The Statistician General of Statistics Sierra Leone, Professor Lawrence Kamara has been temporarily relieved of his duty for allegedly marginalizing North-Westerners at Statistics Sierra Leone.
The Professor’s suspension letter was sent to him on March 26 by the Deputy Minister 1 of Finance and Economic Development, Dr. Richard Konteh. The letter informed him of the decision of the Statistics Council in a meeting of Wednesday 25th March after an extensive investigation of a report presented to the council.
The letter urged him that “It is therefore the decision of council that you step aside with immediate effect to allow the sub- committee carry out a thorough investigation and submit a report to council within the shortest possible time”
It further went ahead to tell him “This means that you will not be performing your duties as Statistician- General until the issue is resolved” but he was also told that “Please be informed that the sub-committee will call upon you whenever necessary to assist with the investigations”.
The cause of his suspension was a letter from a group of people calling themselves anonymous observers and Statistics stakeholders written to the chairman and all members of Statistics Sierra Leone’s Council dated March 18, 2009. The subject was continued marginalization of North-Westerners at Statistics by Mende Statististician Generals-Bob Kandeh, John Pessima and now Lawrence Kamara.
The group alleged that despite the desire to provide a level playing field for all qualified Sierra Leoneans regardless of sex and tribe, marginalization of Northerners continued unchecked in the areas of the appointment of Directors where no North- Westerners were appointed but all South- Easterners.
He was also accused of allegedly appointing senior statisticians from the Mende tribe and also the resource allocation was only done in Moyamba, Pujehun and Kailahun in the South- Eastern part of the country but when it came to allocating for the Northern Districts “mistakes” were made. Professor Kamara was also accused of allegedly providing overseas travel frequently for South- Easterners and newly employed young women.
The anonymous observers said despite their exemplary experiences coupled with their post graduate degrees, the South-Eastern directors were favored due to their origin. Efforts over the weekend to reach Professor Kamara on mobile number-076624876 proved futile but sources at Statistics disclosed to Awoko that all appointments were approved by the Statistics Sierra Leone Council and that the alleged Directors were even met on their seats.