Labour and Gender expert Bashiratu Kamal, who is also a convener of the #FixTheCountry campaign, has accused government and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) of not dealing with them in good faith concerning their injuncted protest on Sunday, May 9.
In an interview with TV3’s Berla Mundi on the New Day show Monday, May 10, Ms. Kamal said after a meeting called by the IGP concerning the protest, which they wrote to the police to notify them about, it turned out that the meeting was between them and the Attorney General, Minister of Defense, Minister of National Security, the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Information without the IGP present.
She said: “I think that the discussion is centered around the importance of social dialogue in our society and the fact that globally, not just in our country, the United Nations, the International Labour Organization and everyone is calling for social dialogue in resolving issues as a first step. And one of the major principles of social dialogue is faith, you know, bargaining in good faith and talking in good faith.
“And I will ask: is that what they did with us? No, definitely not, from the onset, from how we were invited, to where the meeting ended, to who was in that meeting and all that, they didn’t deal with us in good faith. Because if you invite us that, you are inviting us based on a letter we wrote to the police to notify them about an impending protest and then you get to the office of the Regional Command only to be told that you are rather meeting at the office of the National Security to meet the minister and you end up in that meeting with five other ministers that we were not told, then it means there was something fundamentally wrong somewhere.
“We need to build a culture of trust among ourselves, devoid of our differences or devoid of the fact that you think I might be working against you. What is important is what we build it on, the foundation which is trust. Once we begin to trust ourselves, we are going to do better by ourselves and we do better by the nation itself.”
Reacting to the assertion by the Attorney General that the conveners exhibited bad faith by sharing privileged information in the meeting to their members on social media, Ms. Kamal said: “I think that the inconsistency in the communication that government itself is churning out, goes a long way to confirm what we have been saying. If you look at what we have said, what we said after the meeting and what we have been saying after the meeting, we have consistency in our story.
“And that is to the effect that, some of the government communicators and government machinery came on us to say that nobody’s phone was taken from them, everyone went into the meeting with their phones, so there was freedom of whatever in the room.
“And they were insisting that because they had their phones they were able to communicate with us outside but yesterday if you look at the presser that the Information Minister signed. Boldly stated in that presser was that phones were taken because that was the norm, so if the phones were taken how did people in the meeting record, with what? What are they even scared of? There is nothing we are scared of, all that we wanted we had written them on a piece of paper and we were only seeking audience, the police were seeking audience to engage us on our notification to hit the streets.
“We didn’t pen down a formal letter to government outlining a shopping list for them to follow, for them to call us for a meeting based on what we have asked the government to do for Ghanaians”.
A social policy advocate, Felix K. Addo, has described the incident as an ambush on the part of government.
By Barima Kwabena Yeboah|3news.com|Ghana