The Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ministry has engaged the diplomatic community on the need to promote the Commission of Enquiry. The engagement meeting was held in the Ministry’s conference hall, Tower Hill in Freetown on the 24th January, 2019.
Giving an overview of the meeting, the Director General and Ambassador-at-Large Paul A.S.Minah informed members of the international community on the progress made by the Government of Sierra Leone on the Commission of Enquiry, and clears the air on the issue of misinformation surrounding the said enquiry.
Mr. Mohamed Rado Swarray- Sierra Leone Minister of Information and Communications told the development partners that the declaration of wars against discipline, poverty and corruption by President Julius Maada Bio was in fulfillment of the campaign promised embedded in his 2018 New Direction Manifesto. He added that corruption is visible in Sierra Leone, and the fight against corruption must be taken seriously. Minister Swarray encouraged development partners to fully involve in the corruption fight, if they want the Government of Sierra Leone to succeed. The Minister cited a perception survey conducted by the Institute for Governance Reform on the views of Sierra Leoneans on the Commission of Enquiry, he reiterated that over 81% of the people have accepted the setting up of the Commission. He furthered that 68.3% in the opposition stronghold in Makeni, Bombali district have also accepted the Commission.
In his opening statement, Dr. Alie Kabba underscored the relevance of the Commission, he stated that New Year brings new opportunity for a vigorous engagement with the diplomatic community on a number of issues ranging from bilateral relations to multilateral. Dr. Kabba added that the meeting is the beginning of series of engagements with the diplomatic community as a group for this year. “The Commission of Enquiry which Your Excellences are quite aware of, and may have heard different shades of opinion about, is not peculiar and is not a novelty in Sierra Leone. It is enshrined in the country’s 1991 Constitution. Section 147, 148, 149,150 have extensively set out the rules and procedures governing the holding of a Commission of the Enquiry.” the Minister maintained.
Dr. Alie Kabba explained some of these rules which is ending impunity and upholding accountability for all public servants. He explained that the Commission is not targeting a particular ethnic group or region. “For us as a government with a national characteristics and appeal, we feel that the culture of impunity is pervasive and espoused by individuals for personal gains and not for regions and ethnic groups. To therefore sectionalize, regionalize and tribalise the crusade on impunity, is in itself self-defeating and a disservice to the people of Sierra Leone” he buttressed.