Afrobarometer survey exposes ills of MPs


September 16, 2020

By Mohamed M. Sesay

Executive Director,Insatitute for Governance Reforms, Andrew Lavalie

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Afrobarometer, a pan-African, nonpartisan survey research network that provides reliable data on African experiences and evaluations of democracy, governance, and quality of life, has yesterday exposed the ills and deceptive attitudes of elected Members of Parliament towards their electorates, ranging from corruption, disassociation and misrepresentation of their constituents.

The report added that MPs are among the least trusted officials and are widely perceived as corrupt officials, adding that large majorities of respondents representing 79%  thought that MPs are “not very effective” or “not at all effective” at delivering jobs or development to their constituency and also 75% listening to their constituents and representing their needs in Parliament.

The report continues that  7 out of 10 Sierra Leoneans, representing   71% say it is more important to have a government that is accountable to its citizens than to have a government that is not accountable to its citizens, stating that demand for accountable government has increased  by (28%) to (43%)  since 2012.

 The reports further indicated that 26% of Sierra Leoneans responded that MPs don’t listen to their constituents and represent their needs in order to deliver jobs and development for their constituents.

 It further intimated that 48%   of the MPs are doing a poor job of holding the president and government accountable to the people, while (49%) of MPs lack the spirit of making laws for the good of the country.

The survey further revealed that almost eight out of ten of the respondents representing 78% want their MPs to visit their constituencies at least once a year, while only half as many,40% said MPs do visit their constituencies.

‘’MPs are among the least trusted public officials. Only one-third (33%) of Sierra Leoneans say they trust MPs “a lot” or “somewhat,” while 64% say they trust them “just a little” or “not at all” (Figure 5). Eight in 10 citizens (81%) say “all,” “most,” or “some” MPs are corrupt, second only to the police among key officials,’’ the report concludes.