To the surprise of many yesterday Dr. Christiana Thorpe and Mohamed Bangura were not approved among the first batch of presidential nominees that were vetted and approved for various cabinet, ambassadorial and judicial positions.
Hon. Sheku B.B. Dumbuya Speaker, House of Sierra Leone Parliament while tendering an excuse on behalf of the former National Electoral Commission (NEC) Chairperson and appointed Deputy Minister of Education, Dr. Christiana Thorpe, said Dr. Thorpe had indeed contacted him to communicate that she was out of the country on an international conference and therefore the Speaker craved the indulgence of the Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business, Hon. Ibrahim Bundu to give exception for Dr. Thorpe among the list of ten nominees that were to have been approved.
Prior to her interviewing, it had been speculated that she will turn down her appointment but in her own words, she said that she is always happy to serve in whatever capacity especially to return to her home, ‘an education system that needs renovating.’
However, unlike Dr. Christiana Thorpe, Mohamed Bangura appointed Minister of Information and Communication was conspicuously absent despite he was expected to be among list of first batch of interviewees to be approved.
At his vetting Mohamed Bangura was demoralized over his educational qualification, as the citation in his degree was incorrect and he himself was unable to defend his CV.
Prior to his interview there where protests as to the point that he contested an elections for presidency and thus his appointment was a violation but this was cleared as it was clarified in Parliament that Mohamed Bangura did not only decline to contest the election but the petition against him claiming that he contested a ‘presidential general election’ where misleading according to the Committee on Appointments and the Public Service on the grounds that the law bars people that have contested general elections unlike presidential election.
As to why Mohamed Bangura was not in Parliament, Hon. Claude D.M Kamanda Chief Whip and a member of the Committee on Appointments said that: “there are people that we have interviewed six months ago and we have not included their names for approval because they have personal issues for which they took an excuse.
It does not mean once someone is interviewed his or her name automatically is slated for approval; if they are engaged or have issues they can be deferred.
It does not mean first interview first approval, it can depend on the person’s time table and all the rest of it, candidates can ask for a proper scheduling or postponing. Mohamed Bangura’s approval is on Thursday.”
However, if what was described as one of the most euphoric moments in a Parliament mostly colored and decorated in the red colors of the ruling APC with support and solidarity groups flooded the Well and precinct of Parliament in a dramatic fashion.
There were energetic singing, dancing and cheering for the approval of Dr. Sylvia Blyden Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs who one MP described as the ‘Hilary Clinton’ of Sierra Leone and an epitome of everything good; Hon Alimamy Philip Koroma Ambassador to the Peoples Republic of China, and was branded the initiator of roads under the Agenda for Change; Hon. Cpt. Rtd. Abdul Rahman Kamara Deputy Defense Minister; Monfred Momoh Sesay Justice Court of Appeal, Bai Mammoud Bangura Minister of Youth Affairs and whose followers where the largest by assessment of the turn out; Ahmed Khanou Minister of Sports; Sidi Yayah Tunis Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, he was admired by many MPs that contributed for his role in the fight against the Ebola virus disease when he was the communication officer at NERC, Mammoud Tarawally and Madam Nanette Thomas, Political and Public Affairs, all of whom the Committee adjudge to be ‘suitably qualified.’