Abdul M Fatoma – Chief Executive CHRDI
Sierra Leone Telegraph: 9 August 2016
We in the Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI) once again, want to remind Members of the House of Parliament in Sierra Leone that, the country’s Accountant General’s Office uses taxpayers’ money to support the smooth running of parliament, pay salaries of each Member of Parliament, sitting allowance for 120 days, disburse community development funds annually and provide loan facilities.
Therefore they must not fail to provide full details about how they have been spending the Sierra Leonean taxpayers’ money for the past five years.
We want to reiterate this call specifically, because it has been brought to our notice that despite our genuine call on the House of Parliament to engage their constituents who have raised genuine concerns about how they have been conducting themselves on their behalf, the Honourable Members of Parliament have been busy calling press conference and embarking on an exercise of intimidation and threats to crackdown on social media, journalists, and possibly punish media houses that have been granting our organisation interviews and publishing our press releases in Sierra Leone.
We at CHRDI believe that such energies should have been put in a meaningful dialogue with the populace, because we believe that Parliamentarians are servants of the people for whom they make laws. (Photo: Abdul Fatoma).
They are not exempt from the laws they pass and Parliamentarians are reminded that they are not above the law, but subject equally to the law in similar manner as their constituents.
It is a fundamental right of any citizen to ask questions of their Parliamentary representative, if they have reason for concern.
Accountability to the general public for taxpayers’ money is an inextricable part of good public management and democratic governance.
It can provide assurance over Parliament’s activities, highlight improvement actions, and improve policy-making in Sierra Leone.
Effective accountability can also identity who is responsible if something goes wrong and enable redress.
CHRDI holds the belief that MPs should be held to account for what they do on our behalf in the Parliament of Sierra Leone.
Our goal in this campaign is not to embarrass Parliament, but to encourage them to adopt a more transparent and interactive approach to how they report back to their constituents on how they spend funds meant for the development of their communities.
In View of all of the above, CHRDI is now making a general appeal to all Civil Society Organisations and Media organisations in Sierra Leone, to join our accountability campaign.
Democratic accountability will be hugely strengthened but only if groups across the country are willing to hold our politicians and MPs to account on a regular and ongoing basis.
Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI) is a Rights based social-policy advocacy Organisation. We Draw attention to the responsibility of duty-bearers to uphold human rights, and seek to support rights-holders to claim their rights.
CHRDI is in Special Consultative Status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and accredited to many UN Agencies.