President Bio must now dissolve his government – Op-ed

Yankuba Kai-Samba: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 23 December 2020:

In the light of the historic corruption scandal uncovered by the 2019 audit report in Sierra Leone, President Bio should now seriously consider dissolving his government and call a mid-term election.

A president who said he is fighting corruption but his government is now being hunted for the worst ever corruption recorded in the country’s history, doesn’t deserve a second term, as his supporters have called for on social media.

President Bio must take full responsibility for this historic corruption scandal as a personal failure of his leadership, and  dissolve his government to seek a new mandate from the voters, as the country has lost confidence in his leadership to fight corruption.

Anyone who will vote for this Paopa SLPP administration in 2023 will be giving  them more time to rob the country of every penny, safe in their knowledge that they cannot be prosecuted whilst in office.

But even if there was immunity from prosecution whilst in office, that doesn’t prevent the ACC from investigating their culpability based on the audit report.

The Israeli prime minister is being investigated for an alleged corruption and if found wanton, he will be forced to leave office, to be followed by prosecution.

Immunity for criminality in office encourages more wrongdoing that  leads to impunity.

My view on how to fight corruption effectively is legendary – that to win the fight against corruption, it must be done proactively and not posthumously – that is leaving those in power to steal untouched and chasing them after they have left power and hidden their loots in unknown destinations is counterproductive.

Political criminals have ingenious ways of covering their tracks and hide their stolen wealth.

Nigerian financial crime unit officers found a whopping 43 million dollars hidden in a house belonging to a former oil minister.

The deposed Sudanese president Omar Bashir, had passed a law that only 5,000 dollars is allowed into the country. But a search at his home after he was removed from power by the army, a coup that was precipitated by mass protest, found over 100,000 dollars hidden there.

Other ways by which political thieves launder money and take stolen  money out of their country  is by investigating in secretive offshore banking,  through a third party or company set up and run by people not known to have any link or connections with them.

Only highly sophisticated intelligence and technological capabilities available in countries like America and UK — such as the CIA, FBI in America, SOCA and NCA in UK can trace and locate stolen wealth  from Africa, involving political criminals and their surrogates.

The 2019  audit report on Sierra Leone  government’s financial mismanagement is without precedent. It is shocking, scandalous and it shook the very foundation of Sierra Leone.

The eyes of the world are on the Anti-corruption commission led by Mr Francis Ben Kaifala to hold those responsible for this despicable plunder of the country’s resources.

There should be no whitewash or smoke screen in holding culprits to account. Start from the top with the big fishes.

Francis Ben Kaifala, as the ACC boss, is eminently qualified. A brilliant lawyer with strong instinct for social justice. He has received several awards for the work he has been doing. He can get a better paid job in the international community without the hassle of politicians breathing over his neck. So, his handling of this major impropriety should not be constrained by a perceived fear of losing his job. I expect him to go after them – all of them, past and present.

The people of Sierra Leone will stand by the ACC to punish those who brought poverty, suffering and misery on them by stealing the nation’s wealth.

Sierra Leone is watching. The country’s development partners are watching. We will not rest until the ACC indicts all those who have shamed our country, irrespective of their status or political connections.

7 Comments

  1. With all due respect to Yakuba Kai-Samba, to be a political pundit (by expressing our personal opinion) is quite different from a journalist who should be objective and not be playing an adversarial role. I hope you will read the objective comment of Abraham Jalloh which is close to the reality in our country. I respect the fact that you were in the KKY faction of the SLPP, but fortunately the people of Sierra Leone decided to elect the PAOPA faction for 5 years so that there will be no “midterm election” which is based on our 1991 constitution.

    The best you can do as a patriotic citizen is to pray for the current government to succeed rather than hate which will benefit every Sierra Leonean including the NGC if they win in 2023. Let us continue to be patient and wait until the process of the parliament and the ACC has been completed just as the SLPP patiently waited in opposition for 11 years, but fortunately this time around with the no-nonsense ACC commissioner who has a credibility rating of 81% within 2 years as compared to the previous 11 years of 40% ratings under the destructive thieving APC party, will hold any corrupt official accountable.

    The reality is corruption can be drastically minimized but not completely eliminated in any country. “Rules are just guidelines that are meant to be broken”, even the rules of the 10 commandments delivered by Moses from the Almighty are broken everyday by humans which proves how imperfect we are, but there should always be consequences as paying back, imprisonments and even death sentences. Let us continue to pray and support the ACC commissioner and always respect his decision.

  2. In November 2017, I took photographs of the Atlantic restaurant which was an eyesore : a place where we once had delicious meals, enjoying the sounds of waves lashing on the sandy beach and watching the crabs scurrying to and fro. Last night it was an immense pleasure to see a fabulous Atlantic Lumley Hotel. Heartfelt congratulations to all those people responsible for this beautiful hotel.

  3. Hahaha, the artistic, ingenious, grammatically acclaimed indomitable pride of this intellectual noble platform, my brother from another mother, the great Sayedna alias STARGAZER, happy holiday sir. Also to my senior mentors which includes: professor Abraham Amadu Jalloh, chancellor Alimamy Turay, emperor Santhkie Sorie, and veteran diplomat Dr. Sahr Maturri, happy holidays fine gentlemen. Now to my brothers on the opposite side of the debate, the fiercest defender of the regime, chief Alusine Fallay and the rest, happy holidays as well.

    Last but not the least, to the most patriotic Sierra Leonean ever in modern times, professor honorable Abdul Rashid Thomas and his super accommodating team, along with freelance patriotic journalists like the eloquent Mr. Abdulai Mansaray, Mr. Yankuba Kai-Samba and the rest that contribute to our daily readings, MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all and a blessed new year to come. Cheers!!

    • My brother Young4na, you never disappoint. Happy holidays to all our compatriots in this noble forum. And a special thank you to the wonderful and unbiased, balanced, no drama, editor in chief Mr. Abdul Rashid Thomas, and his management and team, that have provided us this air views in the best on line newspaper in Sierra leone today. “The Man of the year goes to Mr. Abdul Rashid Thomas and his Telegraph on line newspaper” God bless and happy holidays.

  4. What’s all the Commotion about? Who is it among you millions languishing in abject poverty in Sierra Leone that still believes this criminal President can wave a magic wand and make corruption disappear in the blink of an eye. Anyone? All efforts to eradicate corruption with meritorious conduct and honour in our beloved African continent that is still under the firm and tight grips of fiercely barking old dogs, and cruel old soldiers is nothing in my view but a purely unrealistic delusional dream. Folks, eliminating corruption in our beloved country will be a thing never seen or experienced ever before; A new thing, like precious pearls and diamonds raining down heavily on the streets of prehistoric corrupt Freetown in the rainy Season.(lol)

    But who is that pure and untainted sacrificial soul that has been chosen by the kind hands of destiny to bring forth such an impossible dream to fruition? You guessed it – only the fearless young cubs will be able to accomplish such a feat because they are empathetic, intelligent, innovative and sincere – forgot the old dogs if it is genuine change you desire and seek; For who has ever seen an old dog like Maada Bio, Museveni. Conde, Buhari, Qattara and others that are quite capable of easily learning new tricks?

    An Africa free of corruption will be a brand new thing to behold, a thing only the young guns can embrace and appreciate – rule out the grumpy old men, they are hopeless! Shout-out to the Editor and his crew, and all the Patriots on this glorious forum – Big bro, Alimamy, Special Agent Young 4na,the clear-thinking Mr Abraham Jalloh, the Sharp-witted Mr Matturi, the friendly Mr Reins Weicha and also let me not forget my opponents for whom I have the utmost respect – Mr Santhkie Sorie and Mr Alusine Fallay – Wishing all of you fine gentlemen a Merry Christmas and a bright and prosperous New Year. Enjoy!

  5. Since the 1991 constitution establishes our country as unicameral legislature, and a supposes independent judiciary, and the head of the executive branch, in this case Bio, acting both as head of state, and head of government. Personally, I think the people that drew up this constitution, got it wrong. We need to revisit the constitutional arrangements accordingly, and prepare for what is best for our country. We certainly have a massive deficit of governance and accountability issues. Corruption within government has become a way of life as this audit report highlights. As a country, the concentration of too much power in the hands of the president, set us to fail, hence this uncertainty, and unchecked corruption.

    Nothing happens in our country without the approval of the president. There is no accountability let alone make any corrections, if things go wrong like this audit report. Lets say if we relegate the president to a seven year term with ceremonial duties, like cutting ribbons, renaming airports and bridges or hospital, visiting the sick in hospital, areas of national disasters, and with the power to dissolved a failing government, on the recommendation of his prime ministers regardless which party they come. Then we will be in a better position to confront this lack of good governance that sends our country into a tail-spin of unimaginable disasters. We should adopt the Westminster, or Israeli or German style of governments.

    In our case we abolished the vice presidency role, and in its place we have a prime minister elected by the party that have the largest seats in Parliament. The president, in his ceremonial duties acts like a ref to oversee the forming of governments and dissolving underperforming governments headed by a prime minister and a strong opposition leader in the parliamentary Chambers. And the mandate of such government runs for five years. For example if this sort of scandal happened under the stewardship of Prime Minister Juldeh Jalloh, he is forced to resign and fresh election are called. That will concentrate the minds of politicians more than the circus we presently have under Bio.

  6. “ My view on how to fight corruption effectively is legendary – that to win the fight against corruption, it must be done proactively and not posthumously – that is leaving those in power to steal untouched and chasing them after they have left power and hidden their loots in unknown destinations is counterproductive.”

    You view like millions of us Mr. Samba, is frankly the only successful approach in fighting the cancerous nature of corruption. Proactive investigation and simultaneous prosecution of those found wanting to have stolen funds while still occupying positions of power, is the antidote to the pillaging of our natural resources, or else we are just beating a dead horse and we go nowhere.

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