By Musa Kamara
Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu, Speaker of the Republic of Sierra Leone’s Parliament has told the press that parliament is not a corrupt institution and would never be. He made this comment on Wednesday 30th September 2020 at Committee Room One, Parliament.
This pronouncement by the Speaker of Parliament follows a recent Corruption Perception Report undertaken by two (2) notable civil society organizations: the Centre for Accountability and the Rule of Law (CARL) and the Institute of Governance Reform (IGR). Both institutions were respectively funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Afro Barometer Institute, amongst others. The surveys placed the Parliament of Sierra Leone as the second most corrupt institution in the country.
Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu enlightened that the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone gives powers to Parliament to hold the Executive Arm of Government and the public accountable, and by extension parliament must be corrupt-free and work in a corrupt-free environment.
“Therefore, for Parliament to be accused of corruption, it must of necessity be viewed as committing a crime analogous to treason, the crime of betraying one’s country,” he underscored.
He admonished CARL and IGR to ensure that they provide evidence that would prove beyond all reasonable doubt that parliament is indeed the second most corrupt institution in the country. He went on to say that there would be no room for defamation, slander, careless talk amidst other daunting accusations directed to the House of Parliament.
He described the perception surveys as surveys that lack substance and based on public perception with no room for indictment.
Moreover, he said that the surveys were only undertaken in Freetown, targeting less than three thousand people (3,000) amidst a population of over seven million.