Former Minister for Special Development Initiatives, Mavis Hawa Koomson, has rendered an unqualified apology for the infamous shooting incident at a polling station at Kasoa in the Awutu-Senya East Constituency during the voter registration exercise last year.
According to her, she discharged the firearm in self-defence because she honestly believed her life was in danger.
She said, “The incident of July 20, 2020, was very unfortunate and I pray it never happens again, and I don’t pray it ever happens again in the history of the politics of Ghana.”
“Mr. Chairman, I wish to take this opportunity to also apologize to the people who were at the polling station.”
Hawa Koomson, a Minister-designate for Aquaculture and Fisheries, was responding to a question on the shooting incident when she appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Thursday, February 18, 2021.
She stated that her action on the day was in defence of her soul because she felt her life was genuinely in danger and under the circumstances felt she needed to save herself.
She disclosed that though she had a police bodyguard, on the day in question the bodyguard had not yet reported for duty as it was very early.
Mrs. Hawa Koomson indicated, however, that the matter is under police investigation and could therefore not give more details and pleaded with the Committee chairman to be excused further probing questions.
Ranking member of the Committee, Haruna Iddrisu, quizzed the Minister-designate whether an apology would be enough to compensate for her action if the incident had resulted in any death.
“Will an apology be enough to compensate for a person out of that, which in my views was not only dishonourable but un-ministerial.”
“You think that a Minister should just take a gun and start shooting, should that be the conduct of person occupying the high office of a minister,” he quizzed?
The Minister reiterated her apology and said, “Mr. Chairman, as I said earlier, the circumstance I found myself led me to it and as I said also it is still under police investigation.”
“And I really regret that and wish it never happens in our political life again.”
Hon. Haruna Iddrisu questioned whether the Committee members should feel safe if the Minister-designate should suddenly feel unsafe and the circumstance would require her to return fire.
The Ranking noted that in spite of her excuse that her action was prompted by the circumstance, stressed that the electoral rules and polling station conduct is governed by law.
He said, “If you have a grievance, there are in our laws provisions for the management of these grievances.”
“So whatever the circumstance might be you have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution and the laws of Ghana including these electoral laws, which is what provides cover that if you feel dissatisfied with anything not to go and reduce it to jungle warfare. Why did you do that and what circumstance could have provoked you to that level,” he asked?
“I still say I regret for that and it is under investigation,” she responded.