Apart from the recent confirmation made to Global Africa News by the Minister of Information and Communication-Hon. Mohamed Rado Swaray to release the Government Transition Team Report, the Chairman of the team-Prof. David Francis has affirmed that the report has been completed and will soon be submitted to President Julius Maada Bio.
After being printed, officially handed over to the President and his Vice, a press conference will be held and final distributions will commence.
The report has 12 essential recommendations for prompt action.
This confirmation came amidst the many demands by Journalists, Civil Society Organizations and other relevant stakeholders within and outside Sierra Leone to release the Governance Transition Team Report.
President Julius Maada Bio is not the first President in Africa to set up a Governance Transition Team with prescribed mandates. In Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari set up a Transition Committee headed by Ahmed Joda. The 8000-page report of the transition team outlined a list of prompt, medium and long-term decisions President Muhammadu Buhari must take.
Ghana’s Transition Team was co-chaired by former Member of Parliament of the NPP Party Ofoase Ayirebi. In South Africa, a Special Investigation Unit was set up to investigate corruption made in Parliament in response to the Presidency’s Budget. In Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa excluding Sierra Leone, all the investigation team/committee reports were published with strong recommendations.
With almost two months in existence, the Government Transition Team was set up to take stock of the state of affairs during President Koroma’s tenure; serve as focal point to interface with the outgoing APC Government; conduct an immediate stock taking exercise of the current state of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies and to finally submit a comprehensive report to President Bio and his Vice President for immediate consideration.
The team comprises Dr. Abass C. Bundu, Dr. Morie Manyeh, Mrs. Kona Koroma, Mr. Jacob Jusu Saffa, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, Dr. Alie Kabbah, PC Charles Caulker, Mrs. Melrose Kargbo, Hon. Suahilo Koroma, Lawyer Umaru Napoleon Koroma and Dr. Denis Sandy as the Secretary to the Governance Transition Team.
President Bio did not set up a Commission of Inquiry like the APC did in 2008.
On Thursday 30th April 2008 whilst opening the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) offices in Makeni, Northern Sierra Leone, former President Ernest Bai Koroma justified that the setting up of the Commission of Inquiry is a complimentary tool in his Government’s commitment to eradicate corruption in the country.
“Some people are talking about witch-hunt, but what I am saying is that the people have a right to know about monies sent to this country in their name. It is everybody’s right to know, and then we would be able to correct the system.” President Koroma said the Commission of Inquiry was going to even serve as a signal of deterrent for functionaries of his government to beware of any ill intention they might have developed.
He said: “I said it during campaigning, but some people thought I was joking. I was serious about it, and now the time to give account is here.” He said that the State would protect anyone that has no case to answer, “But if you have skeletons in your cupboard, we will open it so let us all give account for our stewardship.”
The APC’s Commission of Inquiry was headed by a Gambian hired judge-Sameja Jammeh to investigate the SABABU Education project that was developed and implemented by the SLPP government. The Commission was also mandated to probe the state of affairs at that time.
Executive Director-Center for Human Rights and Rule of Law (CARL)-Lawyer Ibrahim Tommy had earlier called on President Bio not only to set up an investigation committee but to publish the findings and recommendations of the committee’s report.