By Karamoh Kabba
Between State House and Parliament, we don’t know who is telling the truth, but at least, we know now who’s fooling whom and telling lies. The Leader of Government Business (LoGB) and the Minister of Information are at it again over right to the recently launched special technical audit report.
While the Minister is hurriedly utilizing the audit report to misinform the public and tell more lies that the past government stole over USD 1b, the LoGB is saying that it’s not his business just yet and calls the launch of the report a “fanfare”.
Thanks to Mrs. Lara Pearce, the Auditor General, the fearless referee between them, who agrees with the LoGB that she had sent the Ministry of Finance only a copy of the audit report that was not intended for the Minister to misuse for his premature launch and at the same time disagrees with the Minister of Information’s claim that over USD 1b had gone missing.
From the onset, the SLPP-led government has been busy rolling out different shades, sizes and forms of lies – from green lies to black lies, from small lies, to big lies; and from beanie ones to cannon-size ones, thereby turning a once sunny country for transparent people into a shade country for shade people.
They have lied about everything including the whitewash ‘so-called’ free education flagship programme, the reimbursement of students’ forms payments, the lies about the Ebola funds, the imposition of the “unconstitutional Commissions of Inquiries”, the special technical audit, the endless batches of undue and illegal mass sackings, the fraudulent legislations and criminal approvals of presidential nominees, the blatant and broad daylight robbery of elections etc.
We have even heard that the government is yet to pay for public exams fees against WAEC’s letter of reprimand to the SLPP government. As it stands now, our children may not be able to take public exams this year.
And what’s more, we are witnessing in our lifetime the perishing of Abraham Lincoln’s “government of the people, by the people and for the people” in Sierra Leone and the birth of President Brigadier Maada Bio’s ‘government of the Executive, by the Executive and for the Executive on a slippery slope of acceptability by the people.
Many social commentators, political pundits and international observers are not surprised at all; it only means that the prevailing lid on the Constitution, the bastardization of the rule of law and the perverting of good governance conditions were meant to be achieved anyway by a bandwagon of rulers led by a leader whose recent past is well acculturated with nothing other than adorning of military fatigue and ruling by decree.
No doubt then that he would once show up for work adorned in military fatigue, an appearance at the State House that caused an outcry in the country by a public already gripped by fear.
In the existing national feeling of doom and gloom, something is naturally working for the people: The maxim that lying is most often or so exposed in public is coming to pass; the SLPP government’s little truth that’s protected by a bodyguard of lies is quite revealing and is catching up with President Maada Bio very fast.
First, the Speaker of the House was imposed upon Parliament after OSDs were ordered to beat-up and throw out of the Well of Parliament opposition MPs in a process the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament referred to as “fraudulent”. Many legislations and approvals of presidential nominees have been achieved in a similar manner thereafter.
The Anti-Corruption Commissioner most recently has finally conceded to the fact that the past government, in a well-publicized audio that is making the rounds on social media, did not steal the heavily trumpeted missing Ebola funds.
After all the hue and cry over the unconstitutionality of the COIs, which are targeted at APC former president, vice president, ministers and deputy ministers, it’s becoming clearer that permanent secretaries, heads of departments and agencies are more culpable on the backdrop that the SLPP government had labeled an entire former cabinet “a bunch of criminal racketeers, ayampees and thieves”.
Not withstanding the gone goose COIs for their ill-fated intention for the opposition, the President and his tribal advisers, in an overdrive to prove themselves right, ordered a technical audit and ran off on a tangent with the audit report without the approval of the Auditor General in a knee-jack reactionary type approach, stating that over USD 1b had been stolen in three years by their ‘so called “bunch of criminal racketeers, ayampees and thieves” in just four ministries only for the Auditor General to come out swinging that it was not that fast as presented by the overzealous finance and minister of information.
The endless batches of undue mass sackings have been unprecedented, relentless and unbridled even by the standards of a known dictator such as Ide Amin. Even tenured workers have not been saved. Human rights commissioners have been sacked against internationally and locally registered concerns and their replacement have been illegally achieved by a lopsided Parliament.
The blatant and broad daylight robbery of a bye elections in Tonko Limba, Ward 196 by a naïve and less than dishonest NEC Chief Commissioner who had earlier shared a first rounds 2018 presidential election result between two political parties like a loaf of bread on a scale should have been giving the boot long since.
But we waited too long for him to advance his mischief making regardless of the positions of international and local observers, when he stole the bye election that had been won by the APC opposition and illegally cancelled by the same scrupulous Commissioner.
Now, the SLPP government rulers are busy apportioning blames on the APC past government for all things going wrong including the inability to handle the economy, the lack of capacity to unite the country and to foster national cohesion.
Evidently, this government has achieved nothing in its first year other than fostering of tribalism, imposition of selective justice prone COIs and ordering of a special technical audit as well as stealing of elections and legislations.
Where are we heading?