VISA FRAUD; PARLIAMENT MUST PURGE ITSELF

Many Ghanaians  were yesterday shocked, but not surprised at the revelation by the British High Commission in Accra, that four Parliamentarians falsely used their diplomatic passports to secure visas for persons who travelled to the United Kingdom and did not return.

In a widely published letter to the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, the British High Commissioner, Mr John Benjamin intimated that “The British High Commission considers the action of the MPs completely unacceptable”.

Like many Ghanaians, the Times feels, scandalised by the conduct of the MPs who are considered “Honourables” by society.

The conduct of the four MPs, if proven true, would be another blot on the house, which was recently rocked by a bribery scandal.

The latest scandal feeds directly into the suspicions and perception that some parliamentarians are not fit to be in the House.

After the infamous bribery scandal, one least expected the august house  to be engulfed in yet another scandal of such magnitude.

Despite the public outrage, we hold the view that Parliament must launch a full scale enquiry into the scandal to purge itself of any wrong doing.

The MPs concerned must be thoroughly investigated and made to come clean with facts to bring out the truth, if they can.

As matters stand now, the entire house, and all Ghanaians, have been scandalised, and it is only a full scale investigation that can clean up the mess.

Parliament, no doubt, is one of the major pillars of our democracy, and as such the members are expected to live above reproach.

It is for this reason that the slightest hint of misconduct by member(s) attracts huge public interest.

It is, therefore, not only in the interest of Parliament to clean its stables, it is also important it ensures that MPs do not compromise their status and bring democracy on its knees.

The scandals are becoming one too many and if, care is not taken, public confidence in our lawmakers would erode.

To prevent such situation, we suggest that Parliament takes immediate steps to investigate the latest scandal and come out with the appropriate sanctions, if any of the MPs is found culpable.

Parliament must act now to save its image, Ghana cannot afford becoming a laughing stock in the comity of nations because of the moral turpitude of a few of its parliamentarians.

 

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