Ghana: Popular slang word 'tweaa' banned in parliament

  • 19 February 2014
Ghana's president John Dramani Mahama
Image caption Is Ghana's president John Mahama trying to avoid a 'tweaa' deluge?

Ghana's parliament has banned a popular slang word in the chamber after its use reportedly disrupted proceedings.

"Tweaa," which expresses disapproval in Ghana's main language Akan, was used repeatedly during parliamentary debates, leading Speaker Edward Doe Adjaho to ban it altogether, the Modern Ghana news website reported.

But critics say the rule has come into force just in time to stop politicians from shouting "tweaa" at President John Mahama in his State of the Nation address next week. The word seems to have become popular after a video went viral of an official angrily saying, "Who said 'tweaa?'" after being heckled during a speech outside a hospital.

The ban has stirred both debate and mockery. Twitter user Kaftan Papi says it is ridiculous that parliament was even debating a ban: "By any means available to you... Leave this country. Now! Your leaders are sitting in parliament discussing 'Tweaa'."

Columnist Kwasi Gyan Appenteng says that if the Speaker is trying to save the president's image by banning the word, his best strategy would be to go on the attack and get into some "tweaa" mockery himself.

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