Diplomatic passports not for private trips – Hanna Tetteh

A former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hanna Tetteh, has said that diplomatic passports are not meant to be used for personal travels.

She has, therefore, urged government officials who have been given diplomatic passports to make use of them only on official government business.

Ms Tetteh further explained that spouses of public officials are not permitted to use diplomatic passports unless they are serving in a capacity that entitles them to.

“For personal trips, you would make the application as would any other ordinary Ghanaian, but for official trips, the Protocol Service can make the application on your behalf. But private visits, you make the application yourself,” she explained.

Her comment follows alleged abuse of diplomatic passports by three MPs and a former legislator.

The culprits identified as George Boakye, a former Member of Parliament for Asunafo South; Richard Acheampong, MP for Bia East in the Western Region; Joseph Benhazin Dahah, MP for Asutifi North (Ntotroso) in the Brong Ahafo Region and Johnson Kwaku Adu, MP for Ahafo Ano South West in the Ashanti Region, have been banned from entering the UK for 10 years for alleged visa fraud.

However, Ms Tetteh explained that a clear distinction between official trips and personal travels must be established and the various foreign missions in Ghana made aware.

She indicated in an interview on Radio XYZ on Tuesday, May 2 that “it should not be the case that the protocol office” will be used to secure visas for personal trips.

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