2021 has been an eventful year in Ghana via politics, economy, crime, among others.
The year started with a commotion in Parliament on the eve of January 7 2021, and ended with fisticuffs within the identical law-making dwelling.
Citinewsroom.com takes you down memory to present you a recap of finest tales that kept Ghanaians talking all year long under evaluate.
The Nationwide Democratic Congress (NDC) led by John Mahama challenged the implications of the 2020 polls insisting that no longer one among the nine presidential candidates bought the needed 50%+1 vote constitutional threshold to be declared the winner of the polls.
In his petition filed on December 30, 2020, Mr. Mahama sought 5 reliefs from the apex court.
He among issues asked the Supreme Court to repeat the EC’s declaration of President Nana Akufo-Addo as the winner of the polls as unconstitutional, null, and void.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court stated the petitioner (Mr. Mahama) did no longer tag his case by capability of his petition or thru his witnesses.
Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah who be taught the ruling on Thursday, March 4, 2021, stated the accounts of Rojo Mettle-Nunoo and Dr. Michael Kpessa-Whyte had been immaterial to the case since the predicament in rivalry had nothing to operate with how the implications had been collated at the Electoral Rate’s nationwide collation centre popularly identified as the Strongroom.
Following the Supreme Court ruling, the petitioner (John Mahama) stated, even when the decision of the court is binding on him, he departs from its conclusion on the case.
Among somewhat a lot of issues, John Mahama expressed remorse that the Chairperson of the Electoral Rate, Jean Mensa did no longer testify in court despite his applications for such to happen.
The E-Levy controversy
Ghana has viewed plenty of most modern taxes controversies admire the more fresh discuss tax or the introduction of the Rate Added Tax (VAT) initiative in 1995, which sparked the Kumi Preko demo in negate.
For the length of the 2022 funds assertion, the authorities announced the proposed levy of 1.75% on digital transactions, which contains cell-money funds.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta
Critics of the proposal possess warned that this original levy will negatively influence the Fintech plight, as successfully as disaster low-earnings folks and these open air the formal banking sector.
The authorities has, on the different hand, argued the levy would widen the tax web and that will elevate an additional GH¢6.9 billion in 2022.
Parliament turned into unable to approve the Electronic Transaction Levy sooner than the terminate of sittings in 2021, after a contentious approval direction of that even resulted in a brawl in Parliament following an strive to keep in mind it under a certificates of urgency.
Chaos in Parliament
Ghana’s fourth Republic turned into faced with what turned into with out a doubt a hung Parliament after the 2020 elections. The governing Current Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition Nationwide Democratic Congress (NDC) received 137 seats every, with one independent MP.
On the morning Ghana’s original Parliament turned into space to be sworn in, an almost 5-hour deadlock over vote casting processes to elect a brand original Speaker of Parliament culminated in a brawl.
After the heated debate over the voice of an opposition MP-elect who had been barred by a court from taking part within the inauguration of the original Parliament, there turned into a standoff over the vote casting direction of for the Speaker.
The NDC MPs insisted on a secret ballotin the assumption that there had been some NPPs MPs planning to stray from the birthday celebration line as Alban Bagbin and Mike Oquaye vied for the seat.
For hours, scuffles broke out, led by the NDC legislators’ Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, who tried to be sure that his opposing Whip turned into no longer policing the ballotthat will within the extinguish peep Alban Bagbin elected.
Amid the tensions, armed protection force and police personnel even stormed Parliament’s chamber, including to the chaos.
The year started in chaos for the Parliament, and ended in chaos when every other brawl broke out all over a gradual-evening session to keep in mind passing the digital transactions levy under a certificates of urgency.
The chaos started after NDC MPs tried to forestall Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei-Owusu from leaving his seat to vote after weeks of debate over whether he still retained his vote as the MP for Bekwai when sitting in for the Speaker of Parliament.
Botched Sputnik V deal
Ghana’s quest to obtain COVID-19 vaccines within the direction of the health crisis hit a snag.
This turned into after the Effectively being Minister did no longer seal a address a Dubai-based entirely intermediary, Sheikh Al Maktoum, to obtain 3.4 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccines.
The predicament first came to light after a e-newsletter by a Norwegian files outlet, Verdens Gang.
The preliminary mark quoted for the vaccine turned into US$25, but it with out a doubt turned into negotiated downwards to US$19, in line with the Ghana Effectively being Carrier.
It later emerged, on the different hand, that, the $19 turned into a elevated cost somewhat a lot of than the distinctive manufacturing facility mark of $10, prompting calls for the abrogation of the procurement contract.
Ghana paid more than US$2.8 million to Sheikh Al Maktoum for the procurement of the Sputnik V vaccine, contrary to claims by the Effectively being Minister that no money had been paid at all.
This turned into confirmed by the nine-member ad-hoc parliamentary committee space up to probe the controversial procurement deal. In its remaining chronicle, it indicated that US$2,850,000 representing 50% of the US$5,700,000 owed to Sheikh Dalmook Al Maktoum for the eventual offer of 300,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccine turned into if truth be told paid to the intermediary.
The committee, attributable to this truth, tasked the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, to retrieve the money that had been paid.
Ghana took offer of 20,000 out of the 300,000 doses of the expected vaccines.
But after harsh criticisms of the deal, the Ministry moved, main to Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, refunding $2,470,000 at the beginning paid by Ghana.
Xavier Sosu’s woes
Member of Parliament for Madina, Francis Xavier Sosu turned into moreover within the guidelines after he turned into sought after by police authorities.
The legislator turned into accused of unlawfully blockading public roads and inflicting destruction to public property all over a demonstration he led in his constituency over sinful roads.
Mr. Sosu alleged that the law enforcement officers manhandled him on the day of the negate; within the first strive to arrest him. He attributable to this truth filed a complaint in Parliament in opposition to two law enforcement officers.
Police might perchance no longer arrest the MP on plenty of times thereafter, whereas attempts to invite him thru the Speaker of Parliament had been denied.
The Speaker of Parliament jumped to the defence of the MP, describing the actions by the Police as a breach of law.
The Ghana Police Carrier secured a judicial remark and a prison summons to possess the MP arrested but to no avail.
Xavier Sosu stated attempts to arrest him had been a favorable violation of his constitutionally mandated parliamentary responsibilities, whereas accusing the safety company of being disingenuous with their myth of events.
However the MP, who is moreover a human rights attorney, did no longer appear in court three consecutive instances, main to the issuance of a bench warrant by the Kaneshie District Court.
He filed a terminate of execution, after which the bench warrant turned into withdrawn.
‘Trotro’ strike over gasoline costs
Monday, December 6, 2021, might perchance dash down in history as one among the most anxious moments within the lives of the hundreds and hundreds of Ghanaians who depend entirely on public transportation.
It adopted a nationwide strike by industrial drivers.
Many commuters had been left to their destiny after being left stranded attempting to salvage autos to work and somewhat a lot of locations because their most true approach to transport had grounded to a stop.
College students weren’t no longer noted because many of them had difficulties getting to varsity at a time they had been writing terminate-of time frame examinations.
Most productive a handful of the drivers defied the orders to salvage the predicament, however the sad ones who had been caught by their union authorities had been forced to tumble off passengers they had been carrying.
On the opposite hand, hundreds of commuters in plenty of aspects of the country lined up alongside main roads but in futility as there had been no autos in glimpse. Those that passed by had been moreover no longer picking them up.
Left and not using a option, within the terminate, some decided to reach home, whereas others trekked long distances to somewhat a lot of locations.
The few who had been ready to manage to pay for non-public transport did so by resorting to slump-hailing services, leaving the suppliers cashing in heavily on the day attributable to the exorbitant costs they charged.
The strike by the transport operators turned into to negate an all-time increment within the costs of gasoline and stress the authorities to slash the worth of the gasoline by scrapping plenty of taxes slapped on the product.
It turned into attention-grabbing how drivers and their conductors in places admire Tema, Ashaiman and Kasoa turned the lorry stations accurate into a soccer park within the paunchy glare of passengers.
Fortunately, the nationwide take a seat-down strike by the drivers did no longer final long. Just a few hours later, the strike turned into suspended.
The Ghana Deepest Transport Union (GPRTU) issued a press originate asserting an invite for discussion with the Presidency over their grievances.
Omicron and vaccine mandates
There turned into a fresh wave of COVID-19 within the country following the onset of the Omicron stress of the virus.
Ghana detected its first case of the Omicron variant on December 1, 2021, at the Kotoka Global Airport; a predicament that compelled health authorities to institute original security protocols to withhold a watch on the spread within the population amidst the Christmas festivities.
The country is supposed to possess entered a fourth wave of the virus, in line with the Ghana Effectively being Carrier.
Persons flying out and in of the country are to be entirely vaccinated and to strictly apply stipulated guidelines for both self-preservation and the safety of the upper society.
Airlines that elevate in passengers to the Kotoka Global Airport who are no longer entirely vaccinated will possible be surcharged U$3,500 per passenger, and airlines that board passengers with out PCR take a look at results, or transport and disembark passengers with sure PCR take a look at results into Accra will moreover be fined US$3,500 per passenger.
The month of December turned into space aside as the month of vaccination, with a directive from health authorities for proof of vaccination in remark to access social events and somewhat a lot of places.
Diverse violent crimes characterized the year under evaluate. There possess been waste cases, day-light robberies and somewhat a lot of assaults, especially within the capital Accra.
In explicit, in 2021 had been spousal-linked crimes. Law enforcement officers possess been injured or killed in among the robbery incidents.
Celebrated among the many killings turned into the Kasoa ritual waste within the Central Region.
Four folks including two kids had been arrested over the killing of 11-year-extinct Ishmael Mensah, supposedly for money rituals at Lamptey Mills.
The kids allegedly lured the deceased into an uncompleted constructing and smashed his head with a membership and cement blocks, killing him today.
They attributable to this truth buried him within the constructing. The suspects planned to get better the body at the hours of darkness for the supposed rituals.
A 35-year-extinct taxi driver turned into moreover arrested for confessing to allegedly killing many folks for ritual purposes.
Within the wake of such crimes and concerns referring to the broadcasting of awful explain within the media plight, some folks admire Nana Agradaa had been arrested for parading themselves as spiritualists.
In sure aspects of the country, irate childhood stormed the shrines of spiritualists and destroyed properties there.
Presidential jet derive
Debate on the presidential jet has been within the guidelines for some months now after the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, filed pressing questions worrying disclosure of the paunchy cost of President Akufo-Addo’s fresh foreign trips with out the usage of the legit presidential jet.
Mr. Ablakwa, who has continuously accused the President of losing taxpayer’s money on hiring luxurious jets for his foreign trips.
Mr. Ablakwa sought answers as to why the President allegedly chartered a luxurious jet that cost GH¢3.7 million for his fresh time out.
The Ranking Member had earlier alleged that the President spent an quantity of GH¢2.8 million on his earlier travels to entirely South Africa and France using the services of a non-public jet rather than the presidential jet.
The Finance Ministry, on the different hand, avoided the attach an explain to on the expenditure and stated that data might perchance still be offered by the Nationwide Safety Ministry.
MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
In his most modern converse, Mr. Ablakwa stated President Nana Akufo-Addo’s three fresh foreign trips cost the taxpayer GH¢10 million.
However the authorities explained that the most modern jet turned into no longer convenient for long-hour trips, as it couldn’t seize more numbers and had shrimp services for the comfort of a president.
The authorities has even disclosed that it’s almost thru with getting a brand original plane to cater for presidential travels; the motive being that the most modern jet is merely no longer fit for motive.
But Minority Chief, Haruna Iddrisu stated the caucus will rapidly meet to web its arsenal proper to salvage moves to obtain the presidential jet halted.
Fix the Nation
Some months within the past, the #FixTheCountry campaign started on social media, with somewhat a lot of Ghanaians leaping on the trend.
It turned into at the beginning started by some young folks on Twitter, but some celebrities later joined the campaign to defend the authorities responsible.
The organizers mumble they salvage no longer seem like going to rest until the country gets greater, explaining that the predicament of usual Ghanaians is their sole motive gradual the protests.
The main part of the year has viewed organizers of the circulation and plenty of other others taking to the streets to negate for greater dwelling prerequisites and rapid economic trend.
The campaign sought to galvanize on the authorities to address Ghana’s somewhat a few challenges, including childhood unemployment, downhearted infrastructure, and high cost of dwelling.
The anti-LGBTQI+ Bill moreover dominated conversations in Ghana all around the year under evaluate.
The Bill prescribes that folks of the identical sex who prefer in sexual intercourse might perchance exhaust up to 10 years in penal advanced.
Utterly different forms of reinforce for the LGBTQ+ neighborhood will moreover be criminalized if the Bill, identified as the Promotion of Exact Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Household Values Bill 2021, is passed into law.
Ghana’s two main spiritual groupings, Christians and Muslims, possess been vocal of their reinforce of the Bill and equipped memos backing the regulations that has been described as homophobic by critics.
Fifteen noted felony, tutorial, and civil society professionals moreover filed a memo describing the Bill as inimical to Ghana’s democratic rules.
Parliament’s Constitutional, Lawful, and Parliamentary Affairs Committee held public hearings on memoranda bought on the invoice.
The Committee has bought over 150 memoranda from spiritual bodies, civil society teams, and residents on the controversial subject of sexual orientation.
It wasn’t until eight months into President Akufo-Addo’s 2d administration that he within the extinguish appointed Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).
This turned into after months of criticism fired at the authorities over the delays. In January, President Akufo-Addo directed all MMDCEs to live at put up until original ones are appointed.
The Presidency, defended the delay, asserting it turned into no longer affecting trend at the district stage.
The list, which turned into released on September 20, had 135 out of the 260 MMDCEs being original nominations.
The gender balance within the list turned into criticised with entirely 38 of the nominees being girls folks. There turned into, on the different hand, a essential milestone, with Accra getting its first lady mayor within the person of Elizabeth Sackey.
The nominees attributable to this truth when thru an approval direction of at the assembly stage.
At the moment, the appointment of MMDCEs is the only real real defend of the President, per Article 243 (1) of the 1992 Constitution.
However the delays precipitated calls for proposals for the election MMDCEs to be re-regarded at.
Tidal wave flooding
Residents within the Anlo district, Keta, and Ketu South Municipalities struggled with tidal wave flooding as they misplaced a few of their communities to the ocean.
The flooding on November 7 received nationwide consideration after a entire bunch of residents had been displaced.
Support from the authorities within the instantaneous aftermath of the incident turned into attempting, with corporate organisations and even dilapidated President John Mahama taking the lead in offering essential reinforce.
Collapsing at Salakope within the Ketu South District after tidal wave flooding. Credit: Delali Adogla-Bessa
The North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, criticised President Akufo-Addo for no longer commenting on the flooding within the aftermath of the incident.
The 2022 funds moreover made no mention of labor on sea partitions, which the affected communities had been crying out for.
This precipitated the Minority in Parliament to demand some amendments to the funds, including a essential commitment to combating coastal erosion.
The authorities revised the funds and distributed GH¢10 million for feasibility review for sea partitions in affected communities.
Hoax kidnapping and unsuitable being pregnant in Takoradi
Josephine Panyin Mensah dominated headlines after she turned into accused of staging her kidnapping and faking her being pregnant.
She went lacking on September 16, 2021, and turned into narrate in Axim 20 days later, with none signal of the stated being pregnant.
She claimed she turned into allegedly kidnapped with the toddler, taken by her supposed kidnappers.
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, first hinted that the incident turned into staged and the being pregnant turned into unsuitable.
The police administration in a subsequent assertion confirmed the minister’s converse.
Further assessments performed on Josephine moreover confirmed that she turned into by no method pregnant, in line with police.
She turned into charged on two counts of deceiving a public officer contrary to fragment 251 (B) of the Prison Offences Act and e-newsletter of counterfeit files with intent to motive disaster and panic contrary to fragment 208 (1) of the Prison Offences Act.
Her trial will originate up on January 6, 2022.