Parliamentary ethics committee called to action as MPs accused of indiscipline

Abdulai Gbla: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 29 November 2019:

On Tuesday 26th November 2019, Sierra Leone’s parliament was brought to a grinding halt after it was known that majority of MPs had not taken their seats in the well to commence the business of that day.

It was past 10:00 am and the Speaker of Parliament, Honourable Abass Bundu had taken his seat as always – since the Bo Declaration was signed recently amongst various political parties in parliament.

The issue of lateness of MPs in the Sierra Leone Parliament was first flagged up on Tuesday’s sitting by the MP representing Constituency 46 in Koinadugu District, Honourable Daniel Koroma.

This had also been raised by the Speaker, Hon. Bundu during a sitting recently. It could be recalled that the Speaker himself had described the practice of MPs’ ostensibly incessant lateness as “perennial”.

The concern of Hon. Koroma was that despite discussions on the matter of the not-too-cool habit of MPs attending sittings late had been addressed during the previous siting, the situation was yet to improve for the better. “It seems as if no change is taking place in respect of discipline of members of this noble House,” he noted.

Hon. Koroma furthered that MPs needed to lead by example. “Being an MP does not make us super humans, so as humans; representatives of the people we are not above discipline, otherwise this parliament is getting down, down and down,” he asserted.

The Acting Leader of Government Business, Honourable Matthew Sahr Nyuma noted that MPs were representing the people and toed the line of Hon. Koroma that they should lead by example as Honourable Members.  “We need the Ethics Committee to start working by taking disciplinary action against MPs. It is very necessary because there is so much indiscipline amongst MPs,” he stated.

Hon. Nyuma confessed that even though the Speaker of Parliament had tried by sounding  countless warning shots for MPs to carry themselves honourably, they had failed to live up to expectation. He cited section (97) of the Sierra Leone 1991 Constitution which talks about the behavior of MPs within and out of parliament.

“After all, Honourable Members, it is not about the title you are carrying, but it is what you do,” the Acting Leader of Government, Hon. Nyuma reiterated.

The Deputy Chief Whip of the SLPP, Honourable Alusine Kanneh noted that even though they as whips had the mandate to instil discipline among MPs, it had not been easy for them (the whips) as their colleague MPs normally treat them with levity.

“Sometimes you go to the canteen, you meet members there, you go to the lounge you tell them to come to the well, and it becomes a problem,” he complained.

The Acting Leader of the main opposition APC said that the developments in the Sierra Leone Parliament were becoming embarrassing. “In this very shabby kind of attendance, the whole world is watching us perform legislative functions far below expectation,” he maintained.

He furthered that the spirit with which MPs started activities in the Fifth Parliament just after the 2018 elections, was one that was dwindling gradually. Hon. Kargbo noted that something is needed to be done to reverse the current state of affairs in the parliament; and one of such was for the Speaker of Parliament to convene a meeting for the leadership of political parties to discuss these thorny issues.

The Leader of the C4C party in parliament, Honourable Saa Emerson Lamina was next in the queue to talk on the issues. He noted that it was no secret that lateness amongst MPs was not only becoming perennial since the second session of parliament began, but also repetitive.

He however had a different view from that of Hon. Kargbo – that, only leaders of political parties should be summoned to a meeting.

According to Hon. Lamina, all MPs must be called soon to a meeting to holistically discuss the nail-biting issues in the country’s only law making House. He called on the leadership of parliament to work on issues in the spirit of the Bo Declaration, which MPs recently signed in a frantic bid to moderate issues of growing concerns in the House of parliament – among and between MPs from various political divide.

You can watch last Tuesday’s debate here:

 

5 Comments

  1. Prezo Bio has no control over elected MPs. On that handle, I give him grade A. It is the electorate that have control over parliamentarians. The control is in their votes. They should vote them out next elections. That shows how useless Shaka Stevens and his terrible APC set the country on the path of self-destruction. Some of the populace cannot even think straight. Come next elections, they will vote in the same nincompoops. As of this moment, I am sure Bio is far better than all the former presidents except the Margais (Maybe?. Those that were around that time please confirm.

  2. Well,what do you guys expect – Wherever the wind blows that’s where also,the grass will lean – words of the Great Confucius. Indeed, most MP’s are aware that this President lacks the capabilities to rule decisively without leaning on crutches like David Francis,and Saffa,and because of that they don’t take him,or their jobs seriously. Who can blame them? If there’s an idle,and soft wind blowing, how can the lazy grass swing busily,and vigorously from side to side with purposeful happiness,and joy?

    The SLPP have created an atmosphere of mistrust,and suspicion among members of parliament, so how do you expect to work in unison for the benefit of the people of Sierra Leone. Its disgraceful to hear the speaker of the House complaining,and whining like a running nose toddler about his inability to get his house in order.(lmao) Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  3. Sometime ago, President Bio visited some ministries at YOUYI BUILDING in Brookfields to see for himself how late MINISTERS and Government officials arrive at work. He should do the same with our PARLIAMENTARIANS. What is good for the GOOSE is good for the GANDER. GOD BLESS our PARLIAMENTARIANS trying to bring DISCIPLINE in PARLIAMENT.

  4. ‘He however had a different view from that of Hon. Kargbo – that, only leaders of political parties should be summoned to a meeting.’

    That is a brilliant move by Hon. Lamina. It may come across as baiting partisanship, but its value lies in overcoming some of the flaws that impair group decision-making process. It is an advance in counterinsurgency to batter bikering, sell-out, gossips and the acceptance of decisions without analysis.

  5. It’s because they do not take their constituents seriously that they are not treating their job, as honorable members of parliament, with the seriousness it deserves.

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