From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, As SLPP Rejoices over Sacking of Inspector General…“Acha was not Sacked but Retired” …says I.B Kargbo
By Aruna Turay
Aug 24, 2010, 17:16

Even as opposition SLPP members and supporters nationwide were jubilating at the removal of Sierra Leone’s Police Boss Brima Acha Kamara whom many SLPPers abhor for his utterances that followed attacks on their party offices, the APC Government Spokesman and Minister of Information and Communication has on Monday 23rd August 2010 in a television broadcast stated that Acha Kamara was not unduly sacked over any wrongdoing but was merely retired.

Hon. Alhaji I.B. Kargbo was responding to questions asked about the leadership change in the hierarchy of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP). According to the Government Spokesman, as any other worker could have it, Brima Acha Kamara is liable to reach his retirement age. He said after a very successful service as Inspector General of Police (IGP), Acha Kamara has now reached his retirement age and deserves a very peaceful retirement rest. He went on stating that as a Government, they realized that Brima Acha Kamara has perfectly served his country and had also done a tremendous job in transforming the SLP to a force for good, adding that he still deserves a worthy appointment such as consultant in any institution, among others.

“Acha Kamara was never sacked but retired” said the minister over and over again.

In a related development, during an exclusive interview with an Assistant Inspector General of Police [AIG] on Monday 23rd August 2010, who prefers anonymity, Awareness Times was told that the name of the outgoing Inspector General (IG) of the Sierra Leone Police Brima Acha Kamara, would always be remembered and lifted high in the SLP for what he described as his innovative strategies in transforming the SLP from its former dismal state to what it is today.

The AIG revealed that although Acha was now going, his name and good works within the force would never fade out in the minds of police officers who mean well for the betterment of Sierra Leone. He said the outgone IG has been very dedicated to his official duties and firm in his decisions to transform the force for the better, amongst others. According to the AIG, due to his hard work, dedication, political independence, no-nonsense stance in operating the police force, several unpatriotic police personnel developed grudge against him. However, he pointed out that it was as a result of his commitment and diligence that the ex-IG was recommended to serve Sierra Leone by the British-born Inspector General of Police, Mr. Keith Biddle who was contracted by the Government of Sierra Leone to transform the SLP and whom it was who had opined that of all the officers then in the Police Force, including the then Deputy Inspector General Kandeh Bangura, that only Acha Kamara was the best suited to take over from him.

The AIG furthered that Acha Kamara was, as a result of such confidence reposed in him, to become the first Sierra Leone Police IG to serve the country after the decade long rebel civil war and that it was not an easy task to take over and maintain the positive reformation drive of the British born Keith Biddle who handed over to him.

“Additionally, Acha Kamara during his tenure of office, transformed the SLP to its present nomenclature ‘Force for Good’, relieved over one hundred police personnel for irresponsible attitude towards their official duties, amongst others” cited the AIG, adding that Acha Kamara has demonstrated his political, religious and tribal independence while running the force. This he said is the key secret behind Acha Kamara being the longest serving police IG who served two different governments in that capacity.

It could be recalled that during the campaign period for the 2007elections, the Ex-IG was accused by both ruling SLPP and opposition APC for being supportive to either of the two political parties but this was just to demonstrate how politically independent the IG really was.

“The position of Inspector General is a political appointment and if one fails to dance to the tune of his appointer, he would definitely be shown the exit door” said Dr. Morlai Conteh, a political analyst, yesterday in Freetown. Conteh also stated that Acha Kamara is among the world’s top Inspector Generals of police to have received several international awards for their good service as IGPs, adding that the last police promotion demonstrated the Ex-IG’s consultative management in the SLP. He said this was the first in the history of the Police for all AIGs, LUCs, Regional Commanders and other senior  police officers to be consulted and asked to nominate personnel under their command that were eligible for promotion to senior ranks.

“For this and other reasons, officers would always be grateful to Ex-IG Brima Acha Kamara” said one of the newly promoted Inspectors of Police, Inspector Musa at Police Headquarters yesterday.

Meanwhile, the opposition SLPP members have not failed to register their happiness at the removal of Acha Kamara as Head of the Police Force. Although he was appointed as IGP by the erstwhile SLPP Government, the party has never forgiven him for his utterances in the wake of two violent attacks on their Party headquarters. Following the attack of September 17, 2007, he told the BBC that the Opposition headquarters was attacked by opposition members themselves. In the wake of the alleged Raping of female opposition supporters, he remarked that if raping took place, it could have been in premises outside the party offices belonging to senior SLPP members.

However, SLPP supporters have also expressed apprehension over Francis Munu, the new man put in charge whom many believe to belong to the old school order of the late Police Chief James Bambay Kamara as well as being extremely partisan in favour of the ruling APC headed by President Koroma.

“To be frank, despite our abhorrence for his negative public comments against us, I would have preferred Acha Kamara during 2012 Elections as Sierra Leone Police Boss than to have Francis Munu,” lamented one of the party’s National Executive Trustees as he shook his head in sorrow.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.