Addressing the Systemic Governance Failures in Sierra Leone

With over 58 years of independence, it is becoming clearer that we have very serious GOVERNANCE issues to address as a nation.

These governance challenges have been responsible for corruption, low productivity levels of the private and public sectors, mis-procurement issues, examination malpractices, lack of credibility of elections systems etc.

The talk of transparency and accountability by subsequent and present regimes is a farce and in as much as nothing has been done to address the failings of our governance structures we would continue to wallow in this state of affairs.

The issue of Orders from Above and the need to protect party big guns and other regional and tribal considerations have been continuously used to bypass the set procedures and processes.

This in itself has been the highest form of corruption and the Anti Corruption Commission is not bothered about this.

When we put the wrong people in positions that they have no business in being, it is very counterproductive to the well being of the state.

The productivity levels of those individuals would therefore become very low generally affecting the state.

The issue of politicizing the civil service which is the engine of state governance is more the problem and until we are able to get it right, we are joking around fighting corruption in the country.

We have wasted monies since independence to conduct Commissions of Enquiries on the managements of our state resources by past regimes.

The findings of those Commissions of Enquires have pointed at systemic governance failures but has anybody cared to listen and implement the recommendations of such findings?

Government after government has only cared to use such reports to witch hunt their opponents.

Until and unless we address the deep rooted problems, systemic failures of our governance systems, the fight against graft and the so-called strides to enhance transparency and accountability, is a farce.

The ongoing Commissions of Enquiry have revealed a number of systemic and governance failures wherein people in governance have used short-cuts instead of following established processes.

‘’For me this has been the most significant part that our government should concentrate on when drafting the White Paper on the recommendations of the Commissions of Enquiry.

Addressing the governance and institutional failures will not make for another Commission of Enquiry but will further enhance the transparency and accountability processes and even lead to us having value for money in our various procurement processes.

The ACC’s Systems Review should be extended to be able to look at the recruitment and appointment of certain people in key and strategic institutions that are critical to guaranteeing rights and freedoms of individuals and the management of state resources.

This is particularly important because such individuals should not be partisan and hence not answerable to politicians but to the law and the constitution of the country.

The APC and the SLPP are very much responsible for this state of affairs.

They have not exhibited any commitment over the years with all this loud noise about fighting corruption to distance the civil service from politics.

Their deep rooted politicization of the civil service has continued to exacerbate the problem and hence there would be no end in sight to the problem.

Even the Brand New Direction that promises to reform the civil service has not done anything to change the moribund civil service.

They have in the last one year six months made the civil service more political than ever, removing non-SLPP individuals no matter their training and professionalism to replace them with their own SLPP people.

The end result will definitely lead to us having the same issues of corruption, examination malpractice a partial judiciary, high handed and trigger happy police, high rate of SGBX, Sex for grades, crooked Law School enmeshed with problems, corruption and misprocurement etc.

Using the short-cut will not solve our problems just like a patient who is heavily infested with a chronic disease will not get well until a comprehensive treatment which includes diagnosis and treatment is meted out on him or her, so also it is that Sierra Leone will never regain its lost glory until we are able to critically look at our institutions and weed out the endemic problems affecting her growth and productivity.

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