After stern opposition of the Welfare Bill by Hon. Alpha Amadu Bah, The Bill entitled, The Parliament Act, 2023 stands withdrawn after a motion was moved by the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Segepoh Solomon Thomas and seconded by the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Mathew Sahr Nyuma, on Thursday 06/04/2023.

It was a private member’s Bill piloted by Hon. Musa Fofanah with the view of harmonizing laws that are dealing with the welfare of Members of Parliament.

The bill was aimed to regulate the formation of a parliamentary committee, to regulate the administration and administrative structure of the parliament, to regulate the formation of a parliamentary unit, to regulate the salaries and other benefits of parliamentarians and other employees and to take care of other related matters.

Before the repeal of the aforementioned Bill, the Clerk of Parliament, Hon. Paran Umar Tarawally said that the purpose of the bill is to codify the laws of 2003 into one document, which is far from being a new law.

Hon Musa Fofanah, who presented the Honorable Private Member’s Bill, acknowledged the accumulated achievements of the current parliament in promoting good governance and democracy, as well as its representation in international parliamentary forums and the organization of international conferences.

He further said that the bill is about codifying existing laws into a single document and not about introducing new laws.

Participating in the debate discussion, Hon. Quintin Sallia-Konneh said he will contribute the debate with mixed feelings because six MPs have died due to lack of good medical services. Supporting the bill, he said that not much more is being asked for MPs, some of whom are currently seriously ill, than good health and other benefits.

Hon Dr. Umpha G. Koroma pointed out that the bill was more for the leadership of the House, questioned its timing and said it was more about the leadership and staff of the House and less about the members of the House.

The Honorable Chairman of the Committee on Finance, Francis Amara Kai-Samba supported the bill stating that it is designed to maximize the welfare of MPs and staff. He also said that the bill is timely and does not contain new laws.

Honorable Alpha Amadu Bah vehemently opposed the bill, saying the lives of the six dead MPs were not more important than the hundreds of ordinary Sierra Leoneans who died due to lack of good medical services.

Honorable Titus Kamara said he is currently ill and supports the passage of the bill.

Honorable Ibrahim Tawa Conteh supported the bill and said that most of the MPs who led the campaigns for the welfare bill were opposition MPs.

Honorable Dr. Markmoud Kalokoh said his role is to represent the group and not to maximize the welfare of the MPs themselves.

Leader of government bisiness, Hon. Mathew Sahr Nyuma was disappointed with MPs who called the gallery showing great hypocrisy to oppose the welfare bill. He also reminded that he protected the welfare needs of MPs and considers that the behavior of the opponents of the bill violates the value of the parliament, the officials and the leadership of the parliament.

The Speaker of the Parliament of Sierra Leone, expressed shock and dismay at the unfathomable political hypocrisy. Hon Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu remembered how on countless occasions parliamentarians visited his chambers and pleaded for the improvement of their welfare and service conditions.