Some Paramount Chiefs in the Upper East Region have been schooled on the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act, and the roadmap and code of Conduct to end vigilantism, as part of efforts to ensure free, fair and peaceful general election.
The engagement was to equip the chiefs with the requisite knowledge on the Act to enable them to play critical roles in its implementation to ensure decent political campaign to for peaceful elections on December 7.
The initiative dubbed: “Decent election 2020 project”, is being implemented by the Northern Sector Action on Awareness Centre with funding from STAR-Ghana.
The project is being implemented in three regions, the Northern, North East and Upper East Regions by different organizations, with RISE-Ghana as a facilitator in the Upper East Region.
The Vigilantism and Related Offences Act of 2019, Act 999, seeks to disband all political vigilante groups and forbids acts of vigilantism in the country. It seeks to punish any person who engages in activities of vigilantism that is related to a political party.
The Act follows electoral violence in the country, particularly during recent elections, and it is to ensure that anyone who breaks the law is punished with a term of imprisonment between five and 15 years.
Speaking at separate functions, Head of Programmes at RISE-Ghana, Jaw-haratu Amadu, explained that all political parties need to abide by the Act that bans all forms of vigilantism to ensure peace before, during and after the elections.
She said government through the National Peace Council formulated a roadmap for the disbandment of vigilantism by all political parties.
She said chiefs, who wield much influence in their communities, need to enhance their knowledge on the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act and roadmap to end it.
She said the initiative will engage key stakeholders, including CSOs, religious leaders, and regional political party leaders, institutions, youth groups, on the Act and strengthen positive action geared at ensuring peaceful elections to cement the country’s democratic credentials.