Sierra Leone Telegraph: 4 December 2019:
President Bio will soon be appointing a new Inspector General (IG) of police, after the current IG – Dr. Richard Moigbe was sent a letter this week – which was leaked to the media, reminding him of his statutory requirement to quit office and go into retirement in March next year.
With just three months remaining until IG Moigbe leaves office, the race is on to appoint a new IG, a decision that will no doubt be politically controversial.
Moigbe was appointed by former president Koroma, and there are many in the ruling SLPP party who believe it is time president Bio appoints someone who may be more sympathetic to the ruling party’s cause.
Retirement age in Sierra Leone’s public service is ‘officially’ set at 60 years. But successive governments have been criticised for failing to enforce such legal requirement.
Critics say that governments have played politics with the country’s public sector retirement age to keep their loyal supporters in jobs.
Since his appointment by former president Ernest Bai Koroma in November 2017, after a snap reshuffle of the country’s top military, police and security chiefs, IG Moigbe’s track record as the most senior police officer in the country has been under the microscope.
He has been accused by his critics of failing to develop and manage the Sierra Leone Police as a force for good. They say he is a “Yes man” who takes direct orders from the president, rather than use his professional wisdom to enforce law and order in the country without any political bias or favours.
But the same accusation was levied at Richard Moigbe by supporters of the current government, during former president Koroma’s tenure. It seems no matter who is appointed to the office of IG, there will be accusations of political bias.
What is not in dispute though, is the fact that not a single investigation report into political violence during the previous and current government have been published, nor lessons learnt from those violent – sometimes fatal confrontations.
With just three months to go before he leaves office, IG Richard Moigbe is unlikely to go public to defend his record.
Sierra Leoneans are yearning for change of direction in the way the police force enforces law and order across the country. There have been far too many deaths caused by police gunshots fired at unarmed civilians with impunity.
It is not certain who will take over from Richard Moigbe, but what is for sure is that it is time for Sierra Leone to get its first female Inspector General of Police.
Will president Bio think outside the box this time, and walk across the gender barrier?
This is the letter sent to IG Moigbe by the Head of Human Resources of the Police that was leaked yesterday: