Civil servants and diplomats appointed to key positions of authority and influence by the previous SLPP government in Sierra Leone, are alleged to have gone on the rampage to sabotage, destroy and ruin the economic framework that the President and government of Sierra Leone are instituting to return the country to a sound economic footing. If the allegations are true, then this is an economic crime against the people of Sierra Leone. It is reported that these civil servants may have been directed by the opposition party’s machinery to unleash an agenda of sabotage to bring the economy of the country to a halt, and the country’s name abroad to disrepute, by failing to institute fiscal policies that will stimulate growth in the economy, and by engaging in unethical behaviour that is contrary to the norms of diplomatic protocols abroad. And by diverting necessary funds meant for infrastructural development to their pocket, and funds meant for the upkeep and maintenance of our missions abroad, these civil servants and diplomats are hell-bent on causing chaos and tarnish the important work the present government led by Dr Ernest Bai Koroma is doing to salvage the opposition-battered economy presided over by former President Ahmed Tejan-Kabbah.
It is also reported that the Sierra Leone mission in China has recently been embroiled in controversies where the Head of Chancery (HOC), and others, have converted Sierra Leone government property to a den for personal relaxation, amusement, pleasure and satisfaction. When the substantive Ambassador decided he had enough and took decisive action, the HOC who happens to be an Opposition SLPP mole, along with others, decided to gang-up and fabricated lies that was presented to no other person than the Foreign Minister, who was until recently, a die-hard Senior SLPP member, who then submitted a twisted and concocted report to the government, that saw the Head of State recall the Ambassador. This is indeed disgraceful! The Ambassador has done nothing to warrant his recall. It has become clear that embassy moles were using official government designated stamps to divert important revenues for personal use!! The APC government seems clearly unaware of the scale of corruption taking place in our embassies abroad. What is more alarming is the amount of SLPP operatives currently being allowed to man sensitive positions in our diplomatic missions who engage in corrupt acts of embezzlement. The APC government doesn’t seem to be perturbed at all by this!! Whether it’s a blind eye being turned on an extremely important issue, or it’s simply inefficiency on the part of those responsible to take action, it is definitely shocking that such will be allowed to continue unabated!!
The people of Sierra Leone will not tolerate any sabotage of the already fragile economic situation the country is facing. The SLPP must be reminded that the Sierra Leonean people still have memories of the reckless way they handled the country’s economy and no amount of political gimmick will change that perception. When a civil servant or diplomat does not consider the plight of the people and has not taken into consideration the important civil and diplomatic responsibilities that has been placed on his or her office, and embarks on a campaign to disrupt the government’s agenda to bring change, they are indeed culpable of the worst kind of crime against the people. Making attempts to portray the government’s weaknesses by engaging in criminal acts of economic squandering is in itself worrying to so many Sierra Leoneans who look up to civil servants and diplomats as the custodians of administrative efficiency within the government structure, and representing the country abroad.
This blatant move by the opposition must indeed be condemned. As many of us in the media have on several occasion called the government to account and are indeed prepared to expose corrupt acts by officials in positions of authority, we cannot just stand by and allow the opposition to terrorise the financial stability packages being put together by this government to safeguard the economic future of the country at the expense of the self-gratification of the opposition dominated civil service. The civil service and diplomatic missions must be purged of all who seek to destroy the country; and the opposition must be investigated for this serious crime of economic and political manipulation of our resources. As a civil servant or diplomat, one is responsible to the government in power irrespective of one’s political persuasion. That responsibility if not taken seriously can be considered an act of sabotage. The civil and diplomatic services are the people’s services. Civil servants and diplomats are public servants of the people, and are accountable to the people. Their performances, if executed with the public’s interest at heart, will ultimately lead to the administrative efficiency of the government at home and abroad.
Corruption poses a serious development challenge for Sierra Leone because it increases the cost of business through the price of illicit payments to corrupt individuals. And the consumer ultimately pays the price as a result of high cost of goods and services. The management cost to businesses of negotiating with corrupt officials, and the risk of breached agreements undermines the effective management of the cost of living in a country. In Sierra Leone, you often see Civil Servants trading their influence over the decision process of approving a government contract .Kickback’s are often offered in corrupt bidding of government contracts to the decision maker (often a top Civil Servant) to obtain a favourable decision.
Civil servants have in the past been at the forefront of plundering the country’s resources because they control the machinery of how funds allocated to government ministries are disbursed. They often create networks to device plans to embezzle funds that is meant for the welfare of the masses. This is indeed an act of apathy, As every one penny stolen from the public purse is one service to the people rendered incapable. This mindless act of by some in the public’s trust have been responsible for the continued poverty-stricken environment that the present government is trying to address. This malaise in society must be tackled and brought to an end. It doesn’t matter how hard a government is trying to alleviate poverty in a country, if determined civil servants and diplomats are bent on causing havoc, it will undermine the success of any administration. It is true that the government itself has serious questions to answer, but when the opposition that is meant to bring the government to account do not have any credibility and has corrupt elements within its own makeup, then how can this be achieved?
The opposition has proved that it is incapable of assuming authority in Sierra Leone. Instead of coming up with alternative policies that will demonstrate their ability to run a government and challenge existing policies, it seems they are engaged in international sabotage. Our country’s good image is at stake if rogue diplomats are allowed to manipulate the machinery of our missions abroad. Some of our most outstanding diplomats are paying the ultimate price as the APC government have not only failed to protect them from the devious pranks of Opposition appointed diplomats, they continue to allow some of our ‘A’ missions abroad to be used as private hostel by unscrupulous individuals bent on giving our country a bad name!! The 2012 elections is just months away, and if action is not taken by the APC government to stop moles in our missions abroad from engaging in nefarious activities, there is risk that the Opposition SLPP will continue to use them as a way of destabilising our missions abroad and hence present a distorted picture of our government’s important Foreign Policy agenda!
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