By Lansana Bayoh Sesay
The Minister of Labour and Social Security, Alpha Osman Timbo Esq, has said his administration will scrutinize the activities of all registered trade union groups to ensure effective service delivery to their members.
He made this assertion while addressing a cross section of the executive of the Sierra Leone Union of Postal and Telecommunication Employees (SLUPTE) when they paid a courtesy call on him to acquaint him with the problems affecting their union.
He said shortly he will instruct the Registrar of Trade Unions in the ministry to develop a comprehensive data of all registered trade union groups and their membership, as well as looking into their agreements with a view for them to operate within the prescribe mandate given to them.
Mr. Timbo urged the executive of the union to work in the interest of their members, especially with the issue dealing with unfair labour treatments and also to educate them on their rights and responsibilities as workers.
Mr. Timbo assured them that he will look into their problems, particularly with the one dealing with the implementation of the Public Utility Trade Group Agreement and lauded the union for including females in their executive.
The General Secretary of the Sierra Leone Union of Postal and Telecommunication Employees, Edward Yarrimeh Kamara while registering the problems affecting their union, particularly with the welfare of their members at Salpost and Sierratel, also assured the Minister of Labour of their cooperation.
Pres. Bio in Koinadugu
His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio, who is on a two-day working visit to Koinadugu and Falaba districts, has assured the people in that part of the country of his government’s continued support to their development.
In his welcome address, Paramount Chief Alie Balansama Marah III said that they were pleased to receive the President in the district. He said they were also thankful to the President for giving appointments to many of their sons and daughters for the first time ever and assured of their support to the government.
Koinadugu District Council Chairman, Alex Conteh, said that they were pleased with the government’s free quality education programme, adding that they were also appreciative of the President’s inclusive governance policy that would ensure peaceful co-existence.
Speaking at the Kabala Town Field, President Bio said that Koinadugu was part of Sierra Leone and it deserved to be part of the development process. He said that since his election, his government had worked very hard on a lot of initiatives that would help to better the lives of citizens.
“We have done quite a lot within this short period. We have taken education as a priority programme because we care about the future of this country. Investing in our kids is the best way of laying a solid foundation for sustainable development,” he said.
President Bio also said that he was particularly concerned about the welfare of women and girls, saying that as part of the government’s commitment to empowering women, they were working on introducing a micro-credit system that would help women to be self-reliant and independent.
He also used the occasion to condemn early marriage, rape and all forms of violence against women and girls. He noted that women constitute a major part of the country’s population and must be allowed to realise their fullest potentials, adding that if women were educated they could contribute greatly to the development of the nation.
VP Juldeh Jalloh Football Tournament Kicks Off
By Osman Mohammed Mansaray
The Honorable Vice President H. E Dr. Juldeh Jalloh , was warmly welcomed as he takes the Kickoff in a football gala competition organized in his Name “Dr. Juldeh Jalloh Trophy”. Speaking on behalf of the people of Masiaka , the ward Councillor of Ward 257 Abu Bakarr Bangura Popularly known as Hammer , celebrates and welcomed the Vice President , he says the people of Masiaka town and the entire Koya Chiefdom are blessed to host the vice President, in this festive moment, that is why we deemed it fit, to organize such a gala competition with six teams which bears the name of the VP , we want to celebrate and dine with our own brother, who is also a native of the district, Honorable VP Sir , we have numerous challenges, I have been sent as a servant to share with you , the people of Masiaka are in dear need of Electricity , Jobs for the Young people and Safe drinking water , in the area of electricity the work has started but we have a stock along the line and up till now no body speaks to us , to tell us why the delay, Masiaka is growing rapidly , as you see V P we are strongly in constrained for a standard Sporting field , he concluded.
In his response the V. President , thank the people of Masiaka and assures them of development in no distance time , said plans are on the way with the energy ministry to continue the electricity work come February 2020, he will seat with the respective authorities ,to see how they will work on the field project, he says My Boss His Excellency the President will be visiting Port Loko District on 17/12/2020 , their is a whole package of development for the people of Port Loko district and Masiaka town, is no exemption ,but as a way of quick fix a team of solar engineers are coming on Monday to install solar lights at the Round about just to beautify Masiaka town during this festive moment, let us galvanize our support and show solidarity in welcoming the president, I want to thank the constituency executive members for Con. 072 for such an organization , I want to also extends my appreciation to the Masiaka Drivers Union, the Okada raiders , Petty traders , the Imams for this gesture, the opening encounter was between Koya Rangers and Okada F. C.of Masiaka town.
The Regional Secretary SLPP Northwest ,Mr. Ibrahim Kamara – What 4 U , the District Chairman Mr. Eddie Williams and host of dignitaries were in attendance to grace the Opening Encounter.
Man Jailed 28 Yrs for Penetrating a minor
Dauda Massaquoi, a school teacher of Every Nation Academy residing at No. 6 Tommy Drive in Kenema has been sent to Jail for 28years by the High Court Judge, Hon. Justice Abdulrahman Mansaray of the High Court in Kenema for sexual penetration contrary to sec.19 of the sexual offences act No.12 of 2012.
According to the particulars of offence, the Accused on November 1, 2018 in Kenema Judicial District in the Eastern Provence of the Republic of Sierra Leone, engaged in an act of sexual penetration with an 11years old child. The Accused sometimes in 2018, engaged another child under the age of 18yers to wit 9years for sexual penetration.
He pleaded not guilty in the first appearance but later pleaded guilty. The Accused was tried by the Judge alone, an application made by the state counsel.
The Accused person was jailed 168 months and 174 months respectively. He begged for mercy and was sent to Jail for 28years and 6 months.
The matter was prosecuted by Madam Umu Sumaray, Senior State Counsel and Customary Law officer in the Eastern Region whilst the Accused was represented by Defence Counsel, Patrick Kamara of Legal Aid Board in Kenema.
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CAPTION: GRAFTON ORUGU BRIDGE NEEDS SPEEDY RECONSTRUCTION.
CREDIT: ASTUTE ADMIN CUM COLUMNIST- OSMAN NDOYIA BATTULLO KOKOFELE AKA PUUYIA BECKIE (ENGLISH BAG).
On this fateful day Saturday, 14th December, 2019 the Columnist of this aforementioned column decided to see this historic bridge that joins Grafton and Orugu. Mark you, this bridge and Orugu came to the spotlight during the reign of NPRC led by the then Head of State -Captain Valentine E.M. Strasser. Orugu is Rtd. Captain Valentine E.M Strasser’s village and the bridge has it own economic and social advantage when it wasn’t shattered.
Having given that historic brief, l humbly call on SLRA, Western Rural District Council (Ward C) and Freetown City Council (FCC) to speedily reconstruct this bridge which was destroyed by natural disaster (flooding).
At this juncture, let me quickly tell you the importance of this bridge:
(a) it links Grafton to Orugu,
(b) it ease transport to easily access central Eastern and also the Western Rural District Mountain.
(c) it also expedite the flow of goods and services.
After postulating these tangible reasons, l hope the institutions in charge will quickly intervene.
Before l cease the flow of my invisible pen, please note that it is not motorable but bike riders and people are still using it even though it has a serious crack. It is danger to be used but we aren’t proactive at all to solve it but when it will fall one day and damage kill people, you will see cry and mad rush to fix it up. We should stop this fire fighter strategy, a fire fighter only fights when there is an outburst of fire.
As a nation, we should be proactive and not reactive, we should be responsive and not…
Our inaction has cost us a lot, so Mr. Government please quickly fix this death trap or else it would one day cost lives even though in my wildest dream l am not anticipating for that.
I don’t have the financial capacity to do it but have the “pen might” and “mouth fist” to advocate for development.
As a patriot, l want my President to succeed and Sierra Leone to develop.
Those who have ears to hear let them hear, those who have eyes to see let them see and those who have mouths to talk let them talk (Joe Hills).
I bury my advocacy but hoping to resurrect fully when it beckons.
See below for pictorial evidence.
MOYA, FCC Engage Youth on Crime Prevention and Drug Abuse
Sulaiman Kargbo, the Devolve Youth Officer sensitizing youth on crime prevention, drug abuse…
By Musa Kamara
The Ministry of Youth Affairs (MOYA) and the Freetown City Council (FCC) in partnership with the Youth and Sport Committee has recently held a capacity building workshop on “Crime Prevention, Drug Abuse, Gangsterism and Lawlessness,” an event that was held at 57 John Street in Freetown targeting youth in the Central and Western Area Urban.
Sulaiman Kargbo who is the Devolve Youth Officer attached to FCC from MOYA enlightened that the workshop is centered on developing the mindset of youth to stay off crime related activities such as violence, drug abuse, lawlessness and other forms of crimes.
He went to say that similar participatory workshop was earlier on organized for youth in the eastern area all in the direction of ensuring that community representatives become peace ambassadors thereby, passing on the messages to their various communities.
“At the end of the day what we want to achieve is to build peace networks in all communities targeted,” he underscored.
He stressed on the need for government to put in stringent measures and to also capacitate the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in the drive to ensuring that drug cartels and their production houses are targeted, and adding that because of the consumption of such hard drugs by mostly youth, has led to the increase rate of violence over the years.
Councilor Rugiatu Mansaray from Ward 428 Constituency 128 advised youth to desist from consumption of drugs such as Marijuana, Alcohol, Tramadol, Kush, to name but a few, which drugs she said is greatly contributing to the physical, mental andmoral downfall of youth across the country.
Interestingly, she added that those selling such drugs are progressive and prominent people in society bent on destroying the future of the youth.
In a vivid sensitization on the effect of drug abuse in communities, Ibrahim Kargbo from NDLEA mentioned that because of the profuse in-take of such hard drugs, has led to the increase rate in crime through the formation of cliques and other forms of violence related activities.
Abie Kamara, a participant from the Brookfields Community in the western area applauded the organizers of the seminar and assured all that she would pass the message to members of her community.
Abdul Aziz also a participant from the central area precisely in the Amusement Park (formally Victoria Park) community also assured all that he would take the message to his community, but however, he emphasized that in order to mitigate crime, government should embark on job creation.
SL Artisanal Fishermen President seeks Government Support
By Musa Kamara
Sierra Leone Artisanal Fishermen President, Thomas O. Turay
In an exclusive interview with the President of the Sierra Leone Artisanal Fishermen for Port Loko and Kambia District and also former President of the West Africa Professional Fishermen Organization, Thomas Ortaim Turay, disclosed that as a country we have lost 23 species of fish in our waters through what he described as the very bad fishing methods of locals and other poachers in our seas, and in that regard, he is calling on the New Direction Government of President Bio to empower the artisanal fishermen with funds to do local surveillance, claiming that they as artisanal fishermen are always in the sea on daily basis.
He maintained in that direction that Guinea Bissau did the same and it was a great success, and therefore, he compared that Sierra Leone could do more in keeping certain species of our fishes from becoming extinct.
He also called on the government to ensure that certain fishing nets are banned; such nets he said are causing more harm than good in the direction of “catching today, what they should catch tomorrow.”
He therefore, urged government to ensure that robust measures are put in place especially for foreign vessels not license to fish in our waters thereby, taking away our best fishes (citing a Korean ship named, Chingy Changah).
In his statement, he applauded the Chinese Government for having brought a boat he alleged would determine the quantity of fishes we have in our waters.
He admitted that as a nation we lack the marine capacity to monitor our waters and by such, there would always be fish constraints for what he called, “Illegal Unreported and Unprotected (IUU) Fishing Methods,” which he said is not only visible in Sierra Leone, but Africa as a whole and that the Continent is losing over $1 Billion because of such.
He commended the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Honourable Emma Kowa whom he described as a listen person who is ready to work with the Sierra Leone Artisanal Fishermen and ensure that smuggling of our fishes comes to an end.
The Ministry of Sports, FCC Organize First Primary Schools Handball Competition
The Sports Development Officer, Jibson Gaima handing over the trophy to the winning team, Dr. S.M Broderick Primary School
By Musa Kamara
The Ministry of Sports in partnership with the Freetown City Council (FCC) has recently organized the first ever Handball Tournament for Primary Schools in the Freetown Municipality.
Discussing with this medium, Jibson Gaima who is the Sports Development Officer attached to FCC from the Ministry of Sports said that the tournament is a continuation of what was earlier on done for the Football Competition that involves the Primary Schools and he went on to say that by extension of the Sports Ministry and FCC commitment to the development of sports, the Handball Competition for the first time ever is organized for Primary Schools in the Freetown Municipality.
He went on to enlightened that 12 schools from the eastern, central and western areas of Freetown were targeted for the competition and that the Sports Ministry and FCC think it is high time to spot talents from the grass roots and which talents he said would be thoroughly refined to meet international standard in sporting activities.
In his words, Lamin Sesay known popularly as Lambert who isthe Deputy Director of Sports said that the Handball event marks a milestone to the development of sports and especially for organizing such a tournament that is first in history for primary schools, which he described as the right approach from the bottom.
“The foundation you are going to lay is where we would start as a Ministry to develop the game,” he assured the pupils.
He also admonished the pupils to refrain from violence and he also encouraged the teachers and with specific reference to the Physical Health Education teachers, to make integrity count in all they do and especially spotting talents andhe also emphasized on the need for teachers to encourage the pupils to develop such sporting talents with the right mindset.
Alphonso Manley from the Civil Right Coalition called on teachers to uphold their integrity and especially when it has to do with shaping the mindset of pupils.
Alphonso insisted on the need for such a virtue by citing the just concluded Primary Schools Football Competition that saw one of the participating schools filling in an ineligible player, which action he said has to do with the lack of integrity on some of the teachers.
He emphasized on the need for such handball competition for the pupils which he described as the platform to showcase the very best in society.
Making a brief statement on behalf of FCC, Christiana T. Anthony assured all that FCC is working hand-in-glove with the Ministry of Sports to identify grass root talents and that the just concluded Football Competition and the Handball Competition is amongst many other projects of FCC’s collaboration with the Sports Ministry.
Some of the schools that participated were: Murray Town Municipal, E.B Williams, D.T Akibo-Betts Municipal, Tower Hill Municipal, Dr. S.M Broderick, Thomas Peters Municipal and by the end of such ground-breaking tournament, Dr. S.M Broderick won the finals against Murray Town Municipal.
The management and Staff of Tarrick Mackie wish His Excellency the president,Rtd. Brig. Julius Madaa Bio, Vice President Dr.Mohammed Jalloh,Carbinet Ministers,Parliamentarians and the people of Sierra Leone a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year
Sierra Leone Road Authority (SLRA)
The management and Staff of the Sierra Leone Road Authority wish His Excellency the president,Rtd. Brig. Julius Madaa Bio, Vice President Dr.Mohammed Jalloh,Carbinet Ministers,Parliamentarians and the people of Sierra Leone a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year
Orange (SL) signs partnership agreement with Sierra Leone Premier Club FC Johansen
By FC JOHANSEN PRESS
Orange (SL) mobile network has signed an unprecedented partnership agreement with one of the country’s leading and high profile club FC Johansen.
The event took place at the company’s headquarters Hill Station on Tuesday 10th December, 2019.
The elite club, founded in 2004 by the Sierra Leone Football Association President Madam Isha Johansen was borne out of a humanitarian recreational project for displaced kids from Sierra Leone’s civil war.
The club grew steadily from a non division club, making global participations in global tournament in Europe and African including the Gothia Cup youth world cup in Sweden and emerging Champions at the Youth Swiss cup in Switzerland in 2011 beating Liverpool’s youth side.
The only Football Club to have hosted two international tournaments in Sierra Leone ( 2009 and 2010) with teams from Brazil, Norway, South Africa amongst many other African Nationals and Club teams in participation.
The Orange signing will give the club extensive national and international visiblity and added rebranding.
According to the Chief Marketing officer of (Orange SL) Ms.Alimatu Mbaye said that she is ‘elated that Orange has partnered with FC Johansen which is part of our corporate social responsibilities,
Mohamed Kallon Head of Communications and Sponsorship disclosed that, FC Johansen is one of the Country’s best youthful team as a Company we are pleased to partner with them for this 2019/20 league season
Yesterday’s historical signing of the MOU was endorsed by youngest Premier Club CEO Malik Hilger who’s remarks were, this is a very proud moment for us as a club. We don’t want to build up high expectations, but we can assure our fans and sponsors that we will be an impressive force and do very well in this league”
Johansen Football Club is synonymous as being the breeding ground for young Football talents.
It is the home of youth football.
FOR HIS EXEMPLARY LEADERSHIP AT SLMA, KEN PHILIP SONDAI RECOGNISED BY DIASPORA FOCUS.
By PR DEPARTMENT
The Executive Director of Sierra Leone Maritime Administration, Ken Philip Sondai has been awarded by the Diaspora Focus for his “ESTIMABLE CONTRIBUTION TO NATION BUILDING”
Presenting the Award, the Administrative Head for Diaspora Focus, Ibrahim S. Fofanah commended Mr. Sondai for his tremendous contribution to the Maritime Industry. He added that the award is to recognise and serve as a motivation to individuals and institutions who are doing their best in achieving His Excellency the President Julius Maada Bio’s New Direction Agenda.
Receiving the award, the Executive Director thanked Mr. Fofanah and the entire Diaspora Focus team for recognising him. He assured the team that he will continue to work hard in order to achieve the Institutional objectives of the SLMA, thus contributing to Nation Building.
Anti-Corruption Court Commissioned
By ACC Media PR Unit
The Anti-Corruption Court has been commissioned by the Lord Chief Justice of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards, on Monday 9th December, 2019. The Anti-Corruption Court has been refurbished and equipped through judicial funds and support from the Department for International Development (DFID) for the purpose of trying cases that are charged to court by the Anti-Corruption Commission following investigations.
The public could recall that earlier this year, the Chief Justice had created the Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court by Statutory Instrument and five (5) Judges and Justices of the Superior Courts of Judicature had been designated to sit specifically on ACC cases.
The commissioning of the Anti-corruption Court on 9th December, 2019, completes the process of establishing the Special Court for Corruption that had been promised the people of Sierra Leone by His Excellency the President, Brig. (Rtd.) Dr. Julius Maada Bio at the State Opening of Parliament; which commitment was re-echoed by the Commissioner of the ACC who set to action, in partnership with the Judiciary and the DFID, to ensure it is delivered for the People of Sierra Leone. The court will immediately commence hearing cases charged by the Commission to ensure speedy and expeditious trial and conclusion of anti-corruption cases.
The new court is specifically designed with modern technology and equipped with ultra-modern transcribing, recording, audio-visual and other supporting technology and resources to ensure and aid the work of the court. It has its own sub-registry, filing and case management processes, and is managed by a carefully recruited and vetted new staffing to ensure insulated but fair processing of cases with integrity of the court and its outcomes maintained.
With the commissioning of the court following the successful enactment of the Anti-corruption Amendment Act, 2019; the proper foundations have been laid for a more robust consolidation of the gains in the fight against corruption and ensures a more efficient control of corruption by the Commission and all stakeholders in the fight against corruption.
The Commission thanks His Excellency the President; The Learned Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and her team; the Chief Justice and the entire Judiciary; the two consultants who put a lot of effort in realizing this goal – Bakhethisi K.T Mlalazi (Baki) and Madam Aminata Kandeh; and all other stakeholders who in diverse ways contributed to this effort and continue to support the conscientious fight against corruption.
“Sierra Leone is firmly committed to multilateralism”– Dr Francis Kaikai
Dr Francis Kaikai, Leader of the Sierra Leone delegation to the 9th Summit of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Heads of State and Government currently ongoing at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi, Kenya, has assured that Sierra Leone is firmly committed to multilateralism.
Honourable Dr Francis Mustapha Kaikai, who is the country’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development made this statement on Monday 9th December 2019 as part of his keynote address on behalf of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio, who was unavoidably absent for the ACP Summit.
Whilst making his remarks, Minister Kaikai said “The theme for this Summit: A Transformed ACP Group: Committed to Multilateralism” is apt and timely for our organization. In the last decade or so, our world has experienced a shift in international relations; we are experiencing growing advance towards isolationist policies, away from globalization which once held the key to global prosperity and eradication of extreme poverty; we now hear calls for the global south to rely more and more on itself and its own resources, etc. All this is happening as the world faces more challenges that defy national boundaries – wars, armed conflicts and terrorism, climate change, disease pandemics, global migration, cyber crimes, transnational crimes, money laundering, and trade wars, among others.”
Additionally, on behalf of the government and people of Sierra Leone, Minister Kaikai said that “it is imperative that the ACP Group, as a community of states with shared interests, history, culture and political economies, to deepen our relationships and build a future of solidarity and shared solutions that will transform the lives of our citizens. This calls for an all embracing multilateralism that serves as a cornerstone in our relations; it is also a call for deeper relations with the United Nations and our respective regional and sub-regional organisations; it is a call for stronger South-South, intra-ACP Cooperation in diverse fields, even as we continue to strengthen our support to triangular cooperation with the global North, particularly the European Union.”
Furthermore, Sierra Leone, Minister Kaikai said, is a relatively small state, and that the country knows the value of multilateralism in peacemaking, peace building, sustaining peace and security, fighting disease pandemics such as Ebola, fighting transnational crimes, fighting extreme poverty and promoting sustainable development.
The Minister therefore assured that Sierra Leone already has a medium term national development plan that focuses on Human Capital Development and inclusive economic growth. He said that Sierra Leone needs multilateral support for its implementation. Therefore he used the opportunity to thank all member states of the ACP that have contributed to and will continue to engage in Sierra Leone’s steady progress.
Against that backdrop he reaffirmed Sierra Leone’s committment to the ideals and aspirations of a transformed ACP that Sierra Leone “is committed to Multilateralism, a multilateralism that is truly inclusive that leaves none of our peoples, countries or regions behind.”
Earlier on in the day’s programme, the 9th Summit of ACP Heads of State and Government was officially opened by Kenyan President H.E. Uhuru Muigai Kenyetta as the Head of State of the host country, assumed the presidency of the ACP Group, accepting the gavel from outgoing president, the Hon. Davis Madava Steven, Deputy Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea.
Secretary General (SG) of the ACP Group, H.E. Dr. Patrick I Gomes, in his welcome statement, spoke on the theme of the Summit, “A Transformed ACP Committed to Multilateralism”, concluding, “The ACP – transformed and reinvented – looks to the continuation of your renewed guidance and wise counsel, as we enable a multilateralism rooted in everyday life and embedded to principles of justice and democratic governance.”
Seventeen heads of state and 70 of the 79 ACP Member States were in attendance at the Opening. Delegates from across the six ACP Regions and around the world attended the historical ceremony which was dominated by themes of unity and climate change.
First to the podium following the handover was H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, who represented the African region of the ACP Group. Citing several of the challenges such as poverty and marginalisation facing the ACP Group, the Ghanian President urged a unified approach and a strengthening of the cooperation to successfully address the challenges.
H.E. Ms. Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, representing the Caribbean region, issued her own challenge to the Group, asking them if they wanted to remain a relic of the past or a fast track to the future, cautioning, “We ACP must function on our own terms, not on the terms set by others.”
The Pacific region was represented by the outgoing President, H.E. Davis Madava Steven, who shared thoughts on regionalism and multilateralism in the Pacific.
H.E. Mrs. Hanna Serwaa Tetteh, Special Representative of United Nations Secretary-General to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) again touched on the challenges imposed by climate change and thanked outgoing SG Gomes for his stewardship of the Group.
Representing the European Union (EU), the ACP Group’s long term partner, newly-elected EU Commissioner responsible for International Partnerships, H.E. Ms. Jutta Urpilainen, commenting that it was only in the dictionary that “I” came before “We”, spoke warmly of the value of partnerships and the strength of the unique partnership between the EU and the ACP Group.
In his inaugural statement, President Kenyatta expressed his gratitude to the outgoing chair for his sterling leadership to ensure that the Group remains vibrant and relevant. During his chairmanship, he pledged that the vision and goals of the group would be placed at the centre of all international engagements to ensure that the ACP Group would become “a beacon of hope and multilateralism”.
The Summit, themed was preceded by Ministerial Sessions from 6 – 8 December 2019 at the KICC.
Meanwhile, other members of the Sierra Leonean delegation to the 9th Summit of ACP Heads of State and Governments comprises the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honourable Solomon Jamiru; the Sierra Leone Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium, HE Samuel Tamba Musa; HE Peter Joseph Francis, the Sierra Leone High Commissioner to Kenya; the Director of European Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs Sia Annie Tejan; the Director of Development Assurance and Coordination Office (DACO), Mr Kawusu Kebbay; the Minister Plenipotentiary Sierra Leone High Commission in Kenya and Delegation Coordinator, Mr Abdul Karim Kargbo; and the Head of Chancery Sierra Leone High Commission in Kenya, Mrs Juliana SH Fallah.
The first ACP Summit was held in Libreville, Gabon, on November 6-7, 1997, during which the ACP leaders undertook to meet on a regular basis. Consequently, ACP heads of state and government have met every two years on average, in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) on November 25-26, 1999; in Nadi (Fiji) on July 18-19, 2002; in Maputo (Mozambique) on June 23-24, 2004; in Khartoum (Sudan) on December 7- 8, 2006; and in Accra (Ghana) on October 2-3, 2008; Equatorial Guinea (Malabo) December 13-14, 2012; Papua New Guinea (Port Moresby) June 31 May to June 1, 2016.
ACP is an organization created by the Georgetown Agreement in 1975. The ACP Group’s main goals centre around the sustainable development of its member states and their gradual integration into the global economy; coordination of the activities of the ACP Group in the framework of the implementation of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreements; consolidation of unity and solidarity among ACP states and establishing and consolidating peace and stability in a free and democratic society.
International Anti-Corruption Day Observed
By Public Relations Unit, ACC
The Anti-Corruption Commission of Sierra Leone, in partnership with the Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law (CARL), has on Monday 9th December, 2019, joined other anti-corruption agencies in the world, to commemorate the International Anti-Corruption (IAC) Day 2019. The International Anti-Corruption Day is observed annually, on 9 December, since the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on 31 October 2003, to raise public awareness about the ills of corruption and what Governments can do to combat the scourge.
In commemorating this year’s IAC Day, the ACC, in partnership with CARL, staged a grand symposium at the Miatta Conference Centre, Youyi Building, in Freetown. The event brought together a body of experts in the anti-corruption space, Government officials, members of the diplomatic and consular corps, civil society organisations, the media, students and ordinary Sierra Leoneans; under the distinguished Grand Chief Patronage of His Excellency the Right Hon. Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Dr. Mohammed Juldeh Jalloh, with the theme “United Against Corruption to Ensure Quality Education”. The symposium created a platform for a national conversation around the standard of the country’s educational system which many Sierra Leoneans view as being near collapse.
Delivering the Keynote address on the theme “Reinforcing the Anti-Corruption War in the Education Sector: Connecting the nexus between accountability regimes and ensuring quality education in Sierra Leone”, the Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohammed Juldeh Jalloh started off by thanking the ACC for choosing him to give the keynote address on a topic that is dear to him as an individual, but also relevant to the government’s New Direction Agenda, which has education at the heart of their priorities.
The Vice President said that education is the measuring instrument of the rise and fall of a state. He said that, once prided as the best you could get in black Africa, our educational system, prior to the advent of the New Direction administration, was in a state of decadence. “Academic malpractice has become a routine exercise for schools across the country. It is sad and unacceptable”, he said. He furthered that what is prevailing in the country currently is a product of history, as educational institutions over the past decade were starved of the required resources to survive; and became centres of contestations. In order to reverse this trend, the Vice President stated that his administration has allocated the highest portion of the country’s budget to the educational sector. “Out of every ten (10) Sierra Leonean kid, eight (8) are now rushing to school because it is free”, he said.
The Vice President noted that, for the country to reclaim its past educational glory, requires three main approaches: process, structural and societal. He ended by reminding all that, state-centered approaches have their limits, but the inclusion of societal approach (including parents, civil society and media) is the only way out of the current malaise.
In his address, the Commissioner of the ACC Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. stated that the celebration of the day was an opportunity for the country to come together and reflect on what has happened in the fight against corruption over the past one year; and to strategize on how to attack the scourge going forward. He further stated that the selection of the theme for this year -United Against Corruption for Quality Education- by the ACC was deliberate, as corruption in the form of rampant examination malpractices is an existential threat to the future of the country; noting that desperate measures should be adopted to reverse the ugly trend. Giving a brief report on the status of the fight against corruption, the ACC Boss stated that, more than ever before, the country is now firmly positioned to effectively control corruption. “The message is going; there is a united cloud building against corruption. Sierra Leone just passed the strongest anti-corruption law -The 2019 Anti-Corruption Amendment Act – in Africa; which is going to be the blueprint in the fight against corruption across Africa. To complete the cyclone that is building against corruption, the Chief Justice will today be commissioning a space at the Law Court Building dedicated to host the Special Division in the High Court to deal with corruption cases.”
The ACC Commissioner further elucidated that the President has shown tremendous Presidential will by assenting to the new Amendment Act, amongst other support to the ACC.
Commissioner Kaifala ended by admonishing the public that he and his team at the ACC are prepared to lead the national crusade against corruption for the good of the country. He however stated that, as soldiers sent to the battle field to confront the monster of corruption, his team at the ACC will always need the unwavering support of the people of this country in this difficult war. “When we look back, we want to see the people standing behind us; especially when the going gets tough; when we take courageous and uncommon actions. Instead of asking “why did we do it”, we want the people to say “this is why they (ACC) did it”, because corruption has held the destiny of our country to ransom for a very long time.
The Executive Director of the Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law, Ibrahim Tommy, stated that all forms of corruption are bad; but grand corruption in the form of state capture hurts the country the most. He called on his colleagues in the civil society world to unite against the common enemy of corruption.
The British High Commissioner Simon Mustard, and the Nigerian High Commissioner Dr. Habiss Ibrahim Ugbada; both offered statements of commendation to the Government of Sierra Leone and the ACC for the tremendous progress made in the fight against corruption; and assured support on behalf of their nations.
A panel of experts comprising Lara Taylor Pearce (Auditor General), Dr. Brain Conton (Director Leone Preparatory School), Joe Pemagbi (County Director OSIWA), Ndeye Fatu Koroma (Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation Unit), thoroughly disected the theme of the event, in a panel discussion moderated by Justice Miatta Maria Samba, Justice of the Court of Appeal.
A performance by the Freetown players; and a resounding poetry presentation on corruption by teen sensation, Vicky de Poet; and a performance by Michael Faada George formed part of the event.
Let me say that Donsos, Tamaboros and Kapras etc were a resistant offshoot because of total neglect by the SLPP to protect the entire country; and so while the Kamajor was tribalistic, the others were defensive. The other militias were totally disregarded and I launched a campaign to buy hundreds of footwear for them. I gave the footwear to Madam Zainab Bangura and late SLPP Lands minister Bobson Sesay for onward distribution. To be understood, one has to sink into Norman’s mentality and what is aptly referred to as Norman’s War! Norman was wearing two caps- Dep Defense minister and head of the ethnic kamajor militia; supposed to be Father of RSLAF, seek their welfare and build morale in the force. But Norman hated the army, disarming the weapons, laid off servicemen who had served the army honourably, non-commissioned officers and experienced provost were unceremoniously sacked, given ten thousand leones and given a bundle of zinc and ordered out of the barracks. Then Norman started inciting kamajors to attack sojas. First in Njala, then in Kenema and subsequently a whole brigade headquarters in Bo was attacked by the ethnic army. This was the beginning of Norman’s war. Norman’s kamajor army armed with modern weapons and supported by the the Defense boss himself behaved towards the sojas with impunity. While this was going on, the Pademba Rd prisons population was rising at an alarming rate. The new inmates were sojas thrown into the maximum prison bcos of accusations of fighting kamajors including Johnny Paul Koroma. Meanwhile, no kamajor was arrested following these skirmishes. The situation became so volatile that Pres Kabbah had to step in and called for the formation of a Commission to look into the continuing conflict btwn sojas of the RSLAF and the kamajor militias. Former veep Joe Demby was appointed to head the Commission. Unfortunately, the Demby Commission neither published their findings nor did it even examined the purpose for which it was set up. Instead, the kamajors started getting more bold, creating check-points and searching for sojas who were then killed. Thus the scenario for further chaos was deliberately encouraged by Norman.
After serving for up to 27 years in the UN System, Pres Kabbah should know that a leader who makes an enemy of his own army is leading a whole nation into a fall. But Kabbah gave leeway to Norman who had more independence. Following the handing over ceremony to Pres Kabbah, the SLPP started targetting the military as a potential enemy. Tom Nyuma, one of the leaders of the former NPRC regime was virtually hounded out of the country thru the excesses of Norman and cohorts like Prince Harding. While the army top brass were trying to remain in the favour of the new govt, the SLPP and Norman were marginalizing them. Incredibly, Norman’s goal was to bring in the kamajors to replace our own army which was subsequently disbanded. Norman’s presence in Kabbah’s govt from day one is a major political blunder. Appointing a kamajor to head the Defense military is one move which resulted in dismal state of affairs. If Norman had not been so biased against the RSLAF in favour of his kamajor brothers, there would have been no AFRC junta, no Ecomog intervention, no Westside Boys and no January 6. And all those who died as a result of this national blunder may have been still alive instead of being dead with democracy banners hanging over their names. The Special Court for Sierra Leone is therefore a much-needed medicine to cleanse our lives of nefarious and wicked individuals who have reduced us to this shameful situation of cannibalism, extra-judicial killings, amputations, kangaroo courts and false imprisonment. Norman created another war. History will write the conclusion and the SLPP may write his epitaph. But has the SLPP learnt anything from it’s ugly past? Or is it that they’ll never learn and repeating the same mistakes of the past as they continue to entrench the same divisions? May God save Ma Salone!/ Paul Kamara- freedom fighter.
SL GRAMMAR SCHOOL WINS 1st INTER- SECONDARY SCHOOL QUIZ
Christian Lawyers Centre , also referred to as LEGAL LINK has successfully conducted the 1st Inter- Secondary School QUIZ competition on the laws and justice system in Sierra Leone in which the Sierra Leone Grammar School emerged as the winner.
Eight Schools were selected to participate in the pilot phase but only four were able to go through the auditioning exercise successfully.
These schools include the Sierra Leone Grammar School, King Fahad Islamic Secondary school, Beacon High school and Sierra Leone Muslim Brotherhood.
The quiz competition was hosted live at Star TV and the elimination series took place on Saturday, 23rd November 2019.
During the elimination series, Sierra Leone Grammar School defeated Muslim Brotherhood and proceeded to the finals while Beacon High school routed King Fahad Islamic secondary school and also proceeded to the finals.
On the 30th of November 2019, King Fahad and Muslim Brotherhood battled for the third position and King Fahad emerged victorious winning a consolation PRIZE of le 500,000.
The battle for the first position was between Sierra Leone Grammar School and Beacon High School and indeed it was a real clash of the titans.
But despite the heated battle, Sierra Leone Grammar School narrowly edged Beacon High School at the final rounds of the quiz and took home the star PRIZE of le 1,500,000.
Beacon High School, the runners up, took home the second PRIZE of le 1, 000,000 while the best quizzer prize and best behaved school prize went to the Sierra Leone Muslim Brotherhood.
It was indeed a successfully quiz competition and many dignitaries, secondary school authorities and viewers have appealed to LEGAL LINK for such to be repeated next year and in a wider dimension so as to incorporate many schools including those from the provinces.
Given its wider impact and benefits to secondary school pupils in terms of awareness rasing on the laws and justice system of Sierra Leone, LEGAL LINK will certainly hold the 2nd edition of this model quiz competition on the law and Justice System of Sierra Leone in the year 2020.
Thanks to STAR TV and all those that contributed to the success of the Quiz competition.