By Kabs Kanu
The much-criticized Finance Bill 2020, which would have given President Bio an unlimited and unchecked ceiling cap to expenditure spent traveling, has been returned to Parliament, unsigned by the President.
The very unpopular bill would have provided for non-accountable imprest for daily international travels for the President , Vice President of Sierra Leone and the Speaker of Parliament after members of Parliament voted in support of his inclusion. If the bill had stood, President Bio, his VP and the Speaker would have had nobody and no power to account to for whatever they spent on their international travels.
Since announcement of the passage of the bill by Parliament, the very Parliament and the government had come under very bitter attacks in the social media, newspapers and TV and radio stations from angry Sierra Leoneans who thought that the bill gave the President unhindered opportunity to squander the country’s meagre resources and money on his many foreign travels.
PRESIDENT MAADA BIO
The fact that parliamentarians , voted to represent the interest of the people, were giving accent to a bill that would have enriched the president and officials further and impoverished the nation was described by Sierra Leoneans as evidence of the general lackadaisical and unpatriotic attitude of institutions that are supposed to hold government to account.
Indeed , no less a person than a very parliamentarian representing the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) made himself into an instant hero , opposing the bill, on the rampage against his own party. On Friday 22nd November, 2019 , Honourable Ibrahim Tawa Conteh of Constituency 132 in the Western Area and the administrative head of the Sierra Leone Parliament, Honourable Paran Tarawally clashed bitterly on the popular “Gud Mornin Salone” program on Radio Radio Democracy 98.1 FM.
Hon. Tawa Conteh is now a household name in Sierra Leone and the diaspora , being the only parliamentarian, who not only opposed the bill in the House, but ignored partisan interests and took on the head of Parliament publicly in a nasty clash on Radio Democracy where both men made disparaging statements about each other and accused each other of corruption.
It looks like the fierce public storm over the bill forced the SLPP Government to revise its position and for President Bio to return it, unsigned , asking Parliament to add a ceiling cap to the spending.
In the first instance your finance minister will not take such crafted bill to Parliament wirhout your knowledge, sir i believe the crafting of that bill and it submission to parliament was of your knowing. Stop pretending sir that you are not aware of or not part of its making.
The people cannot be fooled.
21st century style of corruption
The fact that this attempted robbery has provoked widespread condemnation that forced a press release from the statehouse doesn’t make him a listening president.
The 2019 auditor General’s report is long overdue. We want a report on overseas travels spendings to be included in that report
Boo una nor fool we.
This was testing the public tolerance on public waste of funds.