What is happening at Sierra Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA) has got tongues waggling as to the messy situation that the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Kabineh Kallon has created in the Administration.
Maritime Administration is one of the autonomous institutions created by the SLPP Govt of former President Kabbah, but it seems as if with the SLPP Government of President Bio this institution has become a shadow of itself.
One may wonder why is it that Maritime Administration is in a turbulent state since the government of President Bio came to power some two years ago.
Despite the fact that most institutions in the country lost their independence status under the last administration as a result of complete politicization of those institutions, people expected that the Government of President Bio with his New Direction agenda should give some of these institutions their independence status.
Having a Minister of Transport and Aviation who is very clueless about management and administration especially in the transport sector in the country is one that is less to be desired and the President needs to take urgent action to come up with better person in the Ministry. It is believed that Kabineh Kallon is unable to do anything and as such his Deputy Sadiq Sillah is the one that is almost always operating as the Minister. This deputy minister is believed to have forced a relative of his who is unqualified to serve as the Human Resources Officer of SLMA.
Minister Kabineh Kallon is one of the Minister who will take five hours to answer to one question on a public media because he simply those not know how to talk and respond to simple media quarries. The last time he was on 98.1 to respond to on the issues of buses, he ended up exposing the government if not for the intervention of the then Chairman of National Commission for Privatization now the Deputy Attorney General. Someone close to the Ministry of Transport and Aviation jokingly said that Kabineh Kalloh does not even know how to talk as he puts it casually.
More importantly, a minister that doesn’t understand the laws is not fit to be Minister. Section 2 of the SLMA Act No 11 of 2000 clearly spells out the independence of Maritime Administration that can sue and be sued to court. Any Minister of Transport should know that he has no supervisory role over SLMA because it has a functional board that is mandated with a supervisory function and governing powers. By interfering into the affair of the administration, the Minister would have been deemed as acting untoward and therefore should be regarded as a lawless Minister.
Moreover, the Minister has the temerity without resort to the Board to suspend the Executive Director and then goes about boasting about it to journalists that he (Kabineh Kallon) will ensure that the young Executive Director does not return. What the Minister did doesn’t only undermine the Board but also a blatant abuse of office pursuant to the ACC Act of 2008.
Finally, it is very clear that the reason for the rift at Maritime is nothing other than corruption. Sources at Maritime said that the Minister wants the Executive Director to do things that are corrupt and that the young man having a long way to go is refusing to do such. If the Minister so believed that the Executive Director is corrupt why not give the evidence to the Anti-graft institution that has been watching that administration and people who are of interest to the anti-graft agencies.
It is believed that President Julius Maada Bio has been involved in the issue and has got the Vice President, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh to investigate the matter.
I am sure that this investigation will not find Minister Kabineh Kallon free of abuse of office, lawlessness and undue interference into the affair of the administration and therefore, he (Kabinneh Kallon) must be shown the exit door.