JUSAG declares indefinite nationwide strike effective May 24, 2023

The Judicial Service Staff Association (JUSAG), has declared an indefinite strike over delayed salaries and related allowances effective Wednesday May 24, 2023.

The National Executive Council of JUSAG said it sanctioned the strike after consultation with all stakeholders.

The Association declared the industrial strike over the delay in approving the recommendation/advice of the Judicial Council on the review of their salaries and related allowances in accordance with Article 149 of the 1992 Constitution among others.

The National Labour Commission (NLC) on May 10, 2023 ordered JUSAG, the Labour and Employment and Finance Ministries and other parties to negotiate and resolve the matter within two weeks.

The parties were to report back to the Commission on Wednesday May 24, 2023.

Mr Samuel Afotey Otu, National President of JUSAG, said the ruling by the Commission contravenes Article 149 of the 1992 Constitution as it attempts to strip the President of the authority vested in him by the 1992 Constitution.

He said the ruling also contradicted the Supreme Court ruling in the case of JUSAG vs. The Attorney General and 2 Others in 2016.

‘Despite these apparent violations of the rules of natural justice by the Commission, and its flavoured ruling, we placed the interest of the Judiciary and Ghana high and exercised patience hoping that the Goverment will exercise good faith and initiate steps to resolve our grievances,’ he said.

He said unfortunately, nobody in government invited them for a meeting or attempted to resolve our concerns.

The National President said the Labour Minister, who was directed to lead the resolution went and slept on the job, yet they remained patient for 14 days.

He said it was clear to them that Commission had a predetermined mindset planned with the Government to frustrate the efforts of JUSAG in demanding what was due its members.

He said the ruling of the Commission was prepared and dated on Tuesday, 9

May 2023 prior to the meeting on Wednesday, 10 May 2023.

The National President said the Commission’s ruling was prejudiced and Commission was bias in favour of the Government.

Mr Afotey Otu said the Commission virtually violated all the principles of natural justice and the whole proceedings at the Commission and the ruling had occasioned miscarriage of justice.

‘In a bid to cover the injustice visited on JUSAG, the Commission wrote a letter dated May 12, 2023 to JUSAG withdrawing its ruling on the grounds of supposed error they had detected in their ruling,’ he added.

He said by the withdrawal, ‘therefore, there was technically and there was still technically, no ruling or directive’ preventing JUSAG from proceeding with their industrial action, since they had not replaced the withdrawn ruling with another one, or serve same on JUSAG.

He said ‘by this declaration of strike, all staff of the Service were immediately directed not to report to work from Wednesday May 24, 2023 onwards unless and until President Nana Akufo-Addo complies with Article 149 of the Constitution by approving and paying our new salaries with all the arrears from January, 2023 to date.’

He said no Court Registrar should open or be compelled to open any registry or Court for use during the period of the strike.

He said Regional Executive Board and Committee members of JUSAG were to be on the lookout to ensure compliance.

He said the Security Men and women were to stay at post, but make sure that all entrances to the Courts and other offices were locked to prevent entry into the Courts or any premises of the service.

The National President said all drivers were directed to hand over the official vehicles in their custody to the transport department.

‘No driver shall drive any office vehicle or any officer or any judge during the period of the strike,’ he said.

He said if any staff of the service received any threat from any Management member to report to work or perform any official duty during the strike, he or she shall decline same and report the matter to JUSAG.

Mr Afotey Otu said, ‘Let no one in Government or Management unlawfully coerce any staff or intimidate staff during the strike.’

The National President said if any member was inflicted with any injustice in this cause, ‘we shall deem it as all members have been affected.’

He, therefore, called on the leadership of the Association of Judges and Magistrates to join the strike since majority of their members were also affected by the injustice and suffering we are undergoing.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ernest Yaw Anim elected MP for Kumawu constituency

Mr Ernest Yaw Anim has been elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Kumawu constituency after obtaining 15,264 votes representing 70.9 per cent of total vote cast.

KUMAWU BY-ELECTION – CERTIFIED RESULTS

ERNEST YAW ANIM – 15,264

AKWASI AMANKWAA – 3,723

KWAKU DUAH (1) – 2,478

KWAKU DUAH (2) – 62

TOTAL VALID VOTES – 21,527

REJECTED VOTES – 204

Source: Ghana News Agency

Mental Health Authority committed to promoting care for individuals with schizophrenia

The Mental Health Authority s is committed to promoting humane care for individuals with schizophrenia from the creation of policies through to their execution.

It said by adopting the Quality Rights e-training in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Authority had been working at ensuring the fundamental human rights of persons with schizophrenia and other mental health conditions are guaranteed.

A statement issued in Accra to commemorate the World Schizophrenia Day said while on the rights of persons living with mental illness, the Authority would like to reiterate the ban on chaining and shackling that has been in place since 2019.

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by impairment in thinking, behaviour and perception of reality.

Persistent symptoms such as auditory and visual hallucinations, delusional thinking, disorganized speech, thoughts and behaviour are often observe.

‘In addition, the Authority has been working to raise public awareness of schizophrenia and other mental health issues, whilst also striving for further improvements in accessibility to care,’ it added.

The statement said it was also important to note the efforts made by non-governmental organizations and other mental health advocacy groups to raise awareness and reduce stigma.

On World Schizophrenia Day, the Mental Health Authority urges the public, development

partners, caregivers, community organizations, and all other interested parties to collaborate to remove obstacles and broaden support for those who live with schizophrenia.

This includes increasing funding for mental health research and creating more inclusive communities that support and empower individuals living with

schizophrenia.

‘We encourage everyone to take a moment to learn more about schizophrenia,’ it added.

The statement called on stakeholders to join the Authority in breaking down barriers and creating a world where everyone has access to the care and support they need to live healthy and productive lives.

Records from the District Health Information Management Systems (DHIMS) show

that the prevalence of schizophrenia is increasing.

As at 2020, 19,856 persons had presented for help. This increased to 20,755 persons in 2021 and further to 24,790persons ni 2022.

By the end of March this year, 8,446 persons have been recorded and should be a concerning matter to all of us.

This is because some of them, including those who for fear of stigmatisation do not report for professional help end up on the street.

Source: Ghana News Agency

West Africa needs entrepreneurship culture for economic growth, prosperity – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo DankwaAkufo-Addo has praised Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, for his entrepreneurial ingenuity, saying the West African sub-Region needs that culture for economic growth.

He stated: ‘We need to push vigorously, in West Africa, the culture of entrepreneurship, so that we can grow our economies, and become prosperous.

‘The truth is that successful economies depend largely on entrepreneurs running successful businesses.’

The business mogul is being celebrated for his Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical Complex project, a massive petrochemical complex and one of Nigeria’s single largest investments.

The 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) integrated refinery and petrochemical project is expected to double Nigeria’s refining capacity and help meet the increasing domestic fuel demand.

It is envisaged to generate foreign exchange through exports.

The Nigeria-based Dangote Group financed the project with an estimated investment of US$19 billion.

The Complex has a 435 megawatt power station, deep seaport and fertiliser unit.

Nigeria is the second biggest oil-rich country in Africa, after Libya, and estimated to hold some 37 billion barrels of proven oil reserves.

However, the country is dependent on imported refined fuel products due to the lack of domestic refining capacity.

President Nana Akufo-Addo, in a Facebook post, expressed optimism that the project would contribute to the sub-Region’s economic growth.

‘I congratulate this distinguished, patriotic son of Africa for the sheer brilliance of this initiative,’ he said.

The President said there was no greater symbol of entrepreneurship in the 21st Century in West Africa, and, indeed, in Africa, than ‘this iconic Nigerian entrepreneur, easily the equal of the celebrated entrepreneurs of our generation, such as Musk, Gates, Page, Bezos and Zuckerberg.’

‘When we think of West Africa and Africa before our individual countries, we are not just being pan-Africanists, we are being true nationalists, because what makes West Africa, and, indeed Africa, better, will make each of our individual countries better and more prosperous.’

The integrated refinery and petrochemical project is expected to generate 9,500 direct and 25,000 indirect jobs.

Source: Ghana News Agency

EOTC Announces Establishment of Peace Committee

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) has announced today the establishment of a Peace Committee that jointly works with both local and international institutions to bring lasting peace to the country.

Speaking to journalists at the conclusion of the EOTC Holy Synod Summit held from May 9- 24, His Holiness Abune Mathias, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, disclosed that the committee will also have recognition by the government.

For all our people who have been harmed throughout the country due to the current crisis, the Holy Synod has decided that humanitarian support, consolation and visitation programs be made, the patriarch said.

In this regard, the Holy Synod has decided to provide twenty million Birr emergency humanitarian aid to compatriots in Tigray region to alleviate the grave problems they are facing because of the war, His Holiness Abune Mathias stated.

Furthermore, the church made a peace call to end unnecessary conflicts, displacement and migration of citizens observed in the country so that citizens can live together in equality, peace and love.

The Holy Synod has set up an election committee to ordain nine episcopate in Oromia and the Southern regions, it was learned.

It is to be recalled that the EOTC leaders, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and elders held a joint consultation to resolve the dispute between the fathers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

The disagreement was resolved through dialogue.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency