Members of Parliament yesterday approved the newly appointed Chief Justice, Hamid Abdulai Cham along with the Minister of Agriculture, Professor Monty P Jones and 6 others to fill vacant public offices.
These nominees were appointed by President Ernest Bai Koroma just before the end of 2015 and they successfully went through the interview conducted by the Committee on Appointment and Public Service on Monday 11 January 2016.
The other six nominees that were approved included Hon Isata Bussoh Kabia and Dr Mohamed Gibril Sesay both Ministers of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Patrick Saidu Conteh, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Justice Alhaji Mohamed Momoh Jah Stevens and Justice Komba Kamanda, both High Court Judges and Mrs Ebun Strasser King, Ambassador to Senegal.
While making their individual contributions during the debate, Members of Parliament expressed disappointment over the move by one of their active and vibrant colleagues from the House of Parliament to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hon Isata B Kabia.
According to Hon. Komba Koedoyoma, Hon Isata was one of the fastest learners in Parliament, stating that with only 3 years in the well the Honourable made tremendous contributions that have reflected positively both in and out of the country.
“She is one of the best debaters in Parliament. Her contributions were not based on partisan politics but on national issues. If I were in her position I would have refused her move out of the Parliament. We would miss you greatly. This house will miss you but be rest assured of our continued support,” he assured.
This statement was also buttressed by the Minority Leader, Hon Dr Bernadette Lahai, who disclosed that Hon. Isata B Kabia was elected as Rapporteur at the Pan African Parliament May 2015 due to her hard work and commitment, a position she expressed doubt upon if Sierra Leone will be able to retain as the competition is very tough.
She however encouraged Hon. Isata to go and occupy the position of her new appointment which, according to the Minority Leader, is a blessing in disguise for them as there are Protocols which the country is yet to ratify but with her presence in the Foreign Affairs Ministry she hopes for the best.
The Minority Leader however threw light on the importance of the offices to be occupied by all the nominees including that of the Chief Justice, explaining that no country will develop without a sound judiciary, agricultural based economy as sustainable development comes from the agricultural sector which will be possible if there is a strong financial sector with effective water supply.
She however encouraged other MPs to speedily approve the nominees as ‘this is a year of difference. Let us make the difference. If Sierra Leone develops everyone will develop, so let’s work hard for the betterment of this nation”.
On his part, Majority Leader, Hon. Ibrahim Bundu noted that “If we use all the promises Dr. Monty Jones highlighted during his interview, millions of jobs are lying out there. We are going to say good bye to unemployment.” He declared that Hon Isata Kabia has made the people of Port Loko proud by representing them diligently in Parliament.
He urged members to approve the nominees without wasting time so that development will start to flourish in their various positions of trust.
According to the Speaker of Parliament, Hon S. B. B. Dumbuya, “a public office is a public trust. If one is to expand on this, I would say all public officers are servants and agents of the people.” He admonished the nominees to go and discharged their duties responsibly as Parliament will hold them accountable if they fail to perform.