NEWS, ENTER

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Charles Margai Fired! Why?

Abdul Hassan Fackie,
Freetown, Sierra Leone.

The issue of the firing of Mr. Charles Francis Margai (pictured) as Sierra Leone's Attorney General and Minister of Justice, on Wednesday, June 6, just about two months after his appointment to the position, continues to be hotly debated right across the country.

While majority of Sierra Leoneans are not arguing with President Julius Maada Bio for firing Mr. Margai, the question they continue to ask is, why was Mr. Charles Francis Margai fired?

A survey conducted by 40 Acres Canada in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on the issue found out that the large majority of Sierra Leoneans no longer seem to be satisfied with the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone having the exclusive preserved authority to hire and fire. Just like that! With no reason or reasons given for the hiring is the firing.

Most Sierra Leoneans 40 Acres Canada spoke to in Freetown opined that firing somebody without giving reasons for the sacking may engender a lot of different kinds of reactions, most of which are negative.

They further argued that firing someone without giving reasons will essentially put that individual in a very funny situation, as people may conclude that such an individual may have been involved in some criminal activities to warrant such action against him or her.

They demand that whenever a man or woman is fired by the president, out of moral decency, he must tell the people why he decided to sack such an individual, if only to put the minds of the people at rest.

They posit that it  is most unfair to fire an individual and leave the people in limbo, forcing them to give their own reason or reasons as to why he or she was fired. They say most times their own reason or reasons will be that the fired individual may have been up to mischief and so he or she must be got rid of.

Yet another school maintains that since it is the prerogative of the president to hire and fire, he has no obligation to explain to any body or group why he he appoints who he appoints and why fires who he fires.

They stress that if the president in his judgement knows why he appoints someone to a position he equally knows in his judgement why he fires someone.

The overwhelming consensus however is that the president, for political expediency, may take advantage of such sweeping powers to opponent like Mr. Charles Francis Margai, in order to appease him and his supporters for the support they gave him in the presidential run off election, and in the shortest period of time, fire him and leave tongues wagging, not caring a damn that he may have done to his political career.

When I talked to the Minister of Information and Communications, Mr. Mohamed Rado Swarray on the issue, he told 40 Acres Canada that it is the president's prerogative to hire and fire Ministers, and that if he had used that prerogative to appoint Mr. Charles Francis Margai to be Minister he had used the same prerogative to fire him.

Human rights activists say this law is bad as it gives the president the leeway to abuse the rights of appointees without any room for redress. 

They suggested that there is need to review the law so that the people will be accorded the opportunity to know why somebody is fired by the president instead of proffering all sorts of reasons and for ever looking at a sacked appointee as someone who may have been involved in some form of criminal activities.