The Member of Parliament representing Adansi Asokwa, K.T. Hammond, has responded to public concerns regarding an incident on December 22, 2023, where he was accused of slapping and rebuffing the Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, during a parliamentary session.
The incident, captured on video and shared online, has generated varied reactions, with some accusing Mr. Hammond of displaying aggressive behavior towards a fellow legislator. Addressing the media at his residence in Adansi Asokwa, located in the Ashanti Region, Mr. Hammond, who also serves as the Minister of Trade and Industry, asserted that his actions had been taken out of context.
Expressing his frustration, he questioned why his thoughts and statements are frequently misinterpreted without considering the underlying substance, leading to widespread criticism from various segments of the public.
Providing his account of the parliamentary proceedings, Mr. Hammond recounted being summoned into the chamber by Annoh-Dompreh to participate in discussions and the subsequent vote on the appointment of judges by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. He explained that, owing to his connection with one of the judges, who happened to be a former peer at the University of Ghana, he desired to contribute to the floor discussions. While presenting his viewpoint, the Majority Chief Whip attempted to alert him, ostensibly due to time constraints, amidst interjections from the Nsawam-Adoagyiri MP.
“I only made some gesticulations towards him to allow me to make my point regardless of the time constraints. Parliament had spent the whole day discussing other issues so why was I distracted from making my point to wind up the business of the day?”, He said
He strongly denied allegations of being a violent individual, emphasizing that he has no track record of violence and has never been engaged in any violent incidents. Mr. K.T. Hammond underscored that Frank Annoh-Dompreh is a close confidant in both political and parliamentary spheres, asserting that he would never exhibit violent behavior towards someone with whom he shares such a close relationship.
“I never slapped him. Why will I slap a colleague Member of Parliament? Have you seen me fighting anybody in Parliament as the others did during voting for the Speaker of Parliament and other violent scenes in the house?”, K.T Hammond questioned
In the meantime, K.T. Hammond has decided to participate once again in the NPP Parliamentary primary contest for the Adansi-Asokwa constituency. Having initially entered Parliament in 2001, he is presently in the midst of his sixth term.
Facing competition from three other aspirants who have already submitted their nominations, K.T. Hammond is aiming for a seventh term. Despite the challenges, he expressed optimism and mentioned that his decision to run again is in response to calls from his constituents, who believe in his track record of accomplishments and are urging him to seek another term.
In light of the recent announcements from Joseph Osei Owusu, MP for Bekwai, Dan Botwe, MP for Okere, Samuel Atta Akyea, MP for Abuakwa South, and Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, MP for Suame, stating their decision not to seek re-election to Parliament, Mr. K.T. Hammond has expressed concerns about the potential vacuum this would create within the legislative body, impacting the overall quality of work in the House.
Mr. Hammond has cited this as one of the reasons for his desire to return to Parliament, underscoring the importance of his experience as a legislator. He aims to contribute invaluable insights to the House, recognizing the potential challenges that may arise with the departure of seasoned lawmakers and emphasizing the need for continuity and expertise within the parliamentary framework.
He concluded by saying,”Replacing these experienced MPs will be a daunting task for the party,”.