''All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing'' - Edmund Burke


S I E R R A  H E R A L D

Vol 9 No 6

The tendency sometimes to protect perpetrators for the sake of peace...doesn't help society. Impunity should not be allowed to stand. - Kofi Annan on Waki report

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Shears-Moses Panel Exposes APC...Recommends banning of Musa Tarawallie, Mayor Williams From Holding Public Office

The Shears-Moses Independent Review Panel set up by government in 2009 to look in to the incidence of political violence and intolerance that occurred during the month of March, 2009 has made damning revelation of the involvement of top government functionaries and security personnel in the violent activities.

The report which was presented to government almost two years ago and for which no action has so far been taken recommended among others that the former Resident Minister South, Musa Tarawallie and the Mayor of the Municipality of Freetown, Herbert George Williams be relieved of their posts and barred from holding public office for five years for their role in political violence.

The report also notes that two notorious Police officers- Mohamed Turay alias Yete Yete and Idrissa Kamara alias Leather Boot be relieved of their jobs to serve as a deterrent to others in future. Below are some key recommendations.


1. The electoral laws be reviewed and more powers vested in the Political Parties Registration Commission to penalize parties and individuals involved in political violence and other related political crimes. The Political Parties Registration Act should therefore be amended as a matter of urgency.

2. We recommend that steps be taken for those responsible for the acts of violence in Freetown and Gendema to be relieved of their responsibilities and barred from holding any public office for a period of at least 5 (five) years. The Mayor of Freetown, Herbert George Williams, and the Resident Minister South Musa Tarawallie are being specifically mentioned.

3. Government that, as a matter of urgency, mandate the Law Reform Commission to formulate a Political Violence Act as it did in the case of the Domestic Violence Act. Such legislation should provide for very stringent penalties including a ban on participating directly or indirectly in political activities and holding of public offices.

4. Members of the security forces, who have betrayed the trust put on them to protect the citizens, and found to be unprofessional in their activities, or support violence, should be dismissed from their employment to serve as a deterrent to others in future. In this regard we specifically indicate Mohamed Turay (Yete Yete), Idrissa Kamara (Leather Boot).

5. The Police that remains uncommitted to any political party ideology and act only in consonance with the Political Parties Registration Commission and the National Electoral Commission for deployment in areas where campaigns are organized at all times when elections are pending.

6. We recommend that swift steps be taken to amend the Political Parties Registration Commission Act to provide for a requirement that every political party organize seminars and workshops on Political Tolerance in every constituency at least once each year, failing which a party should not be allowed to field candidates in any constituency where such requirement has not been fulfilled.

7. We recommend a restructuring of the Police Force as it appears there is a lack of co-ordination between the very senior officers. In this case the A.I.G. Operations at the time said he was not notified of the events of the 13th March 2009, until 16th March 2009.

There is dire need for the re-introduction of ranks as Commissioner of Police, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Senior Assistant Commissioner etc. which was one of those phased out by an Inspector-General of Police, Keith Biddle, making this country the only one in Africa without a Commissioner in the Police Force.

A single handed restructure, we think was undesirable and so not reflective of our social structure. This is a root for the lapses in the performance of the security forces (the Police) during such crisis. In furtherance of this, we recommend that there be no further promotion from Chief Superintendent to Assistant Inspector-General until after such restructuring of the force.

The structure of the Police should be founded on the principle of hierarchical subordination, discipline and social obligation, and not on parallel lines and partisan basis.

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©Sierra Herald 2002