Former President Koroma Again Leads ECOWAS Observation Mission

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 Former President Koroma Again Leads ECOWAS Observation Mission

Sierra Leone Office of the Former President, H.E. Ernest Bai Koroma

Press Release

Former President Koroma To Lead The ECOWAS Observation Mission To The Presidential Election In TOGO.

Freetown –19th Febraury, 2020 – The President of the ECOWAS Commission, His ExcellencyJean –ClaudeKassiBrou, has requested Sierra Leone’s distinguished statesman, former president Ernest Koroma, to lead the ECOWAS Observation Missionto the Presidential Electionin Togo scheduled to take place on 22ndFebruary 2020.

Extending the invitation to former President Koroma, Mr. Brousaid that the decision for President Koroma to lead the Mission was for the Commission to benefit from his rich experience, diplomatic skills and leadership demonstrated over the years.

This invitation follows the former president’s leadership of a successful forty member African Union Election Observation Mission in Namibia.

This Mission comprises fifty observers drawn from among experts from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Member States, ECOWAS Ambassadors accredited to ECOWAS and based in Abuja, Members of the ECOWAS Court of Justice, Members of the ECOWAS Parliament, representatives of the electoral commissions of Member States, civil society organizations, media and other experts from the region.

In line with the provisions of Article 14 of the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, the objectives of this Mission include: (a) to  engage all key stakeholders to engender consensus for peaceful election and acceptance of the outcome thereof; (b) Establish co -operation  links with Non – Governmental Organisations  (NGO’s) and other election observer teams to build synergy and work together in the overall interest of the country.

During this Mission, President Koroma will therefore hold consultations with the various stakeholders including government officials, members of the electoral commission, political parties, civil societies, media, members of the diplomatic corps and other international observer groups.

President Koroma departs Freetowntoday 19thand returns on 25thFebruary, 2020.

Orange SL Reaches Out to Schools

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BY FEIMA SESAY

Orange Mobile Company SL Ltd in partnership with ST Foundation on Wednesday 19 February 2020 at the Annie Walsh Memorial Secondary School Hall launches the Super Coder Scratch Programme as a way to support the Governments Free Quality Education Agenda.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer Orange SL Madam Aminata Kane Njiaye    said  she was excited to be part of the launch to give the children the super coder as a  tool  to achieve their ambition

She revealed that Orange has a very high ambition for them and.

 therefore encouraged  the children to make the most out  of the super coder package Orange SL is offering them, adding that training and teaching the pupils  about the Code is key to their future  and that  will enable them compete  with any kids in the world that knows how to code.

Madam Kane Urged the children to appreciate and make good use of what Orange, noting that they are very passionate about it and further thanked ST Foundation for partnering with them to ensure the success of the Super Coders Scratch.

She said they should not carless about the opportunity as they will be the one to help other young ladies in the future, adding that as it is their duty when taught to help others.

The Principal of Annie Walsh Memorial School Mrs. Antoinette Fortune in her welcome address commends Orange SL and ST Foundation for their venture and therefore urged the children to make good use of the opportunity.

Mohamed Dumbuya Director of ST Foundation in his contribution applauded Orange for their support and Commended the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary School Education for providing them a duty free concession through the Ministry of Finance for the Container of items they recently received.

He added that, the ST Foundation-Bridge the Digital Divide- Sierra Leone (BDD-SL) the leading digital transformer  in private sector and Orange SL the leading Telecommunications Company in Sierra Leone signed a partnership agreement in January 2019 with the scope  of launching and implementing the Super Coder Scratch Training project in schools in line with the Governments Free Quality Education Campaign.

He said after a thorough background check by Orange SL on ST Foundation activities and achievements, Orange concluded that partnering with their foundation will be the best idea for the successful and smooth implementation of Orange Super Coder Scratch program.

Director Dumbuya added that, the Super Coder project is an introductory ICT training Program for pupils within the age of 12-18 years and said they hope it will be part of the ICT curriculum in School Nationwide in near future which he said is now.

He continues the Scratch is a computer programming language that is easy for beginner to use, adding that it is made by joining together colored blocks using the mouse, and that with scratch  he said one can make his/her own interactive stories, Animations, Games, Music’s and Art.

He stated further that, the union marriage they are enjoying now was created by UNICEF Sierra Leone, by introducing the two parties and bring them together

 to  play                         

 their respective parts to ensure that they contribute to the Free Quality Education Programme.

He noted also that partnership is key and a way to go in this new dispensation in furthering growth and development in the Educational sector and that they have providing ICT education for schools and Higher learning Institutions in Sierra Leone for the past 10 years and that within this period of operations over 145,000 Sierra Leonean have benefited.

He however assured Orange SL and the pupils of given them the Unmatched Experience in the world of ICT Programs through Super Coding.

The Super Coder Scratch Programme was officially launched by the President of the Parliamentary Female Caucus Hon. Veronica Kadie Sesay who in a brief statement Commend Orange SL and ST Foundation for bringing such a brilliant project to schools across the country as support to the Government Free Quality Education Agenda.

He however urged the pupils to make good use of the opportunity and proved to the world that they are women of substance and women of circumstance. She added that women are the best security and should not be left at the back but to work with the men side by side.

Desmond Spain of Orange SL presented their five key projects in the Free Quality Agenda as Support to Government.

Whiles he was highlighting the projects said the first key project is the Menstrual Hygiene Pack for school girls between the ages of 12-18 years as a way of addressing the issue in 100 schools for the next five years by distributing and sensitizing pupils on menstrual hygiene health.

The other is the Inter-Secondary School Quiz  and Debating Competitions. He said theirs is totally different from what use to happen and what is currently happening as he said they want to take it to another level where they will introduce creative innovation and entrepreneurship.

He said the middle management of every person in the world is responsible for boosting the economy in the country as Government cannot do everything and the debates is for 100 schools, 20 schools every year over the period of five years, adding that on the 3rd March 2020 the competition will start in the Western Area Region which he said will be held at the British Council and will be a 15 days exercise.

He said the winning school for every year will be gifted with a ICT Lab fully completed and equipped.

The third program he said is the Solar Kits for children in schools in the Rural Area as people in the provinces are not enjoying electricity so therefore said Orange will be providing 1,000 solar packs for 1,000 school schools in the Rural Area, adding that this year they will starts with 250 schools.

The fourth one is Open Class Room for 500 Teachers with more than 300 free certifying digital courses, as he said so many teachers in schools do not have time to graduate in terms of their carrier and are spending enough time in school to make sure that pupils learn a lot.

Desmond added that Orange want to bring University to the door steps of teachers by accessing courses on internet and the last is the Super Coding Programme for schools.

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SLFA Judicial  Investigates Match-Fixing    

The FIFA chief member Associations Officer and Head of Department for   Africa and Carribean,Veron Mosego-Ombo has endorsed the newly-formed independent  bodies approved in the recent  SLFA  congress held in Kenema city

According to   

 a letter dated 18th February 2020 to SLFA General Secretary, FIFA’s, Veron Mosengo-Omba   endorsed the SLFA new body to carry out investigations on matters relating to Integrity.

 The letter reads………..

“We agree that these new organs are now the ones that have the competence to investigate such matters at local level“

 Mosengo-Omba further added, “rest assured that we are aware of the recommendations of the FIFA Task Force for Sierra Leone and that these have been scrupulously followed“

Former ACC Prosecutor and Secretary to the FIFA-Sierra Leone match fixing investigative committee Drucil Taylor is the Chairman of the newly-elected SLFA Ethics Committee. All investigations will be communicated to FIFA.

President Bio Takes Centre Stage at Mining Indaba

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The sierra Leone delegation to the 2020 ‘Investing in Africa Mining Indaba’, led by  President Dr. Julius Maada Bio, took centre stage at the event to showcase the country’s mineral potentials to the global audience, and prove to mining industry leaders and investors that Sierra Leone is ready for business.

The event, organized in Cape Town, South Africa, from 3rd to 6th February 2020, is the world’s largest mining investment conference, dedicated to the capitalization and development of mining in Africa.

For the first time in the 25-year history of what is undoubtedly the most important gathering on mining in the world, Sierra Leone fully participated at all levels of the event, including setting up of a country-stand, a country case-study session, a networking cocktail, a ministerial panel discussion, and bilateral meetings on the side-lines.

The above was made possible by the dynamic and transformative leadership of Julius Daniel Mattai, the Director General of the NMA and his team. It was indeed a great opportunity to rebrand Sierra Leone, highlight the major investment opportunities in the country’s mining sector and inform a global audience that Sierra Leone is ready for business.

On the opening day of the event the President of Sierra Leone, his Excellency Julius Maada Bio delivered a keynote address, highlighting the country’s fiscal reforms, legal and regulatory issues, infrastructure and technology as well as the future mining labour force. He spoke of how Sierra Leone plans to strengthen public financial management systems and multilateral institutions to make the economy more resilient through diversification.

Stating that Sierra Leone is a free market, which values the private sector investment, the president shared his goal of reviewing and harmonizing all laws and regulations relating to mining, with a view to removing regulatory duplications and inconsistencies by increasing transparency and predictability, which time and again have proven crucial to attracting investment into a nation. He ended his speech by promising “transparent administration of the sector – a consolidated and simplified minerals policy that eliminates clutter and inconsistencies”.

As well as laying out his vision for SL’s mining future, Pres Bio shared some of his thoughts on the future on the mining industry in general, commenting on the increased use of artificial intelligence and block- chain technologies such as the current use of blockchain by Tracer to track the entire diamond supply chain. The President’s statement was met with appreciation by the audience.

President Bio also held series of successful meetings with government representatives, mining industry leaders and investors on the side-lines of the Indaba. His discussion with Jeffrey Thamsanqa Radebe, a senior adviser to President Cyril Ramaphosa, concluded with plans for about 30 South African investors to visit Sierra Leone to explore investment opportunities in mining, energy and other sectors.

The Indaba also featured a country-case study on Sierra Leone, during which, the Director of Geological Survey at the NMA, Prince Cuffey, and a lead consultant from Reid Geophysics, Tim Archer, made a presentation that highlighted the geology and mineral potential of Sierra Leone. They assured the audience that data from the geophysical survey will soon be interpreted and made available to interested parties.

Speaking during a live interview on CNBC, the Director General of the NMA, Julius Mattai, informed the world that Sierra Leone has completed a countrywide airborne geophysical survey as the first step to providing high-quality geological data to investors, thereby reducing cost and time spent on exploration. He further stated that Sierra Leone is pursuing series of reforms to attract investment, while at the same time taking steps to ensure that Sierra Leoneans derive maximum benefits from our mineral wealth.

Media coverage of Sierra Leone’s participation at the Indaba was extensive, including live broadcast of some of the activities. As Amy Neville noted in the 4th February edition of the African Mining Indaba ‘Daily News’, “we were left with the distinct impression that the future looks bright for the economic growth and development of Sierra Leone.

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CONCERNS OVER DEADLOCK AT LIMKOKWING UNIVERSITY

The Citizens Advocacy Network (hereinafter referred to as CAN) is a reputable civil society organization that is known for championing and defending the rights of citizens across Sierra Leone.

CAN believes in constructive engagement; hence, the reason why this press conference makes our approach noble.

CAN  is deeply concerned that over 1000 students who are holders of Government Grant-in Aid scholarship at the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology are being denied their right to quality education. It is revealed that government through the Ministry of

Technical and Higher Education has refused to honor the contractual agreement made to assure the education of our Sierra Leon earn citizens at the globalised University.

CAN took steps in engaging and appealing with the good offices of the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education to see reasons to dialogue and unshackle the deadlock in negotiations

with the Limkokwing University  to protect the rights of our Sierra Leonean citizens at the University.

It is apparent that weeks of conscience massage to get authorities to respond to reason have proven futile and the destiny of our Sierra Leonean students stands on the balance.

CAN wishes to let the government and people of Sierra Leone know that the students are merely victims in this episode of unconscionable ground standing? We wish to let the people

Know that government is continuity.

 If government could not cancel the “Toll Gate” contract amid campaign rhetoric’s, why should they renege in the education of our citizens? It is a painful paradox that government takes EDUCATION as its flagship yet it could not seriously engage or negotiate for the education of its citizens at such a top-notch University.

CAN is concerned that there could be far-reaching effects if the government of President Bio elects to make drop-outs of over 1000 Sierra Leonean students at the Limkokwing University.

Such  act  could  conscript  a  host  of  disgruntled  citizens  and  worsen  the  present  economic conditions prevalent in the  country.

 We are cautioned by the bitter lessons captured in the truth and reconciliation commission report.

CAN calls on government through the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education to do the needful in helping students who are already on Sierra Leone Government’s Grant scholarship to complete their course at the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology.

SL Mining Saga ICC Reacts

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SL Mining is pursuing legal action, including ICC Arbitration, against the Government of Sierra Leone as a result of the Government’s unlawful conduct and non-compliance with the binding decisions reached in international arbitration

. In the Company’s Statement of 8 October 2019, SL Mining confirmed that the Government had, by letter received on 7 October 2019, purported to cancel SL Mining’s Large-Scale Mining License No ML 01/2017 relating to the Marampa Project. This purported cancellation was unlawful and invalid and was contrary to the binding orders of the ICC Emergency Arbitrator.

Following the purported cancellation of SL Mining’s License, the ICC Arbitral Tribunal issued an order on 25 November 2019, which the Company has described in a Statement dated 27 November 2019.  The Government failed to comply with that Order and instead aggravated the dispute with SL Mining. The Government’s non-compliance and aggravating misconduct has led the ICC Arbitral Tribunal to issue, at SL Mining’s request, a Peremptory Order on 13 February 2020 in which the Tribunal:

Ordered the Government to rescind the purported cancellation of SL Mining’s License or otherwise to reinstate it.

Declared that the Government failed to comply with the ICC Emergency Arbitrator’s orders dated 30 August 2019, 8 September 2018, 4 October 2019 and 9 October 2019.

Declared that the Government failed to comply with the ICC Tribunal’s interim order dated 4 November 2019.

Ordered that, until ordered otherwise and pending the final resolution of the dispute by the Tribunal:

The Government lifts any prohibition on shipping or export of minerals directed at SL Mining;

The parties continue to comply with their obligations under clause 6.9(d) of the Large Scale Licence Agreement between the Government of Sierra Leone and SL Mining Limited dated 5 December 2017;

The parties refrain from aggravating and take no steps to aggravate the dispute between them;

The Government shall refrain from:

Removing, dealing with, or otherwise interfering, directly or via third parties, with SL Mining’s assets, including equipment and stockpiles of iron ore, in relation with SL Mining’s Marampa iron ore project;

Directly or indirectly operating it, or allowing third parties to operate, the Marampa Project;

taking any steps towards the issuance of a mining licence and/or entry into a mining lease agreement relating to the Marampa Project or any part thereof to and/or with a third party; and

otherwise altering the status quo as of immediately before receipt of the letter purportedly cancelling the License.

Declared and ordered that the ICC Emergency Arbitrator’s orders continue in full force.

Ordered the Government to comply with the ICC Tribunal’s orders within 8 days of the Peremptory Order.

A peremptory order is a final order made by a tribunal specifying a time for compliance. It brings with it a number of adverse legal consequences for the Government.  The ICC Tribunal also found that “pursuant to the arbitration agreement between the Parties, as ratified by Parliament, “any decision” of this Tribunal “is final and binding and enforceable” and has “the same force and effect as a judgment of a court of the last resort of the Republic of Sierra Leone or any other appropriate jurisdiction.” SL Mining will not hesitate to take legal action against third parties who infringe its rights in relation to the Marampa Project.

SL Mining is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gerald International Limited, which is the holding company for all entities in Gerald Group. The Group is one of the world’s leading commodity groups, and the oldest and largest employee-owned metals merchant in the world. SL Mining restarted production at the Marampa Project after 4 years, following earlier failed attempts by other international companies. SL Mining began marketing and shipping premium grade >65% iron ore concentrate to steel mills in China in June and July 2019 from the Marampa Project.

Budapest Bamako Rally Boosts Pupils

By Amara Kargbo

Ending the ‘Budapest to Bamako Rally’ in Sierra Leone capital, out of the eighty countries that participated in the convention, specifically Hungarians has pledged to donate 5,000 school assorted bags to school pupils across the country.

Catalin Priscornita, Hungarian, through the “Transilvania 4 Sierra Leone” project intended to help children in Sierra Leone, especially in education which will enhance them in diverse ways.

He noted that they were so passionate to render such donation, because the status of school pupils in Sierra Leone was deplorable and such circumstances touched the hearts of Hungarians citizens in Sierra Leone who later communicated it to their fellow Hungary through different means like movies, pictures of schools from villages that they have shortage of school bags that actually urged them to respond to such an exacting situation of helping them with 5,000 school bags stuff.

The donation package also contains social connection with Hungarian children with Sierra Leonean children through social media platform.

Each bag contains picture, contact of the child email; Facebook, toy and beneficiary Sierra Leonean pupil could connect with Hungarian citizens respectively.

Madam Memunatu Pratt, Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs expressed enthusiasm about the government commitment to the growth of tourism in the country. She adduced that through collaboration with other MDAs, they had been able to position tourism as centre of the New Direction government.

She noted that the country is now peaceful, stable and now an endpoint for tourism which has created an international rebranding market structure.

US Coast Guard visits Maritime Administration

The Outgoing U.S International Port Security Coast Guard, designated Coordinator to Sierra Leone, Natalie J. Moyer has visited the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration at head office.

The thrust of the visit was to discuss findings of audit conducted by the US Coast Guard on ports facilities, safety and security in the country in respect to the International Ship and Ports Facility Security (ISPS) Code.

The team, which was led by the outgoing US Coast Guard Designated Coordinator to Sierra Leone, Natalie J. Moyer also included International Port Security Liaison Officers, Christopher Svencer and Daniel A Gonzales who were introduced by Natalie. 

While reading findings of the reports, Natalie said, threats to the Maritime transportation industry are not limited to storms, shoals and other natural perils of the sea, highlighting that the actions of terrorists, pirates, smugglers, stowaways and criminals exploiting the sea for illicit ends have demonstrated the need for the world’s flag and port states to cooperatively reduce risk. Thus the reason, “the International Maritime Organization ((IMO) and its Members States developed the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code,” she added.

Moyer also mentioned that as an internationally accepted blueprint for maritime security measures, the ISPS Code serves as a sound foundation from which countries can build their own domestic maritime security system.Through it IPS Program, she said that the U.S Coast Guard is committed to assisting those nations that have not fully implemented the ISPS Code .

She stressed that the U.S Coast Guard is also committed to further engage with other maritime stakeholders to dialogue on security issues within the Maritime industry especially those partners that are going beyond the ISPS Code through advancement in their maritime operational capabilities, maritime situational awareness, and maritime governance. She pointed out that the effort to reduce threats in the maritime industry requires international cooperation in all flag and port’s nations.

Natalie applauded Government’s efforts in enhancing Maritime Safety and Security and Ports Security in the country; she especially commended SLMA and SLPA for stepping up in the execution of their mandates.

She mentioned that the U.S Coast Guard will consider providing training for SLMA and SLPA where necessary to enhance sea safety and ports security .She continued to say that the team will visit ports facilities in the country in order to ensure security compliance with the ISPS.

SLMA Executive Director Ken Philip Sondai said it saddened him when news broke out about the departure of Natalie. He said her expertise in the maritime and port security is unmatched.  He welcomed Svencer and Gonzales and hoped for better partnership in the International Port Security and safety business. He reaffirmed SLMA commitment to ensuring maritime safety and security in the country.

The Director of Marine Safety and Security at SLMA, Ibrahim Wurie, expressed his profound thanks and appreciation to the team. While reading the report on compliance of ports’ security in Sierra Leone, Director Wurie emphasized that SLMA has done its own draft of regulations to meet the ISPS code.

The U.S Coast Guard’s International Port Security (IPS) was established in 2003 to reinforce implementation of the ISPS Code in order to reduce risk to U.S Ports and Ships to their entire maritime transport systems.

 Anti-drugs Sensitization Targets Schools

National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in collaboration with the ECOWAS Commission has commenced an anti-drugs sensitization for 52 schools in Sierra Leone at the Ahmadiyya Secondary School in Kissy, Freetown.

Themed: “Don’t trade your future for drugs”, the sensitization, which  was held on Monday, 17th February, 2020, attracted seven schools comprising 350 participants within eastern Freetown.

Similar events would be held at the Government Model Secondary School in Central Freetown and Prince of Wales Secondary School for pupils in Western Freetown before targeting schools in the provinces. 

Daniel Amankwaah, Principal Program Officer of ECOWAS Commission’s Drug Prevention and Control, said his institution has been urging member countries to take drug education to schools and communities, with the aim of eliminating drug abuse and misuse in West Africa.

“In order to achieve this goal, the ECOWAS Commission has been supporting NDLEA in diverse ways. One of those ways includes the training of 30 core drug educators. These core drug educators are charged with the responsibility to educate the pupils of various schools and communities on the dangers of drug abuse,” he said, adding that the pupils should pay attention to whatever they have been told on drug prevention. 

He urged the pupils to read about the ECOWAS Commission so as to know the numerous works it has been doing in West Africa.

Abdul Sheku Kargbo, NDLEA’s Executive Director, told the pupils to stay away from drugs such as cocaine, cannabis, codeine, tramadol, Relief, Diazepam, K.2, cannabis butter scotch, pampers tea, among others.

He urged them to also stay away from alcoholic drinks such as 8pm, Double Punch, De Pa E eye, etc.

“Drug abuse affects pupils’ social behavior. NDLEA wants all of you to abstain from taking the above mentioned drugs. One of the ways to achieve this is to always visit schools and communities so as to raise the awareness of pupils and residents on the dangers of drug abuse,” he said.

He said drugs are very dangerous to our society and the engagement of pupils is to ensure that the abuse of drugs is eliminated, and once it is eliminated, Sierra Leoneans would be able to achieve President Julius Maada Bio’s human capital development initiative.  

He noted that NDLEA is targeting 52 schools in three regions which include Freetown in the Western Area, Makeni in the North-Eastern and Bo in the Southern Regions respectively.

Principal, Ahmadiyya Senior Secondary School, Abdul Karim Sesay, said pupils are exposed to drug abuse especially during inter-secondary school sports competitions.

“We want you to understand the dangers of drug abuse and in order to demonstrate your love for Sierra Leone, you should stay away from anything that will hinder her peace,” he  told the pupils.

He said the anti-drugs sensitization is timely and very important for school-going pupils, especially when most schools are engaged in their sport competitions.

Medivenue Hospital  Matriculates

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The Medivenue Hospital Complex college of Community health science has  held its first matriculation ceremony  at Kobba Farm, Juai Community.

Delivering the key note  address ,the proprietor of the  college Dr. Abu Bakarr Koroma, said  the (MHC) was  established as  a   college  on the  14th  February,  2017 with some  of  it  key missions  to provide  the  right kind  of knowledge by giving passion  for  humanity.

He added that  all medical practitioners to unlock delivered their God-given medical potentials to make Sierra Leone a  better  place  for all, stressed  that  they will always  work  to  support the vision  of  their motto which : Knowledge for the  world.

Dr.  Koroma,  said  they  holistically want to see the college fully  cooperate, collaborate  with  and  enhance  all  health  system-related  matters as  deemed  by  the  health ministry   to put the entire health system on a  sound medical  footing  against  health emergencies in the  country.

Proprietor  said  that “we  believe that until something  changes  within  us, nothing will change around  us until  the  mind is  renewed lives are not transformed and every rebuilding begins with a rethinking, it is positive thinkers that becomes great builders, destiny is a non-transferable responsibility but responsibility is  the  price for  every  great  destiny”.

 Mr. Koroma, also mentions their core values  to empower the medical school to rid their communities of health hazards, put humanity first in dispensing their duties (nurses) as stipulated in the nurse’s pledge, put Sierra Leone on its medical sound footing .

For any health emergency he added that they have to care for the vulnerable as they also matter in nation building and to acknowledge their right to access medical facilities despite their standard of living.

He  assured the students and parents that their  sacrifices and  commitments   will never  end up in  vain  and  students urged to always work hard  and  take great care  of their works.

Ibrahim Bai Koroma, Chief Executive  Officer Citizen Right Network told the students that it will grateful if they share  the  knowledge to  this  nation  which the lecturers have impacted  on them added that it sound great  for them to  always  focus and   work for  the interest of the country.

Mr.  Koroma, thanked  the councilor ,  the proprietor  and  the  management  of the  school  for been in the  fight  for  so long  and  thank ed all percipients  for gracing  the occasion.

The programme was climax with pledges by various people and the donation of some medical instrument to the college by the councilor

 Judge TO HANDS OF Petition Case

BY FEIMA SESAY

 Lawyer Ade Macauley Esq. has made an application for  appeal court judge Justice  Ivan Sesay s name to be stroke out on  the panel of judges  to preside over the Election petition l Appeal cases  supposed to be heard on Monday 17February 2020.

This application was made shortly after Justice Sengu Koroma Presiding Judge over the Election Petition Civil Appeal announced the names of Justice Ivan Sesay and Justice Tonia Barnett as judges in the matter

Lawyer Ade Macauley whiles objecting to he inclusion of Justice Ivan Sesay revealed that he    contested for parliamentary seat between 2007 and 2012 Election at constituency 86 Rotifunk in the Moyamba District under the ticket of the  Sierra Leone Peoples Party

In this view; Lawyer Ade Macualey said it will be improper for Justice Ivan Sesay to adjudicate in a matter of an election petition appeal for Member of Parliament between APC candidate as Appellant and SLPP as Respondent.

He added that, his clients are not questioning the Integrity of the learned Judge but said  for the purpose of the law, he had once shared an Emotional commitment with the SLPP in his previous life as a politician and also emotional and ideological attachment to the SLPP and contested election twice under it symbol and  being part of the proceeding he noted that he will be Bias in his judgments.

Lawyer Macauley stated further that justices must not only be done but must be seen to be done.

He  added that, on the issue of Recusal of the learned Judge and what is before the court is a situation where the court do not  know the background of the learned Justice of Appeal Justices Ivan Sesay  that have  contested for the SLPP member of parliament  not just once but twice in 2012 and 2007 respectively.

 He said that Justice Ivan Sesay is in a panel to determine an issue on the Election petition case of a member of parliament between the SLPP and APC t which he said involved an emotional attachment.

 Lawyer Macauley stated that the appearance if Bias as emphases is of auto most concern which the lay man will make out of the fact stated and that when counsel raised the issue of Bias, he need not show justification but said just the appearance of it and therefore said  that he will be Bias when giving judgments.

He noted that for one to belong to an organization for such period of time you must have been emotional and ideological , adding that if one do not believe in the ideology of a party he will not contest under their platform.   

At this stage, the learned Justice Sengu Koroma requested  the Appellant lawyer to file a notice of motion and supporting affidavit on the 24 of February 2020 whiles he said the Respondent lawyer Musa Mewah  who objected to application made by Ade Macauley said  should do same on the 2 March 2020.

All the names of the Appellants and Respondents were mention in court;

Election Petition Civil Appeal  52/2019  Osman A. Timbo of the APC Vs A.S Mario Conteh of the SLPP  and the NEC, John Sati Kargbo APCVs Rev. Oris E. Vicent SLPP, Momoh KamaraAPC Vs Tennison H. Sandy SLPP, Mohamed Sheriff Kasim Carew APC Vs Alieu Ibrahim Kamara SLPP, Abu Bakarr F. Sillah APC Vs Benjamin Turay SLPP, Hariatu A Bangura APC Vs Emmanuel Gbekie SLPP, Sirajin Rollins M. Kamara APC Vs John T. Koroma SLPP, Kadie Kallon (nee) Vadis APC Vs Josephine H.M Jackson SLPP, Ahmed Mansaray APC Vs Abdulai M. Lansana SLPP, Kemokoh Conteh APC Vs Ahmed Joseph Kanu SLPP.

The said Election Petition was against the National Electoral Commission and the SLPP Members of Parliament that took oath of office last year after the ruling of Justice Komba Kamanda, Justice Momoh Jaih Stevens.

Lawyer D.E Taylor was representing NEC, however said he will apply to the commission for his name to be stroke out of the matter.

Justices Sengu Koroma before passing adjournment commended both counsels for the practicality shown during the process and urged junior lawyers to copy such, adding that they should know that lawyers are not the case but only there to defend or prosecute.

 He said they are all colleagues and it is the glue that keeps them together as a profession, whiles admonishing the members of the public he expressed appreciation to them for their conducts during the proceedings, adding that it is always good for them to know that they were in the court of law   

He further advice  that now that the case is sub-judicay, the lawyer should advice the respective sides to ensure that any doubt on the matter must be cleared by their lawyers, stressing that if there is any Radio discussion touching  or concerning the matter, he will not hesitates to use his power to charge for contempt.

The matter was adjourned to the 5th march 2020 for further hearing.

SLCB Celebrates in Grand Style

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By Mohamed Juma Jalloh

The Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB) on Saturday 15th February 2020 celebrated its 47th anniversary with a spectacular marathon march in Freetown.

 The workforce of SLCB across the country converged at the Bank`s headquarters at Siaka Stevens Street in the morning hours, traversing the western end of Freetown before terminating at the Lumley Beach in front of the Medrie International Hotel.

 After the entertainment performances of the most sought after local Artists in Rosay and Mahmuday, the Managing Director Fidelis Turay used the occasion to address the personnel of the Bank.

 In his statement, Fidelis Turay reminded staff that during the 40th anniversary celebrations, the bank recorded negative profit but went on to cheerfully state that the 47th anniversary was worth celebrating as the Bank he added has achieved bumper profit that was very encouraging.

Mr Turay furthered that the assets of SLCB grew by over a trillion Leones surpassing the 100 % mark which can be touted as a major achievement in the banking sector.

The Managing Director also mentioned the quantity of deposits in the Bank which grew from Le600m to Le1.2 billion which he cited as another significant accomplishment.

He continued that shareholder equity also developed from Le10million to over Le200Billion which can also be trumpeted as a tremendous success of the Bank.

The banking expert highlighted that in order to achieve the aims and objectives of the Bank in providing reliable Banking services to Sierra Leoneans, the staff strength of the Bank has doubled within a period spanning seven years.

Mr Turay proudly informed the gathering of the customer base of SLCB which has increased from 138000 to over 200.000 customers.

The Managing Director acknowledged that all the above achievements can be attributed to the untiring efforts of its staff across the country.

He urged the workers of SLCB to continue with the hard work so that by the year the Bank celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2023 the achievement of the year 2020 must have tripled.

Dr J.B Rogers the Chairman of the Board of Directors of SLCB said the Bank referred to the bank as the most successful financial institution in Sierra Leone.

He underscored the importance its policy, as he says “policy determines the operation of any Bank and that the success of the Bank is driven by the policy developed by the Board and Management within the past one year”.

Dr Rogers pointed out that the Bank is moving in an upward trajectory and it would continue with the same pace and momentum because the Bank`s aim is to attain an unrivaled position in the Banking industry in Sierra Leone.

The Banking veteran admonished the personnel of the Bank to work harder, further citing the quotation of a philosopher which says the reward for hard work is “harder work”.

He urged all managers of the various branches across the country to relentlessly continue with the hard work as the Bank he noted has set standards which it has to maintain at all cost.

The Board Chairman concluded by thanking and congratulating all the workers and customers of the pan Sierra Leonean Bank for the success achieved so far, adding that without the personnel and clientele the existence of the Bank is of no use.

During the over 3 miles trekking from the Banks headquarter at Siaka Stevens Street to Lumley Beach, Freetonians lined the streets in amazement to watch the performances of comedians as they outlined the qualities and successes of the bank.

The procession was well organized as it was preceded by a Police Hilux vehicle to discourage lawlessness and maintain orderliness during the march.

 There was a Red Cross vehicle moving in a snail pace in anticipation of people that could worn-out and collapse during the walk.

It should be noted that SLCB has reached several unbanked communities with the SLCB kiosk and mi Yone Teller deliberately located at strategic positions across the country.

In a bid to align the operations of the bank with modern innovations, SLCB is the first bank in Sierra Leone that  launched Mi yone mobile app and Mi yone online direct to revolutionalise its services with the introduction of reliable internet Banking.

Ambassador to  Turkey Takes Leave of President Bio

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 Sierra Leone’s first Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey, Mohamed Hassan Kaisamba, has taken leave of  President Dr Julius Maada Bio to officially take up  duties in the transcontinental Eurasian country with the world’s 13th largest economy. 

The Turkish-Sierra Leonean relations were established in 1971. Sierra Leone recently opened its first resident Embassy in Ankara, the capital of Turkey, which is among the founding members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Ambassador Mohamed Hassan Kaisamba told President Dr Julius Maada Bio that he was thankful for the confidence reposed in him to represent his country abroad, adding that he considered his appointment as an esteemed privilege.

          He assured that he was determined to do his best and to work towards portraying the best interest of the small resource-rich West African nation.

“His Excellency, I am aware of your urgency and determination to make life better for every Sierra Leonean. It is my plan to utilize every opportunity, my appointment avails me, to compliment your national objectives for this country,” Ambassador Kaisamba said.

In his response, the President congratulated the new diplomat and wished him well in his new capacity, adding that the task ahead was quite tough but that he would encourage him to be resilient so that success could be achieved.

“You are aware of the magnitude of challenges we are facing as a nation and as an administration. I have chosen you meticulously as a person to go and represent Sierra Leone in the Republic of Turkey. Therefore, as you go, you have to pay more attention to economic diplomacy so that you can bring something home that we will have to add to the development process of the country,” he urged.

Smuggling Causes, Challenges to Revenue Collection

-Joseph Rogers

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By Mohamed Osman Bangura  

The management and  staff of National Revenue Authority    has raised concerns over the smuggling of goods by Sierra Leoneans and foreign traders at Gbalamuya Custom, kambia district . According to them, custom charges have poised serious challenges for revenue collection.    

Mr. Joseph Rogers, Manager in charge of Gbalamuya Customs in an exclusive interview revealed to this medium that smuggling has posed serious challenges in the collection of government revenue.

He said that most Sierra Leoneans and foreigners don’t want to pay tax and always look for alternative routes to evade custom charges,

 He stating that the Kambia post is a hub for smuggling  that   has caused  serious challenge to revenue collection in that part of the country. 

Mr. Rogers further disclosed that they have discovered over eighty two smuggling points in their operational area and that even though he has a well determined team to curb the smuggling points, the smugglers he added were always in search of new points to smuggle their goods.

 He referred to revenue collection as a collective team work and that they are all very supportive in preventing the smugglers.

  He also revealed that they have put in place a robust anti-smuggling measures to dismantle the 84 smuggling points.

 , On the recent closure of the boarder at about 6am, a team of military personnel he revealed told him that they have instructions to close the Gbalamuya boarder and that no reason was disclose for the closure of the boarder which he added   seriously affected the drive for the revenue collection. He commended the district security committee for their   effective cooperation adding that they are

  always ready to assist  on issues of smuggling and that   despite  the challenges they faced revenue collections increase in time.

 He ended that government needs money to continue supporting the Free Quality Education program that lots of people are benefitting from.

 Bonthe Correctional Centre gets new boat

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The importance of the boat cannot  be overstated, according to Mr. Joseph Lamboi, Director General of the Sierra Leone Correctional Service.

He said in the past, Bonthe Centre used to spend a lot of money on ferrying inmates’ and officers’ supply.

The boat has been on a test run, and will be commissioned at the end of February 2020.

He  also said they  had being faces  with several challenges in terms of  transportation  and   had being  calling   the  attention of  the president  to provide them with technical support to remedy the  situation.

He said that through his regime they have work tremendously to transform the Sierra Leone Correctional Centre in a modern place.

Director mention on different area they have developed since he steps in as Director General of the Sierra Leone Correctional Centre.

“Upon its commission, we will use it immediately to transport the Centre’s supply,” Mr. Lamboi revealed.

Pa Sorie Guma Collapsed Over US$75,000 V-Gift

Poor, aging and ailing manager of Sierra Leone’s Guma Valley Water Company (GVWC), Pa Sorie Guma, was rushed to hospital  recently after he reportedly collapsed into coma in his office following a surprise US$75,000 SUV Land Cruiser Jeep Valentine gift.

His Secretary exclusively told Ticha Lemp Lemp that the Freetown water Manager was incredibly over hyper when the Chairman of the Board of Directors handed him the keys of the jeep.

“He flew himself up and almost banged his head to the ceiling; and landed on the floor with a big bang…,” she explained to us, very timid.

However, doctors at the Bangura Bangs Hospital for the Over-privileged assured family members and Guma management and staff that everything will be fine.

“This is a normal consequence for people who get over-excited; in other words, it’s a positive coma. The manager needs some rest; he’ll come back after a couple of days,” said *Dr. Bangura Bangs.

It could be recalled that the last time Pa Sorie was admitted at this hospital the same doctors had described his condition as a “normal fail in health for aging people who overworked themselves”.  At that time the GVWC was facing imminent bankruptcy and Bank of Sierra Leone sources had confirmed that the company was more than Le75 billion in debts.

“Without any exaggeration, Guma is dead!” one of the Bank’s officials had described the state of affairs at the company then.

It took years for Pa Guma to return from his coma, and the doctors had concluded that he stayed so long because he was afraid of coming back to life to face the reality of the company’s deteriorating situation.

Meanwhile, Doctor Bangs advised the company’s management to ensure the Valentine vehicle is parked in the hospital’s compound in anticipation that the closer it is to the Guma manager the faster he will recover.

African History Month 2020-

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We continue our look at great African women in the African Liberation Struggle. These women played leadership roles for the liberation of their people.

Today we go South Africa to meet Zenzile Miriam Makeba was one of the “Mothers of Pan-Africanism”. Her role in ending Apartheid was great.

Did you know that Makeba performed in Sierra Leone? Does anyone here was old enough to remember her performance in Salone? Pls tell us more about n j her visit to SIerra Leone in the 70s I think.

The article below was written by Sister Amma Fosuah Poku , a pan-African sister (based in UK) and she lived in Sierra Leone in the 1990s with her late Salone husband – Olu Awoonor Gordon (Journalist and Pan -Africanist).

I present to you  – Zinzile Miriam Makeba – A Great African Freedom fighter also known as Mama Africa.

ZENZILE MIRIAM MAKEBA

(by Amma Fosuah Poku)

Zenzile Miriam Makeba was a singer and political activist. She was born on 4th March 1932 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

In 1959 Makeba attended the Venice Film Festival in Italy, for the première of the anti-apartheid documentary, “Come Back, Africa,” in which she made a short guest appearance. This was to be the beginning of over 20 years of exile from her homeland, following the cancellation of her South African passport by the apartheid regime for her politically charged comments and activities. But as Makeba later said:

“Everybody now admits that apartheid was wrong, and all I did was tell the people who wanted to know where I come from how we lived in South Africa. I just told the world the truth. And if my truth then becomes political, I can’t do anything about that.”

During her exile Makeba actively campaigned against apartheid in South African speaking about the evils of the system. After settling in Guinea with her then husband, Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael), Makeba was appointed Guinea’s official representative to the United Nations by President Ahmed Sékou Touré. In 1969, accompanied by her husband, Miriam Makeba travelled to Sierra Leone from Guinea to perform concerts.

Makeba was very proud of her African heritage and she refused to be pressurised into wearing tons of make-up or relaxing her hair, preferring to promote her natural African beauty.

She finally returned home to South Africa on 10th June 1990, encouraged by Nelson Mandela following his release from prison.

Know as Mama Africa above is a short biographical video of Miriam Makeba’s life.

Human Capital Development Secretariat Engages Civil Servants on Flagship Portfolio

  Members of the Human Capital Development Secretariat have met with civil servants at State House to discuss specific targets set in the Human Capital Development, HCD, flagship portfolio of the New Direction government. 

In his welcome address, Presidential Adviser and Head of Strategic Communications, Dr Patrick Muana, said that they were pleased to have a discussion around the implementation of government’s flagship programme. He also stated that the HCD was crucial because it bothered on the growth of the country, adding that the government had set specific goals that should be achieved in the areas of education, health and food security.

A member of the Secretariat, Wilsona Jalloh, said that President Julius Maada Bio had defined his focus on Sierra Leone under his Human Capital Development flagship portfolio, which included providing quality education, improved health care delivery and food security. She said that the HCD tracking team was leveraging technology, data, innovation and evidence to implement catalytic initiatives that would contribute to meeting their targets.

She also noted that the flagship programme looked forward to achieving targeted results by 2023, adding that they expected to double the number of boys and girls with functional literacy skills in primary school, halve the maternal mortality rate and reduce by 11 per cent the rate of stunted children under 5 and achieve 90 per cent self-sufficiency in rice production and increase domestic share of marine fish catch within limits of sustainability.

Country Head of Tony Blair Institute, Emily Stanger Sfeile, said that achieving the targets would make Sierra Leone a global leader in HCD. She added that success was possible if they could leverage evidence, data and global experience to design, test and scale the most promising and impactful approaches, while fostering a new standard of excellence that thrived on ambitious delivery timelines.

New Kenema clock constructed by Africell due in 4 months

In what has been described as an unprecedented developmental leap, the leading Telecommunications company in Sierra Leone, Africell, has announced that they have heeded to the call of the Chief Minister, Professor David Francis, to facilitate the reconstruction of a new modern digital Clock Tower at the heart of the cocoa-rich Eastern Region Head Quarter town of Kenema.

This pronouncement was made over the weekend by the Chief Operations Officer from Africell, Houssam Jaber, in the presence of the Chief Minister of the Republic of Sierra Leone, at a brief but well attended function by a host of stakeholders in Kenema at the derelict Kenema Clock tower previously completed by PAKBATT- 6 serving UNAMSIL.

Africell is known for leaving indelible corporate social responsibility imprints in around Sierra Leone, and the commitment to the Kenema clock tower, backed by the declaration last weekend, reinforced that their position in the hearts on their loyal subscribers.

Speaking during the announcement, Houssam Jaber said, they were delighted to be in Kenema to convey the message of approval and to commit resources to the reconstruction of the iconic location. He added, the visit was to primarily assess the structure and set the timeline with regards the stipulated completion date which he said would span for four months.

He said, the next two weeks in February, will be used to demolish the existing structure to make way for the implementation.

This is one among the many refurbishments of major intersections, clock towers and beautification projects done by Africell as part of their CSR.

Receiving and welcoming the delegation from Africell, the Chief Minister who also doubles as the political head of Kenema, Professor David J. Francis, said, Kenema is a vibrant city and one of the economic centers of Sierra Leone; If Kenema develops, Sierra Leone will benefit, and when Sierra Leone develops, Kenema will benefit.’

He added “Africell takes CSR seriously as demonstrated in their support to the First Lady’s flagship initiative, Hands off our girls.”

The purpose of the visit, he noted, was to court Africell’s commitment for the construction of a purpose built ultra-modern clock tower which will become a center of attraction in a city on the ascendancy.

He noted that he was particularly pleased with the timeframe pegged for the completion of the project which will be executed in collaboration with the local authorities, to ensure the site is safe and doesn’t pose risks to commuters.

The Chief Minister applauded Africell and thanked the delegation from Freetown for visiting the City of Kenema to deliver the good tidings.

Judiciary Budget For Juros

By Foday Jalloh

There is a big drama currently  in the Sierra Leone Judiciary  stage in Freetown which needs the immediate attention of the authorities as  the third arm of government.

If this is not solving immediately the efforts being made by the current administration   in rebranding Sierra Leone for national investment will suffer some setbacks

Currently the jurors are not happy but crying to the  current judiciary administration for total inclusion and  not to be left out  when it comes to financial  rewards as  their roles in the dispensation of justice they claimed is also important ,

 Heightening their ordeals the jurors said most of the delays in the number of cases are be blamed on the jurors for the absent in court.

The role of the jurors in high court   matters, they said is making decision alongside and that many cases are tried by jurors and judges.

The cry of the jurors is that they are coming from different places around the municipality  every day just to see that trial of cases  goes on but at the end of the month they are not paid and most of them claims  to have families  coming from a distance places to spend the rest of the day in court.

The jurors also maintaintained that if judges are blaming them that why they are adjourning matters, as jurors do not constitute the panel they have no option but to adjourn

, we are calling upon them, the ministry and the court administration to budget for us 0r give us  monthly stripens  we can appreciate and always be present on time in court for speedy trial.

When the acting chief justice was contracted for reaction over this issue , he told this medium  at his chambers, Justice Brown mark accepted the fact about the constrains of jurors which judges are concern  for their absent, and revealed  that this time they  were  budgeted for but  are waiting for the ministry  to send in the money, by march ending

 Justice Browne said they will start giving stripes’ to jurors as the

 judiciary is getting a lot of blames for delaying    matters in court.   speedy trial as just within the western area there is ten high courts.

Also grassroots workers says they are not happy with the new administration  over some decision  made at the court,   to Bann the center where the Muslims  use  for their dailies and even Friday prayers.

   They  maintained they have being using this place for over ten to fifteen years now, using all their personal resources to upkeep the praying center within the court yard so that when work is on  they do not go far, away from the office   for prayers

, we spend only five to fifteen minute at list and we come back and continue our work. We do not go out of the court yard   

A lot of cases are currently pending in court which need to be addressed  immediately, or else this will bring a loss to sierra Leone, because if the place where people can resorted redress is not properly doing their work, investors will also be in fair to come in, despite we presently have acting chief justice the sustentative one is absent, he knows much about the judiciary, but some people are afraid of him because they consider him as one sided person, they even reference to the past regime saying that some of the acting judges like Brown Mark was one sided to case that are pending presently in court, they measured the case of Samjana pharmacy who is a potential medical investor in Sierra Leone now crying for justice for over seven years, he is saying that he as an investor if not given justice what about the others who want to come with large investment.

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