National House of Chiefs, which was one year.

Mr Sichalwe said the delegation has realised that there was cordial relationship between the chiefs  and government in Ghana  towards development.

The delegation also visited the Ga Traditional Council, where they were taken through the rudiments of the council’s judicial system, by the council’s attorney, Mr Niibi Ayi Bonte.

It had been in the country since Tuesday to study Ghana’s chieftaincy, and the house of chiefs, in the wake of legal reforms in the country.

BYJEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU

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