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Government to revoke all Diplomatic passports of Mahama’s appointees

Government says it will soon revoke all diplomatic passports still in the hands of former appointees of the John Mahama administration.

Foreign Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey says those still holding on to the passports risk being embarrassed if they fail to return them.

“I don’t want a colleague just because he is a former government appointee to go through such an ordeal,” she told Joy News Evans Mensah on the sidelines of the launch of the Ghana@60 celebrations in the UK.

A formal notification was issued early this year for all former appointees and ex-MPs to turn in their diplomatic passports.

Foreign minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey told Joy News the deadline for the return of the state property has elapsed.

She said while a “good number” of former officials have returned the document meant to ease the bureaucracy at the airport during travels, a ‘few’ still have not complied with the notification.

She could not provide immediately the number of persons still holding diplomatic passports.

She said the revocation will also affect former Members of Parliament too.
A discussion of the use and abuse of diplomatic passports was triggered after the British High Commission fingered three MPs and a former MP in a visa fraud scandal.

The High Commission has said it has sanctioned the MPs, measures which include a 10-year travel ban to the UK.

While the issuing of the passports are governed by law, there is an element of discretion which the minister said has been abused.

The minister has called for a cleaning up of the system lamenting that years of abuse has affected the respect accorded Diplomatic Passport holders.

Section 6 of the Passport and Travel Certificate Act 1967 which sets out persons who may qualify for the travel document provides:

“(1) The Member responsible may issue a diplomatic passport to—

“(a) any member of the Government of Ghana proceeding abroad on official Government business and the wife of such member who accompanies him on his journey;

“(b) any diplomatic representative of Ghana accredited to any other country or to any official international organization as head of mission, and any member of the diplomatic staff of such representative;

“(c) any consular officer of Ghana;

“(d) the wife and every member of the immediate family residing with him of any person referred to at
“(b) or (c) to whom a diplomatic passport is issued; and

“(e) the head of any delegation of Ghana attending an international conference or convention at which countries are officially represented.

“(f) any prominent citizen or high public official of Ghana, proceeding abroad who, in the opinion of Government, requires such passport for the purpose for which he is travelling abroad.





Source: myjoyonline

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