Ghana’s licensing authority for drivers has apologised to Rastafarians over a discriminatory comment against them by a director.
The Western Regional Director of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) Emmanuel Narh during a radio discussion said the Authority does not give license to just any Rastafarian.
“We don’t give license to just any rasta. You need to prove that you belong to a credible rasta faith before we can grant you a license. Or you need to prove that you belong to a family with roots and enough grounds not to cut your hair,” he said.
The comment angered the Rastafarian Council which is calling for the head of the director.
The CEO of DVLA Kwasi Agyemang Busia has appealed to the Council to exercise restraint while retracting the statement on behalf of his subordinate.
“On behalf of the Authority, I’m here to retract that statement he made. It was in error and regrettable,” he told a section of the media on Monday.
He added: “The fact that we are even having this conversation is regrettable. There is nothing like displaying what religion one belongs to before being issued a driver’s licence. We are a government institution and we provide service regardless of religion, colour, nationality, height and sexual preference.
“Once you pass those are the clear areas who look for to issue driver’s license. So I apologise to the Rastafarian community for the utterances of the official in the Western region. We don’t have room for this in our establishment; it’s uncalled for and should never be an issue for discussion. I want to clear the air about it because it is not the practice we indulge in at the DVLA.”
Mr. Busia said the guidelines in issuing a licence are clear, adding “there is no grey area at all as to who qualifies for a driver’s license. It’s as clear as crystal.”
The Council is yet to respond to his apology.
Earlier, it said the Western region DVLA boss is unfit to hold the office because he discriminates against Rastafarians.
The Council says the claim by the Western Regional DVLA head is an affront on Article 21 (c) of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution that guarantees the rights and liberties of all Ghanaians devoid of religion.
“The Western Regional DVLA head by his pronouncements shows how bigoted he is to members of the Rastafari Faith. On what basis can one deny granting of a drivers’ license to a Ghanaian on the basis of religion? One must also be educated that not all who wear locks are members of the Rastafari Faith that is a belief system that the 1992 Constitution guarantees under the Freedom of religion in Article 21 (c),” the council said in a statement.
Source: Source: Daily Mail GH
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