Sierra Leone Telegraph: 8 March 2016
After last week’s punch and Judy show at the ministry of social welfare offices, where two senior ministers in the Koroma government – minister KaiKai and deputy Attila (Photo), displayed their despicable gutter vocabulary and lack of respect for women, in advance of today’s celebration of international women’s day, the president is ironically being credited for sacking both ministers.
It is now a known fact that president Koroma was fully aware of the deep rooted animousity that existed between the two ministers. He did nothing to resolve the problem and failed to stamp his authority.
It is also common knowledge that he has allowed other senior ministers and officials to engage in similar abusive public rows, without any disciplinary action taken against them.
What is clear about this unacceptable episode at the top of government in Sierra Leone is that, when a president proves incapable of controlling his cabinet ministers and fails to exert his authority to bring order and sanity to his government, the question must be asked about his leadership and fitness to govern the country.
President Koroma must take full responsibility for the bad behaviour of his uncontrollable and wayward ministers.
He must unreservedly apologise to the people of Sierra Leone, for his weak leadership and inability to provide strong moral compass for those in his cabinet, and the people of Sierra Leone.
Tonight, it is understood that the deputy minister of the social welfare ministry has tendered his apology to the president, which raises the question: Why and what is he apologising about?
Journalist Editayo George Temple takes up the story, as he attempts to justify and excuse the bad behaviour of the deputy minister. Is this an attempt at damage limitation?
This is his report:
Former deputy minister of social welfare, gender and children’s affairs, Mustapha Bai Attila has tendered an official statement of apology to the government and people of Sierra Leone, including the international community, following the unfortunate misunderstanding between himself and the former minister of social welfare, Moijueh Kai Kai who has also been sacked as minister, by president Ernest Bai Koroma for professional misconduct.
However, as an investigative journalist, I want to use this opportunity to inform my readers and listeners about this audio message of apology and remorse, for the benefit of clarifying some of the issues that led to deputy minister Attila’s unfortunate rantings against minister Moijueh Kai Kai, which led to the present state of affairs.
Firstly, it is evidently clear that the ministry failed to provide a computer for a braille embossing machine donated by Helen Keller International, an international philanthropic organisation, in a bid to enhance Attila’s administrative work as a visually impaired deputy minister.
Secondly, Attila has gone without fuel for his official vehicle, maintenance cost, and official driver supposed to be allocated to the deputy minister, including repairs for months, despite a series of requisitions.
Thirdly, the issue of maintenance and beautification of the deputy minister’s office is another bone of contention, including worn out furniture in a dilapidated building called an office, our investigation revealed.
Finally, the issue of minister Moijueh Kai Kai allegedly placing Miss Kadija Bangura of FM. 98.1 Radio Democracy in a list of potential travellers to the USA as Press Officer attached to the deputy minister of social welfare, gender and children’s affairs office, without Attila’s consent, all formed part of the brouhaha.
In a bid to debunk the issue of vandalism currently making rounds on social media, Attila has vowed and is willing to do a finger print with any investigating institution, to clear the air, adding that he did not touch any furniture in Moijueh Kai Kai’s office as alleged, thus considered such as an act of defamation. (End of Journalist Editayo George Temple’s report).
So, a disgruntled employee goes berserk in the workplace and becomes uncontrollable and terribly abusive, because his boss fails to honour what he believes to be his employment rights; and that justifies his bad behaviour?
No, such behaviour is unacceptable in any civilised society.
An employee who feels aggrieved in the workplace for any reason, has a duty to follow complaints and disciplinary procedure. Failing which, they have a right to legal recourse.
Furthermore, government ministers and all public officials are bound by the civil service code of conduct that regulates the behaviour of all public servants – including the president.
The fact is that president Koroma has failed to provide the leadership and moral authority Sierra Leone needs. The buck stops with you Mr. President.
Your unreserved apology and resignation for the continuing bad behaviour of the people you have appointed to office, is what the people of Sierra Leone deserve.