Gov’t to blacklist Mahama appointees with diplomatic passports

Ms Ayorkor Botchwey wants former appointees to return their diplomatic passport or risk embarrassment

Former government appointees including those under John Mahama who have failed to return their diplomatic passports to the state are to be blacklisted, Foreign Affairs minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has hinted.

Such person will thus be stopped at the airport should they attempt to travel on the said passport, she said.

Although a deadline given them to tender in the diplomatic passport has expired, the minister said those who have either failed or refuse to do so still have a window of opportunity return it or risk embarrassment should they attempt travelling on it.

“Many former appointees are still holding on to the diplomatic passports. Those still holding on to the passport risk being embarrassed,” she said on Joy FM Wednesday, adding ” We’ve given ourselves sometime”.

Ms Ayorkor Botchwey said at the end of the expiration date, which she did not disclose, some of those holding diplomatic passports whose term of office have expired, had returned the passport which gave them special privileges in the name of Ghana.

“…A good number of them have met it [the deadline] and a few who have not. We’ve signaled them that very soon they will be put on a stop list if they do not return it,” she said.

The issue of diplomatic passports have recently grabbed headlines following claims by the British High Commission in Ghana that some four legislators, including a former MP, have been banned from entering the UK because they abused the privileges of their diplomatic passport.

READ: Former MP threatens to sue UK High Commission over visa fraud claim

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According to the High Commission, they used their diplomatic privileges to help their supposed relatives to secure visas to the UK and they eventually overstayed their visas.

The development prompted government to sanitize the system and ordered all former appointees to return their diplomatic passports.

“Bring them in! The deadline is past and it might not be very good for such a person who should have handed in the passport and who decides not to but travel with it to be stopped at the airport.
It will happen, that’s the next step and I don’t want any colleague, just because they are former members of the past government to go though such ordeal” Ms Ayorkor Botchwey said.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah||Ghana