Andrew Kamara: Siera Leone Telegraph: 2 January 2024:
Pressure is mounting on the Clerk of Sierra Leone Parliament, Paran Tarawalie, who is alleged to have employed his wife Mrs Tarawalie in the role of Human Resource Officer in Parliament, a job she has never turned up to perform but collecting monthly salary from the taxpayer.
Paran is also accused of single-handedly and unlawfully dismissing over 100 civil servants from the northwestern regions that are working in the Parliament.
In a troubling revelation, the credible news outlet GBLA TV ONLINE has reported a pervasive wave of nepotism within the SLPP/PAOPA regime.
The corruption and abuse of office allegation is centred on the accusation that the Clerk of Parliament (Photo: Paran Tarawalie), unconstitutionally orchestrated the unilateral dismissal of over one hundred qualified civil servants from the Northwestern regions, employed in the Parliament of Sierra Leone.
Under Section 7 of the Constitution of Sierra Leone, the State is obligated to protect the right of any citizen to engage in any economic activity without prejudice to the rights of others.
The alleged actions of the Clerk, if proven, raise serious constitutional questions concerning the unilateral dismissal of employees without due process.
The reported replacement of these civil servants with individuals perceived as supporters of the ruling SLPP, holding party cards, and hailing from the Southeastern region of Sierra Leone further deepens suspicion of nepotism.
Nepotism, the favouritism shown to family members or close friends, is a critical issue in governance as it compromises the merit-based selection of qualified individuals for public service roles.
The key problem here lies not only in the dismissal of existing civil servants but also in the apparent replacement of competent and experienced professionals with party loyalists, potentially undermining the efficiency and effectiveness of parliamentary operations.
The Southeastern region’s overrepresentation among the new appointees raises questions about the equitable distribution of opportunities and resources across the nation. Such practices contribute to regional imbalances, fostering sentiments of exclusion among citizens from other regions.
The impact of these alleged actions extends beyond the immediate individuals affected. It reflects a broader concern about the erosion of institutional integrity, adherence to constitutional principles, and the fair and transparent functioning of the State.
The role of the Clerk in this scenario, as a custodian of parliamentary procedures, adds another layer of gravity to these allegations.
It is imperative that these allegations are thoroughly investigated to ascertain their accuracy, and if confirmed, appropriate measures should be taken to rectify any constitutional breaches.
Public trust in the integrity of government institutions is vital for the functioning of a healthy democracy, and any actions that compromise this trust must be addressed with urgency and diligence.
All eyes are now on the meeting of members of the Parliamentary Appointments Committee, summoned by the Speaker of Parliament – Dr Abass Bundu, taking place tomorrow 4th January 2024, where Clerk Paran is expected to explain his actions.