IT WOULD SEEM as if there was an overt attempt by Sierra Leone’s development partners to continue aiding the underdevelopment of this country by their continued support for a government that keeps showing itself as being unconcerned with the very procedures they preach so vociferously.
This is being done against the wishes of, and is a direct affront to the collective aspirations of the country in her battle against her perennial enemy – corruption.
IF ONE KEEPs FEEDING narcotics to a drug addict, they become their drug dealer.
See how our partners aid and abet the corruption hence delinquency of our leaders, by not demanding alongside us that they be accountable.
AFTER THREE YEARS of failed promises with nearly a weekly disclosure of some action by this government that points to something disreputable, the New Direction government is bent on doing things outside established norms in an effort to have its way.
World Bank, EU, the US State Department facilitates the PAOPA manoeuvrings.
FOR A PEOPLE THAT are so caught up on accountability and respect for the rule of law, development partner and apparently appear very coy with this government which smacks of their approval.
A tabling of this government’s un-procedural excesses should serve as a reminder to our self-styled development partners who keep taking actions and making decisions resulting into underdevelopment.
Can one remember how the Speaker of Parliament, Dr Abass Bundu was appointed without a majority but still got his approval against the wishes of the majority.
Just when that was still warm, SLPP outmanoeuvred the APC and the rest of the opposition by the removal of 10 parliamentarians.
The forceful removal was done by armed police officers who were allowed into the Well.
It was an act that had never happened in Sierra Leone, not even during the civil war.
IN THE COURSE of the Commissions of Inquiry, this government allowed the exclusion of senior civil servants, permanent secretaries, directors from being called, and the deliberate avoidance and ignoring of the rule of evidence by incumbent officials (it is unconstitutional for one to make a case without evidence).
THEN, THERE WAS the tabling of the State of Emergency without rules to guide its implementation.
It was such move government abused the trust of the opposition by going after, the former Ministers of Internal Affairs and Social Welfare Paolo Conteh and Sylvia Blyden respectively.
Other ministers and important government officials including former Vice President, Victor Bockarie Foh were also not spared.
The President could accomplish such mission owing to the enormity of powers he enjoyed.
During the recent misconstrued and illegally taped utterances of the Mayor of Freetown, this press learned that Ministry of Local Government imposed the Deputy Chief Administrator and Environment and Sanitation head of Freetown City Council without being mandated.
The act was against laid down procedures in the Human Resources and Local Government Acts.
DESPITE BEING GROSSLY and inadequately prepared to conduct an unconstitutional census, the act in itself is illegal.
The constitution neither provides for a mid-term census nor permits the exercise to be conducted without the usual 10-year cycle as 2015, then 2025, and so on.
The most unfortunate side of situation World Bank has approved $6 million for an agency that has neither the infrastructure nor capability to conduct what even US officials couldn’t effectively do for their 2016 elections. Critical timelines have also been ignored.
THEN THERE IS the very selective model in which the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) chooses to investigate alleged cases of graft, by failing to go after sacred cows such as parliamentarians, the chief minister, the first lady and other government officials in the New Direction Government.
While we were celebrating the repeal of Part-5 of the Public Order Act (POA) passed by the first SLPP government, this government, in an attempt to erode the gains it has made attempt to pass the Cybercrime Bill which has been perceived as a threat to free speech.
The bill, if passed into law, is widely seen as a ticking time bomb that can explode at anytime.
The bill which is highly protective of government officials confers enormous, if not excessive powers, on the police force.
When all we need is adequate data protection from our leaders.
We will see how government can accomplish the passage of the cyber bill into through a narrow majority as SLPP parliamentarians are expected to vote based on conscience.
Their family members including their constituents stand to suffer under the extremely draconian bill if they vote wrongly.
THE LIST CONTINUES as a Local Government bill that prevents people going in people for local council seats without WASSCE (West African Senior School Certificate Examination) Advanced or Ordinary level certificates, while the constitutional requirement to be a parliamentarian requires that you should at least be literate.
The local council requirement appears ridiculous as it makes it easier to enter parliament than city councils.
THERE IS THE president protecting NACOVERC (National Covid-19 Emergency Response Centre) from releasing records, an act that goes against international best practice.
The attempt to go after the Auditor General and Mayor out of office is unorthodox.
But, a clear unorthodoxy is conspicuously visible in government’s attempt to subject the Mayor Aki Sawyer who is an elected official to the control of the Local Government Minister, an appointed official.
Government’s move lends credence to the notion that the proposed Local Government bill is an attempt to bring local councils under the direct control of the Minister of Local Gov.
THERE IS THE lack of accountability and respect for rule of law on the part of New Direction Government.
The Chief Minister, First Lady, Office of the President and others are expected to lead by example by making themselves available to the ACC, even without being told to do so.
We cannot forget the $700,000 spent for a day’s game in Lesotho last week, without making clear what has happened to the Le2.5 billion budgeted for the Benin game that didn’t happen.
Please don’t tell the nation that you pay people for not doing their job.
So, close to Le12 billion Leones on football games and players that fail to qualify time and time again. Where is funding for the June encounter coming from?
WITHOUT EXHAUSTING THE list, we cannot forget the Makeni, Lunsar, and Tombo riot detainees who are still in jail awaiting trial.
Pre-trial detention and overcrowding of inmates was the principal cause of the massacre at the country’s main correctional facility for which no one has been brought to book.
The unlawful and indiscriminate dismissal of members of the former government also deserves a particular mention.
The dismissals exposed the families, relatives and dependants of the former government to great economic perils.
HOW ABOUT THE fact that this government has repeatedly failed to come out, and speak out against their own members for all these actions, even the intraparty violence that brought loss of lives and property.
By supporting a corrupt government, western governments and inter-governmental agencies behave as enemies of progress by propping up PAOPA despite knowledge of their unethical way of doing things.
But we can safely say that it is good for our so-called partners, as this government can only accomplish what development partners are here for by forcing them down the people’s throats, as they are doing now.
THIS IS NOT what we have come to expect of, say, the US State Department that recently awarded the ACC.
Sierra Leone cannot sit back and watch you continue to interfere (which you select how and when) and continue pillaging.
How about the Millennium Challenge Corporation? The agency recently awarded New Direction Government, a grant of $400M after calling government’s anti-corruption campaign liberal and showing a willingness to invest in its people.
From where do they get such information? Is it From a government that is bent on misleading international agencies to get what they want and not what the people actually need?
NOW, AFTER THREE YEARS of struggling, this government wants to attempt a second coming by unloading a bunch of projects aimed at fooling the people over the next two years.
These western agencies or organisations are providing the support in the form of financing unconstitutional actions, and encouraging corruption by giving out monies to a government that will not fight graft.
If anyone ever thought that the present government wouldn’t go any lower than where it was last week, then we were parachuted to a public relations spectacle.
But, in the mockery of the country’s intelligence, the President, acting as his own information minister, did a poor job of convincing the public that he is serious about fighting graft by coming to the aid of the accused asking for evidence against them.
Lack of evidence does not mean that someone is innocent; it could mean that they know how to hide or conceal things.