Release Your Church Premises to EC only if……., Catholic Bishop

Mampong(Ash), June 30, Actnews-Most Rev. Joseph Osei Bonsu, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Konongo Mampong, has directed Priests in his diocese to allow the officials of the Electoral Commission to use their church premises for the Voter Registration Exercises which would commence on the 30th June, 2020 only if the electoral commission would obey the guidelines that the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs gave to the religious bodies for religious activities.

This was contained in a letter dated 28th June, 2020 to all Priests in the Diocese and signed by the Most. Rev. Joseph Osei Bonsu

Copy of the content of a letter the Bishop wrote to all Priests in his diocese is below:

‘On 3o June 2o2o, the Voters’ Registration Exercise will begin in many locations in the country and will last until 6 August 2o2o. In such exercises, some of our churches and mission compounds are often used as centres. I am writing this letter in case some of your churches or premises are used for this exercise. The following two conditions must be met before they can be used for the registration exercise.

 First, a formal request in the form of a letter must be made by the representatives of the Electoral Commission to the Parish Priest or Rector. This letter must state the beginning and end dates of the exercise in the location. If such a request is not made, the Parish Priest or Rector is not obliged to release the facility for the exercise.

Secondly, if the exercise will take place in churches, as has happened in some places in the past, then the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs for religious bodies on 1st  June 2o2o should be applied to this exercise taking place inside our churches.

 In this connection, I refer to the following Guidelines from the Ministry:

 VI. There should be the regular cleaning and disinfection of frequently used communal places (like toilet surfaces) and frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs/handles, preferably 1-2 hours depending on the rate of utilization. WII. There must be the regular disinfection of venues used by churches, preferably once month.

In this connection, it will be necessary for the representatives of the Electoral Commission – perhaps with the assistance of the District or Municipal authorities – to fumigate the premises before they start using them and to fumigate them at the weekends so that they can safely be used by the congregation over the weekend. It will also be necessary for them to regularly sanitize door knobs and handles as 1 well as those pews or benches in church on which people will sit for the registration. If some of our basic schools will be used for this exercise, the same health protocols must be observed.

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