December 4, 2013

The final round of nearly a fortnight of debate on the 2014 budget was on Wednesday marred by a momentary outburst of uncontrolled emotions as Members of Parliament on both sides of the House blared at each other accusing themselves of being more corrupt.

The storm resulted after the Majority Leader Dr Benjamin Kunbuor who was the last debater on the budget in his statement called on MPs to lead the campaign in the fight against corruption.

He said “corruption is seen as a disease of the political elite” and the blatant display of the Woyome and oil drill ship placards by MPs on the floor of Parliament have confirmed that perception.

This statement by the Majority Leader gored the Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa K. T Hammond who felt affronted by the attempt of the Majority Leader to compare the Woyome controversy to that of the oil drill saga.

Hon. K.T Hammond who was in the thick of affairs in the sale of the oil drill ship in 2001 and has been accused of embezzling a remaining 3.5 million dollars vehemently retorted and used unprintable words on the Majority Leader.

He cannot be accused of embezzling 3.5 million dollars when the former Ambassador to the UK Chris Kpodo had just confirmed to the Judgement Debt Commission that he KT Hammond handed over to him a bankers draft of 3.5 million in 2001.

Hon. K.T Hammond noted that transaction cannot be compared to the “thievery” masterminded by Woyome in connivance with the NDC government.

During his outbursts the MPs on both sides were heard yelling on top of their voices, with the Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon Doe Adjaho having a difficult time controlling the obviously agitated K.T Hammond and even threatening to get the Marshall of Parliament to walk him out from the floor.

When the House returned to normalcy, the Speaker cautioned MPs to be circumspect in their speech no matter the provocation and dared them to check from the hansard of Parliament how many times a point of order was raised against him in his over 20 years career in Parliament.

The Majority Leader Ben Kunbuor later retracted and apologised for his Woyome and Oil Drill Ship comparison, while K.T Hammond also apologised for his insults.

The Speaker then directed that the unfortunate comments made during the incident be expunged from the record of today’s proceeding.

Meanwhile Parliament has approved the 2014 budget.

Kwadwo Anim/