Ras Mubarak cringes at maltreatment of children

Accra – Ras Mubarak, MP for Kumbungu, on Friday registered trepidation at atrocities being committed against children, and called for stiffer punishment and more effective enforcement of legislation against perpetrators.

Mr Speaker, as a parent, I cringe when I hear of such atrocious things being done to children, the legislator said, adding that, these crimes are becoming too rampant because of the kinds of punishment people get.

In a statement on the floor of Parliament, in Accra, the MP recalled recent reported incidents of manhandling of children, citing a case involving five-year-old Isaac Mensah, whose injured hands festered as a result of machete would from his step mother, in Cape Coast, with further amputation that led him to be hospitalised.

Just when the nation was reeling from the shock of the abhorrent attack on Isaac Mensah and his amputation, we were greeted with news of another evil treatment of a child by adults.

In Bolgatanga, an eleven-year-old boy-Maxwell Ayinbisa was set ablaze for allegedly peeping at a woman in the bathroom. Maxwell, who apparently wasn’t the one who did the peeping, was sent to buy petrol, and when he returned, a group of adults, led by one Nsonbila John, took the petrol from this lad and, poured it on him and set him ablaze.

Citing the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, Ras Mubarak said: A child shall not be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.’

The MP, a former Broadcast Journalist condemned the inhumane treatment meted to children by a society of churchgoers and mosque goers, with reference to the Children’s Act of 1988(Act 560), and allusions to the Bible, Quran the Torah, cautioned against the maltreatment of children.

In Matthew 18:10 (we read), take heed that ye despise not one of these little children; for I say to you, that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my father which is in heaven, Ras Mubarak referred, asking if people have little or no regard to what the laws say, or simply refuse to heed the sermons.

What these people do is simply unpardonable, the legislator said.

He commended the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection for a pledge to adopt Isaac Mensah, and urged for others to emulate the example of the Minister.

Ras Mubarak attributed the rise in the atrocities to children to the poor levels of punishment, saying that the five to 25 years punishment that defilement attracts was too light, so we should change the laws � so that for defilement, any adult should go in for life imprisonment, without the possibility of a parole.

He called on opinion leaders, who abet these crimes or stand in the way of punishing the offenders wackadoos, to be looking at ten years in jail.

Until we send a clear signal about our abhorrence of such abnormal behaviour, it would continue, it would upset us; we should talk about it for a day or two and sweep it under carpet, the Kumbungu MP added.

He reminded the House that children are gifts from God, and as such should be treated with utmost care and love.

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection should have a policy on building a compassionate society. It should be a programme at the heart of this and future governments, whereas God envisaged, the hungry be fed, naked clothed, aged protected and children cared for.

Source: Ghana News Agency