President Bio appoints former public official accused of corruption as new finance minister

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 8 May 2021:

President Bio yesterday astounded even his supporters, after announcing the appointment of Dennis Vandy as his new finance minister, prompting critics to remind the president of the adage – “appointing a mouse to look after the cheese”.

Can Dennis Vandy be trusted to look after the nation’s finances, or will he be controlled by the president and his cronies to do their bidding?

Dennis Vandy who had served as Permanent Secretary in various ministries under the former Ernest Bai Koroma APC government, is believed by critics to have honed and perfected the art of mismanaging or siphoning public funds between 2007 and 2018.

And when president Bio won the 2018 election, he did not hesitate to appoint his south-eastern brother and SLPP party grandee – Dennis Vandy as his Secretary, a move described by many as a reward for helping to dismantle the former APC government machinery ahead of the 2018 elections.

But after just a few months as Secretary to the president, Vandy could not resist his urge and instinct for undermining his superiors.

On 29th May 2018, President Julius Maada Bio having promised that he will take discipline and accountability very seriously in his government, took the decision to sack his secretary – Dennis Vandy (Photo) over a leaked memo which Vandy ‘dishonestly’ said came from the president – ordering the finance ministry and government agencies to set aside various Finance Acts of Parliament, thus causing chaos.

The leaked memo fiasco sparked a political row which prompted the opposition APC’s call for the sacking of Dennis Vandy for his dishonest gaff.

Dennis Vandy’s spell outside of the Bio-led government in the cold was however short-lived.

As a mark of what critics described as “misplaced confidence” President Bio had in Vandy, he appointed Vandy as Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, despite alarm bells ringing.

But the Commission of Inquiry established by president Bio himself to investigate corruption and the mismanagement of public resources by ministers and officials of the former APC government, did not share the same level of confidence and trust in Dennis Vandy as the president.

On 5th October 2020, president Bio suspended all civil servants and public officials accused “of acting improperly with respect to the use of public funds” by the Commission of Inquiry.

One of those officials suspended by president Bio was his minister of agriculture – Dennis Vandi, who had served as permanent secretary (vote controller) in the ministry of education, under the Koroma-led APC government that is being accused of corruption on a grand scale.

In such a scenario, how can Vandy be innocent when he, afterall, was vote controller responsible for approving departmental spending? The commission of inquiry was right on point.

According to president Bio’s own government White Paper Report on the COI recommendations: “The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology was the most recklessly managed Ministry within the period under review and was run as a cartel and criminal enterprise by Dr. Minkailu Bah and his collaborators, the Permanent Secretaries (including Vandy), except Prince Emmanuel Oldman Cole, resulting into massive misappropriation and or loss of humongous sums of monies, both in Leones and in United States Dollars…..”

“Dr. Minkailu Bah, the former Minister from 2008 – 2018 together with Mr. Mani Koroma, Dennis Vandy and Umaru Conteh, former Permanent Secretaries in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology were involved in gross abuse of their offices in the reckless manner in which they dealt with the finances of the Government under their care and failure to provide leadership and supervision of the Ministry or Department or Agency put under their charge,” the  White Paper Report on the COI recommendations said.

In its recommendations, the report stipulates that the minister in charge, Dennis Vandy and his co-conspirators must all pay back tens of millions of dollars – jointly and severally into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone.

But since the publication of the commission of inquiry report and the government’s White Paper, Dennis Vandy had protested his innocence. Speaking to the Global Times, he said he was never given the opportunity to hear the allegations made against him.

“I was in this country throughout the sittings of the Commissions…I was never invited…I was never notified of being a Person of Interest…Above all, I was never interviewed by anyone working for the Commissions”, Mr. Vandi protested.

“I have studied the report carefully and found out with dismay that I was wrongfully indicted for every bit of malfeasance which took place at the Ministry of Education from 2007 to 2018…I served as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education from 29th March to 31st August 2016…I was never invited to the Commissions, and I was never declared as a Person of Interest to the Commissions”.

Many other former public officials, especially those believed to be supporters of the opposition APC are also protesting they were never invited for questioning by the COI, as their fundamental defence of their right to natural justice.

Many are yet to be granted the right to fair hearing in a court of law to prove their innocence, despite complying with the three months deadline to appeal the decision of the commission of inquiry, with effect from the date of publication of the COI report.

But what is shocking to many in Sierra Leone is that two days ago, president Bio’s blue-eyed boy – Dennis Vandy, had his Court of Appeal hearing fast-tracked by the justice system, to facilitate the president’s plan for Vandy’s smooth return to the ministerial benches.

Yesterday, 7 May 2021, the Sierra Leone Telegraph reported that the Court of Appeal presided by Justice Fatmata Bintu Alhadi, yesterday dismissed all grounds of appeal by SOGEFEL SARL, against the findings and recommendations of the judge-led Commissions of Inquiry (COI) into corruption in the previous government.

SOGEFEL SARL is a construction company named by the COI alongside Dennis Vandy and others, for their role in misapropriating public funds.

The three Appeals Court Judges – Justices Fatmata Bintu Alhadi, Komba Kamanda, and Mrs. Tonia Barnett unanimously ordered SOGEFEL SARL to pay the sum of Le100,000,000 as cost for the Appeal.

Vandy was not only acquitted but the Judges in a separate Court of Appeal hearing presided by Justice Ivan A. Sesay, Justices Momoh-Jah Stevens and Adrian J. Fisher yesterday, discharged Dennis Vandy who had been accused and found guilty of corruption by the COI.

The Judges also ordered the State to refund every single Cent that Vandy had paid in legal fees to clear his name, a rare opportunity hardly witnessed in Sierra Leone – reserved for the politically connected.

Delivering judgement, Justice Fisher ordered that the former Minister of Agriculture’s appeal is granted, and that all findings and recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry should be set aside as those findings were not supported by evidence, adding that all monies paid by the former Minister of Agriculture – if any, should be refunded accordingly.

Yesterday’s Court ruling in favour of Vandy came just hours before president Bio announced that, it had pleased him to appoint Dennis Vandy as his finance minister. Wonders never cease in Sierra Leone’s lopsided politics.

This is what one critic of the government said yesterday: “President Bio (Photo) promises to fight corruption but he is now condoning and propping it like a wild burning fire. The recently appointed Finance Minister Mr. Dennis Vandy was once appointed as Secretary to President Bio and was sacked because he violated parliamentary procedures, but later appointed as Minister of Agriculture. His name was listed by the Commission of inquiry for corruption, serving as permanent secretary (vote controller) under the APC regime. He was released from his job after he was found wanting and guilty but now compensated as Finance Minister. Is President Bio really serious about fighting corruption if all he is doing is protecting his interests? All I see is political witch hunt against the opposition APC. “

There is one thing certain about this decision by president Bio to appoint Vandy as finance minister. It will be seen as a slap in the face of the international community in Sierra Leone, who have and are investing so much in improving governance in a country that is not far from being ascribed the title once again of a failed State.

The likes of the World Bank and IMF will soon by shutting down their funding flows to Sierra Leone, as the ruling SLPP and other political parties begin to prepare for the 2023 general and presidential elections.  But meanwhile, foreign investors will no doubt be questioning whether Sierra Leone is a conducive environment for their cash.

22 Comments

  1. This president and his supporters don’t care about morals or integrity. How many times have I not shamed and harassed them politically because of their reckless policies and way of doing things? They don’t care. OK! President Bio clearly told me in one of his interviews, that he appoints people who he thinks will work with him. Whether they are qualified or not does not matter to him in my view. Since that interview I started calibrating my political rhetoric against his policies. He is absolutely right because the constitution gives him such mandates. Why for heaven’s sake did this President not appoint men like Dr Francis Kai Kai to reset our failed financial policies since 2018?

    Anyway, we will work very hard to make sure he is a one term president. Deploying a new and measured political strategy in defeating President Bio in the next general elections is the ultimate goal. Congratulations and welcome Mr Vandy to your new post due to Presidential executive powers. It’s not your fault. ENJOY!!!

  2. Thanks Abdul for your effort to let out who Hon. Habib Munda is to folks of our great republic – Sierra Leone on this platform. Hon. Habib Munda is an Associate Lecturer at IPAM, Department of Governance and Leadership. I am also a PhD Researcher at the Political Science Department FBC and currently owns a Private Agric-Business Company DAD PROJECT SL CO.Ltd operating in the Kenema District East of Sierra Leone. What we do is rice cultivation and Tree cropping aiming to support GOSL’S EFFORT IN FOOD SECURITY AND AFFORESTATION. Empowering Rural women and Youths against poverty, food security and nutrition. Hon.Habib Munda was a two term Parliamentarian from Blama – 1996-2002 and 2012-2018 and now a Master Farmer in Kenema District.

    Abdul is a friend. My reactions to Mr. Thomas’s article was merely in my opinion to bring the missing aspects in my view that were left out in his history in relation to PRESIDENT BIO’S REAPPOINTMENT OF HON. DENIS VANDY AS OUR NEW FINANCE MINISTER AND NOT A CRIMINAL PERSONALITY BUT A PATRIOT AND A CREDIBLE RELIABLE FORMER PUBLIC SERVANT. In my effort in doing so, I was just simple and ethical to let my friend and Brother understand the other side of Hon. Denis Vandy as THE LAW OF NATURAL JUSTICE dictates. I have known Hon. Vandy for the past 30 and more years as a progressive person that have served his country and people delegently in both of his public and private capacities.

    As a senior citizen of our republic, it also beholds me to hear me out what I know Hon. Vandy for and what he had done for our country and similarly to let all understand what he had gone through in respect of negative treatments melted on him both at our civil service cadre and judiciary corridors. I strongly want to employ all to give this fine national character the opportunity to serve us as our Finance Minister rather than to second guess him nor PUT THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE… HE IS GOING TO DELIVER AND TURN OUR ECONOMY ROUND BEYOND THE EXPECTATIONS OF MANY…Hold me on my words…

  3. It is really disheartening to discover that Hon Habib Munda, a supposedly representative or advocate of people in the once perceived ‘Athens of Africa’ and by default with a government that prides itself with a flagship programme of ‘Free and Quality Education’ is deficient in articulating simple statements in an attempt to produce a constructive and conducive argument in a public platform. Perhaps, a lack of substance in the capacity he finds himself, or is it as a result of a total misfit?

    Ironically, if Mr Habib Munda was asked to attest the level of his educational background, he would surely make reference to his Masters degree in International Affairs, or his proficiency in linguistics – Bookman. And this is one of the problems in Sierra Leone today – a country trapped in the ancient perception of a Shakespearean era or indoctrinated Victorian values.

    Notwithstanding the fact that the world has transformed into a ‘can do’ way of thinking. In the current 21st century, the fundamental question is: Can you deliver the goods? Without looking deeply and addressing this question (or demand), Sierra Leone will remain a stagnated and failed state in the foreseeable future.

  4. Those of you who are opposed to the appointment of Mr. Dennis Vandi as finance minister, only have to look at his CV to understand why he was chosen for the job by the president. Need I say more?

  5. Dear Forumites. For the avoidance of doubt and misunderstanding, Habib Munda is not a government minister, nor a sitting member of parliament. He was once a member of parliament a few years ago, and now owns a farm in the south of the country where he is growing rice. Thank you.

    • Thanks, Mr Abdul Rashid Thomas, for letting us know Mr Habib Munda, is currently not a sitting member of the Sierra Leone Parliament. As his use of the title Honourable, in its current context rather the former, when he made his initial posting .We the citizens of Sierra Leoneans, relish the idea of challenging our sitting members of Parliament, to point out their flaws, and give them praises where they are deserved . Because as its stands, this Bio government haven’t moved the dail on any meaningful developments projects, as we were promised during his bid for the office of presidency back in 2018. It would have been greatly appreciated if Mr Habib Munda, had indicated it from the outset, when he made his posting. As a private citizen, he is entitled to his opinions. Some will agree with him. Others might not share the same affinity he holds towards our new Finance Minister Hon. David Vandy. It could be policy differences, or principles. And I think the vast majority of Sierra Leoneans that are opposed to his appointment, is purely on principle. That all of us should be treated equally before the law.

      There shouldn’t be one law for the president and his friends, and one law for the rest of us. No one is above the law. At present that is very much lacking under the current government.We need a step change on how corruption cases are handled in Sierra Leone. It cannot be right to use the judiciary as controllers of a set of temporary traffic lights of the justice system, and the way it is dispense, to give the green light, to politican accused of corruption. Or worst give them a clean bill of health to occupy one of the highest political offices of the land. Better still, the use of the word Honourable, by the former Honourable, Mr Habib Munda, was rather misleading. All the same thanks for the correction. Point taken and has been noted. Both current, and past public figures in our young democracy, should always learn to stick to the facts, at all times.playing lip service to the truth, have always played the part of a wrecking ball in our countrys bid for development.

      The reason why our country is still struggling in the rat race of development, since we acquired independence on the 27th of April 1961, is because our politicians has always been economical with the truth. They will tell us one thing, only to find out later on , as a country or a nation, truth and transparency is the first casualty, the way we go about doing politics in Sierra Leone. We don’t need leaders that throw up smoke screens, or tantrums to avoid public scrutiny. Our democracy can only work if we the ordinary citizens are allowed to question the motive, or the actions of our ELECTED LEADERS and hold them to account. Current serving politicians, should not hide behind their surrogates, to defend their actions or the lack of it, that will directly impact my life and the life of seven million Sierra Leonean. Being transparent and accessible to the people, and above all else accountable is what is called public service. If you can’t stand heat in the kitchen, stay away from it.

  6. Honourable Habib Munda – I applaud your bravery and loyalty to your friend Mr Vandy for coming on this glorious forum of merciless gladiators just to defend a criminal that has no business whatsoever holding the second most important office in our Sierra Leone. Indeed,I sincerely,also believe in giving our people a second chance to redeem themselves from a bizarre history of dishonesty and criminal activities that is intricately wrapped up and entangled in the webs of deceit, lies,thefts and questionable behaviors spun by their own dubious impulses and corrupt hands. It seems clear to me the candid words of the Editor has already ruffled a few SLPP feathers designed to give protection to an inept President and his criminal SLPP cabal.

    Hon.Munda its quite alright to reject the message but to outrightly attack the Editor in a subtle way is totally disgraceful, offensive and ridiculous; It tarnishes,stains and belittles the image,integrity and credibility of that highly esteemed position and office you are currently holding. On what grounds exactly are you and the President advocating for Mr Vandy to become our next Minister of Finance? What makes him different from the clueless, incompetent JJ Saffa?

    Although you would like us to believe Mr Vandi is now a pious religious monk that has seen the light we are fully aware that a wolf will always remain a wolf; It will always chisel and sharpen its fangs even when it is disguised in the clothing’s of harmless sheep. And there you have folks – a Stargazer outrightly rejects Mr Dennis Vandy as the next Hon. Finance Minister of Sierra Leone.(lol) The SLPP needs to get their acts together real fast and quit being an easily ruffled, disheveled, rumpled bunch of square pegs in round holes.(lmao)

  7. It never ceases to amaze me to see how far people can go in defending the indefensible, in justifying the unjustifiable. With Mr Vandy’s credibility as a government functionary having been called into question on more than one occasion, leading in one instance to his being tried in a court of law, you would think that President Bio would think twice and seek appropriate advice before offering him a position in government as sensitive and critical as the headship of our Finance Ministry. And yet some people have had no hesitation in defending Bio and his new appointee, claiming that the latter was not found guilty of the crimes of Which he was accused. However, is unproven guilt in a court of law always synonymous with complete innocence? And has Mr Vandy therefore always been a squeaky clean government functionary?

    Perhaps more importantly, what the defenders of both President Bio and Mr Vandy have deliberately and scandalously ignored is this: party politics, grounded in and shaped by ethno-regional considerations, is front and centre of Bio’s hiring and firing policies. It is indeed no accident that key ministries, government departments and most parastatals are headed by people who hail in the main from South-Eastern Sierra Leone. It is truly a very dispiriting state of affairs, a monstrosity even, to all those who know that that region of our country like all others, has no exclusive claim to talent in so far as running our country is concerned. It is a scandal and a monstrosity to all those who in the name of our common and shared history believe that the only way forward for our beleaguered country is drawing talent without discrimination from all its regions and ethnicities to contribute to nation building.

    When you are the head of a nation characterised by ethno-reginal heterogeneity and its attendant political ramifications, you simply do not hire just those you know, that is, those with whom you have a specific ethno-regional affinity. You need to know better and do much more – by giving a wide berth from the start to people who, no matter how close they are to you ethno-regionally, have tainted career histories.

  8. It’s good to see the right Hon. Habib Munda, come out with all guns blazing, and trying in his own unique way to defend the indefensible. I don’t think anyone with functional brain connectivity, will buy into your opaque arguments you put forward, to justify Bio’s decision to make this appointment. No man can think for another man. Even if you share the same toothbrush with the president, you can’t claim to know how he arrives at his decision making process, or his thought process. Unless of course you are a practising, or certified witch doctor. The irony of your stunt, Hon. Habib Munda, in trying to defend the integrity of Mr Denis Vandy, it is not lost on some of us. You have the brass neck to come here to argue, or try to debunk corruption allegations against your erstwhile friend. But when the similar corruption stories surfaced in Africanist press, made against the president, the vice president, the first lady, Dr Sedgeh, and our New foreign Minister professor Francis, we didn’t hear from you.

    Maybe, back then your work schedule did not allow you to come and cover their backs, because you were too busy putting out fires in your own patch. Nice try Hon Habib Munda. In 2019, the Sierra Leone parliament amended the 2008 Anti- Corruption Act, stripping away loopholes. We needed it because Ben Kaifala the ACC chief realised how corruption among our elected representatives is eating away at the fabric of Sierra Leone society. More like our country is in a state of terminal illness. According to the ACC, the 2019 Anti Corruption Amendment Act provides for, “among other things, increased penalties for offences under the Act”. No one is saying the president is not entitled to appoint people he sees fit for any position in the country but in doing so he has to do it within the remits of the constitution. The question then becomes, how much due diligence was done in this case, before the appointment was made? Did he ask or was he aware of these allegations against Mr. Vandy?

    The president took an oath of office to uphold and preserve our constitution. And do so to the best of his abilities in the service of the nation, not to the service of his family and friends. So in making important appointments, due consideration must be given to the candidate concerned. And they have to meet the threshold, as prescribed in the constitution. And this appointment is a violation of the oath the president took back in 2018.

  9. I have taken-off part of my busy time to read through Mr. Thomas’ article titled above. Also, I tried to analyse his analysis of Corruption and state institutional processes from which I draw my reactions on his misinformed judgement on the personality and integrity of Hon. Denis Vandy. First and foremost, second guessing the Judgement and informed Decision of the President hasn’t in having Hon. Denis Vandy a Minister of Finance had a HOLE in his well circulated piece. To many Sierra Leoneans, it is just a campaign of “PULL HIM DOWN SYNDROME” effort that are usually used against FINE PUBLIC OFFICIALS. President BIO has the CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY and DUTY to appoint ANY Sierra Leonean – including Abdul himself to assist him to fulfill his obligation between him and those voted for him and those who didn’t to his team called cabinet members irrespective of tribe, region, religious affiliations. Has the President gone beyond that? To every Sierra Leonean the answer is NO.

    Further more, has the President bypassed the required process to appoint Hon. Denis Vandy Minister of Finance without Parliamentary vetting process? Also the answer is NO. In addition, did President Bio investigate Hon.Denis Vandy when he was accused of being corrupt during his official duty as permanent secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in the Koroma administration or was he investigated by a competent court of law? We all know the answer including Abdul. Fourthly, Did President Bio exonorate Hon. Denis Vandy when he was lied upon to have leaked an official document to the public while he was The Secretary to President, in this circumstance also, NO.

    Mr.Thomas from a moral point of JUDGEMENT AND CONSIDERATION OF OUR PRESIDENT being a FATHER OF OUR NATION, A PATRIOT AND DEDICATED PUBLIC SERVANT IS LIED UPON in these kind of serial sequences and circumstances, and he is proven both constitutional and administrativly INNOCENT, DON’T YOU THINK HON. DENIS VANDY DESERVES A REAPPOINTMENT OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE HIS COUNTRY AND PEOPLE IN SUCH A POSITION OF HIGH TRUST? Many Sierra Leoneans will agree with me that Hon. Denis Vandy SHOULD BE GIVEN A CHANCE JUST as other Sierra Leoneans before and after him. HE IS BEING PROVEN AS A BATTLE TESTED AND TRIED PUBLIC OFFICER WHO CAN BE TRUSTED BY ALL AS HE IS NOT CORRUPT.

    To conclude, why Abdul your piece to me is considered as a SECOND GUESSING HYPOTHESIS, is by drawing conclusions on HON.DENIS VANDY before he assumes office. Your predictions on IMF AND WORLD BANK shall surely be on a reverse gear if WE ALL GIVE HON. DENIS VANDY OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE US AND OUR COUNTRY…

    • Hello, hello – what do we have here? Is this crap written by one of our sitting honourable MPs or government ministers? He is sure batting for his buddy Denis Vandy. I take my hat off to the editor, Mr Abdul Rashid Thomas who is truly a champion of tolerance, for publishing such nonesense. Lets wait and see what parliament will make of Vandy’s appointment by president Bio. I hope the opposition along with all well meaning SLPP MPs will throw him out before the already damaged image of our poor country takes another nose dive.

      Denis Vandy is corrupt like hell. So what is this so called honourable Munda talking about. I guess he is looking after his kith and kin. Birds of the same feather flock toegther. What a shame.

  10. The Sierra Leone constitution gives President Bio who is the Fountain Of Honor and Commander In Chief the right to hire and fire at will. The constitution also states that any accused is innocent until found guilty by the court of law. I personally believe that something is unique about Mr. Dennis Vandy to be consistently hired by both presidents from two political parties. Leadership is all about decision making based on your gut feeling and spiritual instinct.

    President Bio has made his choice and Mr. Vandy has also been proven innocent by the court, so we have to respect the processes and procedures of our government.”Damn if you do and damn if you don’t. Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway”. Lets continue to hope and pray for President Bio to succeed which will be a win for”Mama Salone”.

  11. Gentlemen – A tree that is rotten to its core will eventually begin to bring forth sour fruits that will be hard to swallow – no two ways about it. I saw this criminal a long time ago like a guest on horseback coming from very far away being watched from the majestical Peaks of Everest. I have always maintained that this President is out to seek his own interests and not those of Sierra Leone. Indeed,this appointment is not only appalling to most level headed minds, it is also detrimental to the image of our fragile nation that is still struggling to free her neck from the iron claws of hardened criminals and remorseless traitors. Folks, it now clear to me that Celestial Heaven has left us on our own to face the harsh realities of life through a long season of trial and drought. A leader is like the wind, said the Great Confucius, and wherever the wind blows there also will the green grass lean – True, our people are like grass swaying and swinging to evey strange,wicked wind that comes and goes. Mr Vandy another criminal is now Finance Minister in Sierra Leone? Geeez!

    You might as well go to Pademba road Prisons and set those petty crooks, and street thieves free because compared to Mr Vandy they are like pious religious monks with sanitize hands. Think for a minute; Someone gets fired for his conniving, corrupt,shady attitude by the man in State House only to be reinstated later in the most important ministry in our country as the overall Boss? Something is just not right. This unreliable President will have to openly explain to our people why he thinks the ‘Questionable’ Mr Vandy is the person most suited to fill that position of prominence. But Stargazer why are you wasting your time?

    Is it not a normal thing for brazen thieves and armed robbers to use their wits and discretion to swap positions of authority and elevate themselves? The man in State House has already spoken out very loud and clear by appointing another puppet of his as our newest Minister of Finance – his actions speak louder than his words.(lol)

  12. First let me expressed my gratitude and sincere thanks to the Editor and the Editorial Board of the Sierra Leone Telegraph for maintaining and providing a platform for us to voice our opinions. I pray that God continues to give them the 3 PS. which are: Provide, protect and preserve them from all evil. Psalm 121:7. The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil. AMEN! Now I thank all those who take time to voice their honest opinion about the state of Sierra Leone, especially those who are ardent supporters of the President, but have the courage of impartiality to express their dissatisfaction.

    I hope the President will take it as a constructive critisism and take steps to correct them. To those who might think that some of us are supporting the President because of tribalism, must know that I PRAYED and ADVOCATED for former President Koroma who is a Temne against Berewah who was Mende, because I thought that Koroma would have done BETTER for Mama Salone than Berewah. Unfortunately, EBK not only dissappointed me, but he dissappointed and FAILED the people of Sierra Leone.

    I pray President Bio will NOT repeat the mistakes of his predessesor. I am not even sure why President Bio can fire someone for ergreous activities and then reinstate him into an even bigger position. I do not know much about the situation for me to give an unbiased opinion, but I TRUST President Bio to do the right thing. Sometimes in life we have to FORGIVE people and give them chances to redeem and PROVE themselves otherwise. Other times we have to move on from some people. I do not know why he chose the former. We all just hope it is the RIGHT decision and that Mr Vandi will not disappoint him but most importantly the people of Sierra Leone. If When Sierra Leone succeeds, EVERYONE succeeds, but if ONLY Mr Vandi and few others succeed in taking the money and resources for just themselves, everyone else including himself WILL FAIL because the CRIES of the ANGUISH will come back to HUNT and HURT them. So let us PRAY that Mr Vandi is the RIGHT REFORMER,REMORSED, and REPENTANT PERSON for that position to IMPROVE the LVES of MAMA SALONE and her PEOPLE IJMN. AMEN. We are all watching and listening, but above all the LORD GOD is watching. He sees and knows EVERYTHING that we do not even see or know about. He is THE OMNIPRESENCE. Good Luck Mr.Vandi. I pray and hope you will prove your critics WRONG, and president Bio RIGHT. I hope you will NOT dissappoint him but more importantly, you will not let the people of Sierra Leone down. What you guys do NOW and moving forward will determine whether more INVESTORS and HELPERS continue to pour into Sierra Leone or not. Do not be SELFISH. This is my acronym for SELFISH going backwards- His stupidity in failing LIVES ENDS SELFISHLY. Meaning a selfish person never ends well.

  13. I believe he has to get Parliamentary approval. Let’s wait and see what comes out of that. I hope the opposition parties in Parliament as a bloc will rise to the occasion and make history.

    • Unfortunately, he is not going before parliament. He was appointed Minister of Agriculture in 2019, and he was approved by the same Parliament. When his name appeared in the COI Report, he voiced his innocence and based on the Presidential decree in 2020, all serving members in the current government named in the COI report were suspended (Not sacked) until they are proven innocent by a competent court. Mr. Vandy like Karefa Kargbo appealed his case, citing among other things that he was no longer at the Ministry of Education when the corruption that the COI found out occurred. Also, he said if the COI had invited him he could have presented his letter of transfer to show that he was no longer at the Ministry of Education when the corrupt act took place. This was the same error that the COI committed when they named Mr. Karefa Kargbo in the corruption case that took place at the Petroleum Directorate when he was no longer employed at the said Directorate.

      The Court of Appeal presided by Justice Ivan A. Sesay, Justices Momoh-Jah Stevens and Adrian J. Fisher heard both cases and they discharged both Mr. Karefa Kargbo and Mr. Dennis Vandy respectively because both presented their sacked and transfer letters to the Appeal court in support of their appeal for wrongful conviction by the COI. Why is the court of Public opinion saying that Denis Vandy is guilty and corrupt despite the findings of the Court of Appeal? Why did we not say the same for Karefa Kargbo when the same set of Judges discharged his case? Is Mr. Denis Vandy not eligible for fair trial as does any other citizen? Now as to why Mr. Denis Vandi will not go before parliament. Ours is a Common Law system, and the issue of ‘stare decisis’ (that is precedent) is highly upheld in the Common Law system for all and sundry. Hon Alpha Timbo was suspended during the Rice Gate Investigation at the Ministry of Education. When the court dropped his case, he was reinstated by the President as Minisater of Labour, a position he held before he was suspended.

      But the caveat here is that when he was transferred as Minister of Labour in 2019, he did not go before Parliament because the same Parliament had approved him as Minister of Education in 2018. Similarly, Mr. Vandi having been approved by Parlaiment in 2020, would not go before the same Parliament after his suspension has been lifted by the President based on his acquittal. Whether it is a coincidence or not, the acquittal of Denis Vandy coincided with a Vacancy in the government of his Excellency presented an opportunity for the president to appoint him so that the work at the Ministry of Finance can start earnest instead of waiting for the laborious and snail pace parliamentary approval process.

  14. President Bio, the socalled crusader against graft, has once again demonstrated his true colors. When this president says he is committed to fighting corruption, its all words no action.The only thing that discribe his actions, or the lack of it, he doesn’t care whether public opinion supports his outrageous actions, or not. Well that is, if there is any such thing to guage what Sierra Leonean public opinion think of his commitment to honour the promises he made in fighting corruption in the first place. Sierra Leonean voters have short memories. And they are one of the most easy to rule, and forgiving nation on planet earth. So the idea he will be punished for his actions in 2023, will be forgotten, and swept under the carpet. The trick is, or well rehearsed political elections fever tool to use is to source your diehard youth supporters a pair of blue jeans and a T-shirt embolden with your portrait, and unleash them to terrorise your political opponents or communities that show signs of wavering to cast their vote for you.

    In vast majority of cases, and in any vibrant democracy, public opinion is one of the key ingredients that drive government policy. Unfortunately for us, we have no such thing in Sierra Leone. That is why our elected leaders, can trample on our democracy and our human rights, without the fear of any of the repercussions that might follow. This appointment of Mr. Denis Vandy, has brought it all home to the voters that bought into Bio’s big lie. For them and every Sierra Leonean, this appointment is a real kick in the teeth. His government far from fighting corruption, is now demanding it as bucketlist of profession to complete, to stand any chance of being part of his cabinet. More like a big sign displayed outside the gates of State House that says: No need to apply if you are a patriotic, Sierra Leonean that has the interest of the country at heart. No checks for corruption convictions. Applicants with corruption convictions are welcome.

    The disappointment is not restricted to Bio converts, or opponents of his direction of travel, but to everyone in between. You don’t have to be a political genius to come to the sad but unavoidable conclusion that Bio is up to no good. His mantra of tackling corruption during the presidential campaign was just a bait, or a fishing expedition to convince the unsuspecting voting public that he is the man that can deliver in the fight against the cancer of corruption in Sierra Leone society. To appoint Mr. Vandy, man accused of corruption as our Finance Minister is laughable. But to the suffering masses, this is not a laughing matter. This is more like giving your chickens for the foxes to look after. A matter of life, and death.

  15. Supporters of the current regime, are any of these criminal and unpatriotic actions happening in the current regime: corruption, tribalism, injustices, president’s embezzlement of state funds and encouraging his subordinates to do the same, by keeping individuals convicted of corrupt acts through a revolving door, etc, any different from what many of you hold grudge against former president EBK and his officials? Please fellow Sierra Leoneans, search your conscience and try putting your country’s interest first.

    The blind support and harbouring of state criminals simply because they are from the same tribe or come from the same region like us, is at the core of why our nation will continue to retrogress in the human development index. We cannot rise as a nation if we don’t correct past mistakes no matter how uncomfortable that might be. The current class of politicians cares nothing about you, me, or the average Sierra Leonean. All that matters to them is to protect their own personal interests. For crying out loud, are we saying that there are no qualified citizens locally and internationally (even within the SLPP camp) that could occupy key ministerial positions other than the same corrupt, inept bunch?

    If an individual has been given a chance to serve, not only did he/she fail miserable to deliver but connive with others to steal state resources, of what good is it to maintain such individuals around if we really want to succeed as a nation? Makes no sense in any imaginable aspect. Make no mistake folks, as long as we continue to blindly support these crooks, failing to call them out simply because they are our tribesmen, in the long run, we will all suffer the consequences one way or another. Let’s remember, there is, and will always be one Sierra Leone, that we all call home. We either partake in maintaining and building it up, or sit on the sidelines, allowing it to crumble further and further into the abyss.

  16. I do not understand. We are so rich in everything. If the ancient of days really created an Eden, it must be Sierra Leone. Our Marine resources are the envy of the world. Lobsters, caviar, barracuda, and oysters which are very expensive items in the world lie in abundance in our waters. Fertile lands, yet we import food. Diamonds, gold, bauxite, titanium aka rutile, zirconium is a miners dream. Beaches that are comparable to the Maldives. Yet, we are one of the poorest countries in the world.

    Tribalism, corruption, petty attitudes. To illustrate, on Quota, the knowledge site, some British people were posting that when they were in Sierra Leone, people were begging them to recolonize the country. That is like asking to go back into slavery. Look at Botswana, they have visa free access to the U.K. Over 90 billion dollars in reserve and one of the highest wages per capita and living standards on the continent. All of the above was attained with only diamonds, as a resource.

  17. The appointment of Mr. Dennis Vandy is going to be the Achilles heel for our president Julius Mazda Bio. Most of us who are his ardent supporters are confused and don’t know what to make of it, especially, taking into account his notoriety and the accusations of financial impropriety during the APC regime. To many, it appears our president is doing the same thing he accused the APC for, which is condoning corruption….and protecting ‘sacred cows.’

    It is amazing that in the rank and file of the SLPP members, our President will appoint someone who is so badly tainted to head our financial institution at the time when we need strong and steady leadership with integrity. I honestly believed in the President when he came up with the “new direction” slogan but what we are witnessing is nothing short of window dressing. It brings to mind what professor Lummuba said that “it’s only in Africa, where we vote or appoint celebrated criminals for political office.”

    In my view this appointment makes mockery of the fight against corruption.

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