Ashanti regional Minister; Simon Osei-Mensah stormed a church early this morning and demanded they stop their all-night service because they were making noise.
Members of the House of Bethel Ministries at Anwomaso High Tension in the Ashanti region were stunned when the Minister who lives near their church stormed in “rambo style” and demanded an end to the church service. He snatched a microphone from one of the church’s singers and also knocked a musical instrument to the ground.
This action of the Minister, according to an eye witness infuriated some Junior Pastors of the church which led to a short verbal exchange. The Pastors refused to stop the service.
The regional Minister then went out of the church and returned a few minutes later with heavily built Police men who stopped the church service abruptly and arrested the Head Pastor; Rev. Kwame Takyi.
They took him to the tech Police station and returned around 5am to pick up the sound systems inside the church premises.
rawgist.com learns the Head Pastor has since been granted bail.
What does the law say about noise?
Here are a few lines from Ghana’s criminal Code regarding noise:
Nuisances and Obstructions in Streets, and the like
Section 296—Throwing Rubbish in Street.
Whoever does any of the following acts shall be liable to a fine not exceeding ¢200,000 namely—
Causing Noise in Town.
(7) in any town wilfully or wantonly, and after being warned to desist, makes any loud or unseemly noise howsoever caused to the annoyance or disturbance of any person;
Drumming, etc., in Town at Night.
(8) in any town, without a licence in writing from the Minister or a local authority beats or plays any drum, gong, tom-tom, or other similar instrument of music between eight o’clock at night and six in the morning;
Section 298—Acts tending to disturb the peace in a public place.
Whoever in any public place, or in any place within sight or hearing of persons then being in a place, disturbs the peace by fighting or quarrelling with any other person, or by making any loud or unseemly noise; or abets an unlawful fight, or uses or applies to any other person then being in such public place or within sight or hearing thereof, any violent or abusive term of reproach, or sings any profane, indecent, or obscene song, or exposes any defamatory of insulting writing or object, or with the intention of annoying or irritating any other person, sings any scurrilous or abusive song or words, whether any person be particularly addressed therein or not or is guilty of any riotous, indecent, disorderly, insulting behaviour, to the obstruction or annoyance of any passenger or person in such public place, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding ¢200,000.00.
For more on what the law says about noise, click on this link: https://www.rawgist.com/noise-the-law-and-the-constitution/
Churches and noise in Ghana
There are several churches in the various regions of Ghana with a new one springing up in every available space. Preachers can be seen with large sound systems along major roads, at market centers and any crowded location ostensibly preaching the Christian message.
Many have complained about the noise they make even in residential areas but it seems the laws regarding noise have become impotent.
Some churches even with a few members make a lot of noise even in residential areas with heavy sound systems; a situation that is found to have many health implications especially for fetuses and children.
Is regional Minster’s action a war on noise or a selfish action?
Whether or not this action is the beginning of a war on noise in the Ashanti region or an action only in the interest of the regional minister is yet to be seen.
Noise pollution is sadly the new normal in the Ashanti region and the sad reality of many is that they are forced to “make do” with neighboring noise from drinking pubs, information centers and churches.
Is the regional Minister going to force those whose job it is to fight the noise but are sitting in their offices doing nothing?