THE SIERRA LEONE constitution clearly outlines the awesome responsibilities and powers of it Parliament. The constitution states that “Committees of Parliament shall be charged with such functions, including the investigation and inquiry into the activities and administration of Ministries and Departments as Parliament may determine and such investigations and inquiry may extend to proposals for legislation.”
In other words, Parliament has executive oversight. Despite this, numerous audits of government businesses gather dust while the malefactors go unpunished. Cataloguing of financial irregularities in report after reports pertaining to other previous governments, agencies and institutions has become an annual ritual that seems to have no effect because affected bodies and heads are not seen to be taking any effective action to address the basic problems of lack of monitoring and supervision and non-adherence to legislation put in place to provide effective management of public resources.
Clearly, it is the job of Parliament to ensure that the President effectively supervises the executive branch and they are derelict.
Indeed, the main reason why we have the “ANTI CORRUPTION COMMISSION” is due to Parliamentary ineptitude. That is why individuals, within and outside government can loot millions of the nation’s taxpayers, donors and aid monies and be free and celebrated while people go to prison for decades for stealing cassava, goats and fowls………!!!
Suffice it to say that when fish comes from the bottom of the river to announce that the crocodile is dead, he should not be doubted. The fact is that, SIERRA LEONEANS are being SHORTCHANGED multiple times by their very own Parliament. The people pay them to guard the public purse. The executive influences them to approve bad deals while private companies exploit their vulnerabilities to propagate bogus opinions and the country is poorer for it.
HOW CAN WE IMPROVE PARLIAMENT?
First, cap the number of MP’s. If we do not, one of these days in future we shall have a thousand MP’s doing nothing relevant to state affairs. We do not need more MP’s We just need better and patriotic ones.
Second, we need non partisan Parliamentarians who want to be lawmakers and not career politicians, who are proud and jealous guardians of the institution of Parliament and the national interest. Such a Parliament must be willing to do its work and thus make all the alphabet soup commissions unnecessary.
Third, we must vigorously investigate allegations of corruption against POLITICIANS, MINISTERS, OFFICIALS AND EVEN Parliament. The President himself painfully had given his blessings and green light on the matter.
FINALLY IN CONCLUSION: The people of Sierra Leone must be willing to vote their interests, sincerely and honestly. If we keep voting and our Parliament keeps getting worse, we are to blame. It is time to make some changes by throwing the bad and ineffective bunch out in 2017. TILL THEN, THE BLAME GAME CONTINUES WHILE RESERVATIONS AND CONTROVERSIES SETS IN ON EVERY CRITICAL MATTERS ARISING.
THERE ARE LESSONS TO LEARN IN OUR FLEDGLING DEMOCRACY AS WE CONTINUE TO MAKE PROGRESS…………….!!!! “May God help Us”
“A TWO TRACK APPROACH IN COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS BY BOTH PARLIAMENT AND THE ACC IS KEY IMPERATIVE THE ONLY WAY FORWARD”
[PARLIAMENT AND THE EXECUTIVE]
MATTERS ARISING: LACK OF POLITICAL WILL TO PUNISH PERSONS, BUSINESSES AND INSTITUTIONS INDICTED IN AUDITOR GENERAL REPORTS, PRESENT AND PAST INSTANCES CONTINUES TO CRIPPLE THE ECONOMY, DENTING IMAGE AND INTEGRITY OF GOVERNMENTS YESTERYEARS, TODAY INTO THE FUTURE…………….!
Individuals and institutions have on countless occasions been faulted for embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds. They have become so addicted in spending monies which were not approved or gone through proper procedure. These anomalies persist unabated because public and civil servants lack the capacity to discharge their duties professionally without resorting to corruption which is a canker generally in society from time immemorial defeating a sense of patriotism. Such acts of broad daylight thievery and corruption, if left unpunished will cripple the economy as well as affecting the country’s international image and standing which is now in disrepute discouraging investors, donors and aid agencies thereby depriving the people of their benefits, welfare and prosperity.
Quote Pres. Obama; “Africa needs strong institutions, not strong men”. The lack of strengthening of the institutions including the capacity building of officers of the various MDAs is what is leading to the repetition of these malfeasance, misappropriation, embezzlement and sometimes outright robbery of the state economy. Again, sanctions that are to be meted out by the “Executive” and other sectors are not also being followed through, and that is what is leading to this repetition and it looks like everybody is now being branded as not being effective or a collaborator for the crime of a few wicked unpatriotic individuals.
The role that is played by Parliament is to scrutinize, go through matters arising, make the necessary recommendations with dignity. When it comes to implementation, it then becomes the responsibility of the ambit of the executive arm and not that of Parliament to EXECUTE.
THE COUNTRY IS IN A DICHOTOMY: A QUAGMIRE STATE SINCE INDEPENDENCE WHICH CONTINUES TO FRUSTRATE ITS FRAGILE DEMOCRACY, GRADUALLY HAD LEAD TO PUBLIC AGITATIONS, YOUTH VIOLENCE, HIGH CRIME RATE, RITUAL MURDERS, SENSELESS WAR AND REBELLION FROM WHICH LESSONS INDIVIDUALS, CRONIES, THE POLITICIANS AND GOVERNMENTS ARE REFUSING TO LEARN. “It is man who makes history. History always repeat itself but we deliberately refuse to learn from the experiences, believing mine will not be so while repeating the same mistakes or deliberate negative actions……….!
“TIME FOR A PARADIGM SHIFT FROM THIS WAKE UP CALL”
THE EXECUTIVE, LEGISLATIVE, JUDICIARY AND THE CONSTITUTION OF SIERRA LEONE………….! IS OUR LAWS MADE FOR MEN OR MEN FOR THE LAWS GOVERNING AND REGULATING OUR BEHAVIORS AND CONDUCTS..?
OUR LAWS, the Constitutional and its politicization have created confusion in legal interpretations which continues to threatens our very morality, dignity and sovereignty. There are three potent factors inter woven within our constitution that’s threatens its very legality and authority from its custodians and its framers in actions and behavior regarding its interpretations, willingly consented to by very past and present generation of elites, intellectuals, the people and politicians of Sierra Leone unabated.
What has gone wrong?
a. Is it the process, the system, the government, politicians or the people?
b. Did we sex up our constitution or the politics of our democracy?
Our problem in Sierra Leone paints a grim picture in respect of the integrity of our past and present legal system, the judiciary, politicians and the ruling, executive and elite classes who are now utterly condemned. It would appear that they do not have or appreciate the true values and methods of good political leadership and governance. Continuing down this road will finally affect the fundamental attitude of the man in the street and would have been altered irrevocably his confidence and self esteem to participate in any political or civil dispensation with respect to country.
The universal problem of all time with men of quality, integrity, empathy and a clear understanding of what drives and motivates the “average man”, is that because they need to be absolutely focused on the way forward and the overall objectives of the Big Picture – their rear is always vulnerable to attack from the less than scrupulous members of their society being susceptible to influence from dis-tractors and exploiters of the system and various dispensations . Those driven by jealousy, greed and self indulgence will always be found hanging around the fringes of government, the “presidential court” influencing the process to their benefit and to the detriment of the society, the country and its sovereign integrity.
THE GOLDEN RULE; ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ as the Bible says. This is known as The Golden Rule, because it an almost sacrosanct social rule. It is about a balanced fairness, that counteracts the tendency to use different rules for “ONESELF” and for others. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It’s a law of physics and a law of behavior. When people think they are being treated unfairly, they will react not only to remove the unfairness, they often want more. We call it ‘justice’. “IT SHALL ALWAYS PREVAIL IN THE FULLEST OF TIME”