• Paramount Chief Melrose Foster Gberie the III of Kpanda Kemo Chiefdom, Bonthe District has called on the Constitutional Review Commission to consider the eligibility of female candidates for Paramount Chieftaincy in the Northern Region

    She was speaking at a three-day forum on the Constitutional Review Process in Makeni with the National Council of Paramount Chiefs funded by UNIPSIL.

     

    Paramount Chief Gberie commended the Constitutional Review Commission for involving the institution of Paramount Chiefs, but expressed grave concern over the number of female paramount chiefs and women representation in various institutions in the country.

     

    Madam Gberie revealed that there are fourteen women Paramount Chiefs in the country out of 149 chiefdoms.  She suggested that it should be embedded in the new constitutional that Northern Sierra Leone should allow women to become Paramount Chiefs.  She said men and Women should have the right to the throne and this should be taken into consideration during the review process.

     

    The Northern Regional Chairman Council of Paramount Chiefs, Bai Shebora Kasanga II of Shebora Chiefdom Bombali said, the constitution was the national Bible and Quran for all Sierra Leoneans.  He said Chiefs belonged to one of the most important institutions in the country.

     

    Chief Kasanga said that to be a Paramount Chief one has to belong to a ruling house adding that they are ready to face a debate, face the critics and the populace to listen to what they will say regarding chieftaincy.

     

    Paramount Chief of Paki Masabong Chiefdom, Masapaki Ka Bonbong the Third said that to ensure the full involvement of paramount chiefs in the review process, the committee should think of increasing their number from one representative to at least three so that each region would have one representative.

     

    On the involvement of women in the chieftaincy election in the northern region, he said that was purely traditional, adding that it should be a gradual process.

     

    In admonished the paramount chiefs, Chairman of the Constitutional Review Committee Justice Edward Cowan said, traditional rulers have an important role to play in the development of the country and the review was one of them.

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  • A delegation from the World Bank has met with members of the parliamentary oversight committees on Finance and Transparency

    indexAddressing the MPs at the conference Hall Tower Hill, Mr. Ceesay intimated that the World Bank has provided six hundred and twenty thousand dollars, as operational support to the financial committees in parliament.

     

    The Chairman of the Finance Committee Hon. Hassan Sheriff dwelt at length on the capacity support to MPs by the World Bank while Hon. Ibrahim Bundu from Port Loko District who chaired the Appraisal meeting called for the recruitment of personnel with a wealth of experience to assist the financial management of the committees.

     

    The Hon. Patricia Browne in her contribution called for the recruitment of internal experts into the three committees.

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  • The Fifth Round Afro Barometer Survey revealed that most Sierra Leoneans have mistrust for the Sierra Leone Police Force in reporting crimes.

    According to the report police demand money or bribes to assist citizens, and that police don’t treat complaints brought before them seriously. The report also states that there is limited police presence in certain communities, giving rise to criminal activities.

     

    The Afro Barometer which is spearheaded by campaign for good governance in partnership with ITASCAP is to measure popular perspectives on social, political and economic environments with the aim of giving the public a voice in policy making process by providing high quality public opinion and data to policy makers that depict the mindset of Sierra Leoneans.

     

    The Afro Barometer perception survey is a collection of public opinion surveys that measure public attitudes toward democracy, governance, the economy, leadership, identity and other issues of national concern. This survey paid special focus on opinions on the media, institutional and social trust, equity and gender equality, personal security and safety, the free health care and street children.

     

    poAccording to the Afro Barometer, majority of Sierra Leoneans prefer seeking police assistance whilst minority prefers to seek assistance from traditional leaders or courts. The report states that some people do not report crime incidents to the police as 31% believe that the police will demand money from them, 13% do not have time to make report to the police,13% believes that there is no police station in areas they reside.

     

    On the free health care and street children, the Afro Barometer report states that majority of Sierra Leoneans acknowledge the government free health care initiative; and majority acknowledged benefiting from the health care initiative. The report states that majority classified the free health care as fair whilst minority believes the initiative is very bad in performance.

     

    In the area of social conditions, the report states that majority of Sierra Leoneans do not have access to computer or internet, whilst majority said that they access water outside their homes and the use of mobile phones a new phenomenon in the country to pay bills.

     

     

     

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  • The Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) has completed hearing the case for the petitioners following the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) Conference.

    The Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) has completed listening to submissions on petitions sent by Ambassador Alie Bangura and sixteen others from the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP).

     

    Giving an update on the SLPP Petition, a PPRC release states that after the party’s 2013 Delegates Conference in Bo, the Commission received petitions against the conduct and the outcome of the convention.

     

    The PPRC Chairman Hon. Justice Maitland Tolla-Thompson said the Commission will now look at the issues and will come up with a recommendation on the matter.

     

    Meanwhile the PPRC will monitor the Bye election in Constituency 01 in Kailahun District and Local Council bye election in ward 229 in Sambaia Bendugu in Tonkolili district.

     

    PPRC deployment will include permanent staff, Members of the District Code Monitoring Committees and causal staff.  The process is in line with the Commissions mandate to monitor the conduct of Political Parties on elections Day.

     

     

     

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  • Govt has signed a MOU with the China Kingho Group.

    The Transport and Aviation Minister, Leonard Balogun Koroma has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the China Kingho Group for the construction of Railway and Deep Seaport in Sierra Leone.
    In May 2013, Government entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with China Kingho Energy Group for the development of Mines, concentration plant, steel plant Sea Port, Railway and Roads.

    Speaking at the signing ceremony in Beijing, Minister Leonard Balogun Koroma dilated on the importance of an effective and robust transport system to a country’s economy noting that “no country in the world has ever developed without a good road network system.
    According to the minister, the airport component involves building a new one with support by EXIM Bank of China. He said Sierra Leone wants to reintroduce domestic air transport system in the country.  On the Deep Sea Port component, he disclosed, it is most important, since the country has billions of tons of iron ore but that without a proper sea port transport system, Sierra Leone cannot realize the economic benefit.

    The Chairman for Kingho Energy Group, Huo Qinghua paid glowing tribute to President Ernest Bai Koroma for visiting their offices which he said was in recognition of government’s hard work and an inspiration for Sierra Leone to move forward.  Mr. Huo said, the company, has the responsibility to honor the commitment made in line with Sierra Leone’s Agenda for Prosperity. He stated that they are working on feasibility studies for the construction of a Sea Port as well as the one for the Railway.
    Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to China, Victor Bockarie Foh, underscored the country’s commitment to development, as outlined in President Ernest Koroma’s Agenda for Prosperity. On Kingho Energy Group’s operation in Sierra Leone, Ambassador Foh said, even though the Group’s investment portfolio went through the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources, “the Ministry of Transport and Aviation is  pivotal in Kingho’s operations.

     

    Ambassador Foh expressed hope, that with the determination of the Minister of Transport and with the support of the Embassy and the Government, Kingho will make a remarkable transformation in the transport sector in the country.

    This MOU signed by the Ministry of Transport and Aviation is a supplemental to that signed in May. The MOU deals with the components that fall under the direct control of Ministry of Transport and Aviation, which is the development of a Port and Railway in Sierra Leone.

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  • Government will continue to recognize the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society.

    Vice President Alhaji Chief Sam-Sumana has said that Government will continue to recognize the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society as a reliable partner in their efforts to address the humanitarian challenges. He was speaking on the occasion of a two day partnership meeting organized by the Sierra Leone Red Cross society at the Family Kingdom on the theme One Hundred and Fifty Years Humanitarian Action.

     

    Vice President Alhaji Chief Sam-Sumana said government will continue to provide the necessary protection and support to enable them deliver services required of them.  He indicated that with the recent challenges the country is faced with particularly civil conflict in the 1990’s provided opportunities for them to review the Act that established the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society and to domesticate the Geneva Conventions.

     

    Vice President Alhaji chief Sam-Sumana noted that with the amended Act, the Red Cross does not only create the enabling environment but also provided opportunities for partnership to enhance efficient service delivery.  He reminded guests about the role of the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society in helping government address recent incidents of disaster caused mainly by flooding and storms across the country.

     

    The National Secretary General Sierra Leone Red Cross Society Emmanuel Tommy said, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is celebrating one hundred and fifty years of humanitarian actions.  He said in Sierra Leone, in 2008 they developed a five year strategic plan called the transformation plan with a vision statement titled a strong Red Cross for a better Sierra Leone.

     

    Mr. Tommy stressed that the thrust of the transformation plan is to make the Society relevant in the humanitarian landscape by not only responsive to post conflict and the humanitarian needs but as auxiliary to government.  He said volunteers are daily deployed all over the country doing their daily jobs of mobilizing their communities for improved sanitation and health.

     

    A representative of the British Red Cross Christiana Coker said as partners they are proud to see the transformation of the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society. He thanked volunteers and staff for their unified spirit.

     

    The former President of the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society Dr. Muctarr Jalloh who chaired the programme said the meeting was convened to discuss their achievements, and challenges in order to be a position to address future humanitarian issues.

     

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  • The President has predicted tremendous growth

    The President Ernest Bai Koroma has predicted tremendous growth in the next ten to twenty years.

    Addressing Africans via conference call from Freetown President Koroma said that the twenty-first century has brought in a new beginning for the cradle of mankind.

     

    He maintained that within 10-20 years, Africa’s annual production value will be between 1.5 and 2.0 trillion Dollars.  The President added that Africa has 80% of the world’s chromium and platinum group of metals, 10% of its oil reserves and 40% of its gold. He said the continent also has some of the earth’s largest deposits of iron, uranium and copper.  The President said with an approximately 600 million hectares of arable land suitable for cultivation of which 15%  has been developed.

     

    The African story, the President added is not only about natural resources.  According to President Koroma there has been a great revival in telecommunications, retail market, finance and other sectors and more Africans are having disposable incomes. The middle class is expanding, more than 60 million Africans have an income of three thousand a year and this is increasing to more than 100 million Africans in a couple of years.

     

    The President’s assertion has been supported by the Africa Development Bank which has reported that over 350 million Africans, a third of the continent’s population, are in the middle class.  The President was honoured to speak on how leaders can harness the African Diaspora for African development.

     

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  • Politics

    A fire disaster at 52 Main Motor Road Congo Town has claimed the lives of two occupants

    A fire disaster at 52 Main Road Congo Town has killed a man and a woman. Residents in the locality say the fire stared at 3:00am alleged to have been caused by an electric short circuit which gutted the five bedroom apartment.

    Eyewitness say residents in the apartment were not able to retrieve any of their belonging as the fire burst in to flames and engulfed the entire apartment. The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Freetown Fire force.

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  • The Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security Minister

    The Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security Minsiter, Dr. Joseph Sam Sesay, and Senior Officials of his Ministry, have concluded and assessment tour of Inland Valley Swamps development, in Bombali, Tonkolili, and Bo districts. The move came as a result of the commencement of swamp development projects, undertaken by the Diversified Food Production Sector of the Agriculture Ministry.

    According to the Agriculture Minister, Dr. Joseph Sam Sesay, the rehabilitation and construction of Inland Valley Swamps for utilization by local farmers would be enhanced twice each year.

    At Kamakwie, in the Bombali District, the Minsiter and entourage visited Swamp lands where he addressed local farmers and cross-section of the community of government strides in transforming the operations and production of the Agriculture sector to a forum of ‘farm for business’, through the establishment of the Agriculture Business Centres in every district in the country.

    The Minsiter stated that the project would provide Tractors, rice mills and threshers, fertilizers, fish ponds, livestock, and the training of youths as well as the construction of feeder roads for farmers to access their products for marketing.

    Similar working visits by the Ministry entourage were also made to Tonkolili and Bo Districts, for the development of Inland Valley Swamps, through the Diversified Food Production Sector of the Agriculture Ministry.

    The National Coordinator of the Diversified Food Production Project, Peter Bundu, said the project is funded by the Islamic Development Bank and the government of Sierra Leone with the provision of seeds, drying floors, power tillers and vegetables. He said the projects aimed at improving the production of swamp farming, the banking of water for Inland valley swamps development and financial support to local farmers.

    The Inland Valley Swamps Rehabilitation Project would target forty-farmer based organizations in Bombali, Tonkolili, and Bo with a focus on the cultivation of cassava, fish ponds and vegetables according to the National Coordinator Smallholder Commercialization Programme Prince Kamara

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