President Kagame Receives S/Leone High Commissioner.

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President Kagame Receives S/Leone High Commissioner.

 President of the Republic of Rwanda, His Excellency Paul Kagame  on Wednesday 29th January received letter of credence from the newly accredited Non-Resident High Commissioner of Sierra Leone to his country, Peter Joseph Francis.

 Presenting his letter of credence to President Paul Kagame at State House in Kigali,  High Commissioner Peter Joseph Francis noted with honor and privileged that Rwanda and Sierra Leone shares common values and aspirations

He noted that both countries also collaborates on multifaceted global issues and acknowledged the importance of Sierra Leone and Rwanda sharing membership of the Africa Union and in particular, the reform of the UN Security Council as contained in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration.

In addition, the envoy noted the recent signing of several Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and Agreements during the state visit last year by President Julius Maada Bio, to the Republic of Rwanda.

He noted President Bio’s visit to Rwanda was a key in cementing the already existing cordial and bilateral relations between the two countries.

The move he also”opened up for more cooperation between the two countries in various sectors of their economies.”

ConsequentlyPeter Joseph Francis confirmed that Sierra Leone has put all legislative and legal measures in place to actualize the implementation of the said MOUs, Agreements and for the establishment of a Joint Commission of Cooperation (JCC).

Ambassador Francis thanked President Kagame for his relentless role as President of Rwanda in personally going to visit at the Kigali hospital the Sierra Leonean Members of Parliament who were last year involved in a road accident whilst on official trip in Rwanda.

Responding to the Sierra Leone High Commissioner, President Kagame said he was very happy to have a very close relationship with President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone, noting that he is craving for an invitation from President Bio for him (Kagame) to pay an official visit to Sierra Leone.

Furthermore, following the presentation of the letter of credence by Peter Joseph Francis to President Paul Kagame, the Minister Plenipotentiary at the Sierra Leone High Commission in Nairobi, Abdul Karim Kargbo who accompanied the High Commissioner  were invited to the Annual Diplomatic Luncheon, hosted by the President at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Kigali.

Meanwhile, Peter Joseph Francis, who is the Sierra Leone High Commissioner to Kenya, is also accredited to UNON, UNEP and UN-Habitat.

 The High Commissioner resident in Kenya is also accredited to: Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Somalia, South Sudan, Burundi, Angola and Malawi.

WIFE KILLS HUSBAND

BY FEIMA SESAY

Lamrana Bangura of Maboreh Lumpa, Waterloo was on Wednesday 29 arraigned before Justice Monfred Sesay of the high court for allegedly killing of her husband Alie Bangura.

According to the indictment, the prosecution alleged that, the accused on 5 December last year; at Maboreh Lumpa Waterloo murder her husband Alie Bangura.

When the charge was read and explained to the accused, she pleaded not guilty.

The states prosecuting counsel Lawyer Joseph A.K Sesay Esq.  Whiles addressing the 12 jurors on the matter stated that, murder in law is when a normal person unlawfully kill another person by doing something to that person with an intention to either kill that or to cause serious body injuries to that person and dies within a year and a day following what the accused did to him/her.

He added that the death occur from different circumstance , including gunshot, strangulation, stab wound and hitting someone on his  body and therefore said with such definition, the prosecutions must provide  the following evidence  that, the accused is a normal person and that he /she was not mad when committing what was alleged .

The prosecutor continues that, if the accused was mad, it was for him to say so and not for the prosecution to say, adding that it is the duty of the prosecution also to show that the accused did something to the deceased and what he/she did cause the death of the deceased 

Whiles briefing the court about the fact of the matter stated that, the accused Lamrana Bangura and the deceased Alie Bangura were husband and wife residing at Maboreh Lumpa

 He recalled on the 5th December 2028, when the deceased requested the accused to fetch water for him to take birth and that whiles she went to carry out the instructions, a friend of the accused by the name of Augusta arrived and they started discussing forgetting about her husband’s instructions.

He said the deceased later came out to enquire why the accused has not carry out his instruction.

 He then reminded her of what he had said, that he does not want their friendship as she is responsible for their quarrels at home.

The prosecutor said an argument then ensued between the accused and the deceased and started fighting and inside the house where the accused held the scrotum of the deceased and started squeezing it.

 He added that during the process, the deceased shouted for help whiles the accused continues until the deceased fell down and rushed to the hospital where he died.

Zainab Bangura a pupil of Destiny Islamic Junior Secondary School in her testimony said the deceased was her uncle and the accused was her aunt

 She recalled that on the 5 of December 2018, she came home from school and met the accused and Augusta talking.

  She said  she meet the accused and the deceased quarrelling and when she enquire, the  uncle now deceased  told her that it because of Augusta they were both arguing  and said she requested both of them to stop the quarrel but they did not listened to her instead they continued.

“My Uncle now deceased hit the accused on her hand and the accused in turn held the deceased on his scrotum

 The deceased pleaded with the accused to leave him but she persisted

 She added that she tried to separate them but could not and  then went to their Aunty who also refused to come saying that the deceased had return the accused to her parents and why did he  return to his house.

  She said she went back home while they were still fighting and the accused  still holding on the deceased private and  pleading with her to leave him”, the witness explained.

She said she alerted their neighbors and the land lady who came to the scene and tried to stop the accused but she persisted until the deceased fell down and was rushed to the hospital where he subsequently died. 

Lawyer Elvis Kargbo Esq. was defending the accused Lamrana Bangura while the matter was adjourned for further hearing.

 The accused was however remanded in prison and had been there since 2018.

THE LIMKOKWING UNIVERSITY SAGA

By Mohamed Juma Jalloh

When asked what the magic bullet they used to transform his country Singapore, the founding father replied three times Education! Education! Education!

 In synchronization and confirmation to his response, there is no developed or rather developing country in the world not embarking on an educational revolution to promote national development.

Singapore as the envy of the world in almost every sphere of human endeavour, has never been an oil producing country but can boast of sophisticated oil refineries that can purify oil that is produced in Nigeria.

 The country also played host to Robert Mugabe the former, late President of Zimbabwe in one of its hospitals prior to his demise.

Sierra Leoneans (politicians included) are fond of drawing parallels with Singapore because both countries were former British colonies and attained independence  within the same period.

In Sierra Leone, critics of the previous APC government lampoons it for less prioritizing education and presiding over a sector ridden with cheating and all forms of malpractices cutting across the entire educational fiber.

In fairness to the APC regime, it was not all doom and gloom in that tertiary educational institution were heavily subsidized and scholarships were on the offering for female students desiring to pursue courses in sciences.

 In recognition of the principle of continuity which is a major characteristic of governance, the New Direction government did not interrupt the female scholarships but instead allowed it to persist.

The inevitable question that follows is, what is responsible for the challenges that has fraught the scholarship issue at the Limkokwing University?

In 2014, the APC government realized the dearth of skills in information and communications technology in the educational sector, as students graduate from universities without an iota of computer skills. Eventually, Limkokwing University as an international institution of higher learning with footprints in over 130 countries was contracted to offer a new kind of human capital initiative

Fully equipped with new technological skills, entrepreneurial mindset and a global outlook to match the future needs of industries.

 As the former Minister of Education, Science and technology Dr Minkailu Bah puts it “Limkokwing is a university of innovation and technology. The establishment of this kind of institution in Sierra Leone will change the education of the country. It will move from a traditional education system to a knowledge base education that will empower the youths, an education that will allow the youths to enter the job market unhindered”. 

After the end of the Ebola outbreak, the university began operations in 2016.

Entry qualifications for government sponsorships to enroll for a diploma programme is 3 credits of WASSCE or O`LEVELS in not more than 2 sittings.

 On the other hand, in order to enroll for a Degree programme one must possess 5 credits of WASSCE or O`levels in more than 2 sittings.

Courses offered at the university are wide ranging including Diploma in architectural technology, Bsc in information technology and Bachelor of Business in international business and entrepreneurship.

As a private university, the institution is run out of internally generated funds from student fees

 Private students not on scholarships pay $3000 per annum for a programme of choice.

 According to the memorandum of understanding, the same amount must be paid by government  on behalf of students who are on scholarship to the university administration.

 Upon assumption into governance, the SLPP government raises eyebrows on the agreement citing it as exorbitant and instead opted and promised to pay 50% of the scholarship.

 Sources from the university administration have confirmed that despite the commitment of the government, it has so far reneged on disbursing the 50% scholarship reduction fees

. It is reported that since 2018 the university has been pre- financed to undertake it’s day to day work by the President and founder Dr Tan Sri Dato Sri Paduka Limkokwing in the best interest of the students to pursue their courses.

 Running a tertiary institution is not a mean exercise, lecturers and administrators has to be emoluments, learning and teaching paraphernalia has to be procured and utility bills such as water, electricity and sanitation services like clean Salone has to be incurred.

Meanwhile as government continues to drag  feet on the issue, students are bearing the brunt of the financial procrastination.

 The academic progress of students expected to promote on a yearly basis have got stocked and stagnated at the same level.

 Students who have completed 4 years degree programme, earnestly hoping to enter the labor market are yet to graduate and gain access to their qualifications.

 Those students expected to take their final year exams are held in tenterhooks as of those who are expected to experience a firsthand internship programme.

Unsubstantiated rumors do abound in many circles that the scholarship were awarded not based on meritocracy but on nepotism, tribalism and regionalism grounds

. Alpha Bah a final year student in software engineering with media, noted that even though there were allegations of “sababu” involved in acquiring the scholarships he never stops shuttling between the Ministry of Higher Education and the university campus at Hill station, until he succeeded.

Mr. Bah continued that even though there is a tendency to politicize development in Sierra Leone, the recent scholarships awarded to students to pursue different courses in Morocco were virtually given to south easterners.

By and large it is very difficult for the political argument to hold regarding the disbursement of resources to tertiary educational institutions. Njala University located in the southern part of Sierra Leone overwhelmingly dominated by people hailing from the southeast.

Even though there were some occasional strikes involving the Academic staff association and students that continues up till date, the previous APC government heavily subsidized the Njala University.

Therefore, in the interest of national development it is wise and prudent for the new direction government to continue with the Limkokwing scholarship programme. Around the digitations is driven innovations and the labor structure in Sierra Leone requires the participation of agile young minds to think in new ways that push the boundaries. The university has designed a unique ecosystem that addresses both academic needs as well as talent development. Whenever students are allowed to graduate ,they will leave the university with more than just degrees as thy will be able to discover their inherent talent and passion which will eventually lead them to participate in the new economy of the 21st century be it in Sierra Leone or globally.

Like the internet, network application has made a tremendous impact on industry, commerce, education and society. For a graduate in Information and communications technology will have the opportunity to develop skills in analysis, design, implementation and evaluation of many aspects of network computing using new and establish techniques. In the end students would be equip with the knowledge of setting up, trouble shooting and maintaining a network. The fruitful career opportunities open to the students includes network designer, network administrator ,security analyst, telecommunications engineer, information security engineer, network consultant, project manager, client or server specialist and lead programmer.

Another lucrative career opportunity is interior architecture. Graduate students will enjoy a wide ranging opportunities in exhibition design, event management, public space planning, commercial space planning, set design for entertainment industry, furniture design, residential design, retail design, visual merchandising and information design. The growing emphasis on good quality and outstanding design and the increasing number of housing estates, shopping plazas, theme parks, commercial buildings, government complexes, new airports, trains and other transportation model require the services of interior designers and interior architects.

Moreover in the days of artificial intelligence and cyber security challenges, the Limkokwing university would be a hub for data protection awareness creation and provide capacity building and implementation support for computer emergency response

. It is nice to end with a quote from the president and founder of Limkokwing University of creative technology. “As a university focused on innovation and bringing the worlds latest in creative technology, we will build human capital essential for the transformation of Sierra Leone into an innovative nation.

 The enabling power of latest information and communication technologies means that young Sierra Leoneans will effectively drive the process of transformation and to build on the nations hope for the future”.                  

ASLACAN Boosts Christian Hope School

By Ibrahim Saddam

ASLACAN Foundation Sierra Leone has offered scholarships worth six hundred thousand Leones per pupil, learning materials and relevant text books to the Christian Hope primary and secondary school Cox Street, Kissy

The head of ASLACAN Sierra Leone, Christian Taylor, said pupils constitute the school and not the building, noting that the products of an institution determine it quality in terms of performance.

He revealed that during the decade long war in the country together with other Sierra Leoneans they migrated to Spain where they held meeting on what contribution could they offer to Sierra Leone   to lift the country to the height peak by soliciting assistance funds for the poor and needy.

“We have donated scholarships and school learning materials worth Million of Leones to the Christian Hope Primary and Secondary schools.” Christian Taylor said.

Mr. Taylor insisted that pupils that were not promoted to the next academic level will not benefit from the scholarship scheme.

He informed parents and community stakeholders that members of his association will be visiting the pupils at their respective homes.

Alfred Junior Brima, the proprietor Christian Hope School extended his gratitude and appreciates the foundation for the donation and awarded of scholarships.

He said Specifically the scholarships is for those  children that have lost their parents and called on pupils to take advantage of the opportunity that many deprived pupils are yearning for.

Vice Principal, Ibrahim Koroma lauded the venture by members of ASLACAN Foundation to chose a school that is situated in one among the hard to reach community at Kissy.

He said as a staff of the school they will take good care of the gesture and always ready to delivered knowledge to the pupils.

Chief Pa Alimany Sesay, expressed appreciation to ASLACAN for the donations and scholarships and also pleaded to the Foundation to assist the Television pole community with a health center to prevent community members rushing to hospitals far away   from their community.

Hawanatu Mary Kamara, a beneficiary “I thanked the Foundation for considering me and over the years my parent find it difficult to pay my school fees but with this intervention of ASLACAN it’s now a thing of the past”.

She said Television pole community is among the poor and hard to reach community in Kissy and its environs with lack of most basic amenities.

She added that the major occupation of the residents were petty   trading, agriculture and cool burning

Ministry of information condemns violence and lawlessness

The attention of Government has been drawn to a public disorder incident that occurred on Sunday 26th January, 2020 along Ecowas and Wallace Johnson Streets in Freetown.

The incident resulted in several injuries and malicious damages to vehicles and buildings in the vicinity.

These acts undermine the efforts of Government to rebrand the country as a favorable destination for foreign direct investment, tourism and business.

 Government will therefore spare no effort in ensuring that Sierra Leoneans and all other nationals resident in this country enjoy a peaceful and serene atmosphere in our journey to rebuild the economy and continue to create a society that will cater for the needs of the present and future generations.

Whilst noting that Peace and Security are essential for stability in governance and provides a nurturing ecosystem for development, Government hereby encourages all citizens to remain calm, exercise restraint whilst the Sierra Leone Police continues its investigations.

Government assures all that it will fully investigate this act of violence and lawlessness and bring to book all perpetrators and their sponsors as the incident constitutes a clear threat to peace and stability in the country.

Government encourages members of the public who have relevant information regarding this incident to direct such information to the Media and Public Relations Unit of the Sierra Leone Police at its headquarters on George Street, Freetown.

“IMF pleased to be Supporting Sierra Leone

-IMF First Deputy Managing Director

The First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mr David Lipton in his maiden visit to Sierra Leone has on Monday 27th January stated that the fund is very pleased to be supporting Sierra Leone.

He made this statement during courtesy call on the Minister of Finance at his treasury building office. 

Mr Lipton said that the International Monetary Fund is very pleased to be supporting Sierra Leone and they want their programs to help Sierra Leone to make progress, noting that he is seeing the President putting emphasis on delivery which according to him is a very good and important message.

He stressed the importance of delivery in governance and regarded it as the ultimate objective.

According to him, for government to put in place the important building blocks to achieve delivery sometimes takes a long time and it cannot be immediate, adding that he hopes to engage the government on those building blocks.

“Very importantly, the government needs to be developing strong enough potential for the mobilization of domestic revenues so that it doesn’t end up overborne by debt,” he advised.

He said this visit is an opportunity for him to visit some of the subjects that the government is placing emphasis on such as education, human capital development, technology and infrastructure.

“I hope to gain some insight here, and to hear also about your development plans and I also hope to exchange views with a wide range of people including those in government,” he said

Representing the Minister of Finance,  Deputy Minister (1) of Finance Dr Patricia Lavalie commends Mr David Lipton and team for the visit and regarded the visit as very timely one.

“We just came back from a cabinet retreat two days ago and we believe that our performances are on track.

The retreat was quite a very good one and the President essentially injected a new energy into the senior leadership team. So coming at this time is very timely,” she said.

The First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mr David Lipton is scheduled to undertake series of activities while in Sierra Leone.

These activities are: visit local public school with briefing on the Government’s flagship, Briefing on new National Innovation & Digital Strategy, Presentation of the Proposal for Fund’s Anti-corruption Challenge, Lunch with local business community and civil society, Meeting with Governor Kelfala Kallon, Meet 4Her, an organization supporting women and girls at riskto make donation on behalf of “IMF Giving”, and Meeting with President, H.E. Julius Maada Bio before departing on Tuesday 28th January.

LAND RIGHTS BILL FOR PARLIAMENT

The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) on Tuesday January 28th is part of other members of the Technical Working Group on the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for the Governance of Tenure of Land Fisheries and Forests (VGGT) in the country that began a series of regional consultations on the two draft Bills on Customary Land Rights and the Lands Commission.

The exercise started on Tuesday 28th, January in Kenema, in the east and will continue to the other regions of Bo in the South on 30th January, Makeni in the North on 4th February and Port Loko in the North west on 7th February.

The purpose of these consultative engagements is to get the views and approval of the people on these two draft Bills before submission to Government for final enactment into law.

The HRCSL is represented by the Deputy Director in the Directorate of Monitoring and Research and in charge of Business and Human Rights, Abdulai Yolla Bangura. The  role of the HRCSL is to ensure that the entire exercise is human  rights based particularly so when looking at land governance in a business context and to apply business and Human Rights standards in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPS) and other relevant international and regional human rights standards.

The participants in these consultations include local and traditional authorities, landowners, youth groups, women’s groups, civil society organizations, the Press  the forces, tribal leaders, representatives of districts and city councils, etc.

The Minister of Lands and Country Planning, Dr. Denis Sandy serves as keynote speaker whilst the legal consultants present both Bills to the people.

The exercise is coordinated by the   VGGT Secretariat at the Ministry of Lands and with support from FAO.

Mercury Reveals Plans

Marketing Manager, Mercury International, Samuel

Cross-section Marketing team on field work

Marketing Manager, Mercury International Sports Betting & Lottery Company, Samuel Horton has on Monday, said they will continue to embark on the promotions for their virtual games amongst several other plans this year, and will also ensure that their products are friendly and attractive to the less fortunate or less privileged.

According to Mr Horton, as part of their early plans this year, they have already finished the mapping out process of the Company’s Retailers and their various locations across the country.

He said: “So far we have almost finished the mapping out process of our retailers and the various locations to which they are situated and at the same time pushing the online product and virtual games simultaneously. We will be running promotions for the virtual games soon, and lots of attractive prizes would be up for grabs.”

Also, as part of their work plan, the Marketing Manager further revealed that they are also working on having a proper grasp of every retailer’s location to avoid constant migration.

He said: “We are also working to reach our customers swiftly with new products for them to have a proper insight into how these games are played, and to also enable our customers to make swift complaints whenever they are not satisfied with the attitude of our retailers.”

 African Peer Review Mechanism Pays Courtesy Call on Pres. Bio, Praises Maintenance of Good Governance

The national governing council of the African Peer Review Mechanism, APRM, has paid a courtesy call on His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio, and praised him for maintaining good governance in the country. 

Presenting the team to the President, the Executive Secretary for the APRM, Dr Charles Joezie Silvia, said they had mutually agreed on the instrument that was voluntarily acceded to by member states of the African Union as a self-monitoring mechanism.

Dr Silvia said that APRM was founded in 2003, and Sierra Leone joined it in 2003 with the mandate of encouraging conformity with regards to political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards, among African countries. He added that the objective around socio-economic development was also to ensure monitoring and evaluation of AU Agenda 2063 and SDGs 2030.

Chairman of APRM, Ms Abigail Renner, expressed deep gratitude to President Bio on behalf of the Secretariat. She added that they were pleased with the leadership of the President to strengthen the capacity, reinforce and monitor compliance of the standards of APRM in Sierra Leone.

“Your Excellency, we will continue to work hard to ensure that Sierra Leone positions herself in meeting the requirements that were set among its continental peers, and also to support your administration achieve the desired successes, especially in promoting best practises not only in our beloved country, but in Africa as a whole,” she noted.

On his part, President Bio thanked members of the visiting team, stating that he was pleased to see that the Secretariat was reconstructed and now functional. He added that he wanted to see a cleaner image of Sierra Leone in the international arena.

“Good governance is at the heart of everything we are doing. We want to be useful members and to play our part for all to see and it should be acceptable around the world. We all should work hard to make us better to deliver on our mandates,” he emphasised.

Civil Right Activist Testifies in Ibrahim Samura’s Murder

By FEIMA SESAY

Suliaman Tarawally former reporter of the SLBC and now a Civil Right Activist has on Tuesday 28 January 2020 before Magistrate Mark Ngegba of court No2 testifies in the murder Trial of Ibrahim Samura involving Abu Bakarr Daramy and Herbert George Williams.

The witness in further testimony said the deceased Ibrahim Samura was his friend and had known him for a very long time before he died.

He also recognized the accused persons and further recalled the 1st April 2018, adding that on the aforementioned date he was presenting a program on the SLBC Call “High way’’ and that during the program, he called the deceased  as a guest in respect of the allegation of an assault on him  during the 31st March 2018 general election.

Tarawally said the deceased later came to the station and confirm the allegation to be true, stating further that, he was physically assaulted by some APC Members and that the group was led by  former President Ernest Koroma daughter Dankay Koroma, former Deputy Minister of Trade Ibrahim Washiga Mansaray and Sanusi Bruiski  along the Lumley round about.

He said the deceased further told him during the Radio program that, he was taken pictures with his phone when they rushed at him and started beating him with dog chains but they were later intercepted by former Media One Superintendent Ibrahim Samura who took him to the Lumley police station and obtained statement from him.

The witness further disclosed that, the interview he had with the deceased was recorded and place in his achieve, adding that when he later heard that, the deceased had died he played the interview again in another edition of his program for the public to hear and he was later called by the police at CID where he handed over the recordings.

He also told the court that, he has copies of the said recordings.

At this juncture, the state prosecuting counsel Lawyer Adrian Fisher requested for an adjournment for the said copy of the audio recordings to the brought to court and transcribes. His application was not objected to by the defense counsels.

Magistrate Ngegba however granted his application and adjourned the matter to the 5th February 2020 and the accused where remanded in prison.

It could be recalled that the accused Abu Bakarr Daramy and Herbert George Williams were brought to court on two counts charges of Murder and Causing Grievous bodily harm contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.

According to the indictments, the police alleged that, the accused on Saturday 31st March 2018, along Lumley Round about Freetown murder the deceased Ibrahim Samura.

FCC Hosts American Institute of Architects RREPS (AIA)

Three high-profile representatives from the American Institute of Architects – Mr. Joel Mills, Senior Director of the American Institute of Architects; Ms. Erin Simmons, Senior Director of Design Assistance – Center for Communities at the American Institute of Architects; and Mr Wayne Feiden, Director of Planning & Sustainability for the City of Northampton, Massachusetts – have visited FCC to explore opportunities for supporting FCC in planning the city.

During the first two days (22nd & 23rd January)of their weeklong visit, the representatives of AIA met with ward councilors and senior council officials, funding agencies and MDAs, including the Ministry of Lands, the Ministry of Transport & Aviation, and the Monument & Relics Commission.

They also had a site tour of the city before engaging with architects practicing in Sierra Leone to share ideas on place making, creating public spaces and CBD regeneration around the proposed cable car stations which will be the primary focus of their collaboration with FCC.

This visit from the AIA is a preliminary engagement. A larger multidisciplinary AIA team will now be constituted for a longer working visit to Freetown as FCC progresses with the detailed feasibility studies required by funders for the proposed Freetown Cable Car system.

We are grateful for the generous pro-bono support being offered to FCC by the American Institute of Architects and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership.

The  National Chairman,

NRM APC.

Pademba Road

Freetow                 28/1/2020

+23276653840

+23288751155

Dear Chairman,

Letter of Resignation from the NRM APC.

We the undersigned individuals, who were members of the above group, write to inform you of our resignation from the said group with immediate effect.

Following the 2018 general elections, which saw the APC go into opposition after losing the Presidential elections, we join you and few young people with like minds to push for reforms in our beloved party. The movement, which started initially as National Council of Radical Elite ( NACORE) later changed to NRM as we call it today  met with the leadership to put our grievances and recommendations across.

The leadership of the party, including the Chairman and Leader gave us audience and granted our demands by constituting a nine-man committee to look into the reasons responsible for the poor performance of the party in the 2018 Presidential Elections.

The Nine-man committee upon completion of their work made series of recommendations, including the review of the current December 5th, 1995 constitution of the party, which was one of our demands

During the presentation of the nine man committee report, the Chairman and Leader of our party Former President Koroma admitted all the blames levied on him, openly apologized and promised thorough implementation of the nine man committee report.

Keeping to his promise, a constitutional review committee was setup to review the current constitution and members of our movement, including your very self Mr Chairman (Sheridan Kamara) were chosen to serve on that committee.

Members of our movement, especially you and Sorie Tarawally Esq. in the United States of America were fully engaged and involved in the review process and your membership in the committee gave the NRM unvented access to the whole process and helped have our positions reflected.

 It began with your (Mr Chairman) resignation from the CRC, which some of us questioned and your acceptance of sponsorship from  former flag bearer aspirants and stakeholders who financed our proposed conference which was to be held in Port Loko and other activities of the NRM.

Many of us saw this move as going against our ideology as we have been preaching for reforms and removal of older folks.  To receive funds from folks who are of the same age as those we want to see take the back seat and have been part of the same system we want to reform did not make sense. Moreover, we felt extremely disturbed when Alphan Khan in particular in our meetings preached the idea of working with the current government to transform our movement into a political party should the leadership of the APC fail to adhere to our demands  which to us, the leadership of the party had already started addressing.

The infiltration of these former Flag bearer aspirants into our genuine Movement with their ill motivated and malice against the party leadership and some individuals have destroyed the meaning of our movement which did not target anybody but issues of genius, fairness and democratic principles.

Let us also hasten to inform those former flag bearer and other stakeholders who are sponsoring you that their names and amount they have contributed will be made public if the right thing is not done. (They know what we mean)

Mr Chairman, you broke the Camel’s back when you decided to take our party to court against our advice and without our notice. What made it even worse is you seeking the services of a known opposition lawyer and sitting Member of Parliament of Parliament for the SLPP to take our party to court with the aim to drag it in the mud.

In lieu of the aforesaid, we the undersigned individuals are disappointed and we are moving on with the reformation drive of our party.

Let me hasten to inform you that we have apologized to the party and will continue to work with the leadership of our party as the National Reformation Movement (NRM) for real and meaningful reform of our party since you have decided to take our party to court against the wish of the majority of the membership of the movement.

Sincerely,

Signed.

1. Ahmed Timbo Koroma

National Coordinator NRM

2. Deputy National Coordinator NRM.

3. Western Urban Coordinator NRM.

4. Western Rural Coordinator NRM.

5. National Treasurer NRM.

6. National Chairlady

7. Kambia District Coordinator

8. Southern District Coordinator

9. Deputy Northern District Coordinator

10. East District Coordinator

11. Genuine members across the country.

 Late President Joseph Saidu Momoh memorialized  

 KABS KANU

Late President Major General (rtd) Joseph Saidu Momoh (SL 27) was born in January 26, 1937 , and passed away on 8 March, 2003 . Uncle Joe would have been 83 years on January 26, 2020 .

The military Officer and Statesman had his military Training in the Federal Republic of Nigeria where he met Nigeria General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida , and both Officer cadets became mates & friends before he went to UK for further training where he won another honor , sword of honor, best overseas cadet.

Momoh was appointed Force Commander In 1971 by President Siaka Stevens when he fell out with his Force Commander, Brigadier John Amadu Bangura ( SL 02)

Stevens promoted Momoh from Lieutenant Colonel to Colonel and appointed him Acting Force Commander whilst the then Deputy Force Commander, Colonel Sam H King ( SL 18) was asked to retain his post as Deputy Force Commander.

Momoh was later promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, and in 1983 he became the first Major General in the Republic of Sierra Leone Military Force ( RSLMF ) which is today renamed as Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces ( RSLAF)

When President Stevens was about to retire from active politics, he decided to make his Military Chief, General Momoh the next President of Sierra Leone instead of his 1st Vice President, Hon Sorie Ibrahim Koroma. I may explain the reasons another time.

At the August 1985 All People’s Congress ( APC) Bintumani Convention , President Stevens forced his 1st Vice President, Hon SI Koroma to nominate the serving Nation’s Military Chief, Major General JS Momoh as the Leader and Secretary General of the APC which SI did , but burst into tears .

The nomination was seconded by the 2nd Vice President, Hon Francis M Mina .

In the 1985 National Referendum, Gener

al JS Momoh, the only Presidential Candidate won with 95% Yes , and became elected President of Sierra Leone, a unique history was made in Africa.

Uncle Joe was not actually a politician. He surrounded himself with people who have no respect for him or probably didn’t even appreciate him as their leader because they too wanted the office; they were seeing JS as just a military man. So within a year or so, they decided to enrich themselves, and made the President unpopular. Uncle Joe courageously admitted over the BBC Focus on Africa that he had failed the People of Sierra Leone.

  • An honest gentleman.

Trust me, knowing the gentleman Officer, he would have resigned, but was held hostage by the “Ekutay” a Limba Tribal Organization.

A dismissed Army Corporal Foday Sankoh with the support of other disgruntled Sierra Leoneans, invaded the Eastern border Village in Kailahun district with hired Charles Taylor’s NPFL Rebels killed two officers, some personnel and 14 civilians including the Village Chief on the 23rd March , 1991.

Momoh was forced to draft the 1991 Constitution in order to return Sierra Leone to Multi Party Democracy, but Momoh’s APC Government was overthrown by a 25 year old Army Captain VEM Strasser and his friends ; SAJ Musa, JM Bio, Komba Kambo , Tom Nyuma, Charles Bayoh, SS Sandi among others

Momoh went into political exile to Guinea Conakry as he turned down his friend, General IBB‘s offer to go to Nigeria.. I may explain further with time.

Uncle Joe was a personal friend of mine. He took great care of me in and out of Sierra Leone.

A pleasant and kind Commander, a friend and mentor.

May his soul continue to Rest in Peace

BS Conteh ( SL 300)

Col ( rtd) but not tired

Brief Research on Colonavirus

by OSMAN NDOYIA BATTULLO KOKOFELE      

I have done a brief research and read some literatures about Coronavirus and l have decided to bring it to the fore for my numerous followers on social media to have a gist about this deadly virus.

 Coronavirus started in the central Chinese City of Wuhan on the 12th December, 2019.

The main source of the Colonavirus has not been identified but two research papers have postulated that bats and snakes are the possible culprits.

 Wuhun is a market city of stall trading in different animals, including snakes, marmots and poultry. These wet markets are popular in China and customers purchase their meat “warm ” that is recently slaughtered.

The Colonavirus are very common in animals, they live in pigs, domestic and wild birds, bats,dogs, cats, camels etc.

The Colonavirus is highly contagious and has infected 5,000 people, killing 131. According to expert, the death toll will certainly rise.

The Colonavirus  is highly contagious and its symptoms include fever, fatigue, sore throat and dry cough and may later develop into breathing difficulties.

Having said that, l want to ask how prepared are we as a Country not to be infected with this deadly virus, considering the high influx of Chinese in Sierra Leone?

What about our compatriots that are flying in and out of China? 

Apart from that, what  plans have we put in place, if China closes their aid, loans, and grants because of this deadly virus.

Mark you, China has a second largest economy in the world, the fastest growing economy in the world, hence suffice to say that if “United States of America (USA) and China sneeze, the rest of the world will caught cold”.

It behooves all of us to pray for China to defeat this deadly and contagious virus named Coronavirus.

I have the moral fortitude as a Sierra Leonean to wish our well wisher (China) well.

If this virus continues, it will indirectly, if not directly affect Sierra Leone.

I finally wish my Sierra Leonean compatriots in China well.

REPEALING THE CRIMINAL LIBEL LAW

As I See it … Before the dust settles …

Politicians Must Bite the Bullet…

By Kelvin Lewis

Since the Criminal Libel Law was imported from Ghana and passed into law in Sierra Leone in 1965, succeeding Governments and the Politicians have been using it mainly against journalists.

In the 1980’s the pattern was to arrest the journalist after Muslim prayers (around 2 to 3pm) on Friday, take him to the CID, take statement and charge him, and keep him until Monday. If the angst against the journalist is still boiling then he is taken to Court on Monday, denied bail until after the following weekend. Paul Kamara of For Di People fame suffered this lot during that era.

Nowadays the pattern has modified. The journalist is invited or arrested late afternoon or evening and taken to the CID. There they go through the motion of interrogation and statement taking. This process goes on until about 8 to 9pm. Then the journalist is told the Police bosses have gone home and there is no one to vet the statement and issue the order for his release so he has to sleep. He is then transferred to the cells to continue the interrogation the following day. Whichever way the journalist is detained even though the period varies according to the angst or boiling anger; it rarely ever gets to court. The last case to go to court was Jonathan Leigh and Bai-Bai Sesay against Ernest Bai Koroma.

I have found it difficult to understand what the politicians really intend to achieve by locking up the journalist? I ask this question because detaining the journalist does not in any way repair the reputation of the politician, hitherto tarnished by the journalist. In fact, what it does is to further soil whatever is left of that “good name” if there was any in the first place.

Let me explain. When the public learns of a journalist being arrested albeit “on the orders” of a politician, their sympathy immediately goes to the journalist without enquiring. This is because the public sees politicians as untrustworthy people and in any infraction with a journalist, they straight away jump to the conclusion without asking, that the politician is using power to bully the journalist. The public sides with the journalist because they know that journalists largely speak on their behalf and more importantly they believe journalists are the only people via their profession who can challenge and get under the skin of the all powerful politicians.

The Journalist fraternity

With this sympathy, other journalists come around in solidarity, (regardless of whether he is right or wrong) and begin to call for his release. As the calls get louder the spotlight is then turned on the politician and accusations of him being the perpetrator gains momentum. The Civil Society Organisations, Human Rights Defenders join in. Then International Press defenders like the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) note the incident down with the name of the politician, this is followed by others like Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Freedom House, International Federation of Journalist (IFJ) and West African Journalist Association (WAJA) and others. They put the politicians name on record and when ever anyone visits their web sites, the politicians name stands out there.

Effect on the Country

This goes to affect the country because the Press Freedom Index is affected for the worse and it is important to note that even the MCC look to these international press institutions to rate certain categories. If one should check the latest 2020 MCC score card, (https://www.mcc.gov/who-we-fund/scorecard/fy-2020/SL) Freedom Of Information scored 85%, but if one should watch the small print underneath the score, one would see RSF/Freedom House/CLD – these are the agencies responsible for that score. Freedom House is similarly listed under Political Rights and Civil Liberties exclusively. Freedom House is a US government NGO who specialises in research on democracy. It supports the Press Freedom Index and on its own it releases the Freedom In The World report and the Freedom On The Net. Also the US release their own Human Rights report where each country is assessed through work done by the embassy on – among others, Press Freedom.

So with the local press organisation (SLAJ), the local CSO’s and NGO’s, the in country embassies and the International Press advocacy organisations (RSF/CPJ/Freedom House) the politician certainly does not win by using the criminal libel against journalists. Through the work of these organisation the politician most obviously is left fighting to protect what is left of a soiled reputation. The recent experience of the Chief Minister is a case in point. Without any substantive proof that he is guilty, his reputation was soiled. Of course the court of public opinion weighed heavily against him, forcing him to explain his actions via a press release and sympathetic posts from friends and family; and even the Paramount Chief from his homeland, could not successfully clean his already soiled reputation. Sadly, he will have to live with the taunting of an unexplained $1.5 million by his political opponents for the rest of his active political life.

Another case in point is the one between Justice Miatta Samba and Mamud Tim-Kargbo. The learned Judge saved herself by stating in court that she was/is a Human Rights Lawyer and she was not opposed to Tim-Kargbo being released on bail.

My point is when the issue is described as Criminal Libel in law it warrants a jail sentence. When the same issue is described as Civil Libel, it warrants a fine.

“Poverty in the media”

One of the reasons I have argued against use of the Criminal Libel is the drama which surrounds it. And this is not only because of the jail or detention, which admittedly is paramount, but in addition to all the noise from journalist organisations, the fact remains, the reporter, his publisher, the production official, the manager of the commercial printing press, the newspaper vendor who sells in the street are all liable to be dragged to jail.

The New Breed case Vs Valentine Strasser, the For Di People Vs Ahmed Tejan Kabbah are vivid examples, where the manager of Atlantic Printers was jailed along with Dr Spencer (Editor, New Breed) and Paul Kamara (Editor, For Di People) and the Old Lady who owned John Love printers spent time in jail. They knew nothing about the offending stories, they were only contracted to print. In fact both Printing Houses summarily collapsed as businesses. This provided ammunition for people interested in investing in the media to take their monies elsewhere. Thus because of the Criminal Libel there is “poverty in the media” to use the words of the Hon. Vice President.

The Civil Libel

When the Civil Libel is used nobody shouts. The journalist is on his own. The media backers (SLAJ, International Press Organisations, Human Rights, NGOs and CSOs) all remain silent … why? Because he is not detained or jailed. He can spend time in jail because he does not fulfil bail, but not because of what he has published.

The case of Philip Neville (Editor, Standard Times) and Finda Koroma, where Civil Libel was used, only came to prominence when the court forced the journalist to publish the judgement in other newspapers other than Standard Times. There was no drama. The lady got compensated and the publication of the judgement was done with a little more prominence than the manner in which the offending story was done.

The Civil Libel calls for fines. If the journalist cannot pay the fines, then his property is confiscated by the courts to make up the amount of the fine. If the journalist is so poor and has nothing, then he is declared a bankrupt. Being declared a bankrupt means the journalist cannot practice journalism again because the law says a bankrupt cannot practice any regulated profession, and this includes journalism.

One would think using the Civil Libel, the politicians can obtain justice – if the court so determines – without any drama and perhaps a restoration of their reputation with equal prominence.

Using the criminal libel, the politicians do not win, and this is why it is in their interest to repeal the law.

The Ghana experience

Ghana from where this law was copied have repealed it. Many people here are saying that the Ghanaian experience was bad and there is now an out cry for the law to be brought back. This is a lie. The Civil Libel has been uncomfortable for journalists because they have been handed heavy fines in the courts and cost of litigation has gone up. A Ghanaian lawyer told me that the politicians have been uncomfortable because the level of probity they are experiencing is very high. Anything they do can be discussed on the radio with the public actively participating, and they cannot jail the journalist; but it keeps them in check. So the absence of the Criminal Libel has been nothing but good for Ghana and NO ONE is calling for it to come back.

So as I see it, the politicians must bite the bullet and repeal the criminal libel, it does nothing good to our system. The civil libel and defamation laws provide adequate safe guards. They cannot continue to be afraid of what only harms them more than protect them.

NEWS BRIEF

The Policy and Ethics Unit of the Prevention Department, Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), has on Wednesday 29th January 2020, made a visit to the Deputy Minister of Works and Public Assets, Hon. Philip Tetema Tondoneh, at the New England Ville, Freetown Head Office of the Ministry of Works and Public Assets.

The visitation is a follow-up on a file referred to the Policy Unit from the ACC Report Centre on allegation of the NON-PAYMENT OF STIPEND to Grafton Sweepers.

The complaint was reported to the ACC by Mohamed Sheriff, Coordinator of Grafton Sweepers. According to the complainant, the Ministry owed them backlog payment of five (5) months, which, as to date, no payment has been done; a situation that he said has left beneficiaries to continue to languish.

The Policy and Ethics Unit Team, led by Senior Policy and Ethics Officer Musa Kanteh, made a visit to the Ministry of Works to listen to their own side of the matter.

The Deputy Minister of Works, Hon. Tondoneh, explained that they have fifty (50) members of the Grafton Sweepers in their database at the Ministry, but during the payment period, they had problems because the list that was submitted by the Coordinator had sixty (60) names, and as a ministry they could not reconcile with such a variance. He said the ministry has asked that the organisation work in line with the approved list so that they can resolve the issue.

As deliberations were ongoing, the Deputy Minister contacted his Secretary, who has been the focal person to handle the matter. The Secretary confirmed that they have resolved the issue and the two coordinators of the organisation have submitted a final list for the Grafton/Jui Community.

The Policy and Ethics Unit Team collected the final list and further engaged the Deputy Minister who promised to finally settle the issue by the end of this month.

President Bio Engages University Authorities.

 His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has engaged university authorities at State House, where he reiterated his commitment to depoliticizing academic institutions in the country.

He said that he had decided to call for the meeting as a way dialoguing with university authorities on the way forward in regaining the country’s past academic glory. He said that the task of changing the narrative about Sierra Leone was a huge one, and noted that in order to do so he must engage all critical sectors.

“I am engaging you, like I am doing with other sectors, and it is important to know what your own thoughts and contributions are, going forward in terms of the educational process. I did say I will depoliticize education in the interest of the nation. I want to take politics out of the university and I will step down as Chancellor of the University as soon as the necessary amendments are made.

“We think that you should have academic freedom in the management of academic institutions because you have spent your whole life in it and you know how to manage it. I have prioritized Human Capital Development and you play an important role to achieve that. It is incumbent on us all to ensure that our kids get the relevant education that will empower them to live a better life and develop our country,” he said.

President Bio also stated that he was leading the process but would need all on board to think big in education and focus on technology and innovation. He noted that the quality of education was in the hands of teachers and lecturers, saying that he wanted academic institutions in the country to be competitive like others elsewhere around the world.

Chief Minister, Professor David John Francis, commended the President for his leadership, saying that it was not common to see a Head of State engaging with the higher education sector and dialogue around the opportunities and challenges in the sector. He said that the university must stand up to the challenges and play its part in the development of the country.

Forces Sensitize on  Sexual & Gender  Violence

The Gender Unit of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Airport Authority (SLAA) engaged in a sensitization drive to the people of Lokomasama Chiefdom on Saturday January 25, 2020.

The sensitization, which was held at the Masoilla Community Centre, was geared towards the reduction and possible eradication of sexual and gender based violence in in their communities.

Participants included community elders, school pupils, state and non-state actors, and they were drawn from Kamasondo, Maforki, Kafu Bullom and Lokomasama villages.

It is worthy to note that following the restructuring and reforming of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) between 1998 and 2003, the Institution has continuously and relentlessly worked towards excellence through its change management processes.

Cardinal to these processes is the development of plans to strategically guide operations and development within the Institution.

Consequent upon this, the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) on10th January,2020, launched  the Strategic Development Plan (SDP) 2020-2024.

The SDP seeks to position the SLP to deliver effective and efficient policing services to the people of this country.

One of the strategic priorities of the SDP calls for increased involvement and participation of citizens through cooperation and enhanced inter-institutional relationship. And it is in pursuit of this objective that the sensitization drive was conceived and delivered.

A team of six personnel comprising: Detective Sgt.Abdul Bangura,National NCO Crime Family Support Unit (FSU),Sgt Kemoh Sesay, I.T Officer, Gender Unit, Inspector Melvina N.Koroma – Deputy Head of Gender Unit, Inspector Mohamed Sillah – Staff Officer, Gender Directirate, ASP Edna Sesay – Admin.Officer and ASP Michael Kelly Dumbuya -Head of Gender Unit, shared to Stakeholders very vital information bordering on Gender and Sexual Based Violence.

Topics delivered by the Facilitators were: Gender in its General Perspective, Sexual and Gender Based Violence against Humanity, International Best Practice and Ethics on Gender, Standard Operative Procedures in brief, and Comparative Analysis on the Sexual Offences Act of 2012 and that of 2019.  Contributions were made by various Persons including the Chairmen of Drivers Union,Bike Riders, Petty Traders to name but a few; whilst statements were made by the Chiefdom Speakers of Kamasondo,Chief Pa Osman Fofana, Lokomasama, Pa Alimamy Orbai Faate, PortLoko District Youth Leader aka Jambo, Chairman Local Policing Partnership Board, Mr Jim Kamara, SLP Mammy Queen Lungi, Various Councillors, Chief Pa Alimamy Kapen Kargbo, Section Chief Yongro Chiefdom, Kafu Bullom and the host Chiefdom Speaker of Kafu Bullom Chiefdom – Chief Pa Komrabai M.Kamara, who earlier welcomed the team on behalf of the Paramount Chief Bai Sheba Gberrah 111.

Stakeholders from various Chiefdoms in their contributions lauded the Sierra Leone Police and the Sierra Leone Airport Authority for such an insightful, educated and informative sensitization.They lavished praises on all the Facilitators and encouraged them to  replicate same in all the remaining Chiefdoms.

Head of delegation – ASP Michael Kelly Dumbuya, in his closing remarks prior to the vote of thanks given by both the Host Speaker and the Section Chief of Kafubulom, expressed his delight and gratitude to the Inspector General of Police – Dr.Richard Moigbe, his Deputy – Mr F.U.K Daboh, and the Manager of the Airport Authority- Mr Tungie Maculey, Staff and Board Members of that visionary Institution.

It is expected that similar moves will be made in the near future to other Chiefdoms.

 FBC Student Union Takes Strike Action

In a press statement released by the Fourah bay college student union on the 29th January,2020 stated various concerns that led them to stage the a peaceful demonstration demanding the administration to address this concerns.

Among the concerns which they highlighted are the transition report which are details on the student union account 2012, urges the administration to make the hostels to available for them, poor transportation and increment of tuition fees and others related charges. See press release below. 

Learning Outcomes: How Society Gave up its Role in National Education

By,Moinina David Sengeh  

Yesterday I spent some time at a municipal school as part of an official function. We visited several classes from primary to secondary school. In each, I engaged with a couple learners directly. I took their books and flipped through to see and understand their learning. Below are some take aways on how parents, teachers and administrators have absolved themselves of the responsibility for the individual learner in the system.

A. A girl in class 6- taking a transition exam in a couple months, had open a mathematics book. I flipped through and was surprised she had a big red X on a basic addition problem. I did the calculations in my head and she had gotten it correct actually. So i wrote down the problem again and asked her to do it. She did. Same answer. I asked her why then it was marked wrong. She said she didnt know. I called the teacher, showed him and he said he didn’t know how. He said that maybe during group marking someone (another pupil) marked it incorrectly. I reminded him it was his responsibility.

Now, the issue here is the potential damage this has on that child. 1. Her continuous assessment that just counts number of red x marks will be wrong; 2. Her self confidence is affected by staring at the red strikes in her book; and 3. She questions her own abilities… thereby not learning the fundamentals.

The teacher failed her by not reviewing her work. The parents failed her by not reviewing her work. The school management failed her by not reviewing the teacher. We are failing our children systematically.

B. In a secondary class, i flipped through a boy’s book who spelled the word “robbery” incorrectly. The teacher had marked it with a big red check/correct mark and written “seen”. Yet, there were several fundamental typos in this work. I again called the teacher and she said oh, she had not “seen” that section yet. Here again, the learner does not get the fundamentals right, and I am assuming his parents may not have “seen” his books either.

C. I met a learner who had done several activities in maths. Yet, she didnt have any indication of feedback. I asked her teacher who then said oh, it was a new homework from the previous day. Unlucky for him, I see the details. I noted the date and that he in fact wasn’t saying the truth. But did the parent check the book to see that their child had in fact done homework a week ago that wasnt reviewed? Did the parent check the homework?

Note, the school principal was with me in each of these conversations. She said she’ll talk to the teachers. But everyone had a reason and explanation that never said it was their fault.

Fine, as Minister of Education, it’s my fault. I take the blame but you all have to help us reverse these trends.

There’s always joy in meeting young learners. They represent the future and they remain full of curiosity. But until we as society accept that we had given up on education and take back the responsibility, this task will be hard.

So, if you are a parent, here’s a simple thing you can do today and this week. 

1. Ask your child if they had homework today.

2. Give them 30 mins or however you can afford to do the homework.

3. Ask them to show you the completed homework.

4. Ask them in two days if the teacher had marked it and review.

If you are a teacher;

1. Review the work of your pupils (each) and give them feedback this week.

2. Compliment as many as possible including the ones who get 0. Promise yourself that they must get at least 10% next time.

If you are a school leader;

1. Visit a classroom and observe at least once this week and at least once every week.

2. Ask your teacher if they are ok and see if there’s anything you can do to help them. Maybe extra chalk.

If you are just like me, give a high five to a learner this week and remind them that they are a leader!

Ps- if you do any of the above, please let me know below.

Pps- when you have done all of this :), ask your neighbor, workmate, friend if they have

NASSIT Performs Thanksgiving Service

The National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) on Friday observed their Muslim Annual Thanksgiving Service at Mende Mosque, Circular Road in Freetown.

Delivering the Sermon, Imam Alhaji Abdul G. Koroma explained the background of NASSIT; a way to cater for old and retired workers who can no longer afford to fend for themselves but rely on the Trust for their livelihood.

Alhaji Koroma said the Trust was established by late President *Ahmed Tenjan Kabba who thought it wise to take good care of retired workers and old people.

He called on the Director General, Mohamed Fuaad Daboh, and all his staff to have respect for one another as this will help them perform their various duties amicably and responsibly.

“God sent you to that office to help this country; so please work together with your staff in the interest of the people of Sierra Leone,” he admonished.

The Director General assured the Imam and the public that he will make sure the Trust works for each and every Sierra Leonean, because it belongs to them.

He called on staff of NASSIT to take into consideration the message from Iman Koroma with regards respect for one another and to be patriotic in performing their duties at their various departments.

The DG urged all and sundry to join NASSIT as the only hope after retirement, disclosing to the Muslim Jamaat at Mende Mosque that the Trust has branches across the country for everyone, whether employed or not.

He described the celebration as ‘very important’ because as he puts it “government has increased pensions from Le 10,000 to 250,000 monthly’; which is one of the biggest achievements since he took over as DG of NASSIT a year ago.

The thanksgiving service continued on Sunday at the St. Luke Catholic Church, Wilberforce, Freetown.

The NASSIT DG reiterated the importance of giving thanks to God at all times and admonished his staff to have a clear mindset with the fear of God and geared toward efficient service delivery.

BONDO WITHOUT CUTTING:Building a healthier generation

With support from Purposeful, feminist leaders in Sierra Leone reinterpret Bondo without cutting

A growing grassroots movement in Sierra Leone, working to preserve the solidarity and significance of the Bondo Society while ending the harmful practice of Female Genital Cutting/Mutilation (FGC/FGM), has partnered with Purposeful – the feminist movement-building hub for adolescent girls and successfully organised the first ‘Bondo without cutting’ ceremony.

Despite signing up to the 2005 Maputo protocol which supports women’s rights including the eradication of FGC, there is no law in Sierra Leone that prohibits FGC. Around 90% of Sierra Leonean women have undergone the procedure, 40 percent were cut between the ages of 10 to 14 years and, until recently it was an integral part of initiation into the Bondo Society – the important and influential Sierra Leonean women’s secret society.

For most women in Sierra Leone, joining Bondo is an essential step in the transition from girl to womanhood. The secret society passes knowledge and skills from one generation to the next, strengthens solidarity among local women and promotes their social, economic and leadership interests. In order to support the growing local movement that challenges the values, narratives and institutions that perpetuate FGC in Sierra Leone, Purposeful has partnered with grassroots organisations including Amazonia Initiative Movement (AIM) and Girlz Empowered to reimagine Bondo – without cutting.

This has involved engaging “Sowies”- the Bondo leaders who perform the cutting, to understand their perspective, support them to consider an alternative without cutting, and then test the concept in practice.

Between the 14th – 29th December 2019, the first grassroots led “Bondo Without Cutting” ceremony was held in Port Loko District – Northern Region Sierra Leone. It was organised by Rugiatu Neneh Koroma, a local woman and anti FGC advocate, who shares an intimate relationship with the local community and is a Bondo member.

The ceremony kicked off on the 14th December, in Mafoki Chiefdom – Port Loko District, with a public declaration from 40 “Sowies” who voluntarily pledged to protect girls’ rights while upholding the positive aspect of their Bondo traditions. These brave “Sowies” symbolically put down their knives, blades, and their red and white Enkincha (head wrap) to wear blue and yellow Enkincha, showing their commitment to a harm-free rite of passage for initiates. They became the first set of Bondo leaders in Port Loko District to officiate the “Bondo Without Cutting “ceremony.

They led 70 girls, all over 18, through the alternative initiation ceremony. In the following days, the girls learned about their cultural heritage and traditional medicine. They were also taught personal hygiene and domestic skills. On the 29th of December, the official exit ceremony was held and the uncut “Shammers” (new initiates) emerged from the bush to dance around the village in beautiful dresses.

This bold initiative has proven that another world is indeed possible. At the ceremony, Rugiatu Neneh Koroma’s said, “I am seeing a Sierra Leone free from FGM. Yes! I see that. We are building a healthier generation and all the women and girls you see here, will take an active part in educating other people in other parts of the country. We will not relent.”

Purposeful has a fundamental belief in the power of female only spaces where bonds of sisterhood and solidarity can be formed. As such, the Bondo Society is potentially critical, and the organisation is committed to working with and through partners to understand what a feminist re-imagination of these spaces – full of inter-generational solidarity and free from cutting – could look like. 

Purposeful is a feminist movement-building hub focused on amplifying girls’ voices, resourcing their resistance, building solidarity between and across girls’ movements, catalysing collaborative philanthropy and supporting innovation in grassroots programming with and for girls.

Amazonia Initiative Movement is a local organisation working to end FGM in Sierra Leone. The Founder Rugiatu Neneh Koroma believes that FGM can be eradicated by empowering women and girls to be able to make their own decisions about their bodies and well-being.

AIM is the only organisation that have celebrated four public declarations of FGM practitioners to say no to FGM by putting down their knives and blades.

For media enquiries, please contact any of the following individuals:

A FUTURE SHOCK: THE MENTAL STATE OF THE PRESENT YOUTH GENERATION

By Syl Juxon-Smith

DRUG ADDICTION, POLITICAL ABUSE, VIOLENCE, VIGILANTISM, CRIME AND PUNISHMENT.

THE LAW, DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHT

The Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) articulates this right to adequate health in Article 25: … It recognizes food, clothing, housing, health care and social services as essential components of a standard of living adequate for health and well-being.

DRUG SUBSTANCE ABUSE

2020 TRENDING OBSESSION WITH SANITARY PADS, TRAMADOL, SMOKING   FAECES MIXED WITH CANNABIS

There is serious cause for alarm as the general public expressed worry about some youth who now adopting a new trending using tramadol, smoking dried faeces, soak used sanitary pads to drink.

This is really madness manifesting in the evolving mindset pattern of the present youth generation engulfing African society. It is not only in Sierra Leone but in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa as well just to name a few.

There is a new trend in which the youths are dangerously abusing drugs. They mix dried faeces with other substances like marijuana and smoking it while others also boil either new or used sanitary pads, sieve the water and drink has become worrying development for stability and national security.

The abuse of traditional drugs such as marijuana among the youth had reduced partly due to the new trend of other cocktail drugs discovered.

Government including the security agencies must be proactive rather than the usual stance of been reactive. There is really serious challenges and government’s intervention in the sector must be to improve the welfare of the youths, human resource personnel and to boost the security situation in the country.

It is difficult to fight the new trend behaviours of youths in the society because they are a product of political abuse abandoning them to a state of hopelessness. There is lack of a legal rehabilitation regime alternative other than putting youths in adult prisons sentencing them harshly worsening the situation.

Government must update its laws dealing with youth affairs and its modern challenging problems as well as to fight the new trend of substance abuse in the society.

The society needs currently sensitisation and education rather than confrontation on the dangers of drug abuse including; the smoking of faeces and drinking of water from sanitary pads to help end the menace.

Government must conduct forensic research to determine the chemical composition of the sanitary pads to enable them carry out an informed sensitisation to the public facilitating broad base discussions.

There is no effective program in schools curriculum dealing with youths behaviour which can also be helpful helping the youths already in school not to fall victims.

Government must facilitate the enactment of a law on the holistic approach to fighting all forms of drug abuse and growing youth violence in the country.

The youths must also be counsel and advised not to be carried away by substances that were purported to make them “feel high” committing violences and crime that may send them to jail as they were vital in the national development drive.

Parents also must punish their children who abuse drugs and also counsel and advise them. You cannot be fighting a course without knowing what it is.

All cultures see menstrual discharge as unclean, even in the bible it is clearly stated. Some families will not even allow a woman in her period to cook for the family.

Diluting SANITARY PAD and drinking the water sieved is a diminishing mental behaviour.

I won’t be surprised if such behaviour is influenced by occultism and ritualistic groups.

Today youths will do anything crazy for getting rich, successful or to be recognised amongst its peers or manipulators from religion to politics under control from evil forces to ascertain allegiance.

Today we see many unacceptable behaviours from so called men of God, prophets and ritualists going to extreme. it’s only mentally derailed individuals who will do such a disgusting thing and that is now prevailing in many African societies.

Africa is not the first continent to face the SANITARY PAD get high drug cocktail syndrome.

We all know that the practice of using cannabis or other mind-altering substances is growing in popularity day by day. The instances of teenage addiction and teenagers trying to get high are at an all-time high.

In a bid to attain an induced high, kids across the globe are exploring avenues no one could have ever imagined. Recently the news of teenagers in Indonesia using an unexpected product to get high will leave you in a state of disgust and shock.

Quote

Indonesian Kids Are Drinking Boiled Sanitary Pad Water To Get High

As far back as 2018 Youths in Indonesia are boiling up sanitary products and drinking the resulting fluid in an attempt to get high.

Several police forces in Indonesia have reported kids having taken to this bizarre practice in an attempt to catch a buzz. They’re certainly in danger of catching something – it sounds very unhygienic.

Apparently, the resulting broth that you get from boiling up used tampons and sanitary pads offers the drinker a feeling of flying and has hallucinogenic properties.

A representative from the National Narcotics Agency, Senior Commander Suprinarto, said that the presence of chlorine in the mixture is what gives it the effects that it possesses.

These are the effect of the influence of cultural social transmission infections and diseases into Africa just like music, style and transnational crime.

National security must be very active at borders and the airport in their activities.

The borders were the first point of contact for any person coming into the country and also responsible for presenting positive image of the country.

Government security agencies, customs, immigration are the first individuals people and visitors to the country will meet. Be professional, first impression is very important and the key imperative.

The present violent behaviours of the youths is affecting potential business investments trade and development posing threats to stability and national security.

A youth sensitisation awareness boot camps must be set up to foster dialogue and mapping a way forward as a priority. A reactive posture using high handed force will only lead to greater response that may lead to social breakdown and anarchy.

A KID, YOUTH OR TEENAGER WAS NEVER BORN A DRUG ADDICT OR CRIMINAL. IT IS SOCIETY THAT MAKES THEM WHAT THEY HAVE BECOME.

POLITICIANS, GOVERNMENTS MUST OWN UP BEARING GREATEST RESPONSIBILITY TO THE TASK AND CHALLENGES.

We cannot give up now on the youths just like how we have forgiven, been tolerant and compassionate with our leaders and politicians including those who have wronged and hurt us in life.

Once there is life there is hope. Everyone deserves an opportunity and a second chance. These youths could have been your child, family member or friend.

SPORTS LOCAL

Football Heroes defeat Hearth organization

By foday Jalloh

The Sierra Leone foot ball heroes have ended a one day football encounter with on Freetown based Hearth organization, at the National Stadium in Freetown.

The comic mach lasted for forty five minute, ending in favor of the national heroes

 The likes of John Sama, Abuba

Bakarr Tustao, Foday Jalloh now director of tourism Junior Tumbu and Lassie Allen 

 Leonean who has played football up to national level was seen displaying their talent against the young foot organization.

The match organized by the hero’s association led by Lesie Allen,

Ninety minute of played the hero gain victory by five goals to two, this is the second match they have been playing at the national stadium, the 1st encounter hearth organization defeated the heroes by two goals to one.

In a snap interview with this medium after players exhibit excitement, one of them who is their manger Abubakarr Tustao,  call on the young generation that are playing football to try and keep fit as football is all about stages, which one can do just not more than twenty years. They call on the young who want to get football as their carrier, to use all their talent to foster the game and make the Sierra Leone high using football.

SPORTS FOR CHANGE IN SIERRA LEONE

Byfoday Jalloh

By Foday Jalloh

The minister of sport IbRAHIM Nylenkeh has appointed Charle Bio Juinior, as the new Sport Ambassador for Sierra Leone.

This new appointment according to deputy director of sport Lambert Sesay say it part of the sport council acts for the minister to make this appointment in consolation with the office of the president to push sporting displines in the country, while speaking to journalist at a conference he say the office is a voluntary job but with this man who has committed himself to hold that office more sporting discipline will be handle by the ministry.

While receiving the honor and pledging his commitment the New sport Amb Ambassador Charlie Bio Junior said that the power of sport can be an agent of change in  Sierra Leone, as sports is a tool that can demonstrate and maintain peace in the communities, sports and bring  peace as they are two sides of the coin which is and indicator.

He also noted that he see sport services as not only for Global issues but also at communities, peace he noted that Sport can be used where there is civil war, ethnic conflicts, natural disaster where there is extreme poverty,inother to give hope to normal life.

In his press statement brand new Ambassador specify the kind of sports, he say not that kind top level completion that is organized with fancy for small number of people, or simple exercise without  stricture or objectives, but the organized and supervised one, which can help to integrate people, in the society.

He further heighted that under his new appointment as volunteer he will used sport to change the negative mind of citizens regarding development in the country, he will try his best to rebrand sports which can imposes discipline and respects, as it is clear that sports is a universal language, and it brings social change, cohesion and international stability for efficient diplomacy.

The new office will collaborate with the sports ministry to take sports to the school, universities and communities with the aim to identify young sport talents in all sports disciplines so that government will support them actualize their potentials in sports.

The New Sierra Leone sports Ambassador Charle Junior Bio Say the slogan he is out with THE POWER OF SPORT AS AND AGENT FOR CHANGE, saying with hope that sport made simple shall be key words, sport made simple is the logical step which he will adapt as a proof that can transform basic materials that is found within the local communities , like the human resource to make a great sport men and women, as the office  Sport is to reach every one in the community.

Sierra Leone to Meet Senegal in

Bo Tomorrow

After being out of all competitive international qualifiers since they were eliminated by

Nigeria on a 16-0 aggregate some six years back, the women’s game is back and this        time, it is in Bo City Stadium on January 18, that the Under 20 ladies of Sierra Leone will lock horns with their Senegalese counterparts in the African Under-20 women’s World Cup preliminaries.

The Sierra Leone side started training in November last year and have played several local friendlies including the senior national women’s team and an international friendly with their Liberian counterparts, which the Sierra Leone ladies won 2-0.

Speaking after the final training  this morning  at the SLFA Academy grounds, head coach, Alhaji “Abedi” Foray said he is satisfied with the performance of his squad and very much optimistic of progressing to the next stage.

“The  girls  are in high spirit,  well  prepared and highly determined to give the desired result on Saturday. Motivation is also high and there is a huge sense of responsibility in the camp,” the head coach said.

 Coach Abedi said, though  he had little knowledge about the Senegalese team,  he would be very mindful of their starting tactics as he had devised a strategy to contain them in the first 20 minutes.

“We are highly motivated and in high spirit to make Sierra Leone proud,”  he concluded.

According to Miriam Heroe, Female Football Coordinator at the Sierra Leone Football

Association, preparations are in top gear and the players are highly motivated.

“We will be moving the team to Bo city on Wednesday morning so that  the ladies can  concentrate  on the  task ahead. We will also ensure that there will be no

distractions  around  the  team  camp  so  that  all  will  be  focused  on  Saturday,”

Miriam Heroe said.A  29-man delegation, which comprised of 22 players and  seven  officials has been announced for the Bo city trip this morning.

Meanwhile,  the  28-man Senegalese  delegation will arrive at Lungi International Airport on Wednesday evening and will be escorted directly to Bo city. 

The winner between Sierra Leone and Senegal will progress to the next stage and will play the winner between Uganda and Tanzania in the next round.

LIST OF U-20 PLAYERS FOR THE FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS ON

SATURDAY THE 18

TH

JANUARY 2020 IN BO CITY

1.  ZAINAB FATMATA CONTEH

2.  EKUNDAYO MASSAQUOI

3.  HANNAH JUANA

4.  ISATA THOLLEY

5.  ADAMA SAIDU SANKOH

6.  MARIE BOCKARIE KONTEH

7.  KUMBA ZAINAB BRIMA

8.  MALTIDA KABBA

9.  WUYAH MOHAI

10. HAWANATU MIATTA CONTEH

11. ISATU MANSARAY

12. RAMATU BLACKER TARAWALLIE

13. MABEL GBONGAY

14. ADAMA JALLOH

15. KADIATU ABDULAI KAMARA

16. ABIBATU BANGURA

17. MASSAH SAMUKA

18. ABIBATU BARNES

19. MARIAMA KALLA KAMARA

20. KAI SESAY

21. ADAMA KARGBO

22. MAMUSU PELE TAMU

TECHNICAL TEAM

1.  MIRIAM HEROE  – TEAM COORDINATOR

2.  HAJA RAMATULAI KAMARA  – TEAM MANAGER

3.  ALHAJI FORAY     – HEAD COACH

4.  ALIMU KOROMA      – ASSISTANT 1

5.  REGINA MITTA HAMILTON      – ASSISTANT COACH II

6.  MARY THOMPSON    – TEAM DOCTOR

7.  MARTHA HANNAH CONTEH  – WELFARE OFFICER

SLFA Media Department…

Striker Kalokoh, 18, to play for Swedish  on Friday.

AIK have confirmed that they will be looking at the player in the next coming days. Photo Kalokoh who arrived in Karlberg on Wednesday, if impressive will stay.

The 2019 West African Football Union (Wafu) Zone A Under-20 Championship Golden Boot award winner with his six goals for Sierra Leone, will be with the AIK’s squad for test against Gif Sundsvall on the 31st.

The AIK Freetong player will also travel with the club at their training camp in Marbella, Spain (February 7-16). Suffian will be on trials from January 29-February 18 Football Sierra Leone understands.

“He has qualities that interest us,”AIK scouting manager Tobias Ackerman told club’s website.”

“We have had the opportunity to look at Suffian in our operations for a little longer than normal. We think that is good considering his young age and that he has not been to Europe before.”

He scored his first international hat-trick as Sierra Leone beat 10-man Mauritania 3-1 in match the day of the competition before another brace to help Sierra Leone down host Guinea en-route to the semi-finals.

Kalokoh scored six goals ahead of all the strikers from the eight representing Countries and was named Man of the Match after his three goals against Mauritania.

The young attacker scored his first international goal on his debut against Liberia at the 2019 Wafu Nations Cup in Senegal in September.

Kalokoh finished behind Musa Tombo and Baimba Sesay as the third-highest goal scorer with 10 goals, while playing for Old Edwardians last season in the Sierra Leone Premier League.

Suffian Kalokoh wins WAFU U20 top scorer award

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