The Begging Job,the bloated compassion and Misguided Ghanaian Kindness

The proliferation of beggars on our streets is becoming a problem and threat to road users. We have a country where the behaviours of its citizens do not correlate to the principles on which the country Choose to govern.

Citizens are too compassionate and Religious to the point That we are blind beyond repairs, (pardon words) yet the Holy books we claim to take religious instructions from, frowns against Begging. Islam frowns against it so as Christianity. So the Question is what religion do the beggars belongs to? What religion do the givers belong to? Why did the religions say about begging? Do our laws support begging? According to: BEGGARS AND DESTITUTE ACT – 1969 (NLCD 392) Section – 2 – Begging to be an Offence.

  1. Any person found begging and any person wandering or placing himself in any premises or place for the purpose of begging may be arrested by a police officer without warrant and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding fifty new cedis or to imprisonment not exceeding three months or to both.
  2. A person shall not be deemed to be begging by reason only of soliciting or receiving alms in accordance with a religious custom or the custom of a community or for a public charitable purpose or organised entertainment.
  3. Sub-paragraph (1) of this paragraph shall not apply to a juvenile, nor to a collector duly authorised under the provisions of the Public Collections Act, 1961 (Act 59) or to any collection or person to which or to whom section 5 of that Act applies. I am not a lawyer, I am also not a law student and I do not speak with the exactitude of one, but for public good, the laws are clearly on begging as stated in the above quoted act. For avoidance of Doubt, one may be quick to ask what about Institutions or persons engage in collections/Begging on our streets. The laws also made provisions to guide the activities of those captured in: PUBLIC COLLECTIONS ACT – 1961 (ACT 59). Section – 3 – Exemptions This Act shall not apply to- (a) any collection made at divine service in a place of public worship for charitable, benevolent or philanthropic purposes; (b) requests made by or on behalf of the committee of any club, association or trade union to members of such club, association or union for subscriptions; (c) collections of a purely parochial character made in good faith for the benefit of a local church, school, sport club or charity, or a project in the interests of local public welfare; (d) collections made in good faith among a limited class of persons for the purposes of making a presentation to any person on any special occassion; (e) collections in respect of customary ceremonial rites; or (f) any person or class of person exempted by order of the Minister in relation to a collection for an object specified in such order.

Nonetheless, we mostly blame government and authority when we see beggars along our roads, especially Children. The last time I checked child bearing is not compulsory per the holy books and it is also not stated as Duty of a citizen of Ghana. It is therefore Unfair to apportion blames on authorities for the irresponsibility of another man/woman. We mostly see the evil in people who frown against begging and perhaps discourage the acts, for our bloated Compassion and misguided kindness, Are we therefore not the very perpetuators of the Act of Begging on our streets. BeHonestPlease

Question: How would you feel towards a Government or IGP Who Orders for the arrest of beggars on the street of Ghana? 


Credits to Rabiu Lecturer

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