One thing that was evident during the vetting of the minister-designate for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mavis Hawa Koomson, was that she either had a pedestrian “I will consult” response, or, that she could not hear most of the questions she was asked in the Chamber of Parliament.
For most of the questions she provided answers to, many of which did not show her depth in the knowledge of the sector she is likely to head soon, she had unusually short answers to those questions.
Call it embarrassing or disappointing and you would not be entirely mistaken but that is how, for instance, the Chairperson for the Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei Owusu, saved the day, literally, when she was asked one of such straight-forward questions.
Member of Parliament for Odododiodio, Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye, had asked the nominee what the three major sectors of the fisheries industry were and after another attempt, the nominee claimed she could not either hear the question or, did not understand the question.
From what clearly appeared to be turning into a no-knowledge of what was being asked of her, the Chairperson of the Committee, and as he has become known to do in many cases during the vetting sessions, stepped in, trying to break down the question to her.
In that attempt, Joseph Osei-Owusu led a response to the question that was not directed at him, prompting the nominee on what she was expected to answer to.
It was at this point that the question became clearer to the former Minister for Special Development Initiatives and she interjected with the claim that she only said that she did not properly understand the question asked by her colleague MP in the House.
Truly, there was a ‘big brother’ there to save the infamous Mavis Hawa Koomson from further embarrassment, or simply, a great moment of disgrace.
Read how it all transpired below:
Nii Lante: “What are the three main sub-sectors within the fishing industry in Ghana?”
(Clearly unsure of what the question was about, the nominee gestures with her face as Chairperson, Joseph Osei-Owusu, tries to rephrase the question for her.)
Hawa: Thank you I don’t understand the question very well so it will be very difficult for me to answer it.
Osei-Owusu: Honourable Member, can you break it down for her, please?
Nii Lante: (giggling) Unfortunately for me, I don’t know how to rephrase this question because it’s a very straight-forward question.
Osei-Owusu: Very well, the sub-sectors. If you take the whole fishing industry, which sectors are identifiable. So, whether the Marine sub-sector…
(Nii Lante cuts in as the House erupts into giggles)
Nii Lante: Oh, Mr. Chairman, that’s not fair.
Osei-Owusu: I am sorry. What are the three sub-sectors you can find…
(Now finding her voice, Hawa comes in)
Hawa: Mr. Chairman, I said I didn’t understand the question. I wanted to be sure of what he was talking about.
Mavis Hawa Koomson was before the Committee for the second time to be vetted for a ministerial position, but this time, for the Fisheries and Aquaculture Development ministry.