The plan by the government to audit the civil service, withdrawal of the politically appointed diplomats and proceedings in parliament dominate the Tuesday’s edition of Sierra Leonean papers.This week the head of the civil service issued an announcement ordering all employees at Grade 7 to present their academic qualifications as part of efforts to verify them and deploy officials appropriately.
While this has received praises among many who say it will ensure efficiency in governance, others fear it could be a room for targeting political opponents.
The story is captured by the Blade and Calabash newspapers. ‘In the wake of civil service reform… Panic grips civil servants’, screams the Blade, which carries the story as a banner headline.
‘All top civil servants ordered… Produce CV,’ says the Calabash. The Salone Pride, an opposition leaning publication, delved on the issue of sacking of diplomats who were appointed for political
reasons. In the banner headline, the paper asks: ‘Withdrawal of diplomats, is it by order or what?’
The Salone Times newspaper taunts the opposition All People’s Congress Party (APC) in its banner headline: ‘Politics of bad heart…APC turns ‘mumu’ in parliament. Mumu is the local word for dumbness.
The APC, whose 68 MPs returned to parliament only last week after the resolution of a political dispute by ECOWAS, is so far not being seen or heard openly participating in debates on the floor. Many see this as a continuation of their boycott of the government activities, as illustrated by the article.
Another leading story is on the state of the country’s leading miner, Chinese owned Shandong Steel, which is feared to be running into bankruptcy. For the last few weeks there have been queries about the nonpayment of redundancy to former employees.
The Health newspaper carries a story on this under the banner headline: ‘Over payment of redundancy benefits… Shandong Steel confused.’
Other stories of the day are as follows: ‘First Lady joins national cleaning exercise,’ Chinese medical experts lecture on public health issues,’ (The Blade); ‘Water crisis hits Yeliboya,’ (Salone Pride); ‘Investigate proceeds of 709 carat diamond – MP,’ (Salone Times); ‘Mayor Aki-Sawyerr set to rebrand Freetown,’ ‘Customs officials raise Le22billion,’ (Calabash),’ ‘crooked laws must be expunged!’ (The Health).