Most Rev. Matthew K. Gyamfi — President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference
Most Rev. Matthew K. Gyamfi — President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference

Catholic Bishops’ Conference calls for review of Constitution

The President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC), Most Rev. Matthew K. Gyamfi, has called for a review of the 1992 Constitution in a manner that will make the government work for the good of citizens.

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He said the political changes around the African continent was also a wakeup call for amendment of the Constitution and legal system in a peaceful democratic manner.

Delivering the keynote address at the opening ceremony of the plenary of the GCBC in Sunyani yesterday, Most Rev. Gyamfi said it was important that the Constitution reflected the growth and development of the country, especially as the nation prepared for political elections in 2024.

The theme for the plenary, which will be climaxed on Sunday, November 19, 2023, is: “Fostering the growth of the Catholic Church in Ghana through collaborative ministry”.

The president said after many years of military rule, most citizens longed for constitutional democracy which they expressed the hope would offer them both political and economic development.  

Concerns

However, “after almost 32 years of what is supposed to be a democratic governance, we all know where we are as a country,” he said.  

Most Rev. Gyamfi, who is also the Catholic Bishop of Sunyani, said it was common knowledge that neither of the two major political parties, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) or the National Democratic Congress (NDC), had fared better than the other.

The president also claimed that beneficiaries of the political system were not the people, but politicians and political actors and others in high positions.

“The people are witnesses to the accumulated wealth which those in power make in record time as soon as they entered politics.

“The people look on helplessly because those in authority are protected by the constitution to do what they do and they are never prosecuted because politicians protect their kind,” he added.

Most Rev. Gyamfi further said there had not been significant changes in the economy since the nation discovered oil in commercial quantity.

“What happened to the gold and other mineral resources?

Why are most of our roads in such deplorable state?

Why do we keep going to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)?

Why do we keep borrowing so much when we are a rich nation.

Both governments keep borrowing and we are now in deep financial crisis.

Why are we in this economic and financial quagmire?” He asked.

Corruption

The president also expressed concern over what he described as “massive uncontrolled corruption suffocating the nation”.

“It appears corruption is legalised.

What should citizens do since the existing form of democracy help only a few and leaves the majority behind.

What about the impunity and arrogance of some politicians and their defence of corruption?

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 Should the constitution not be changed or bettered for it to work for all citizens instead of for a few?

“What about our Parliament, where the interest of the people is sacrificed for personal and party interests?

Why have we not implemented the findings of the Constitutional Review Committee? 

Can the governments explain to us why we are in this economic mess?

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What explanations can the two political parties give to Ghanaians for the unfavourable agreements we sign on our oil, minerals and power generation, among others?”, he further queried. 

Investment in media

Most Rev. Gyamfi urged the GCBC to, as a matter of urgency, “invest heavily in the traditional and social media to go out into the public space,which is a more effective way of evangelisation in our modern world.”

He said it was necessary for the church to re-orient itself to the urgency of the task for its voice to be heard and message proclaimed to all.

“To this end, we call on all catholics to donate generously to support the Lumen Christ TV Project currently underway,” the president added.

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Most Rev. Gyamfi also urged catholics to come up with a more dynamic pastoral approach that addressed the spiritual and other needs of members domiciled in urban areas. 

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