Sierra Leone’s Bio’s Soja Team Erodes Corporate Governance at NATCOM
“The problem at NATCOM was orchestrated by the President himself, when he used his Executive powers to appoint a Director General and a Deputy Director General, contrary to Law and best practice”, remarked a former Director General at the national Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM).
Since the appointment of the two ex-military officers, Maxwell Hinga Massaquoi and Daniel Bobson Kaitibie as DG and DDG respectively by HE President Julius Maada Bio late last year, NATCOM has witnessed an unprecedented scale of acrimony and animosity that has eroded the governance structure of the Commission, and which has a potential to divert attention from regulatory challenges, and by extension blurring the ICT vision of the New Direction.
The persistent confrontational stance of the DG and his cohort against the Chairman and Board of Commissioners has not only generated strongly worded correspondences from the Board, but has also resulted in the physical use of invectives by the DG and the DDG against a couple of Commissioners including the Chairman and Commissioner, Dr Prince Alex Harding, who doubles as the National Chairman and Leader of the governing SLPP.
In a letter dated 15th March 2019, addressed to the DDG, Daniel Kaitibie, the Board warned that “a repetition of such behaviour will trigger disciplinary action against you”. This overdue warning by an apparently overpowered Board was issued against the backdrop of perpetual defiance and utter disrespect and usurpation of the powers of the Board across a spectrum of issues ranging from unilateral dismissal and recruitment processes, issuance of license to huge endless international travels and procurement expenditure that normally require Board approval. It is also alleged that, a whopping Le 200,000,00 was dished out to Radio Democracy and a further Le 200,000,000 was also dished out to First Lady’s ‘Hands Off Our Girls Campaign rather than closing of leakages
As if their insubordination to the Board is not enough, the DG and DDG have an unpalatable record of insulting, suppressing and intimidating junior staff deemed to be in good rapport with the Chairman and Commissioner. “We have a mission to ensure that Prince Harding is removed from this place at all cost including anyone on his side” they are quoted arrogantly boasting on the corridors of the Commission. It is learnt that their unprofessional attitude and behavior has forced some Directors to resign their positions.
Some SLPP supporters who spoke to this reporter have vowed in the strongest of terms that if the President continues to turn a blind eye to the undignified and disrespectful behaviour of his boys against the Chairman and Leader of the Party, they will have no alternative but take an appropriate action that will not augur well for the Presidency.
It is alleged that the DG and DDG draw their support from the Chief Minister and the Minister of Information and Communication who are bent on undermining the authority of the Chairman for financial kickbacks. To lend credence to the above allegations, our investigative reporter on number of instances has also spotted the Minister of Communications during odd hours in the premises of the commission in the company of the DG and DDG
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