His appointment sparked a series of controversies; his interviewing by the Parliamentary Committee on Appointments and the Public Service even provoked more controversies; however the House of Sierra Leone Parliament has finally laid the matter to rest by approving his nomination which one MP said he strongly ‘resents.’
Hon. Dixon Rogers, Constituency 089, Pujehun District and an SLPP opposition Member of Parliament (MP) was given the chance to speak and made use of it to castigate the new Minister of Information and Communication, Mohamed Bangura. He said if other members of the opposition would have been given the chance, they would have said the same thing.
When asked in an exclusive interview as to what is his contention over the appointment and approval of Mohamed Bangura for the new post, he said: “he lied under oath.”
Hon. Dixon added that: “He (Mohamed Bangura) presented documents that were not his; that were not proper and were falsified. As far as I am concerned lying under oath is perjury.”
He noted that although members on the Appointment Committee are credible people, it can be that there are some aspects of Mohamed Bangura’s CV were not picked up. “Because I picked it up, does not mean the Committee is not credible. They are very honorable people,” he said.
But when taken on the fact that the Minority Leader, Hon. Dr Bernadette Lahai did bring out some of the issues he was raising and why they not considered, the MP said: “we have what we call collective responsibility in a Committee, as long as the Committee has voted on them, a member will not come out again and say I am against it.”
He underlined that he is objecting because he is not part of the Committee but as MP.
On the implications of Mohamed Bangura’s approval, Hon. Rogers stressed that: “Mohamed Bangura lied under oath and I am going to pursue that because that is perjury. You should not lie under oath. I have substantive proofs that he did lie.
He presented two CVs. The first had to do with his degree and he withdrew the certificate; while the second one did not have anything like a university qualification.”
The MP also articulated that his point of argument is not Mohamed’s University qualification which is not prerequisite to be Minister but ‘the fact that he lied as a public servant and a Minister that is my worries.’
Apparently, some thinkers have adduced that Parliament only makes mockery of some of the nominees and themselves by undressing some of their irregularities for the fact that they cannot stop it even when they know it is incorrect.
“I am saying what I ought to say, I am saying that I am against it, I said it in the Well and I voted against it and I am going to challenge it, probably by going to court for perjury,” Hon. Dixon Rogers said adding that he has no objection to the other nominees except Mohamed Bangura which is his contention.
On the issue of him only bringing the issues out from and opposition stand point, the MP said: “everybody has a right to say what they may but as an opposition that is my role to pick something up that the ruling government is not picking up.
I don’t have anything personal against Mohamed Bangura. He has been in opposition from PMDC to UDM; this man does not have integrity that is my point. The man was an opposition party leader wearing APC T-shirt and campaigning for the APC; this is not integrity and that type of man is not supposed to be a minister in any government.”
As to if it is a crime for one to move from one political party to another, Hon. Dixon Rogers said: “I agree but when you are a leader of a political party and abandon the people just like that after they have followed you because of your aims and aspirations and at the end of the day leave them in the wilderness, then you are not credible,” he said, adding that this is not the point but the ‘fact that he lied under oath that’s my contention.’
“Parliament has approved him, fine, it did. I am very much resentful over that. I said it and I am going to pursue it.”
When asked if the action to approve Mohamed Bangura could speak to the fact or perception that Parliament is ‘Rubber-stamped,’ Hon. Dixon Rogers said no.
“Parliament is not rubberstamped, all over the World, UK and elsewhere you have a dissension voice, that is just what I did, that does not mean that Parliament is rubberstamped,” the MP argues.
“I am a media person and I have practiced extensively both locally and internationally as a journalist, if I am approved I will work closely with Parliamentary Committee on Information and Communication to address the problems relating to information and communication in the country. I will work to the best of my ability to make our Parliament, an e-parliament,” Mohamed Bangura said at the Appointment Committee interview prior to his approval.