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Who cracks down on lawlessness?

Who cracks down on lawlessness?

On the 27th of May this year, when the President, Ernest Bai Koroma announced the reduction in the price of fuel products by Le 500 from the earlier increase of Le 5,000 per litre and ordered prices of essential commodities to revert to their original rates, little did he know that he was addressing many deaf ears.

It appeared no one was listening to him whilst making his pronouncement.

We say so because we expected that after such presidential order, traders and commercial drivers, especially those plying the city would immediately comply.

Sadly, this was not to be the case; and in the circumstance it is the ordinary people who bear the brunt of the apparent defiance.

Of course, the petroleum dealers went ahead and did as the president ordered by removing the Le 500 from the Le 5,000 per litre.

The traders, on the other hand, especially those who deal in basic food items did not budge. They continue to sell at the ‘normal’ rate and in some cases have even added to their old prices.

The commercial drivers too have followed the footsteps of the traders. Like the callous traders, their action has generated a lot of resentment among commuters especially those residing in the far end of the city. And nothing is being done to decisively address what is becoming a backlash for HE the President.

Indeed, in principle, some commercial drivers seem to accept the reduction in transport fares but have cleverly resorted to running ‘short cuts’ thereby forcing passengers to pay twice or three times for a single journey to and from their business or work place.

This is unacceptable, to say the least!

Critics of the system see the unacceptable behaviour as sabotage. And like we stated earlier, it seems the government is powerless in keeping the traders or lawless drivers under control.

Now we hear that authorities would soon mount a crack down on the lawlessness. But our question is who does the ‘crack down’?

When the president was making his pronouncement on the price reduction, some elements of civil society declared rather voluntarily that they would monitor the price adjustment to ensure that everybody complies with the ‘presidential order’.

It is not clear whether any monitoring is being done to ensue that prices remain as the president directed.

This brings us again to the question of a crack down. Legally, we expect the police to take the lead. But would you trust the police to embark on such a crack down?

We at Sierra Express Media have our reservation about the role of the police in such activity. Simple reason: they are quick to compromise. We say so from past experiences.

We equally do not believe civil society can do a good monitoring job with respect to price control. Most often they pay mere lip service when it comes to national engagements.

So, what would be the way forward?

We suggest that government muster strong political will to enforce its directives for the good of the people by ensuring that law enforcement agencies function the way and manner that would produce positive result.

Anything short of that, those agencies must be brought to book.

No compromise.  The people are suffering in the hands of law breakers.

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