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EDITORIALS  

Protecting Honest Civil Servants like Late Gloria in Sierra Leone
By Awareness Times
Oct 28, 2005, 14:45
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Government has finally acceded to the call of Sierra Leoneans for an inquiry into the circumstances leading to the death of Gloria Newman Smart.

Indeed, the call for such by civil society organizations including some of us in the media, stemmed out of the concern that she was unjustly treated during the course of investigations into her alleged act of criminality by certain agencies especially the Anti Corruption Commission. Respected intellectual citizens are asking whether the ACC was acting on its own accord or on the instructions of certain shadow powers within the system.

This is because the ungodly trend initiated by the ACC against the late woman continued with all other agencies that involved in the matter, be it the Office of National Security (ONS), the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Sierra Leone Police and the very overseeing Ministry of Internal Affairs. All of these played roles in investigation processes that were biased, threatening, intimidating and frustrating.

The inquiry therefore will bring to light what may have prompted these actions on a citizen who had sacrificed luxury and an environment with a far better standard and condition of living, for one that is characterized by backwardness and uncertainty in all aspects of life, just because she wanted to contribute her own quota to national development.

Gloria is dead but there are many other honest civil servants who are finding themselves in similar circumstances or who have found themselves being hounded by the unseen mafia in Sierra Leone. Many of the so-called AFRC Collaborators in the Civil Service were actually honest civil servants who had fallen foul of one shadow mafia or the other.

The TRC Report touched on this issue and submissions made by prominent Sierra Leonean civil servants to this Commission indicate that Glorias issue is not an isolated case. The hounding has happened before and will happen again unless the Government implements measures to protect honest civil servants from the likes of the "Don" and his cabal.

This aspect requiring protection of honest civil servants is one that we hope the Inquiry will look into and make recommendations on.

We also implore this Inquiry to summon information technology experts to investigate the origins of those scandalous emails sent to local newspaper editors which Dr. Sylvia Blyden has exposed as having originated from right inside Sierra Leone and in all probability from right under the nose of Andrew Feltons Anti Corruption Commission. Both Concord Times and Awareness Times have already consented to work with any such investigation.

Again, what we will implore this Inquiry is for it to extend its area and scope of investigation to include the Sierra Leone High Commission in London and most specifically, Mrs. Josephine Marrah and Mrs. Karrow Kamara and all other persons who the late Gloria had insisted that they be questioned on what transpired between them in London.

We are particular about Mrs. Marrah because she is gradually becoming a source of embarrassment for our decent compatriots via her clandestine activities because what transpired between her and the late Gloria is what has surfaced again between her and Alhaji Mohamed Swarray Deen, Minister of Mineral Resources.

We are calling for the Kabbah Government who sent Marrah to London to ensure that they bring her right back to Freetown to face this august inquiry if only to maintain the respect and prestige of our government in the eyes of the wider world.

We hope the inquiry will be just in its mandate. We have high regard for the persons that comprise the inquiry and we are sure they will allow justice to prevail.

The African tradition tells us that no sooner the soul of the late Gloria Newman Smart will hear about the setting up of this Inquiry, it will start to rest in peace as it will see the start of the pursuit of ensuring justice over her victimizers.

And whilst we therefore welcome the setting up of this inquiry and wish to congratulate government for such a positive move, we are however still with the opinion that had such a proactive action been taken earlier like in response to her desperate plea for help from President Kabbah in her letter to him (which he ignored!), it could have perhaps saved the life of one of this nations eminent daughters.

The President, as head of the Government, should be able to step in to protect our honest civil servants as they go about doing their work.

We look forward to the inquirys findings within two weeks of its start.


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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