In their position paper to the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC), all the 149 Paramount Chiefs in the Republic of Sierra Leone have unanimously recommended that the twelve Paramount Chief Members of Parliament vacate the House of Parliament and are demanding for the establishment of a House of Chiefs.
According to the Paramount Chief Member of Parliament for Bonthe District, Hon. PC Alex Kaipumu, their recommendation is in line with the recommendation of one of the architects of the Sierra Leone Constitution, Peter Tucker, and is geared towards depoliticizing the institution of Paramount Chieftaincy and enhancing the political neutrality of Paramount Chiefs.
Hon. PC Kaipumu was speaking yesterday on the Radio Democracy during the Good Morning Salone Programme. He furthered that they reached the decision to forward such a recommendation to the CRC after a series of nationwide consultative and sensitization meetings with stakeholders, noting that they have never been able to create the required impact in Parliament because of their infinitesimal number.
PC Kaipumu pointed out that their drive to quit Parliament and establish a House of Chiefs is to empower them make sound decision in the best interest of national development.
He stressed that as Paramount Chiefs, they are supposed to maintain maximum political neutrality but that their presence in the House of Parliament has been causing many people to be questioning their political neutrality, making it very necessary for them to have their own House of Chiefs as in other countries.
It is no secret that some Paramount Chiefs have been politically marginalized and victimized due to their suspected political belonging and their suspected meddling into national politics has the tendency to create chaos in their chiefdoms.
Some Paramount Chiefs have been openly accused of using their authority to influence general elections in their chiefdoms by openly identifying themselves with certain political parties even though they are supposed to provide a level playing field for all political parties by maintaining maximum neutrality.
Besides, the battle involved in the election of PC MPs to represent districts tend to be undermining the unity among the Paramount Chiefs but the creation of a House of Chiefs for all Paramount Chiefs can foster unity among the Paramount Chiefs and give them a better platform to add their voices to salient national issues.
If the House of Chiefs is established, there is also the need for that house to be accorded a highly recognizable status as the Paramount Chiefs, like the MPs, are elected representatives of the people who own the political power in any democracy.