We want to express our appreciation for the level of attention the general Public and Members of Parliament gave to our call for the House of Parliament to be accountable to the people of Sierra Leone. Since we started the Campaign, we have seen marked changes in the attitudes of constituents towards their Members of Parliament in terms of asking them to give account of their custodianship of funds meant for the development of their Constituencies.
At the national level, we believe that our Accountability Campaign has also given a deeper meaning to the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of Sierra Leone, legislated obligations on the Sierra Leone government and specifically, the people’s representatives in Parliament.
We are reiterating our call for accountability once again and requesting that members of Parliament do not deny us and the people of Sierra Leone that God-given opportunity to experience the culture of strong regulation and oversight over both public and private funds; an opportunity that is crucial for democracy, the public interest and development. Our aim as a human rights and development organization is to improve and ensure the effective implementation of the anti-corruption legislation in respect of parliamentarians and other government officials.
We wish to repeat our demand on you, the people of Sierra Leone, to encourage the Honourable Members of Parliament and the Administration of Parliament to endeavour to disclose all documents detailing how members and officials of parliament spend the Community Development and Constituency Facilitation funds, expense allowances and capacity building training funds provided by international development partners and the Sierra Leonean taxpayers.
We at CHRDI regard the inconsistent application of anti-corruption laws and policies, the weak capacities and lack of independence of the major institutions in charge of fighting corruption. These inconsistencies are the key drivers of our failure to develop as a nation.
CHRDI also believes that Political parties are important in the supply side of public accountability, even though political party accountability, which lies at the heart of a healthy democratic society, functions far from perfectly in Sierra Leone. After several years of experience with multiparty democracy, there is now a growing dissatisfaction and disappointment among citizens of Sierra Leone with the functioning of the major political institutions and actors, including political parties.
Within a well- functioning competitive party system, political parties are supposed to hold government to account on behalf of the electorate. Equally, political parties are supposed to conform to the democratic principles of participation, free choice, and rule of law, political tolerance and transparency. They can also assist politicians in office to be more responsive and answerable to citizens’ needs.
Therefore, we are calling on the All People’s Congress Party, the Sierra Leone People’s Party and the Council of all Paramount Chiefs to ask their representatives to respect this demand of the people who elected them into office and ask that they comply with the fundamental principles of democracy.
Note: Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI ) is a Rights based Public social-policy advocacy Organisation. We Draw attention to the responsibility of duty-bearers to uphold human rights, and seek to support rights-holders to claim their rights. CHRDI is in Special Consultative Status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and accredited to many UN Agencies.
©️CHRDI-HUMAN RIGHTS and POLICY BRIEF