Why pay ACC Commissioner $16500 salary?

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Joseph Kamara – Anti Corruption Commissioner

The President’s Office on April 5th submitted a document for parliamentary approval whereby, the current Anti Corruption Commissioner  Joseph Kamara would earn ‘for basic salary and allowances Le. 71,000,000 ($16500) and net salary of Le.48m ($11200). A source at ACC suggests that this staggering amount is what the former Special Court Prosecutor received as salary while working at the United Nations.

With 70% of Sierra Leone’s civil workforce earning less than Le. 1,000,000 ($232) a month can the government afford to pay one individual such a wage?

Josie Kamara is an excellent lawyer with over a decade of legal experience. Since he took over the ACC leadership many more cases have been brought to court, and I do believe that he will continue to perform and deliver. I also realize that a lawyer of his caliber in the private sector or living in the US would probably be earning a 6 figure salary. But this is a government job…

It remains to be shown why he deserves a larger salary than every other civil servant in the country at a time when government coffers have dried up with hugh expenditure on infrastructure and roads projects. For example, the Goderich Road has come to a standstill because disbursements have not been made to Senegalese owned CSE to continue the project.

A senior level civil servant with over 24 years experience at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Freetown, receives $200/month in salary. Just because the UN paid the current commissioner $17000/month does not mean that the government of Salone must honor that salary.

Does the civil service not have a pay scale? Can the ACC commissioner not be paid as the scale denotes? Or if that amount is too small perhaps the government needs to then invest in a proper salary structure for all employees. If we pay the commissioner this salary must we then commit to pay every other commissioner this much? How sustainable is this model?

I did some research and found that Kenya’s Anti Corruption Commissioner earns a whopping $32,000 in salary and allowances. But Kenya’s GDP is $29.38 billion while Sierra Leone has a GDP of  just $1.94 billion (source: World Bank est. 2009)

While i respect the work of the Anti Corruption Commission, and believe people need be paid a living wage, I don’t think that the government should pay one person such a heavy salary while teachers and other unionized workers have to live on peanuts.

  • Anonymous