By KABS KANU
While we all abhor corruption and would love to see culprits who are found guilty paying everything back to the state, the Commission of Inquiry about to held by the Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP) leaves much to be desired because of the selective nature of its terms of reference.
The Commission would have been a thing of joy if the SLPP had not done it in a manner that leaves the opposition with no alternative but to cry out that it is a witch hunt . To make it a fair , credible, transparent and accountable process, The SLPP would have simply covered the whole post-war scenerio by starting their investigations from 1996 to 2007 and from thence to 2018 , so that both the past SLPP and APC Governments would have come under scrutiny for the manner they managed the Sierra Leone economy after the destruction of the first republic by the 1992 coup and the war.
Justice will not served for the SLPP to be left out of the inquiry when grave and damaging misappropriation of national funds took place during the President Tejan Kabbah SLPP rule to the extent that Sierra Leone’s aid and donor partners the World Bank, IMF, European Union ( EU) and DFID , in anger, temporarily suspended help to the country. The sense of injustice is not helped also by the exclusion of permanent secretaries and vote controllers , most of whom are South/Easternes and by implication (Going by Sierra Leone’s ethnocentric politics) SLPP supporters.
Suspicions abound in the nation that the purpose of the inquiry plans mounted by President Bio is to primarily to destroy President Koroma, who has left a legacy of nation-building and national development that the SLPP would not match. The other suspicion is that the SLPP , after being kept in the opposition by the APC for a better part of national politics after Independence in 1961 , plan to destroy the APC with such devastating dispatch that the APC would be kept out of governance for decades upon decades to come. Many SLPP supporters come to the social media to provoke the APC everyday about it.
If these utterances by SLPP supporters are true, then they have engaged on a grandiose vainglorious venture, because President Koroma’s legacy of national development and democratic governance will be very difficult to tarnish, especially when you consider the fact that since he came to power, President Maada Bio has not been ruling or developing the country. The volume of development projects initiated and accomplished by the government of President Koroma were so far reaching, widespread and preponderant that the Maada Bio and SLPP/NGC /C4C witch hunt against him will not succeed.
Corruption is not a new phenomenon. We have not developed a full-proof system and the checks and balances required to forestall corruption and there will be corruption in any government that comes to power until we have made the system corruption-proof. The SLPP has been in power for only six months but is already neck-deep in corruption. Maada Bio and his men and women have dabbled in enough corruption to warrant a commission of inquiry. So, to use a commission of inquiry to try to destroy a good man is reprehensible.
SLPP will never succeed to change the perceptions Sierra Leoneans have about President Koroma. While President Bio is now noted only for dividing the country along tribal lines and committing human rights abuses, President Koroma was a busy man in national development. President Koroma spent his time building new roads, electricity , farming and health care projects with new health clinics , roads, schools , especially in SLPP strongholds Kenema , Kailahun, Moyamba, Pujehun and Bo. At the peak of his power, President Koroma commissioned at least one new project every week and the whole of Sierra Leone was a works yard.
Today, the SLPP wants people to forget these development projects accomplished by President Koroma but they will never succeed and their failure is demonstrated by the fact that the public swells in dramatic numbers and goes wild with excitement whenever President Koroma appears in public.
President Koroma’s legacy will not be obliterated or tarnished by Maada Bio ‘s wrecking machine.