Electricity Theft… Leocem MD, 5 Officials Arrested

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Following a joint team inspection raiding, conducted by Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) and Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) have arrested six Leocem officials including the Managing director of the cement factory and five others engaging in an electricity theft.

According to the public relation officer, Success Sei Kamara said when they arrived at the scene two of the officials interrupted them not to enter in the electricity connection area where the EDSA officials discovered two life cables running from Falcon Bridge.

 According to EDSA staff , they discovered a clear tow life cable that runs from source of power supply where one of the cables were not meter and it was believed that LEOCEM has been engaging in an illegal electricity consumption using that line.

“We as ACC cannot tell you how many years, month or days they have be engaging in this ugly situation only EDSA technical officials can able to give clear answer on it and I strongly believe that EDSA  has been losing billions of Leones to that facility alone”. He said.

The managing Director, including the operation officials and four others were brought at the ACC Headquarters for questioning and the four have been release on bail where the two were currently at the criminal investigation department and the will be charge to court for assaulting EDSA and ACC staff.   

Success said such raiding was done because ACC has recently sign an MOU with the Ministry of energy and power on the 6 march 2020 in order to combat the perennial issue of corruption in electricity supply and electricity theft.

Orange SL Provides free Internet to Access Corona Virus Information Sites

BY: FEIMA SESAY

As part of its support in the fight against the current Corona virus, Orange SL has provided a zero rated internet service that will enable customers’ access to tips and information regarding corona virus with its hash-tap “stop the Bush radio, get your fact right for free.”

He added that, with such free internet facility would enhance subscribers to earn accurate information about the virus, by clicking any of the website pages of MOHS:https//health.gov.sl,CDC:https://www.cdc.gov and WHO:https://www.who.int.

Desmond Spain of Orange SL LTD said to  Hon. Miatta Amara and community that the donation should not be associated with politic, instead this is a sadden moment when the world is experiencing a global pandemic that needs social mobilization  with Ministry of Health, CBC, and WHO in embarking on robust sensitization about the virus.

He admonished the constituency to share the link with all social media platform across the country as well as to call 117 for any further direction.

In addition to that, Orange SL has on the 20th March, donated assorted Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Honorable Member of Parliament at Constituency 112-Western Rural, Community health centre.

Hon. Haja Miatta Amara applauded Orange for their judicious intervention, and urged others to follow suit, as a parliamentarian, “they know that, the disease is more dangerous than Ebola.”

Hon. Amara advised Orange to downloading the link and sharing it to all social media groups.

Le 500BN.For Credit Facilities

The Bank of sierra leone has 

Created Le500 Billion Special Credit Facility to Finance the Production, Procurement and Distribution of Essential Goods and Services

 In view of the above, the leadership of the Bank has concluded that putting measures in place to maintain macroeconomic stability in the face of these expected challenges falls within its core mandate. Accordingly, under the chairmanship of the Governor, Professor Kelfala M. Kallon, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank held an emergency meeting on 18th March 2020 to discuss and agree on policy measures that are necessary to soften the potentially adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s economy.

See press release below.

MONETARY POLICY STATEMENT: RESPONSE TO THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF COVID-19

The Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL) is a statutory corporation, whose sole shareholder is the Government of Sierra Leone. It derives its powers and responsibilities from the Bank of Sierra Leone Act, 2019. The promotion and maintenance of macroeconomic stability and supporting “the general economic policy of the Government [Section 5(1)(d)]” are its key mandates.

There is no gainsaying the fact that the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic portends a major global recession. Although one cannot quantify the size of the shock with any precision, it will most likely be very large. This is bound to have huge negative impacts on small open economies like Sierra Leone.

In view of the above, the leadership of the Bank has concluded that putting measures in place to maintain macroeconomic stability in the face of these expected challenges falls within its core mandate. Accordingly, under the chairmanship of the Governor, Professor Kelfala M. Kallon, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank held an emergency meeting on 18th March 2020 to discuss and agree on policy measures that are necessary to soften the potentially adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s economy.

The MPC Decision

Against this background, the MPC unanimously agreed to implement the following measures in order to soften the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s economy:

1. Lower the Monetary Policy Rate by 150 basis points from 16.5 percent to 15 percent.

Bank of Sierra Leone, P.O. Box 30, Siaka Stevens Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone ~ Email: [email protected] ~ Website: www.bsl.gov.sl

Effective Thursday 19th March 2020, the following rates are published for the information of the public:

  • • Monetary Policy Rate is 15.0 percent
  • • Standing Deposits Facility Rate is 12.0 percent
  • • Standing Lending Facility is 19.0 percent

2. Create a Le500 Billion Special Credit Facility to Finance the Production, Procurement and Distribution of Essential Goods and Services.

The MPC agreed for the BSL to create a Special Credit Facility to the tune of Le500 billion to support the production, procurement and distribution of essential goods and services. This will be a concessionary interest-rate Facility that will be channeled through the commercial banks. The Management of the BSL will meet with the Sierra Leone Association of Commercial Bankers (SLACB) on Friday, 20th March 2020 to discuss modalities for accessing this Facility. The public will be informed thereafter.

3. Support to the Private Sector for the Importation of Essential Commodities.

The BSL will provide foreign exchange resources to ensure the importation of essential commodities. The list of commodities that qualify for this support will be published in due course.

4. Liquidity Support to the Banking Sector.

To ease any tightness in liquidity in the financial market, the MPC decided to extend the reserve requirement maintenance period for commercial banks from 14 days to 28 days. This will be complemented by an active participation in the secondary market by the BSL.

Finally, BSL will continue to closely monitor domestic and external developments and stand ready to take all necessary monetary policy measures to promote economic growth and maintain price and financial system stability.

Prof. Kelfala M. Kallon

Governor

Police Testifies in Leema’s Attempted Murder Case

BY FEIMA SESAY

Detective police Inspector Mohamed Kargbo attacked at the Criminal Investigations Department Head Quarters has on Monday 23rd March testified before Magistrate Mark Ngegba in the alleged attempted murder case of the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Lahai Lawrence Leema involving Alie Forster who was shot on his leg by the Security of the Minister and two others.

While testifying at the Pademba Road Magistrate court No2, the accused Alie Sanja Forster in his second appearance in court together with Victor Emmanuel Sesay and Michael Abass Tura were arraigned on 14 counts charges ranging from conspiracy to murder and other related counts charges.

According to the indictment, the police alleged that the accused persons on the 1st February 2020, at No14 Mina Drive Juba Hill Freetown conspired together with other person unknown went to murder the deputy minister and Aiah Fengai.

Inspector Kargbo said in court that he recognized the accused, date and the alleged incident while he was on duty at the CID HQ when he received a called by Superintendent Williams who informed him that the resident of Leema was under attacked.

Upon such information, he together with some police officers was instructed to go to the Lumley Police station which they did.

He said upon their arrival at the Lumley Police station, the then Regional Commander West AIG Sovula instructed them to go to the scene of crime at the resident of the Deputy Minister, Mina Drive Juba Hill.

 He stated while at the scene, the Deputy Minister told them that he was attacked at his house by the accused persons and that in self defense, his security shot the first accused Alie Sanja Forster on his leg and was taken to the emergency hospital.

Inspector Kargbo continued that, on the 11 February 2020, himself and Superintendent Mohamed K. Alieu went to the emergency hospital and obtained statements from the first accused by observing the judges rule, adding that on the 16th February 2020, they obtained statement from second and third accused persons respectively.

He said on 14th March, 2020, he finally charged the accused persons with the offences of conspiracy to murder and other related offences.

The onlooker during a cross examination by one of the defense lawyer, Claudius Campbell Esq. told the court that Leema is one of the complainant  in the matter  and not the police.

He revealed that the shooting was done by the police officer and was never arrested and that the utmost severe damage on the day of the incident was the shooting which took place at the premises of the deputy minister.

During cross examination, he told the court the accused denied the allegations.

Lawyer Rashid Dumbuya Esq. renewed his application for bail on behalf of all the accused persons but his application was rejected by Magistrate Mark Ngegba who presided over the matter and adjourned it to the 30 March 2020 for further hearing.

New IGP Subscribes to Oath  

The newly appointed Inspector General of the Sierra Leone Police, Ambrose Michael Sovula, has today subscribed to the Oath of Office before His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio at a ceremony in Freetown.

Shortly after his swearing-in, the new Police boss thanked the President for bestowing the responsibility on him to serve, saying that with the cooperation of his colleagues they would give their best to the country and change the narrative of the Sierra Leone Police.

He encouraged his colleagues to cooperate with him to deliver service to the admiration of the citizenry and also assured of their commitment and loyalty to the Government and people of Sierra Leone.

In his response, President Bio said that the Police had always played an important role in the governance of any state, noting that the nation depended on them to govern, deliver development and create an ecosystem that was conducive for doing business.

He said that the nation was looking up to him to work with his colleagues to bring discipline and cohesiveness to the Police and encouraged them to perform their statutory mandate, be fair and friendly and remain a “Force for Good”. He also assured of his fullest support to the Police in bringing discipline to the country.

 Pandemic Crisis…

Sierra Leone Suspends Airline Taxis

Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA), in agreement with the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, has extended 24 hours to the period of suspension.

The extension came as a result of several engagements with the Board of Airline Representatives (BAR), the International Community, coupled with numerous concerns from Sierra Leoneans who are currently stranded in other countries not affected by the virus see press statement below.

24-HOUR EXTENSION FOR THE SUSPENSION OF ALL SCHEDULED FLIGHTS TO SIERRA LEONE

Lungi, 21st March 2020: Subsequent to the press release published by the Ministry of Transport and Aviation on Thursday 19th March 2020 on the suspension of all commercial (scheduled) flights to and from the Freetown International Airport (FNA) as a possible safety and security measure in the prevention of Coronavirus, the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA), in agreement with the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, has extended 24 hours to the period of suspension (Saturday 20th March 2020 to Sunday 22nd March 2020).

The extension came as a result of several engagements with the Board of Airline Representatives (BAR), the International Community, coupled with numerous concerns from Sierra Leoneans who are currently stranded in other countries not affected by the virus.

Effective Sunday 22nd March 2020, all scheduled flights to and from the Freetown International Airport (FNA) are hereby suspended until further notice. The suspension will take into effect mid night of the said date.

While the SLCAA notes the possible concerns this might raise in the fight to prevent Coronavirus, the Authority wishes to assure the general public of its full commitment in the fight against the virus. All screening measures will be applied and all the policies that have been instituted by the Government of Sierra Leone will be strictly adhered to.

Safety and Security, our priority

Signed:

Moses Tiffa Baio,

Director-General,

SLCAA.

Africa Society Medicine Capacities Health Personnel on AMR

By Amara Kargbo

Africa Society for Lab Medicine, Ministry of Health and Sanitation with support from Global partners has held two-days Anti-Microbia Resistance (AMR) data collection capacity training, at Radisson Blu hotel in Freetown.

 Edwin Shumba, African Society for Laboratory Medicine, doubles as the AMR programme manager described the training as a means of enhancing partners, and policy makers to enforce decisions on how to combat AMR.

He said it was projected that by 2050, the global economy would have lost more than hundred trillion United States Dollars to AMR, and they are much anticipating that more than ten million people would have perished to AMR.

Facilitator Shumba applauded the commitment of health minister, Dr. Alph T.Wurie for his joint effort with other bodies to collect data that will serve as a strategy for combating AMR. 

The initiative of Africa Society for Lab Laboratory Medicine is operating within fourteen African countries and the Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC).

The training session aims to provide enough digitalized data baseline for Sierra Leone that will be usable as well as to increase awareness about AMR.

Ministry of Information Launches P.Z Chapter Corona Virus  Campaign

By Abu Bakarr Bah.

The Head of Strategic Communications Unit, Ministry of Information and Communications (M.I.C), Abubakarr Joe Sesay, on behalf of the Minister of Information and Communications on Saturday launched  a Corona Virus sensitization campaign for P.Z Chapter. The chapter comprises of Market Chairmen and Chairladies of the P.Z Central Business District (CBD) in Freetown. 

The event which was organized by the Council of Market Chairmen and Chairladies of P.Z  Chapter is aimed at raising public awareness on prevention of the Corona virus which has been declared by the World Health Organization as a global pandemic.

Officially launching the campaign on behalf of the Minister of Information and Communications (M.I.C), Abubakarr Joe Sesay, Head of Strategic Communications Unit, M.I.C, said the Government of Sierra Leone has put in place measures to prevent the outbreak of the Corona virus in Sierra Leone. He said although Sierra Leone has not recorded any case of the virus, Liberia and Guinea are both reported to have recorded cases of the virus. He said, against this backdrop and inorder to prevent Sierra Leone from the pandemic, His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio has invoked some precautionary measures such as the closing of the Country’s Airport, the deployment of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) at the main  boarders of the country, ensuring that people coming from Corona infected countries are quarantined for a period of 14 days, a ban on social and religious gatherings of more than 100 people and the closure of schools and tertiary institutions on the 31st March, 2020.

“Corona virus is not airborne but highly contagious and deadly. As a country we had Ebola and learnt our experience and so the President, as a caring head of State, is putting all these measures in place to prevent the outbreak of the virus” Mr. Sesay reassured the gathering.  He commended the P.Z Council of Market Chairmen and Chairladies for complementing the efforts of the Government. He informed all that the Government has also established “a corona response committee” to sensitise the public on Corona prevention measures and urged the executives of the P.Z chapter to do the sensitization in line with those messages.

Earlier, Mohamed Lamin Dukuray, Chairman of Council of Market Chairmen and Chairladies, said they have come up with  initiatives to complement the work of President Bio and the Government in raising awareness especially among the bessiness community, petty traders and hawkers. He said the coronavirus knows no boundries and should not be politicised. He urged his members to avoid hand shakes, to wash their hands frequently and to avoid large crowds and call 117 if anyone gets high fever, dried cough and difficulty in breathing.

Inspector Francis Tommy, the Local Unit Commander of P.Z, said that the Sierra Leone Police was responsible for protecting  lives and property, adding that their role as SLP in Corona prevention was to enforce the precautionary  measures that had been invoked by the Government. He urged the public to strictly adhere to the  measures as the SLP would be ensuring the full implementation of the Presidential order to prevent the outbreak of corona in Sierra Leone.

Corona Virus…

Britain Reshuffles African Citizens

Britain reducing staff in Sierra Leone: What do they know that we do not know ?

The coronavirus has not hit Sierra Leone yet, but our former colonial masters, Britain, announced today that they are temporarily withdrawing a limited number of staff and their dependents from their High Commission in Freetown.  The reason for the withdrawal, according to the UK’s latest travel advice on Sierra Leone, is “The rapidly changing situation in Sierra Leone. ”

This development has come as a surprise to many Sierra Leoneans for the fact that the coronavirus has still not entered the country yet.   Leone is one of the countries to have successfully kept the world-wide pandemic at bay.

However, whenever these superpowers–Britain and the U.S-  begin removing their staff when there is an approaching crisis, African countries have learnt from experience to be worried, because history has shown that it is often because these countries know something that our African nations do not know. History has proved that because of their highly superior and sophisticated technology , tracking and surveillance  capabilities,  Britain and the U.S.  are able to detect impending situations before the host African nations even become aware of them.

The High Commission is closed today, so no diplomatic staff is available for comment.

Sierra Leone recently stepped up stringent measures to stop the coronavirus from entering.  All schools are closed and international flights to and from the country have been temporarily suspended .

51 Interns Law Students in Law Firms for Training   

By:FodayJalloh
Fifty one interns law students are set out for training at the various law firms in Sierra Leone.

Nickey Spencer Coker, Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Legal Council described the above interns’ law students that they were giving a secular certificate to respect the bench, senior collogues, and clients while practicing the profession.

Secretary Coker adduced that the profession is a decent field, which every legal practitioner needs to honor.

The vice chairperson of legal counsel, Elvis Kargbo equally commended and encouraged that they should demonstrate honesty while carrying out their duties. Also, two others Bandala Duda and other will be serving as barrister after they have served the permanent registrar.  

Parliament Approves New Inspector General of police & Four Others

The Parliament of Sierra Leone has on Friday 20th March 2020 debated and approved with unanimity the Thirteenth Report of its Committee on Appointments and the Public Service, chaired by the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Sidie M. Tunis.

The following presidential nominees were approved by Parliament:

1. Ambrose Michael Sovula, Inspector- General of Police

2. Dr. Bondi Gevao, Executive Chairman, Board of Directors, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

3. Dr. Abdul Jalloh, Member, National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency

4. Mr. Zainu Deen Karim, Member, Board of Directors Sierra Leone Local Agency and

5. Lt. Col. (Rtd) Samuel Erasmus Tucker, Member, National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency

After approval, the Speaker of Parliament, Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu called on the nominees to use their knowledge and experience to do well in their new appointments; adding they were qualified for the positions they had been nominated to by President Bio. He called on the newly approved Police Boss to change public perception and mindset about the police force.

Seconding the motion, the Deputy Leader of Government Business, Hon Mathew S. Nyuma applauded the President for appointing fine Sierra Leoneans to high positions of trust. He referred to Sovula “as a sincere, dedicated and hardworking police officer who has served Sierra Leone to the best of his ability”. He also called on the new IGP to change the narrative regarding the perception of the public on the behaviour of the police.

Hon. Abdul Kargbo of APC praised the personalities of the nominees and said he has no scintilla of doubt on his mind that they were going to perform beyond expectations. He called for total independence and impartial conduct of the police force; whilst recalling how he was recently manhandled by the police. He pleaded with the police to be fair in carrying out their duties and responsibilities.

In his contribution, Hon. Ibrahim Tawa Conteh of SLPP recalled how he was beaten by police officers during the immediate past government. He commended the appointment of the new IGP; adding that he is the best person appointed to serve in that capacity based on his experience and wealth of knowledge.

In his contribution, Hon. Kandeh Yumkella, Leader of NGC called on the new IGP to avoid issues relating to politics and to focus on the transformation of the police. He recognized the efforts of late president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah to building a credible police force to enhance good governance in the country.

Rounding up the debate, the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Chernor Bah commended the Speaker of Parliament for his patience towards upholding the dignity of the House. He applauded the EPA’s appointee and encouraged him to work with the team of EPA officers in moving and shaping the environment for the good of the country; whilst endorsing all the nominees as fit and qualified to serve in high offices of State. On police brutality, recalled an incident when APC MPs were removed from the Well of Parliament; adding they would forgive, they would never forget.

In concluding the debate, the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Sidie M. Tunis applauded the nominees; saying that issues around drug laws and enforcement should be taken very seriously in the interest of the nation. He called on the newly appointed Police Boss to depoliticize the police force; whilst encouraging him to work diligently so as to effectively deliver on his new appointment.

Christ Charismatic Cathedral for All Nations.

             Press Statement

I bring Shalom greetings to my sons and daughters of the great commission, Christ Charismatic Cathedral for All Nations.

   I want to utilize this medium to give you an update on the current situation regarding the shutting down of all edifice Nation-wide. As you all know my stance since that press was released, I had strived harzidously with other men of God to turn down such decision.

  A team of Bishop; Archibald Cole, Arnold Temple, John K. Yambasu, Thomas Wilson, Akintayo Sam Jolly and Julius Laggah met with His Excellency yesterday 21st March, 2020, regarding the statement from the Ministry of social welfare on the ban of religious gatherings including Church services. In the meeting, all the Bishops unanimously expressed their doubt about the authenticity of the social welfare press release not too long after the President had released a statement on restrictions of gathering to not more than 100.

   However, I want to register with dismay that the President of our republic endorsed the ban on the basis of the quick succession of news both Nationally and Internationally and passionately appealed to us to accept the ban as it is until the situation is reviewed. The president tendered his sincere apologies onbehalf of his government for the lack of a prior engagement with religious leaders before the decision was made.

   Notwithstanding, I’m asking on the entire membership of the Christ Charismatic Cathedral to be calmed, composed, and commune with our Almighty God (Yaweh) Via the name of Jesus in our different homes as stated in the book of Isaiah 26:20; come, my people enter thou into thy chambers ( house), and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were a little moment until the indignation(Pestilence/Virus) be overpast.

   I pray thee to inculcate the fresh enthusiasm to worship God Almighty in whatever circumstances, and wherever you need me, I implore you to feel absolute free to contact for a telephone prayers(+23278187791/ +23231029721). As for your offerings and tithing locate the poorest among the poor and most vulnerable in your community and be a blessing on to them as the earth is going through difficult challenge.

   To end I want to assure the president ans his government that the only antidote to Corona -Virus is the precious Blood of Jesus.

Psalm 91 is all yours…utilise it fervently with strong faith.

©Pastor Dr Samuel Deffie

General Overseer

Information Ministry clears the Air

Mohammed Sheriff Did Not Escape From Any Quarantine Home

The head of the Surveillance Team Dr. Squire, has explained that upon receipt of    information being peddled on social media about the purported escape of one Mohammed Sheriff of No.18 Bailey Street, Brookfield, from a quarantine facility having flown in from Italy, he and his team embarked on an immediate investigation to verify the information and take appropriate action.

The facts gathered by the National Emergency Surveillance Team indicate that  Mohammed Sherrif is a Sierra Leonean carrying a Sierra Leonean passport and presently resides at his rented  apartment at No. 18 Bailey street.

According to findings Mohammed Sheriff has never travelled to Italy but rather  entered Sierra Leone from Liberia.

The investigation further show that Mohammed Sherrif meets the self-home quarantine criteria by living in his residence alone since his return from Liberia.

Police personnel have been deployed at the said residence to ensure total compliance.

PRESS RELEASE

The attention of Government has been drawn to several rumours making the rounds on various mediums practically on social media platforms misinforming the public about unconfirmed COVID-19 incidences and other related matters around the country. Such misinformation is aimed at creating unnecessary panic and disorder among citizens.

Government hereby warns all those engaged in practices aimed at creating panic and disorder to desist forthwith or face the full penalty of the law.

In view of the above, Government wishes to inform the general public to go about their normal businesses and adhere to official messages issued by Government through the Ministry of Information and Communications on COVID-19 preparedness and prevention measures.

END

Stakeholders Ends Sensitization

The Honorable Resident Minister, Sierra Leonean Ambassador to the Republic of Guinea, the Police, the RSLAF and the Civil Society Movement have concluded a day sensitisation on the dangers and prevention of dreadful Coronavirus COVID 19 at the Bamoi Luma International market after an hour radio talk show on Kolenten Radio on Sunday.

The reason for what many described as life saving venture by our state and public servants was to increased the awareness of business communities on the global pandemic (COVID 19) and it preventive measures to maintain zero infection in Sierra Leone.

The Resident Minister, Hon. Haja Isata Abdulai Kamara appealed to the people of Bamoi community to comply to the new guiding orders of the Government and the medics adding, Sierra Leone can only remain safe from the global pandemic if only Sierra Leoneans abid to the protective policy promulgated by the President a couple of days ago. Ending, the Resident Minister called on all business men and women to see the fight against Coronavirus as a fight for all and calls for all to put shoulders to the wheel to avert the menace.

Ambassador to the Republic of Guinea, Ambassador Alimamy H. Bangura referred to Okada riders and drivers as carriers of passenger and goods and appealed to them to stop all movement within and across the borders at 8:00pm daily. The Ambassador requested bike riders specifically to take the lead in preventing Kambia District and Sierra Leone by extension from the deadly COVID 19 that is current causing huge damage to the world.

The Local Unit Commander, Chief Superintendent ITZ Tarawali said his role is to enforce state regulations and eventually called on all including commercial bike riders to abide by the rules of the Government and the medics

Upon request made by the umbrella body of Civil Society Organisations operating in the Northwestern District of Kambia and as part of her commitment to public health protection, the Resident Minister Northwest, Haja Isata Abdulai Kamara has donated the sum of Le400,000 to the Civil Society Movement CSM-Kambia for the procurement of three mega phones and datteries to ensure a robust community awareness raising on the dangers and prevention of the deadly Coronavirus.

The Ambassador to the Republic of Guinea, Ambassador Alimamy Hassan Bangura also promised providing same for the petty traders union to support the fight to maintain Zero infection of COVID 19 in Sierra Leone and Kambia by extention.

NCRC Writes Hon. Chief Justice

World Health Organisation (WHO) says Communication is key in the fight against Corona virus. In the midst of the Corona war, NATCOM violates their own Act by fixing Le590 per minute floor tariff on voice call. Native Consortium writes Chief Justice to set a TRIBUNAL.

19th March 2020.

The Hon. Chief Justice of the Republic of Sierra Leone

Law Courts Building,

Siaka Stevens Street,

Freetown.

My Lord Chief Justice,

RE: REQUEST FOR THE SETTING UP OF A TRIBUNAL TO HEAR AN APPEAL CONCERNING A DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN

THE NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (NATCOM) AND SIERRATEL & QCELL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANIES PURSUANT TO SECTION 53(5) AND (6) OF THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT

2006 AS AMENDED.

My Lord, The Native Consortium & Research Center if you could recall is one of the leading Economic Justice Think

Tank with Consumer Protection Bureau that fights for the interest of Consumers. We have filed a ground breaking court action on behalf of the poor Subscribers who are suffering in silence. My Lord, the COVID 19 Virus is one of the

tragic global pandemic in recent history. This letter seeks to protect Sierra Leoneans from exploitation and to give

them access to communication in the face of the Corona Virus.

My Lord, NATCOM issued a letter dated 3rd March 2020, in which the Director-General of the National

Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM) ordered a floor pricing for national mobile voice calls at the rate of Le590 (Five Hundred and Ninety Leones) per minute. In other words, no mobile network operator in Sierra Leone shall sell its tariffs below Le590 (Five Hundred and Ninety Leones) per minute.

In fact in the last paragraph of the referred letter which is attached as ANNEX A herewith, the Director-General of

NATCOM states and I quote; “Any operator that does not abide by the above shall face the full force of the law and

NATCOM shall not hesitate to impose daily fines in addition to the suspending of the MNO’s operating license.” The

letter also states that the effective date for the coming into effect of the floor pricing is 6th March, 2020.

As a Think Tank, we have carefully studied the Telecommunications Act, Act no. 9 of 2006 as amended and it is our submission that section 52 of the said Act does not invest NATCOM with the authority to set a floor price on tariffs but rather a ceiling price which a mobile network operator should not exceed in selling its tariffs to the general public. My Lord, we wrote a letter to NATCOM dated 6th March 2020 titled ‘Floor Price for National Mobile Voice calls’ reminding

NATCOM of the breach of their own Act, and the infringement on our rights as Consumers. It is our conclusion that by

imposing a floor pricing for national mobile voice calls, NATCOM has acted ultra vires the Telecommunications Act,

Act no 9 of 2006. Similarly, we have studied section 36 (b) (22) of the Finance Act, Act no.1 of 2020 and the result of our findings is that the referred section does not invest NATCOM with powers to impose a floor pricing on local voice call.

Qcell and SIERRATEL have expressed disagreement with NATCOM over the latter’s authority to impose a floor pricing on national mobile voice calls. We attach as ANNEX B, the correspondence from one of the MNO’s correspondences

to NATCOM challenging the latter’s authority/legal basis for imposing a floor pricing. We also attach as ANNEX C, a press release in reaction to NATCOM’s letter of 5th March 2020, in which the MNOs continues to express their

disagreements with NATCOM over the latter’s unlawful imposition of a floor pricing on national mobile voice calls. In

that same press release, the Mobile Operator as a law-abiding entity informed us (Consumers) and the general public

that it will nonetheless implement NATCOM’s order.

My Lord, we submit that a careful review of the referred Annexes demonstrates that if a disagreement exists between

NATCOM and two of the MNOs whose tariff is below the Le590 per minute floor tariff, you should step in. My Lord within the spirit of a

free market economy and looking at the current state of global pandemic, public telecommunications operator should

not have agreed with this proposed tariffs and in these circumstances, we respectfully submit that sections 53(5) and

(6) of the Telecommunications Act, 2006 as amended come into force.

Section 53(5) of the Telecommunications Act, Act no. 9 of 2006 as amended provides and we quote;

“When the Commission and the operator fails to reach an agreement on the proposed tariff and any

modification thereto proposed by the Commission, the operator may appeal to a tribunal of three persons

appointed by the Chief Justice.”

Section 53(6) states and we quote;

“The tribunal shall be chaired by a judge of the High Court or a person qualified to be appointed as a judge of

the High Court with an accountant and telecommunications engineer as the other members.’

My Lord, it is against the afore-mentioned background and in fulfillment of your statutory functions set out in the above-mentioned legal provisions that we urgently request that you set up a tribunal to resolve this dispute and a way of appeal against the tariffs proposed by NATCOM which has directly come into force on 6 March 2020. This request is particularly urgent for SIERRATEL and Qcell given the fact that section 53(8) of the referred legislation provides that any operator who fails to lodge an appeal within thirty days after the date of the disagreement referred to in subsection (5) shall be deemed to have abandoned its tariff proposals and accepted the modification proposed by the Commission.

My Lord we have planned a 1 Million man match against NATCOM in 5 Districts but the Consortium has discontinued this nationwide protest because of the Corona and the People of Sierra Leone are now looking up to their Chief Justice for once as an arbiter in a time of the COVID 19 war were Communication plays a key role for preventing and containing the virus.

My Lord in other Countries Governments are reducing communication tariffs on voice and Data. Uganda, Kenya, South

Africa and many other African Countries have temporarily removed the cost of Mobile Money transfer. We have made sufficient case to show that NATCOM acted in excess of the authority invested in it by the said legislation which authorizes NATCOM to set/impose a ceiling beyond which no mobile network operator should sell and not a floor pricing below which no mobile network operator should sell; that the tariffs imposed are unreasonable as well as the fact that the proposed tariffs do not take into consideration accepted accounting guidelines and principles established for the industry as stipulated in the Telecommunications Act, Act no. 9 of 2006. We will appreciate you to call upon Qcell and SIERRATEL to willingly make a case on substantive grounds of appeal as well as the particulars of error once the appeal tribunal is established by your office. My Lord, with every courage of conviction within the spirit

of the very NATCOM law, we believe the substance case is that NATCOM acted ultra-vires in the Telecommunications Act, Act no. 9 of 2006 in imposing a floor pricing on mobile network operations in respect of national voice calls as contained in its letter of 5th March 2020 addressed to all mobile network operators in Sierra Leone.

We further request My Lord that you order our Consumer Protection Bureau as representative of the Consumers and the Mobile Operators to maintain the status quo pending the constitution of the appeal panel by your Office and the conclusion of the appeal by the appeal panel.

My Lord, please be assured of our highest consideration at all times.

Yours Faithfully,

………………………………………

Edmond Abu (Jr)

Executive Director

cc: Secretary to the President for the attention of the President, 

Speaker of Parliament

Hon Minister of Information & Communication

The Director General, NATCOM

CEO ORANGE

CEO AFRICEL

CEO SIERRATEL

CEO QCEL

CEO AFRICELL

PARLIAMENT APPROVES NEW INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE AND FOUR OTHERS

The Parliament of Sierra Leone has on Friday 20th March 2020 debated and approved with unanimity the Thirteenth Report of its Committee on Appointments and the Public Service, chaired by the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Sidie M. Tunis.

The following presidential nominees were approved by Parliament:

1. Ambrose Michael Sovula, Inspector- General of Police

2. Dr. Bondi Gevao, Executive Chairman, Board of Directors, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

3. Dr. Abdul Jalloh, Member, National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency

4. Mr. Zainu Deen Karim, Member, Board of Directors Sierra Leone Local Agency and

5. Lt. Col. (Rtd) Samuel Erasmus Tucker, Member, National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency

After approval, the Speaker of Parliament, Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu called on the nominees to use their knowledge and experience to do well in their new appointments; adding they were qualified for the positions they had been nominated to by President Bio. He called on the newly approved Police Boss to change public perception and mindset about the police force.

Seconding the motion, the Deputy Leader of Government Business, Hon Mathew S. Nyuma applauded the President for appointing fine Sierra Leoneans to high positions of trust. He referred to Sovula “as a sincere, dedicated and hardworking police officer who has served Sierra Leone to the best of his ability”. He also called on the new IGP to change the narrative regarding the perception of the public on the behaviour of the police.

Hon. Abdul Kargbo of APC praised the personalities of the nominees and said he has no scintilla of doubt on his mind that they were going to perform beyond expectations. He called for total independence and impartial conduct of the police force; whilst recalling how he was recently manhandled by the police. He pleaded with the police to be fair in carrying out their duties and responsibilities.

In his contribution, Hon. Ibrahim Tawa Conteh of SLPP recalled how he was beaten by police officers during the immediate past government. He commended the appointment of the new IGP; adding that he is the best person appointed to serve in that capacity based on his experience and wealth of knowledge.

In his contribution, Hon. Kandeh Yumkella, Leader of NGC called on the new IGP to avoid issues relating to politics and to focus on the transformation of the police. He recognized the efforts of late president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah to building a credible police force to enhance good governance in the country.

Rounding up the debate, the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Chernor Bah commended the Speaker of Parliament for his patience towards upholding the dignity of the House. He applauded the EPA’s appointee and encouraged him to work with the team of EPA officers in moving and shaping the environment for the good of the country; whilst endorsing all the nominees as fit and qualified to serve in high offices of State. On police brutality, recalled an incident when APC MPs were removed from the Well of Parliament; adding they would forgive, they would never forget.

In concluding the debate, the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Sidie M. Tunis applauded the nominees; saying that issues around drug laws and enforcement should be taken very seriously in the interest of the nation. He called on the newly appointed Police Boss to depoliticize the police force; whilst encouraging him to work diligently so as to effectively deliver on his new appointment.

ACC Presents over Le485m Recovery Cheque to SLRSA

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The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has presented a cheque of FOUR HUNDRED AND EIGHTY FIVE MILLION, TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY ONE THOUSAND, TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY LEONES (LE 485, 221, 230) to the Management of the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) as revenue recovered from owners of heavy duty machinery, mobile cranes and trucks that had failed or refused to register and/renew their licenses with the SLRSA.

In December 2019, the Management of the SLRSA, through the Deputy Executive Director, Mr. Ibrahim Sannoh, made a report and sought the assistance and support of the Commission to work with them to recover the said fees from owners of heavy machinery/vehicles, mobile cranes and trucks who over the years had failed to duly re-register or renew their licenses while continuing to do business.

Acting upon this complaint and request, the ACC, working with the SLRSA, compiled a list of the owners of this Machinery across the country, proceeded to locate the companies that owned these vehicles, and accordingly verified their data with the SLRSA. As a consequence, the SLRSA was able to calculate the amounts owed totaling SIX HUNDRED AND TEN MILLION LEONES (LE 610,000,000) and the ACC’s Prevention Department accordingly proceeded with modalities to recover same. The Cheque presented represented part of the Money recovered.

Presenting the Cheque to the Executive Director of SLRSA, the Commissioner of the ACC, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq., emphasized that the collaboration with SLRSA was very significant as it has yielded a positive outcome. He added that the recovery process will continue, as many of the defaulting institutions and businesses have expressed willingness to pay the fees and most are in schedule to pay the agreed tranches over a period of six months. He thanked the leadership of the SLRSA for their efforts and commitment and for believing in the ACC to assist them in their efforts.

On his part, the Executive Director of the SLRSA, Mr. David Panda Noah, commended the ACC for doing a fantastic and diligent job with unquestionable result, as was promised. He expressed delight in collaborating with the ACC, and reiterated that such a move was no mistake. Mr. Panda Noah promised that the SLRSA will continue to strengthen its relationship with the Commission and will do everything within their abilities to promote the National Anti-Corruption campaign which is working very well for the collective good in the New Direction.

The brief symbolic handing over event took place at the Conference Room of the ACC, 3 Gloucester Street, Freetown on Monday, 16th March, 2020 with Senior and intermediate staff of both institutions present with the Deputy Commissioner the ACC, Mr. Augustine Foday- Ngobie, chairing the presentation.

OPINION ON CORONAVIRUS FOR  AFRICA 

By Dr Stephen Sevalie, Dr Mohammed Boie Jalloh, Dr Mohamed G Sesay, Prof Osman Sankoh

(We invite experts to join us in writing this paper. If you can contribute, please contact Mallam O privately)

Epidemics have always characterized human existence and have typically caused economic disruption. The Corona virus pandemic that started in Wuhan, China is a living example.

Even though the clinical features such as fever, cough, running nose, headache, general body and joint pains, and difficult breathing are similar to cold or flu and mortality is low, the virus continue to cause serious havoc around the globe. There are three clear problems that must be highlighted in this present ongoing pandemic. First, the virus is new, and we are not sure about its potentials leading to panic reactions; especially when the Ebola epidemic memories are not far away. Secondly, is the economic disruption hitting local economies and the global market? And thirdly, the health systems not ready to deal with a large-scale pandemic; and surge in demand for health services that government must pay for.

The first problem of panic and lack of knowledge about the Corona virus is currently being solved with advancement of science. In record breaking time, the genome of the virus has been identified, the clinical presentation of the disease is known, the route of transmission is known as well as the mortality risk.

The second problem of economic disruption may have several contributing factors. The panic influences human behavior in making economic decisions, producers are less willing to produce. Demand and supply environments become disrupted. Workers become sick and are unable to report for work, government restrictions and quarantines further destroy the economy.

The third problem of weak health system is not limited to low resource countries like Sierra Leone. Most health systems globally are not prepared to deal with large scale epidemics. Sierra Leone does not have the supplies, human resource, infrastructure and equipment to deal with large scale epidemics. This lack of resources for health justifies the worries about an epidemic. It has the potential to overwhelm the health system due to the large number of cases that may arise in a short period of time.

It must be noted however, that Sierra Leone and Africa in general have some intrinsic advantages in containing the COVID 19 pandemic. Looking at those who have been killed by the virus, more than 80% are above 60 years old, no infected child under 5 has been reported dead. And there is low attack rate in individuals below 18 years old.  Only about 0.2 percent of the dead are below 40 (reference).

With Africa’s young population, we think that we need to prepare more for our old people especially those with underlying health conditions.

The young in Africa are already mostly killed by malaria, typhoid, HIV/AIDS and pneumonia. The death of anyone in this group shouldn’t therefore be quickly attributed to the coronavirus. Thus, looking at mortality risk and disease burden does not put Corona at the top of Africa’s priority list. There are many more infectious and non-communicable diseases that continue to be killers among the young productive work force.  We must still treat the infectious and non-communicable diseases we know are the killers of Africa’s young.

Unfortunately, poor Africa and Sierra Leone may have to deal with this situation relying on little help from the outside world. The usual donors and economic giants have been severely hit by the virus and their economies are tumbling.  Therefore, we must capitalize on strategies that are effective, efficient and fit within our limited resources.

Important is to strengthen proper sanitation actions and public communication. The individual must take full responsibility.

The Sierra Leone population fortunately doesn’t smoke heavily as many others in Europe and Asia. That will help us too. This virus attacks the respiratory system, so any of our actions that make it easier for it to destroy us, must be discontinued forthwith.

First we must capitalize on our population structure. Sierra Leone’s population structure, like most African countries, has 40% of our total population under age 15. Thus, it is fair to argue that forty percent of our population belongs to a ground that this disease does not seem to affect very much. Our potentially high risk population of 60+ constitutes at most 6%. And the population between 15 and 60 years are notably low risk of mortality from the outcomes we have seen in other countries.

Further, the weather conditions may be of value and to our advantage. It is believed that the SARS epidemic disappeared during the period summer when temperatures went above 26 degree Celsius (reference). Thus, since the new Corona virus belongs to the same category as SARS it is possible this virus will not survive well in our temperate climate. We should however note that though Australia and The Philippines have higher temperatures, they have been hit by the virus. We are looking forward to understanding the effects in those countries.

What then should we do to deal with COVID 19 in the event there is an outbreak in Sierra Leone?

Our efforts must protect the population and the economy.

Protecting people will involve treating the severely sick in the limited facilities available.

– The mild and asymptomatic does not need to be admitted in hospitals.

– Hand and cough hygiene practices always adhered to by all citizens.

– Self-isolation for all those with mild flu like symptoms.

– Managed movement restrictions may only be considered areas of high intensity infections.

Protecting the economy would involve allowing work and business and internal and external exchange to continue as much as possible without excess risk.

As we develop the article, we intend to consider the vulnerabilities caused by poverty – and perhaps if possible give age-specific morbidity and mortality rates disaggregated by socioeconomic status. Research has shown that the poor sicken and die more from the common infections of our land – thus we may have greater existence of underlying conditions that increase co-morbidities for the poor should the virus strike. And perhaps that could also mean the over 60 greater vulnerability to the disease may also be lower for the poor, given their more weakened health status ( relative to the better off) as they ( the poor) aged.

Also to consider, given settlement patterns in Sierra Leone as well as in much of Africa, and the reliance of the well off on poorer members of society for household chores, there may be more social mixing at intimate distances between the relatively well off, and those who are poorer. This essentially increases the overall vulnerability of every group to the virus should it strike.

We are working on expanding this article with scientific evidence.

For now we wish to be optimistic about Africa and the coronavirus but urge everyone, including our governments, to take the necessary steps to protect ourselves.

Save the Elderly From the Young: Corona and Social Distancing In Our Type of Country

By Mohamed Gibril Sesay and Patrick Hindolo H Walker

 Department of Sociology, FBC

This is an argument for distancing the young from the elderly as a means of preventing high mortalities and morbidities from the CORVID 19 disease caused by the new corona virus, or as it is officially known the SARS-CoV-2. It is also looks at assertions about blanket home or self quarantine, and total national lockdown and argues that these may work for the majority of Sierra Leoneans, who tend to be poor, have ‘hand to mot by day’ livelihoods and reside in crowded homes and communities.

A consensus is building all over the world: the CORVID 19 also called Corona here  is deadlier to two sets of people- the elderly (Over 60 years) and those with underlying conditions or diseases like diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure and respiratory illnesses. We must let this inform decisions we take relating to how the disease is combatted in Sierra Leone- that is, should the disease come here.

Sierra Leone’s population is very young, with about 94%  being below age 60, and little over 80%  being below age 30. Persons above 60 years constitute a little above 5% of the population. Our age structure may spare us from the greater percentages of deaths cause by corvid, than say Italy, where the high mortality rates are attributable to the fact that the country has the largest number of old people in Europe.

Another consensus is that the best way to combat the virus as at now is social distancing- people keeping away from each other to avoid the virus transmits itself through  sneezing or coughing droplets from the sick to infect others.  And social distancing has often been seen as best implemented through lock downs – closing schools, restaurants, and quarantining people at home. These actions are shutting down entire economies, with often dire economic repercussions. China’s economic growth in the first quarter  of 2020 is projected to contract, the first time this has happened since the late 1970s; and there are fears that America may slide into recession and hundreds of jobs are being lost. The decision has been taken, huge economic loss is better than great loss of life. Only an imbecile would argue with that moral logic.

The reasons for the closure of public spaces and work spaces is to make people stay at home, where because of the household patterns,  family structures and living arrangements  in those countries, homes have fewer people and interactions are limited. And as a result,  social distancing is easily achieved in those countries during lockdowns. We are seeing these measures implemented in countries in the grip of the unfolding pandemic- America, Italy, France, Spain and others.

Presently, with the absence of a vaccine or cure, the virus’ reproduction rate, or the number of other persons an infected person could pass the disease to is 2.2. This is very exponential, if not brought below 1. Thus the thinking is that, in the present  absence of a cure for the disease, staying at home would help to flatten the curve- not making large number of people sick at the same time, for should more people get sick at the same time, health systems may be overwhelmed. Therefore, if the rate of infection is more evenly  spread over a longer period, hospitals could cope with the case load. The logic is, this virus, If you cannot beat it, slow it down. It is better for a thousand persons to get sick at different times and are treated than for a thousand persons to get sick in one day and burden health professionals with great moral questions relating to triage: making a decision to treat some people rather all those who are sick, like they say is traumatizing Italian doctors right now.

Added to the social distancing measures implemented in China and western societies are admonitions for hyping up personal hygiene – wash your hands regularly, cough and sneeze into the elbow not palms. Great advise. Hygiene is good, be it in an epidemic or not.

But then let’s look at the social distancing recommendations. Let’s look at the how they say it should be done. Are those ways of achieving social distancing, as implemented in the West and China feasible in our country? How do you do social distancing in country with crowded households,  large extended families, hand to ‘mot’ livelihood systems, ‘hand go, hand kam’ haggling and marketing norms, communal toilets, and multi-generational homes? How? Lockdowns to ensure social distancing could work in countries without the sorts of household and community situations we have in Sierra Leone, but how feasible are they in Sierra Leone? The experts say that for lockdowns to be effective, the lockdown periods usually last for weeks. How could that be done here in a country where, with few exceptions, people don’t have the means to stock supply in homes to take them through such extended periods of not going out? A country with ‘hand to mot’ economies of subsistence occupations, where if you don’t go out in the morning you won’t have the means to eat at noon. How could you stock food a week when you are not even sure of food for the evening? Homes in our countries, particularly so in urban centers, are not crowd-less spaces; and the science also tells us respiratory droplets containing the virus are majorly transmitted through intense social interactions, and sure – in crowded households of the types we have in our country, intense social contact or as we say, ‘rub-skin’ is the norm.

Social distancing is surely a way to go to clamp down on the virus. But it seems as if types of total lock downs and confinements to homes as means of  achieving social distancing in the West may not work here for the overwhelming majority. True, the measures may work for the small number of households of the better off which have very few people. But the big risk is that since most decision makers and professionals at the national level belong to the category of the better off, they may tend to see that which works for them and their households as working for all. More so because, well, these sort of confinement to homes seems to be the emerging scientifically backed commonsensical thing to do in Western Societies and China, and we have a penchant for cognitively scripting these solutions hook, line and sinker, without nuancing them to suit our own situations.

However, the situation, given the differences in our household patterns and family structures, and caring norms may warrant an operationalization of social distancing in ways that work for us. The imperative then is what is it that can be done to achieve the sort of effective social distancing that protect people in Sierra Leone and similar societies from the virus and the disease it causes

Well, it should be more about separating the under 60s from the the over 60s; and those with underlying conditions from those without underlying conditions. Young people without underlying conditions may be hit by the virus, but they tend to recover at faster rates, and sometimes they are so asymptomatic that they don’t in fact know that they have the virus.     And they may spread the virus to others unknowingly.  It is the case then, that infectivity, or the transmission of the virus from host to host comes more from young people to others. Now, if they spread the virus to other young persons without underlying conditions, these other persons may get sick, but they also recover, in many cases even with minimal pharmacological and clinical interventions. However, where these young persons with the disease infect older persons, or younger persons with underlying conditions, these other persons get very sick, take very long time to recover, usually need more intensive and resource gobbling clinical care or die in far more overwhelming numbers. So the real trick then is to make sure that the young without underlying conditions do not infect the old and others with underlying condition. Social distancing  then can be operationalized in ways that make the young live and work at a distance from the old and those with with underlying conditions. And this may not mean locking all of them in their multigenerational and crowded households. For locking them up in multigenerational households and our oven unfenced and densely populated settlements  still put at risk the elderly and those with underlying conditions that are at greater risks of the virus lethality. The aim, then, should be to prevent the young from freely mixing with the old; it is to separate the old from the young. How could this be done?

A number of ways. They include information about the risks posed by mixing of the elderly and the young; it includes preventing mixing of the the young and the old in places of worship and other public areas. But more importantly it includes creating ‘safe spaces and zones for the old in various communities, settlements and and other places. These safe spaces could exist for a considerable time and services provided by agents of the state, communities and organizations who have been vetted as not having the virus. This protects the old, and allows for such activities of the very young as schooling to go on, and for workplaces to remain open, though with heightened awareness of steps to take to protect those places from the virus.

Sure, the possibilities of ‘safe spaces’ for the elderly going awry exist- they could be badly run, it could lead to unbearable psychological and other hardships for the elderly, ( loneliness for instance) and may lead to stigmatization of the elderly- for safe spaces could also be interpreted by our slang loving people as cells or lock ups for the old. However these could be ameliorated by proper management, toll free phone lines communications amongst loved ones, controlled visits to safe spaces by loved ones whilst the quarantine lasts, and robust communications to ensure that positive information is ahead of what we may refer to negative slang curve.

Social distancing should not mean locking down the whole population, the aim is to prevent the disease overwhelming society with sickness, deaths and livelihood meltdown. 

And separating the young without underlying conditions from the old and other young persons with underlying conditions may be the way to go should the virus hit our country. That may help us slow the spread of the virus to the most vulnerable, where its lethality is greatest. If you cannot beat it, slow it down; perchance, soonest, we pray, the thousands of scientist searching for a vaccine that prevents, or drugs that cure corvid would have succeeded, and this global albalahu would pass over us.

*SPEAKING TO THE CORONAVIRUS – 5*

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