By Sorie Fofana
For the past three years, we have been ceaselessly calling on the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to introduce and later popularize a Code of Conduct for Cabinet Ministers. Unfortunately, our calls have fallen on deaf ears at State House.
Today, we renew that call, following the recent inexcusable behavior of certain Ministers of Government.
Why is it that, the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs conducts her Ministry’s affairs on social media? Why is it that Sylvia Blyden chooses to run her Ministry on social media? That is totally unacceptable!
Some Ministers are in the habit of misusing official vehicles assigned to them to facilitate their work as Ministers of Government. Some Ministers allow their consorts to use their official vehicles, during unofficial hours, especially at night.
It cannot be morally right for a Cabinet Minister to continue to have their private registered companies doing business with their Ministry. That is clearly a conflict of interest. Plain and simple!
How can the government succeed in banning the use of social media, when some Ministers rely on the same social media to conduct the affairs of their Ministries?
President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma should order the Secretary to the Cabinet who doubles as Head of the Civil Service to draw up a Code of Conduct for Ministers. That will serve as a guide to Ministers that, they cannot afford to cross the red line and still continue to serve in the government.
Once the Ministerial Code of Conduct is developed, all Ministers are expected to sign up to it when they take up office.
It is no longer acceptable for Ministers to continue to misbehave in public office and get away with it. Ministers will no longer openly insult their staff when they sign up to the Ministerial Code of Conduct.
We call on President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to ensure that, the Ministerial Code of Conduct comes into force before he leaves office in 2018. That will be one of his greatest legacies as President of Sierra Leone.
We return to the issue: Please, Mr. President, give us a Ministerial Code of Conduct. We are sick and tired of some of these errant Ministers.