Is the Chief Minister’s Office Really Necessary?

Many Sierra Leoneans within and outside the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party were taken aback when President Bio announced the appointment of a Chief Minister in his Cabinet.
The thinking at the time was that the Office of Chief Minister would eventually render the office of the Vice President redundant.
The debate raged on for a long time as the Public Relations team of the government had argued that the Office of the Chief Minister would specifically deal with the portfolios of the various Ministries and other strategic issues around the Presidency.
All what was said with a view to justify the Chief Minister’s Office was not able to show how his job was different to that of the Vice President who is the principal assistant to the President.
Since then we have not seen his office doing anything to add substance to the current governance system.
There is nothing specifically new when talks about the Performance Contract signed by various Ministries and other public sector institutions.
This is supposed to be the baby of the Chief Minister, but as we speak some if not most Ministers are yet to achieve key strategic benchmarks around key deliverables.
What has the chief Minister’s Office done towards this end.
The Chief Minister has been involved in the establishment of the Green Paper for Peace and National Cohesion leading to the Bintumani Three Conference.
We are yet to see concrete actions steps around this peace and national cohesion.
The country remains hugely divided and largely unstable and hence we cannot attribute any resounding success to the Green Paper despite its ambitious plans.
The Chief Minister’s office has also been charged with midwiffering the Department of Innovation Science and Technology.
It was a strategy that is supposed to lead the digitalization of the economy.
The Directorate under the Direct supervision of the Chief Minister was expected to harness support internationally from the likes of renowned universities and institutions to increasingly position certain MDAs and other sectors to use technology and innovation to solve complex problems around information generation and management.
This project has recorded very little progress and it is also very highly unlikely that our donors have found it difficult to buy into this strategy.
The project continues to be confronted with huge challenges as they relate to funding, infrastructure, private sector support etc.
The Chief Minister has continued to serve as Chairman in major Government programs and events where the President and Vice President are attending.
Many have criticized his approach to national issues especially as they relate to the fight against graft.
He was quoted to have said during the launching of the Governance Transition Team Report in July 2018 which, he authored that the APC Koroma’s administration is a bunch of Organized Enterprise that looted the country.
Many say the Chief Minister had judged the APC and that this was an underlining point in the current impasse between the two traditional political parties.
Close sources at the corridors of power have whispered to this medium that the President is himself bored with his Chief Minister to a point that he (Chief Minister ) is no longer enjoying the confidence he used to enjoy with the President.

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