The Campaign for Just Mining (CJM) has demanded that government makes public the Jenkins Johnston commission of inquiry report without any delay, stating that the nation is yearning for it.
At a press conference held on Friday at the Sierra Leone News Agency (SLENA), the CJM Chairman Leslie Mboka also demanded that government ensures that the recommendations of the commission are subjected to stakeholder’s consultation prior to implementation.
Mr Mboka revealed that, CJM is worried about the unexplained delay of government in releasing the report of the Jenkins-Johnston commission, adding that, “we further believe that the earlier release of the report will ameliorate the situation”.
CJM Chairman maintained, “our worry and fear stems from the fact that any further delay is a clear recipe for further tensions in the affected mining communities with the continued silence of the government creating room for increased speculation, rumour mongering and provocation”.
It is common knowledge that the people are tired of waiting for the outcome of the report he said and therefore demanded its speedy release.
He pointed out that, the fear of the affected communities and civil society is borne out of the fact that many commissions of inquiry have been set up in the past and huge chunks of tax payers’ money used to support their operations.
However, he disclosed that most of their reports were never produced; where they were produced, they were not made public, nor were the recommendations of these reports implemented, and in circumstances where the reports were produced and implemented they were done so without the participation of the affected communities, or the people in general.
The CJM chairman emphasized that these actions are considered as a complete betrayal of the peoples trust in those administrations.
Leslie Mboka said “we strongly believe that the government that established the commission has a fundamental constitutional and moral responsibility to explain – without waiting for someone to demand – to the people of this country the outcome of the commission’s findings.
He concluded that the swift intervention of government to establish the commission helped to pacify growing tensions that were heading to a full-blown crisis in the district.
The Program Manager of CJM Kumba Bundu said that since the report was handed over to the President they have not heard anything relevant from the government.
She added that her organisation is a coalition of civil society organisations working on mining and environmental issues.
Ms Bundu disclosed that CJM is a platform that advocates for social responsibility, transparency and accountability in the mining and extractive industry, as well as for better living conditions of host mining communities.
It would be recalled that the Jenkins –Johnston commission of inquiry was set up by the government to look into last December’s disturbances in Kono that left two people dead and many injured.