Story by Enock Akonnor email@example.com
Residents of Bantama constituency have benefited from a day’s public sensitization program on Community Service Bill.
Officials of the Muslim Family Counselling Services (MFCS); organizers of the event engaged them on Wednesday 6th July 2022 as a way of heightening public education on the Bill as done in communities including Kaase, Atonsu-Bokuro, Asokwa by the same organization.
Present at Bantama’s version were dignitaries including the representative of the Chief of Bantama Nana Fosu Kese (Chief of Nebehi-Bofuase), Queen of Achiase Nana Afia Boatemaa, Kumasi Metropolitan Director for Social Welfare Madam Esther Apraku, Madam Gerogina Aning-Badu (Executive of Bantama Women’s Fellowship Prayer Memorial-Presbyterian Church).
The audience constituted traders, hairdressers, elected assembly members among others.
Touching on the Bill, Madam Esther Apraku-a facilitator for the forum admitted that the passage of the Community Service Bill in Ghana is long overdue.
Overcrowded prisons resulting from the conviction of persons over misdemeanor offences and innocent inmates who failed to make a proper presentation of their cases in court according to her calls for the urgent passage of the bill.
She has called on authorities to speed up processes so as to bring into fruition its immediate passage into law.
“Bringing onboard the Community Service Bill will help”, adding that intensive public sensitization and education are therefore needed.
Madam Apraku also admonished the public to support the advocacy for the immediate passage of the Bill.
Mr. Tijani Mahmoud-Program Manager for MFCS in his address explained to participants why the Bill entails and what it stands to achieve when passed into law. He underscored as detrimental, the traditional approach whereby petty offenders are always whipped with custodial sentence. The aforesaid he explained fails to reform convicts but succeeds in inflicting psychological, physical and emotional trauma on inmates.
Mr. Tijani Mahmoud used the platform to educate the audience on specific crimes that the Bill when passed into Law will cater for and those that are exempted from the community service.
In an interview, Nana Fosu Kese called on participants to pass on the knowledge and encourage other to support its passage.
The forum was organised through a collaboration with the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), Africa office