A Coordinator of the Ghana’s Case Tracking System (CTS) and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has implored traditional authorities to stay away from active partisan politics to restore the waning dignity and respect for the chieftaincy institution.
The CTS is integrated software that tracks criminal cases in the justice delivery system from inception until their disposition,
Launched in the country in 2018, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) with support from its local partners (CHRI) is implementing the CTS being funded by the United States Agency for International Support Development (USAID).
Mr Thomas Benarkuu, also the Programmes Director of the MIHOSO International Foundation, a non-governmental organisation noted that the ancient traditional powers chiefs and queens wield in society had waned because f active involvement of some of them in party active politics, which remained affront to the 1992 constitution.
He reminded traditional authorities that the framers of the 1992 constitution were enlightened enough to make the supreme laws of the land bar chiefs and queens from engaging in active partisan politics.
“This is because the framers of the constitution knew that if traditional rulers engage in politicking, there is the tendency that they could lose their traditional powers which we are all witnessing in Ghana today”.
Speaking at a sensitization programme on the CTS and the ADR held in Berekum in the Bono Region, Mr Benarkuu regretted some traditional rulers had disregarded the constitutional provision, saying that had also affected the dignity of the once noble chieftaincy institution.
“Now many chiefs and queens are losing their respect, dignity and powers. It is very sad to hear some chiefs giving percentages and predicting general election results in the media space which is unacceptable”, he said.
The sensitization programme, attended by traditional authorities, Assembly members, farmers and artisanal workers was organised by the Commonwealth Human Right Initiative (CHRI) with support from the MIHOSO.
As the embodiment of the people, Mr Benarkuu said traditional authorities ought to remain principled and neutral in all matters, saying until that was done the chiefs and queens would lose society’s respect and dignity.
He emphasised traditional rulers ought to be principled and remained neutral in all matters of life, stressing that they played a key role in national development.
Mr Benarkuu said with active involvement of chiefs and queens, the country’s ADR systems would be strengthened and bond societal tides, but added that because of the partisan nature of some chiefs, members of the country had failed to engage them in settling minor offences at the community level.
Instead, community members preferred the judicial process, a situation he added was creating overcrowding at the courts and delays in justice delivery.
Mr Benarkuu also called on the police to integrate ADR in its training curricula so that serviced personnel would be empowered more on the mechanism.
Police Constable David Twum Asante, an officer at the Berekum-Senase Police Station reminded the ADR could only be used to settle civil and minor offences, and called on the people to report all criminal cases to the police.
He commended the government, CHRI and its CTS implementing partners and asked the Initiative to help address problems of poor internet connectivity and other emerging challenges confronting the system’s implementation.
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