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ARTUBITAS Sierra Leoneans are employed to steal!

ARTUBITAS Sierra Leoneans are employed to steal!

ARTUBITAS has been following the new APC government’s rhetoric of setting the minimum wage to Le 500,000 amid a long fight to eradicate ingrained corruption among the materialistically focused citizenry.

From a superficial perspective, one may be tempted to commend the President Koroma-led new APC government for enacting this desirable payment system.

But by giving the move an in-depth look, one would not be far from being correct in speculating that the government doesn’t believe employers will heed to the new salary scale it has set.

By the way it is still hard to tell whether the Le 500,000 minimum wage was sanctioned to uplift the living standard of the employees or meant to dissuade the citizenry from perpetrating corruption.

Obviously if either could be the motive of the government then this writer holds uncountable reservations.

To start with, as far as the employment history of Sierra Leone is concerned, people do not seek employment to diligently work, but to steal – a demeaning crime that has been given the cosmetic name of “corruption”.

I stand to be corrected but there is no Sierra Leonean that can dare to say s/he lives by her/his monthly salary and where possible other attached benefits.

Sometimes when patriotic members of the bloating unemployed population reflect on the ills of corruption, they are influenced to opt for self-employments.

This is because when the take home pay of workers is apportioned among their inescapable expenses – food, clothes, health, and shelter – you stand by the gospel truth that Sierra Leoneans live by a miracle.

And in this style of living-by-magic, everyone has naturally become either a Manager or Manageress of how to make bread and butter by questionable means.

To justify that the lucky few Sierra Leoneans who are gainfully employed go the extra mile to make a living, the classification of “unexplained wealth” serves as a lead for investigators when probing allegations of corruption.

In plenty of ways, the acquisition of “unexplained wealth” has become an accepted norm in the Sierra Leonean setting.

And like the Ghanaian writer, Ayi Kwei Armah, stressed in his 1966 publication “The Beautyful Ones Are Not Born”, citizens who loathe participating in corrupt enterprises are normally considered to be misfits, being cursed or under the spell of supernatural forces.

This makes a mockery of the Government of Sierra Leone and its development partners when they talk of killing corruption overnight.

How much can a vision become vaguer than the Anti-Corruption campaign when the commission’s boss is being paid an enviable monthly salary and those he is assigned to debar from swindling national resources receive a pittance.

Though a certain school of thought claims that the poor salaries of workers could not be blamed as a major cause of incessant corruption within the Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs), much could be inferred that it is unreal for the majority of well paid citizens to indulge in corruption when they know, if caught, it will cost them their employment.

To an end, despite the infinitesimal nature of the newly imposed Le500,000 minimum wage, plenty employers are not willing to offer their employees this scale.

This denial by certain employers to abide by the new minimum wage is akin to refusals by notable institutions to register their employees with the National Social Security Insurance Trust (NASSIT).

It ironic that Sierra Leone successive governments enacts laws but ignore their proper enforcement. Oftentimes, the very ones who make the laws end up being the first to flout them.

What a problem?

By Momoja N. Lappia

Tel: 079-260621

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