Is The New Direction Really Serious About The Fight Against Corruption?

The solemn pledge of President Dr Julius Maada Bio’s government to fight corruption in Sierra Leone has not just proven to be ridiculous to the people of this great nation but also quite ironical to say the least. It all started with abhorrent demonstration of absolute power by the president by summarily dismissing citizens from their jobs without due process of the law. And as the saying goes ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’.

When former President Ernest Bai Koroma assumed office in 2007, he set himself a target in his first 100 days to provide electricity to the municipality of Freetown, a city he inherited with a very apt but obnoxious labeling of being the darkest city in the world. He amazingly achieved his target to the admiration of even his political opponents. Certainly, citizens were expecting similar line of action from President Julius Maada Bio but it has sadly proven otherwise.

To be candid, sacking and meanwhile appointing people without following the due process is by itself a corruption. There is nothing absolutely wrong to sack or appoint people if the due process is carefully followed. What we have seen in almost President Bio’s first 100 days administration is more of absolute demonstration of power with little or no attention to the rule of law. And no matter what, Mr. Bio and his administration should know that the law is supreme and it rules must therefore be obeyed.

The issue of corruption was discussed on BBC this morning and it was interestingly mentioned that many Africans consider corruption as a necessary evil which they can’t go without because of its associated benefits. Indeed most Africans, especially those at the helm of affairs dissent corruption by name but in actual fact they are in deep affection with its associated benefits. They are like ‘chichidodo’, a bird that hates excrete but loves the maggots that grow in it.

We have heard much about President Bio’s determination to fight to either eliminate or drastically curb corruption in Sierra Leone which is in line with the wishes of the ordinary citizen. His determination is not in any way different from other African leaders yearning for political power but the typical challenge they often face is translating their determination into reality.

If President Bio and his ‘New Direction’ phenomenon is really serious about the fight against corruption, why the deliberate evasion of rules to sacking  Ade Macaulay, former Anti-Corruption Commission boss and the controversial appointment of Francis Ben Kaifala as new ACC boss?

Even though the majority party in Parliament (the All People’s Congress) propped by opposition National Grand Coalition members opposed to Ben Kaifala’s appointment, yet members of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party in Parliament went ahead to approve Mr. Kaifala’s appointment. Mr. Kaifala’s controversial approval was consequently followed by President Julius Maada Bio’s assets declaration reported by State House Media and Communications Unit yesterday 28 June 2018. What a ridicule? To be candid, the method of appointment and the subsequent approval of Francis Ben Kaifala has definitely questioned the integrity and merit of the Anti-Corruption Commission; an institution set aside to fighting corruption. May God save Sierra Leone! Can somebody say Amen!



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