By Ilyasa Baa
African Charter on Democracy, Election and Governance (ACDEG) has blasted the Sierra Leone People’s Party’s New Direction administration over the independence of the Judiciary and the appointment of the Chief Justice by President Julius Maada Bio. The ACDEG described this practice as one factor responsible for the ineffectiveness of Sierra Leone’s Judiciary.
This blunder, by the government of Sierra Leone, was picked up during a survey conducted by ACDEG, which has fifteen countries, including Sierra Leone, working on the project, titled: Mobilizing Civil Society for the Implementation of the African Governance Architecture.
The score-card recommended that the CJ should be appointed by a special independent judicial committee and not the elected president. Issues such as constitutional review, women’s participation in politics formed part of the recommendations in the score-card, to be implemented by member countries.
According to the National Coordinator, Network Movement for Youths and Children’s Welfare, Ajie Bah, since last year, they have been taking the recommendations for discussions in the local communities across the country. He said the community meeting held in Lumley on Wednesday had been replicated in the eastern part of Freetown, which had a better turn out than the west end of the city.
Action Aide is working with the Centre for the Coordination of Youths Affairs (CCYA) in implementing the African Charter project with funds from the European Union.
Every year the government of Sierra Leone is expected to appoint a focal person, but, up till now, no one has been appointed to that important position to give update on the Charter to the people of Sierra Leone.
Before the launching of the report, it was taken to the Political and Foreign Affairs ministries; and both ministries reportedly acknowledged and accepted the report, promising that those recommendations will be captured in the recommendations in the score-card and try to implement them for the good of the country.
However, there is a committee in the House of Parliament on ACDEG, which is yet to be approached by the civil society working on the charter.
Councilor for Ward 444, Unisa Kamara, described ACDEG as a significant programme for Sierra Leone. He called on the government to speedily implement the recommendations outlined in the report for the good of the country at large.He believed that the implementation of the recommendations would lead to the development of the country at large.
By Ilyasa Baa