Salone News

President Bio rejects imprest bill

27 November 2019 at 18:41 | 2255 views

From Vickie Remoe’s blog

President Julius Maada Bio (pictured) just did something that will solidify his place as a new kind of leader not only in Sierra Leone but in Africa as a whole.

When the Budget for the 2020 Financial Year was passed in Parliament some 10 days ago it included a carte blanche no questions asked imprest that would have allowed the President, the Vice President, and the Speaker of the House of Parliament to spend however much they wanted for travel and expenses without any oversight. It was like Bill Gates giving you the pin to his debit card and telling you to knock yourself out.

While there were civil society groups, who challenged the imprest and citizens did the same on social media, the fact remains that lawmakers had passed this budget. How many people in Sierra Leone would turn down free money? Name one…….. I’ll I’ll wait. Some people are going to want to believe that they were the once that pressured the president. I would say not. There wasn’t even that much outcry. I wasn’t shocked nor surprised by the imprest because while it was never in a budget before previous presidents have experienced what Parliament was legislating. All it seemed they were doing by including it to the budget was formalization.

Today President Bio, through the Office of the President, has sent a letter to the Clerk of Parliament rejecting this free-spending as a waste of public funds.

The President of Sierra Leone has asked the Parliament to create a budget ceiling for how much he and the Vice President can spend on travel.

As I type this, my hands are shaking because I can’t believe it. An African President who says no to Parliament when they give him the green light to spend with reckless abandon?

Where does this happen?

I guess it happens in Sierra Leone! President Bio just set the bar for other leaders, so please tell them to take note.