CHRAJ trains stakeholders on accessing justice for women accused of witchcraft

The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has trained relevant stakeholders in four districts of the Northern Region on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), especially relating to elderly woman accused of witchcraft.

The trainings, held separately in the East Mamprusi Municipality of the North East Region, Nanumba South District, Gushegu, and Yendi Municipalities, were to strengthen the capacity of relevant stakeholders in the SGBV space.

This is expected to influence change at the community level, including SGBV prevention and access to justice for vulnerable women and children.

The trainings formed part of the second phase of the ‘Access to Justice Project on Gender Based Violence Against Elderly Women Alleged as Witches in Ghana’ being implemented by CHRAJ with support from Crossroads International.

They were also to increase the capacity of stakeholders around SGBV broadly, and to access justice for elderly women accused of witchcraft.

The second phase of the project was to respond to some key findings and recommendations contained in the baseline study report of the first phase, which was implemented from September 2021 to May 2022.

Mr Joseph Whittal, Commissioner of CHRAJ, who addressed stakeholders in the four districts, expressed the commitment of the state to addressing injustices faced by women alleged as witches.

Old age, coming from poor family background and being widows were all natural processes of growth, he said, adding that they should not be discriminated against.

‘The state is determined to use her protective mandate to protect women against witchcraft accusations’.

Mr Whittal called on community members to respect the right of women alleged as witches, ‘because every citizen has the right to live in any part of the country.’

‘ The new law on witchcraft accusations has abolished all alleged witches’ camps and condemns the use of threats and blackmail to label or name women as witches’.

He called on the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to work closely with the various alleged witches’ camps and traditional authorities with the view getting inmates of the camps integrated into the community.

The CHRAJ Commissioner advised community members to stop stigmatising the inmates.

Mr Lambert Luguniah, Head, International Cooperation, CHRAJ, said sending women to camps as alleged witches deprived them of property (housing), good standard of living, empowerment and income, education for children, and right to health among others.

Mr Osman Musah, the Gushegu Municipal Coordinating Director, appealed to community members to improve sanitation by observing personal and environmental hygiene to avoid diseases, which they sometimes attributed to witchcraft and accused innocent women.

Participants included members of the security agencies, representatives of civil society organisations, NGOs, Department of Community Development, National Commission for Civic Education, Assembly Members, religious leaders, traditional authorities, and caretakers of alleged witches’ camps.

Topics treated included socio-economic rights, international instruments, national legislation, implications for women accused of witchcraft, women economic empowerment, strategies for empowerment of women experiencing or at-risk of witchcraft allegations, benefits of economic empowerment to women experiencing or at-risk of witchcraft allegations, and access to justice.

Other topics touched on institutions for redress, what can one complain about and where to lodge complaints, powers of CHRAJ, and the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, among others.

Meanwhile, CHRAJ has donated quantities of bags of rice, cooking oil and soap to inmates of the four alleged witches’ camps in the four districts at Gambaga, Kpatinga, Gnani and Kukuo to support their upkeep.

Source: Ghana News Agency

CSOs urged to collaborate with District Assemblies for development

Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has called for effective partnership and collaboration between Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the District Assemblies to ensure accelerated development in the Oti Region.

The two-day workshop brought together prominent personalities and stakeholders from Oti and provided a conducive platform for meaningful dialogue, while fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Mr Mohammed Awal, a representative from CDD-Ghana, said the District Assemblies’ effort to bridge the development gap between the Southern part of Ghana and Oti, would continue to be a mirage without the active participation of the various stakeholders.

He made the call during Regional Learning Workshop for CSOs and Media practitioners, on the use of data to support pro-poor policy advocacy and government accountability at WoraWora in the Biakoye District.

He said development projects in rural areas sometimes got stalled because of the lack of collaboration between implementing agencies and the Assemblies.

The primary objective of the two-day workshop was to initiate conversation with CSOs and Media personnels on the development challenges to suggest policy recommendation and utilise CDD-Ghana to enhance acceleration development.

Madam Rosemond Atutonu, a representative from Global Action for Women Empowerment (GLOWA), was pleased with the highly interactive and practical nature of the training programme, which made it easy for her to follow all the topics discussed.

She told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the workshop had aroused her consciousness towards building collaboration between the local government, Civil society and the Media to improve the Civil space and service delivery at the local level.

Mr Victus Tetteh, a representative from the Youth Development and Rural Employment Foundation ((YODREF), commended the management of CDD-Ghana for bringing together important stakeholders to discuss and strengthen corporate governance practices in Oti Region.

He said it was believed that the CSOs engagement training had laid a robust foundation for a collaborative effort that would drive positive change in the corporate environment.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Kenya’s Peter Mwaniki wins 2023 Millennium Marathon

Kenya long distance runner, Peter Mwaniki, 26, emerged winner at the eight edition of the KGL Millennium Marathon clocking 1:03:00.

The athlete beat record holder, Ishmael Arthur from the Ghana Armed Forces and Atia Koogo, who were big names in the history of the millennium marathon event.

Speaking in an interview with the GNA Sports, the Kenyan expressed excitement having topped the race in his maiden appearance.

‘I am here because I have been training very hard towards this competition. This is the first time I am participating so let’s hope I come back next year,’ he said.

Sosteov Kipchirchir also from Kenya finished second with a time of 1:4:26 ahead of University of Education’s student-athlete, Koogo Atia who clocked 1:06:32.

In the female category, Kenya’s Lilian Lelei Jeokemboi gave her competitors a very tough challenge to finish first with a time of 1:11:19.

Madam Cathrine Morton, Race Director of the Millennium Marathon said this year’s competition has been very successful following the number of athletes who participated.

‘We have had the most number of international participants for the elite runners and that shows that out race is growing, we are now on the world marathon page.’

She appealed to sponsors to come on board and support the event as it seeks to unearth athletes who would represent Ghana and Africa in the coming years.

Source: Ghana News Agency

IGP ousting probe: COP Mensah has been inconsistent, needs mental examination – Adam Bonaa

Dr Adam Bonaa, a Security Analyst, has requested that the committee examining the conspiracy to depose Inspector General of Police (IGP) George Akuffo Dampare seek a psychological evaluation of Commissioner of Police (COP) George Mensah.

‘I say this because most of the things he has said so far are inconsistent, including his posture and comportment.

‘At one point, he even said he does not remember some of the things he said during the previous sitting,’ he said.

The Security Analyst made the remarks on Saturday during a discussion on an Accra-based television programme.

On Tuesday, July 11, 2023, a leaked audio recording allegedly involving a Police Commissioner and a politician discussing a plot to depose the IGP went viral.

Consequently, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, Speaker of Parliament, constituted a seven-member bi-partisan Committee on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, to probe the secret recording of an alleged plan to remove the IGP from office ahead of the 2024 general election.

The Committee, which has until September 10, 2023, to report back to the House, is made up of three members each from the Majority and Minority sides of Parliament, and a technical expert.

Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, NPP Member of Parliament (MP) for Abuakwa South, chairs the committee, with Mr James Agalga, NDC MP for Builsa North, serving as Vice-Chairman.

Members of the Committee are Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah, NPP MP for Okaikwei Central; Madam Ophelia Mensah, NPP MP for Mfantseman; Mr Eric Opoku, NDC MP for Asunafo South; and Mr Peter Lanchene Tuobu, NDC MP for Wa West.

The committee’s technical expert is Dr. Isaac Lartey Annang, a lawyer and a human rights activist.

Mr Daniel Bugri Naabu, a former Northern Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), cited three police officers, COP George Alex Mensah, Superintendent George L. Asare, and Superintendent Emmanuel Eric Gyebi, as the trio he engaged in the conversation at his office in Osu on Monday when he appeared before the Committee as the first witness.

Dr. Bonaa commended the Speaker of Parliament for convening the committee and the committee for allowing the hearings to be televised.

He urged the committee to summon the IGP to address some of the allegations made against him and tell Ghanaians about the accomplishments of his administration.

The security analyst commended the IGP for improving Ghana’s peace and security.

‘Now I sleep. Today, visibility officers are stationed at key traffic lights across town. There have been major infrastructural facelifts and other improvements worth commending.

It is natural to have people undermine you when you are making changes in a system. The IGP is one of the best appointments President Nana Addo has made,’ he added.

Mr Seth Ofori Twumasi, an Economic and Financial Analyst, lauded the police for its neutrality and proper election management in recent times.

‘At first, we used to fear the police but now, Dampare’s administration has changed that mentality and enhanced police-civilian relations. This has improved intelligence gathering to a greater extent, he added.

He asked that the committee’s recommendations be given consideration after the investigations.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Rahman, Andre Ayew named in Chris Hughton’s 25-man squad for CAR clash, Partey out

Black Stars Head Coach Chris Hughton has named a 25-man squad for Ghana’s upcoming crucial qualifier against the Central African Republic (CAR).

The Black Stars of Ghana would be seeking to book a place in next year’s AFCON in Ivory Coast as they host the Wild Beasts in the last Group E encounter at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Thursday, September 7, 2023.

Among the notable names in Hughton’s squad is left-back Baba Rahman, who is making a comeback into the team after being left out in recent call-ups.

Andre Dede Ayew, who is the captain of the side, has received a callup to the team despite being clubless.

South African-based Ghanaian shootstopper Richard Ofori has also been handed a callup to the team, along with regulars Lawrence Ati-Zigi and Manaf Nurudeen.

Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey has been left out of the squad due to injury.

A statement on the GFA’s website said: ‘According to his club, the player picked up an injury in training and could be on the sidelines for a while; however, the Black Stars medical team is monitoring the situation.’

Goalkeepers: Lawrence Ati-Zigi, Abdul Manaf Nurudeen, Richard Ofori

Defenders: Alidu Seidu, Kingsley Schindler, Stephan Ambrosius, Joseph Aidoo, Alexander Djiku, Nicholas Opoku, Baba Abdul Rahman, and Gideon Mensah

Midfielders: Abdul Samed Salis, Baba Iddissu, Andre Ayew, Elisha Owusu, Edmund Addo, Mohammed Kudus, and Ransford Koningsdorffer

Forwards: Inaki Williams, Antoine Semenyo, Jordan Ayew, Ernest Nuamah, Osman Bukari, Joseph Painstil, and Jonathan Sowah

Ghana’s game against the Central African Republic will start at 16:00 GMT on Thursday, and the Black Stars would be favourites to claim all three points.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Partey, Amartey out, as Coach Hughton names 25-man squad

Chris Hughton, Head Coach of the Black Stars has named his final 25-man squad for Ghana’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Central Africa Republic (CAR).

The Black Stars would battle for a slot in the 2024 AFCON at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Thursday September 7,2023.

Thomas Partey, who is a key figure in the Black Stars squad has been dropped following an injury he picked whiles on duty for his club side, Arsenal FC.

The likes of Richard Ofori, Elisha Owusu, Baba Iddrisu would make a return to the squad once again as Salisu Mohammed, Tariq Lamptey, Jojo Wollacott,Daniel Amartey, Fatawu Issahaku and Kamaldeen Sulemana have also been dropped.

Goalkeepers: Lawrence Ati-Zigi, Abdul Manaf Nurudeen, Richard Ofori

Defenders: Alidu Seidu, Kingsley Schindler, Stephan Ambrosius, Joseph Aidoo, Alexander Djiku, Nicholas Opoku, Baba Abdul Rahman, Gideon Mensah

Midfielders: Abdul Samed Salis, Baba Iddissu, Andre Ayew, Elisha Owusu, Edmund Addo, Mohammed Kudus, Ransford Koningsdorffer

Forwards: Inaki Williams, Antoine Semenyo, Jordan Ayew, Ernest Nuamah, Osman Bukari, Joseph Painstil, Jonathan Sowah.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Court fines herdsman for stealing

A Wa Circuit Court has sentenced a herdsman of Fulani extraction to a fine of 200 penalty units, equivalent to GH?2,400.00, for stealing a cow and a calf.

Haruna Umaru was convicted on his own plea of stealing a cow and calf, and in default, would serve a prison term of six months.

Presenting the facts of the case at the court presided over by His Honour Jonathan Avogo, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mr Albert Adiita, the prosecutor, said one Mr Timothy Dongsa, the complainant who lived in Kangba, a community in the Wa West District, sought the services of Haruna Umaru in April 2023 to take care of his herd of 38 cattle.

He said in July 2023, the complainant realised a cow, valued at about GH?7,000.00 and a calf valued at about GH?2,000.00 were missing.

The prosecution added that in July 2023 the complainant suspected that Haruna Umaru stole the cow and the calf.

ACP Mr Adiita said Haruna Umaru denied knowledge of the where about of the missing animals, but upon persistent interrogation by Mr Dongsa, he admitted the offence and mentioned one Ishmail who lived in Wa as the one he sold the animals to at GH?2,500.00.

He said the accused person gave out the phone number of Ishmail for the complainant to call, and when the complainant called, Ismail agreed to return the animals.

However, Ismail returned with only the calf but upon reaching the location of the accused person and the complainant and with fear that he would be arrested; he abandoned the motorbike, the calf and a pair of sandals and took to his heels.

The prosecution said the complainant and some residents of the community arrested Haruna and handed him over with the calf to the police on August 31, 2023.

The prosecution said the calf was given to the complainant to keep while the motorbike and the pair of sandals were with the police.

The Court asked the complainant to keep the calf and the police to also keep the motorbike and the pair of sandals.

Meanwhile, ACP Mr Adiita said that they had launched a search for Ishmail, who is currently at large and gave the assurance that with his registered mobile number, they would arrest him to face the law.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Angola to attend Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi

Angola’s Vice–President , Esperança da Costa, is expected Sunday in Nairobi, Kenya, where she will represent the country in the first African Climate Summit (ACS23) and African Climate Week (ACW23).

Esperança da Costa will be representing the Angolan Head of State, João Lourenço, in the events that will bring together heads of State and Government of the African continent.

The African Climate Summit (ACS23) and African Climate Week (ACW23) are also to be attended by representatives of the African Union and the United Nations system, among other organisations.

The Angolan delegation includes among several senior officials, the country ‘s ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Miguel César Bembe.

As part of the Africa Climate Summit and African Climate Week, multisectoral experts, including Angolans, have been holding preparatory meetings since Monday.

The first Africa Climate Summit led by the President of Kenya, William Ruto, with the support of the AU, will address the growing exposure to climate change and the associated costs, globally and in Africa in particular.

With this initiative, African leaders once again seek to map out urgent measures to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The Summit is a platform for informing, outlining and influencing commitments, pledges and outcomes, ultimately leading to the development of the Nairobi Declaration.

Under the slogan, “Driving green growth and climate finance solutions for Africa and the world”, the Forum will also focus on presenting innovative green growth and climate finance solutions in Africa and around the world.

Representatives of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and the World Bank (WB), the Summit’s regional and global partners respectively, are joining the group to attend the summit.

The two events, which are expected to welcome more than 30,000 participants, aim to galvanise international collaboration and shape a sustainable future for Africa.

Africa Climate Week will be held simultaneously at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, in partnership with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)