President Bio: You had said - Sierra Leone is for Sierra Leoneans
A Commentary by Prince C. Kamara
Laws they say are made for man. Not the other way around. And so therefore, when the former government and the former House of Parliament decided to pass into law the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Finance Acts that specifically insisted on enforcing Local Content Policy, it was because this policy was established in order to boost the economy by leveraging the power of the local industries and Sierra Leone citizens through their total participation in the economy.
Today Wednesday 9th May is Europe Day. This year’s theme is ‘Exploring Cultural Heritage’. Simon Ingram-Hill, Director of the British Council in Sierra Leone reflects on what the theme of 2018’s Europe Week means for Sierra Leone.
2018 is the ‘European Year of Cultural Heritage’ and there are a series of events celebrating this theme taking place throughout Freetown.
These events provide an opportunity to reflect on what is meant by ‘cultural heritage’ and especially what this means to those of us living in Sierra Leone, whether we are Sierra Leoneans, dual nationals, British, American, Irish, Lebanese, Mende or Fullah, Muslim or Christian, young or old, lawyers or from disadvantaged groups. Whoever we are and however we identify, we all have some sense of our cultural heritage whether we have spent time trying to articulate it, or whether we just have a gut feeling about what it is.
Cordaid Sierra Leone, through its Private Sector Development Program, continues to strengthen and support the private sector in Sierra Leone, under its Resilient Business Development Services (RBDS) program for small and medium businesses (SMEs).
Currently, the program is in its third cohort, partnering with Regrow, through the support of USAID to support 33 SMEs from different sectors such as agribusiness and hospitality services. This kind of Business Development Service, which CORDAID designed in collaboration with local entrepreneurs, covers financial management and operations as well as professionalism, delegation of responsibilities, social responsibility and adapted risk management.
Voting appeared to be peaceful on Saturday 31st March, 2018 in Sierra Leone's runoff presidential election, which had been delayed by a few days after a court challenge of the first round slated for March 27.
Turnout was lower than in the first round on March 7. Security was tight and many streets were quiet for the holiday weekend.
Following the outcome of the 7th March, 2018 presidential, parliamentary, mayoral and local council elections, one thing that came out clearly is that the National Grand Coalition (NGC) which is a fairly new party in the country’s political dispensation emerged as the formidable third force after it polled a total of 174,014 votes; 6.9% of the total national valid votes cast. This result made the NGC the party with the third highest number of votes after the SLPP which topped the list followed by the ruling APC which polled the second highest number of votes, according to NEC.
Secretary General of Inter-Religious Council of Sierra Leone (IRCSL) who doubles as the Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission Sierra Leone (HRC-SL) Rev. Dr. Usman Jesse Fornah has told AYV that they totally condemn the issue of tribal and regional politics that is creeping into the country’s social fabric during the ongoing electioneering process.
A group of patriotic musicians have been traveling across Sierra Leone galvanizing citizens’ effective participation in the electoral process through entertainment as the small West African country marches towards General Elections on March 7th 2018.
Using the edutainment approach, the musicians from Artist for Peace Sierra Leone and Sugar Merecine Entertainment Group get communities to understand the essence of non-violence elections, the critical role their votes could play during and after the elections and urging women and youth to participate positively in the electoral process.
I wake up early every morning to the usual cock crow and the regular sound of the Muslim call to prayer. But as early as 5:30 am this morning, there were already signs that this was an unusual and a special day in Freetown. Those familiar sounds were facing a stiff competition from whistles and vuvuzelas which were blaring almost all around. Then, unlike those familiar sounds, the whistle blowers and vuvuzelas never abated. In fact, as the day wore on, the sounds became louder emanating from even more blowers who were effortlessly multiplying in astronomical numbers.
Freetown January 26, 2018: The attention of the National Secretariat of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) has been drawn to several incidents of violence resulting in the stabbing, numerous physical injuries, and at least one death during the All People’s Congress Party (APC) street rallies called today to mark the nomination of its Presidential candidate and Members of Parliament.
The attention of the SLPP is particularly drawn to a video on social media showing people in red colours with machetes and sticks, pelting stones at each other and chasing each other from the main Campbell street
The constitutional controversy over dual citizenship of section 76 (1) of the 1991 constitution of Sierra Leone which disqualified Sierra Leoneans with dual citizenship from being members of parliament has brought important issues to a sharper focus especially in the wake of awarding party symbols by the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) under the chairmanship and leadership of President Koroma to aspirants mostly from the diaspora with dual citizenship.
By Alhaji M.B. Jalloh, Press Attaché, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States
The late Ambassador Timbo Initiator of the projectThe Government of Sierra Leone under the leadership of His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has over the years been mobilizing financial resources to finance water projects in the rural areas of the country from budgetary allocations and grants from its traditional development partners such as World Bank and African Development Bank (AFDB).
The Government has also through the Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO) continues to provide technical as well as financial support alongside its development partners for the development of rural water supply schemes and SALWACO is being evidently strengthened to efficiently perform its current responsibilities.
I have been thinking a lot lately as the discussion on dual nationality continue to take center stage in the recent build up to the March 7 polls. There are different accusations as to why the sudden implementation of the decade long “abandoned” law of section 76(1) a of the 1991 Constitution of the Republic Sierra Leone. Opposition politicians have accused the ruling All People’s Congress Party of trying to limit or narrow the political space for them.
Politicians in Sierra Leone with dual citizenship (two SIM) are currently troubled with the shocking decision introduced by the All Peoples Congress (APC) party not to allow them to be voted for in the next parliamentary and presidential elections slated for March 2018.
It can be recalled that the APC has already fished out their members confirmed to holders of dual citizenship and have out rightly denied them their party ticket to represent their people in parliament.
The public will recall that an uncut diamond weighing 709 carats was found in Koryardu village, Tankoro chiefdom in Kono district, Eastern Sierra Leone on Tuesday 14th March 2017.
On the instructions of His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, the diamond was put on sale by international tender inside Sierra Leone on 11th May 2017. The bid was conducted in public in a very transparent manner. However, none of the bids submitted matched the reserved price. The highest bid submitted then was US$7, 077,777. and not US$7.8 million as has been erroneously reported.
On the 27th of November, the ECOWAS Community Court in Abuja, Nigeria ruled that the Government of Sierra Leone, to certain extent, bears some responsibility for, at least, Human Rights violations in the case of former vice president Samsumana vs. the Government of Sierra Leone. And the ruling has triggered bitter legal and political debates amongst judges, lawyers, the media, non-state actors as well as amongst social and political analysts in the region.
In a plethora of judges and lawyers from different countries in the region at the head of the ensuing legal debate are Hon. Justice Hameye Foune Mahalmadane; Hon. Justice Friday Chijioke Nwoke; Hon. Justice Alioune Sall, [ECOWAS Community Court judges]; Femi Falama, SAN; Dr. Raymond A. Atuguba; Sola Egbeyinka; Wisdom Elum, [plaintiff’s lawyers] and Hon. Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara [Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Republic of Sierra Leone].
By Pastor Mohamed Sesay (Crime and Court Reporter)
It must be emphasized that it was MORALLY WRONG for the ruling All Peoples Congress party to have followed the path it did to not only expel a sitting vice president from the party, an act which it knows will trigger other constitutional issues, but to also go the length to unseat him as Vice President of the Republic.
No matter from what perspective this matter is viewed, it was MORALLY WRONG.
For the aggrieved Sam Sumana, the moral wrongness of the act must not just be left with the COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION which could have been a different thing, but rather the matter must be taken to a COMPETENT COURT OF JUSTICE which has the locus standi to hear constitutional matters.
If Sam Sumana had stayed with the COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION there was a stark possibility that things might have been different from what they ended up to be when he decided to seek justice from the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone where were sitting those who were competent enough to interpret that part of the Sierra Leone Constitution which either allows or disallows for the removal of either the president or the vice president.
Corruption is a global cancer that damages the fabric of development in any nation. Corruption affects everyone, but women face the brunt of it in developing countries. As women make up half of the world’s population, the fight against corruption cannot be achieved without their full and active participation. This can come in various forms –from the home to public institutions. As Abdul Kalam, the 11th President of India, once put it, corruption cannot be eradicated by a single leader, single political party or the media, only a movement from the households and societies can check it.
The wave of institutionalization of democracy through regular elections in Sub-Saharan Africa has intensified over the last two decades. Despite its accompanying challenges, they still give citizens an opportunity to participate in their governance. Whether this is an indication of democratic growth in fledgling democracies like Liberia and Sierra Leone is still up for debate as both countries head to the polls. Liberians will vote in the second round of the Presidential elections in the coming weeks while, Sierra Leoneans go to the multi-tier elections (Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government elections) on March 7th, 2018. Despite their differences, both countries have quite a bit in common, such as similarities in food, sources of income and the unenviable notoriety for bad governance. Each country also has the potential to inspire the other to higher heights in transforming the lives of their citizens.
Politics should not be a battle with bullets. It should be fought on ideas and issues. Civility is core and influential in getting one’s message across, politically. And where there is political decorum, the masses earn the better side of it, through the delivery of result upon one’s election.
When monstrous tendencies and coercion are employed to get a political support, it becomes worrisome for the very survival of the political platform upon which, an individual represents. Political violence in whatever form has no place in modern day democracy. Where such is perpetrated, it should be condemned in its entirety. A political entity should use acceptable means to woo voters, and not seeking brutal means to attain power.