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Too many MOUs in President Koroma’s Administration

Too many MOUs in President Koroma’s Administration

The word ‘violence’ is now a frequently used phrase in Sierra Leone that no longer bears any meaning to many Sierra Leoneans.

This is because violence is so frequently applicable in our society that people tend to attach different meanings to its usage.

To be specific, political violence is becoming a common place phenomenon in Sierra Leone. Political violence is usually orchestrated by politicians using disaffected youths to perpetuate it.

There is the commonly held belief that the youths are often induced through the use of drugs, alcohol, or money and the violence they cause is not often commensurate to the inducement they receive from the politicians. More often than not these youths are dropped on the way side after they have accomplished what they have been hired for. This is regardless of the many sensitization programmes that target the very youths.

As a matter of fact, well-meaning Sierra Leoneans have worked tirelessly over the years to contain the tide of violence in society.

Which is why stakeholders in the country have been busy putting together documents, urging parties to a conflict to come together and remove this scourge within society. This was being done with the knowledge that these MoUs will dramatically reduce the incidence of political violence in the country.

On the contrary, however, it has only succeeded in heightened tension ahead of an election or political activity.

The sad aspect of this the MoUs is that each time one is signed it is like one has added salt to injury.

From hindsight, we have signed more MoUs during Ernest Bai Koroma’s first five year term than any government of living memory. It is however unfortunate to note that none of these MoUs has been respected by the parties concerned.

For instance, when leaders of the rival political parties, APC and SLPP, first signed an MoU at State House, following the violent attack on SLPP supporters in the latter’s party head office in April 2009, the truce did not last long as similar attacks took place in Pujehun and Tongofields in the Kenema district, respectively.

Since that period, members of the public have come to regard MoUs as mere pieces of documents only meant for the dustbins as political violence has became the order of the day.

Even the PPRC Code of Conduct, which was designed to regulate the conduct of political parties especially during elections, has remained totally irrelevant as no political party has ever respected the code.

That is why we pity the women of this country who are planning yet another MoU to be signed by the same political parties who will pledge to respect the rights of women during elections.

Like previous MoUs, this one will fall on the same rock, as long as violence remains high on the agenda of these political parties.

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