Paul Kamara is Minister of Youth & Sports
Let me start by making the point that while it goes without saying that Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma (in photo) may not be the best of presidents, I however feel very strongly that he will not make an appointment knowing full well that the particular appointee is legally disqualified for appointment to a public office. The same goes for other presidents around the world.
While it is true that Paul Kamara, courtesy of a flawed judicial process that left many questions unanswered, was wrongfully and maliciously convicted, it is also true that his surprised appointment as Minister of Youth and Sports, couldn’t have been more appropriate.
No need to belabour on the legal bottleneck that seems to be putting an unnecessary hindrance to Paul Kamara’s endorsement by the House of Parliament, because the constitution makes it clear that one is deemed disqualified from becoming a Member of Parliament and therefore a Minister, if he/she had been convicted for offences relating to fraud and dishonesty.
The writings are on the wall, showing visibly that Paul Kamara’s imposed offences and subsequent conviction had nothing absolutely to do with fraud or dishonesty.
In fact, Paul Kamara, apart from being a shrewd and fierce journalist, has a clean track record that is wide open for public scrutiny. It is without blemish, I can vouch.
A content man as he is known by many including yours truly, Paul Kamara was merely awaiting to be appointed to the position of Youth Commissioner of the newly established National Youth Commission, when I am sure to his utmost surprise, he got a bigger appointment.
Paul Kamara’s second appearance before the Committee on Appointments in parliament Thursday 23rd December 22, 2010, is much as important as the House of Parliament itself, because it will make mockery of the members there if they unwisely fail to approve his appointment.
By the singular approval of Paul Kamara’s appointment, members of the House would have made a big attempt at excusing themselves of the general perception that a whole lot of them are there by mistake since as law makers, they lack what it takes to ordinarily interpret the constitution, not to talk about making fruitful contributions in important debates or make good laws.
By rejecting Paul Kamara’s appointment, which am sure will be a crazy thing to do, the members of the said committee on appointments will be telling President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma directly, that he ought to know better.
This is so because like many of us, President Ernest Koroma is quite aware of the legal status of Paul Kamara, viz a viz his undeserving conviction, and therefore could not have appointed him minister when he knows he has to go through parliament for approval and that his so-called conviction would be a deterring factor for his possible rejection.
Apart from that, President Koroma has strings or legal and otherwise advisers whom I am almost certain, perused the names of the new appointees and evaluated their chances for approval, before the latest cabinet reshuffle was even announced. If anything, Paul Kamara’s disqualification to hold such a remarkable position would have been sanctioned right at that level to avoid any embarrassment.
Paul Kamara’s issue is therefore a very controversial one, and I can only entreat the parliamentarians concerned to use their best of judgments and unconditionally endorse his appointment. The ordinary people have already endorsed him overwhelmingly because they are convinced that his appointment is one of the best President Koroma has ever made.
Anything short of an approval by parliament of Paul Karama’s appointment will be a big slap in the faces of President Koroma and his advisers, and will also open the floodgate for an intense media chaos. We’ll write until writing becomes no more a necessity.
By Theophilus Sahr Gbenda
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