Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, has chided the Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, for asking Parliament to sanction media houses that had allegedly misreported his comments concerning the possible evacuation of Ghanaian students from Ukraine.
The Effutu MP had, a day before, stated in Parliament that to ensure that government had the needed resources to manage the affairs of the State, including funding the evacuation of Ghanaians stranded in Ukraine, the Minority should support the passage of the E-Levy.
Addressing the House on Thursday, the Deputy Majority Leader noted that evacuating Ghanaians will come at a cost, affecting the limited resources government has generated, thus, the need for the E-levy.
He said: “The call to evacuate Ghanaian citizens from Ukraine will come at a cost. No European country will evacuate our citizens for us. America will not do that. There is going to be pressure on the limited resources that we have… Of course, Deputy Minority Leader, you have not spoken into the microphone, but if you are talking about E-levy, this is the more important reason why we even need it.”
However, following censure from Ghanaians on social media, Afenyo-Markin has denied making any such allusion and has among other things asked that media houses that had allegedly misreported him be sanctioned by the house.
Reacting to his application, Asawase MP, Muntaka Mubarak noted that Parliament was not the appropriate place to file a complaint concerning such an incident.
He added that even though he understood the anger of the Effutu lawmaker, the MP had no power to determine the editorial policy of a media house.
According to him, calling for media houses to be sanctioned by the House was an abuse of his position and thus advised Afenyo-Markin to seek redress from the National Media Commission.
Meanwhile, Muntaka Mubarak who claimed he had listened to the video more than 20 times stated that the Deputy Majority Leader had indeed said what was reported of him.
“I have listened to the video more than 20 times, you mentioned Ukraine evacuation will cost money and it is the reason we should leave all this politicking. The dollar is having a challenge which is why E-levy must be approved.
“You said it, the video is here, I have forwarded it to all of them so you can disagree with how they framed their headline, but it is not for us to tell a news portal how their headline should be,” he said.
He then added that “You may disagree with how they captured the headline, but it is not for us to determine how the headline should be and so please let’s allow Speakers ruling to stand, let’s meet in confidence look at the thing together and if there’s a reason genuinely why you want what you want to be done then as a house we can come together, but you cannot insist that what you want to be done your way. That cannot be right.”