Seasoned Journalist, Kwesi Pratt has slammed the Police for prohibiting the ”fix the country” conveners from embarking on their demonstration.
The conveners scheduled last Sunday, May 9, to have a protest march but the Police secured a restraining order from the High Court to stop them.
The court order read that the conveners, their associates and all parties interested in taking the protest march were “prohibited from embarking on any demonstration on Sunday, 9th May, 2021 or any other date until the restriction on public gathering is lifted by the appropriate authority”.
But Kwesi Pratt has questioned the Police’s decision for going to court to restrict the demonstration.
Kwesi Pratt didn’t hold with the Police citing the COVID-19 restrictions as their basis for their action because, to him, if politicians could hold rallies regardless of the COVID-19 protocols, then the protesters too deserved the same treatment.
”The COVID would have been a legitimate concern, but from all observations, we see that in some instances these COVID protocols doesn’t stop large gatherings . . . Were there not COVID protocols when we did political campaign? You saw the rallies that were done in this country during the political campaign. So, why is that when it is about political campaigns, the COVID protocols don’t matter but when it’s about demonstrations, COVID protocols matter?
”If we had applied the COVID protocols and it applies to all situations, all people, all institutions, all organizations, we would have known that justice is being served . . . But since we didn’t do it before but applying it this way today, it has interpretations, it has repercussions and so on . . . So, why is it that when it reaches the turn of some people, we say the protocols don’t apply and so on; no enforcement of the protocols?
”Even at the airport where we say it’s an epicenter and must be critically checked because of the spread of COVID-19, we don’t even enforce the protocols there, but when it comes to demonstration, we say we should enforce it. It’s very disturbing,” he said on Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’ programme.
Mr. Pratt also took a swipe at the governing New Patriotic Party over the Police going to court for a restraining order because, in his explanation, a Court of Appeal had ruled that these tactics where the Police go for an ex parte to stop protesters isn’t not a good thing and that the right thing is for them to go on notice.
Ex parte refer to motions for orders that can be granted without waiting for a response from the other side.
Mr. Pratt stressed that these tactics had been condemned by all parties including the New Patriotic Party long ago and so he “had confidence that when the NPP comes into power, these tactics won’t be used again but still we’re using these tactics that we all spoke against”.