Questions as to whether President Julius Maada Bio will watch some of his ministers engaged in unlawful act that is bothering on greed and selfishness hovering around and destroying institutions of the state are becoming of public interest.
The situation at Sierra Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA) is one that will give bad name to the government of President Julius Maada Bio because according to sources the rift in the administration is bordering on officials of the Ministry of Transport and Aviation wanting to usurp the functions of the Board of the Administration.
Few days back, workers at the Administration have been inundated with different correspondences as to who is the Executive Director General of the Administration.
An Internal Memo from the Director of Admin and Human Resources who happens to be a relative of the Deputy Minister of Transport and Aviation at the Administration revealed that acting upon the advice of the Ministry of Transport and Communication, one Festus Crosbie is the Acting Executive Director with immediate effect.
“All SLMA staff be informed that according to communication received from the Ministry of Transport and Aviation this morning, Mr. Festus Crosbie has been asked to be Acting Executive Director with immediate effect until further notice,” the Memo indicated.
That the staff and management of SLMA is required to direct all appropriate memos and work matters to him.
The Chairman of the Board clearly dispute the letter from the Ministry of Transport and Aviation with another letter stating that the Executive Director of the Administration is still Phillip Sondai, asking all to take directives from him.
“I write to inform all Directors and staff of the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration that with the powers vested in me as the Board Chairman, I hereby inform you all that Mr. Ken Philip Sondai is still the Executive Director of the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration,” the Chairman noted.
That if there are any changes management and staff will be informed by the Board and that all are required to take directives from him.
The Minister (Kabineh Kallon) indicated in a letter that he has suspended the Executive Director until further notice.
He referenced that the suspension of the Executive Director is based on insubordination, a reason which the Board Chairman holds a contrary view of.
His letter indicated that his decision of suspending the Executive Director has been made known to the Chief Minister, Deputy Minister of Transport and Aviation (MTA), the Permanent Secretary MTA, the Chairman and Board of Directors SLMA among others.
It is clear from the SLMA Acts of 2000 that the Minister has no such rights to hire and fire staff, especially an Executive Director that was appointed by His Excellency the President and approved by Parliament.
Besides, Section 4 of the Act states that the governing board of administration is the duly constituted board who has power of control and supervision of the Administration.