By Bockarie Kukuku Musa
One of the core mandates of the Ministry of Political and Public Affairs is to serve as liaison between government and the public and to channel public complaints, appeals and representations to the office of the President and it is against that backdrop that the dynamic Minister of Political and Public Affairs, Hon. Nanette Thomas and her Deputy, Hon. Akhmed Femi Mansaray led a high-level delegation including independent journalists from both print and electronic media on a fact-finding visit to the Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation on the issues of the 100 buses.
Speaking to the General Manger of Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation, Mr. Bockarie Lewis Kamara gave a comprehensive update about the Bus package which includes 100 Buses, 3 SUV’s (sport utility vehicle) and 2 Ultramodern Mobile Garages. He expressed dismay on the publication by The Blade Newspaper and calls for investigation before making such baseless allegations to discredit the Ministry of Transport and Aviation. The General Manager also calls for effective team work and collaboration between the Fourth Estate and the corporation.
In conclusion, the General Manager commended the Minister of Political and Public Affairs, Hon. Nanette Thomas for her dynamic leadership in taking time off her busy schedule to investigate on the issue of the 100 Buses as she was one of the engineers of the Schoolbus Monitoring Exercise.
While there, Hon. Nanette Thomas admonished journalists to be cautious on how they report information about Public Servants in the country. She stressed that journalism goes beyond reportage.
The Minister also expressed disappointment over recent reports in the media about the unavailability of the mobile workshop garage which she described as “inaccurate and unfair” to the image of the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Hon. Logus Koroma and the General Manager of the Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation, the Ministry of Transport and Aviation and most importantly towards the image of the country.
The Hon. Minister ended by saying that 89 of the Buses are operational, 4 of the Buses have engine problems which will cost the corporation about $35,000 to $ 40,000 to repair each and 7 of the Buses were involved in some major road accident which are beyond repairs and the two ultramodern mobile garages are up and running.
The Minister added by saying that “documentation proves conversation” and as journalists, you should be the voice of the voiceless and should criticize based on fact findings and not the other way round.
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© Bockarie Kukuku Musa
it’s really interesting to see how bad journalism can be – 11/11/2016