The Chairman of the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) Hon Justice M.E. Tolla Thompson on Wednesday 31st August, 2016 cautioned media practitioner and officers of political parties to ensure that the media is used to promote the ideals of political parties, promote democracy,good governance and peace in Sierra Leone.
In a meeting held at the PPRC Headquarters in Freetown for political parties officials, Independent Media Commission (IMC), Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Radio Station Managers and Newspaper Editors, Hon Justice Thompson said, the Commisssion is concerned about the negative use of the media by politicians especially the radio. Politics he says should be war of words and not by fighting or the use of obscenity on the media.
Minority Leader in the House of Sierra Leone Parliament, Hon Dr Bernadette Lahai has said that: “I do not belong to any camp in the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP).”
She told journalists at a well attended press briefing held on the 24th August 2016 at her Office at Parliament Building in Freetown.
She noted that, she is in support of everyone vying for the position of flag bearer in the party. ”I have not given a word to any presidential candidate for my support. All of us are SLPP and I am SLPP,” she affirmed.
She said every candidate has her support adding that the door is open to every SLPP member to talk and chart with her but cautioned that standards are falling down within the party. “We are far behind time as a party and that the values of SLPP are eroded,” she stressed.
Written by Pasco Gerald Temple, Information Attache, Embassy of Sierra Leone to the United States
Thursday, 11 August 2016 00:42
A thirteen-man high powered delegation mainly executives of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) party have on Tuesday August 9th, 2016 arrived in the United States of America “to hold consultations with our members in this part of the diaspora and consolidate ourselves and work jointly and cohesively with the guiding principles of it’s by - laws and the APC constitution and get a functional executive.” Said Amr. Alhaji Osman Foday Yansanneh, National Secretary General.
Led by Hon. Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray Deputy APC Chairman and Leader, other members of the delegation include Amr. Alhaji Osman Foday Yansanneh, National Secretary General, Alhaji Mohamed Dondondo Bangura National Organizing Secretary, Madam Fatmata Binta K. Stevens NAC member, Hon. Balogun (Logus ) Koroma National Elections Coordinator and Diaspora Coordinator, Hon. Momodu Alieu Pat Sowe Regional Chairman west , sheik B. Sillah Chairman APC Bo- District, Hon Allieu Turay Western Region Assistant Secretary ,Hon. Bai Mamoud Bangura President APC Youth League, Hon. Elizabeth Mans President APC Women’s Congress, Hon. Amadu Fofanah MP Constituency 109,Mr. David Fornah Personal Assistant to the National Secretary General and Mr. Bailor Stevens Member APC.
Remarks by Ambassador Zhao Yanbo at the Reception on Celebrating the 45th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between China and Sierra Leone (28 July, 2016)
On 29thJuly 1971, China and Sierra Leone issued the communiqués on the establishment of diplomatic relations starting a new chapter in the annals of our bilateral history.Tonight, we are gathering here to commemorate the 45th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. To begin with, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy and our entire staff, I would like to extend our warmest welcome to Hon. VP, Amb. Victor Foh and all of you for your presence, and express our heartfelt thanks to youfor contributingto the development of ChinaSierra Leone ties.
The Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) on Tuesday 19th July, 2016 advised the leadership of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) to re-do the zonal/sectional Consensus in thirty-two (32) Constituencies out of the one hundred and twelve (112) Constituencies nationwide. It can be recalled that after the consensus building processs held on Saturday 18th June,2016, the Commission received series of complaints and petition from some SLPP members.
Speaking to a cross section of the National Officers and key party stakeholders, the Chairman Hon. Justice M.E.Tolla Thompson says as a Commission it is its duty to ensure peace and stability between and among members of political parties.
Hon Justice Thompson also informed the meeting that the Commission will work with a Committee that will set dates for the re-run of these consensus building processes and will be monitored by the Commission.
Hon Justice Thompson also advised that the Regional Elections Complaint Committess (RECC) should be constituted on or before Monday 25th July,2016.
2016 Global Peace Conference to be held in Freetown---as IPRA 50th Birthday confab ends in Istanbul
The 26th biennal conference of the Internatonal Peace Research Association (IPRA) is billed to take place in Freetown, Sierra Leone in November 2016, marking the second time Africa has hosted the conference since the founding of IPRA in 1964. This was announced following the re-election of the two IPRA Secretaries-general, Dr Ibrahim Seaga Shaw (pictured) and Dr Nesrin Kenar, who co-ordinated the 25th IPRA conference in Turkey, at the organisation’s administrative meeting on August 14 during the 25th IPRA conference in Istanbul to serve a second term of two years.
In Sierra Leone, the notion of corporate social responsibility has always been associated with the private sector. No wonder some people see the active involvement of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) in corporate social activities as strange, and many have opined that a tax collecting body should not be engaged in corporate social responsibility activities.
However, the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on corporate image is immense, even for tax collecting bodies. The perception that tax collectors are monsters vigorously bent on collecting people's earnings with no care for the environment or the vulnerable in the community they operate is evolving. Indeed, many revenue authorities in Africa are today socially responsible.
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) in an article in its website argues that "the nature of Revenue Collectors' mandate makes them the hill of the nation such that whatever they do is mirrored and echoed by many".
Press freedom has come under severe attack in West Africa as security agencies, particularly the police, appear to be on rampage against journalists and media workers. In a space of 38 days (January 5-February 12, 2017), 30 media workers have been arrested, detained and/or assaulted by security forces, prompting fears that the gains that have been made in recent years on press freedom and freedom of expression could be eroded.
The 30 victims, made up of 15 journalists and 15 media technicians, were arrested, detained and/or assaulted in 10 separate incidents in four countries namely Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Togo. Nigeria recorded six incidents, Cote d’Ivoire recorded two incidents while Guinea and Togo recorded an incident each.
In Nigeria, seven journalists were arrested and detained during the period. In Cote d’Ivoire, six journalists were arrested and detained in a single incident while one journalist each was affected in Guinea and Togo, bringing the total number of journalists affected to 15. In respect of the other media workers, nine staff of a newspaper printing firm were arrested in single incident. In Cote d’Ivoire, six technicians working with the state-owned television station were also arrested in a single incident.
Dr. David Tam-Baryoh: A New Broom in Sierra Leone Politics
Dr. David Tam-Baryoh is a household name in Sierra Leone, mostly because of his“Good Governance” popular radio programme called monologue. In fact the programme has become sopopular that most people prefer to call the presenter “Mr. Monologue”. Recently Mr. Monologue said in two or three of his programmes that he would be going intopolitics. It looked like a joke the first time he said it. But after saying it over threeor four times it is no longer a joke.
So Dr. David Tam-Baryoh is going into politics in 2018. Those who are very closeto him will tell you that this is a fact. The Doctor has made up his mind. Afterdiscussing and editing serious national issues on newspaper pages and on the airwaves for almost twenty five years, hehas decided that he cannot achieve much for the people behind the microphone and the pen. He now wants toengage into something that will make a direct impact on the lives of Sierra Leoneans.
And the Doctor thinks politics is the best way to do this, if we look at politics as“the authoritative allocation of scarce resources within a nation state.” He wants tobe part of the allocation of Sierra Leone’s scarce resources.
Precious Minerals, Public Trust and Government’s Openness
By late 2001, the Anti Corruption Commission arrested then Sierra Leone's transport and communications minister, together with his wife, “for involvement in illegal diamond mining” in Kenema district. Large quantum of illicit diamonds had been found in their possession, according to a BBC report at the time.
With some diamonds said to have been smuggled out of the country by the minister, the incident happened at a time when the rebel war was raging and the key perpetrators- the RUF were also seriously involved in illicit mining and smuggling. The minister was later jailed in 2003 for two years for illegal possession of diamonds.
Amongst other factors, Sierra Leone’s civil war was fuelled mainly by diamond, specifically “conflict diamonds”- those diamonds that originated from territories controlled by rebel forces (UN definition).
The Legal Aid Board’s Alternative Dispute Resolution on Tuesday, 7 March 2017 resolved a long standing dispute in respect of a property on Newcastle Street, in Kissy, Freetown between one Mr. Solomon Samba Mansaray and his seventy-seven year old elder sister Madam Marian Kamara who is in the country on holiday from the United States of America.
The two who had not been on speaking terms were reconciled. Both promised to work together in the interest of peace in the family. In this vein, Madam Marian Kamara agreed to cancel a U$ 400 debt owed by Mr. Mansaray.
While the tension between the two had been lingering several years,Mr. Mansaray decided to report the matter to the Board in Freetown when he got information that Madam Marian Kamara was planning to sell theproperty. The owner of the property who is the sister of both parties had died over a decade ago without leaving a will.
As the Legal Aid Board prepares to provide legal assistance to indigents and children engaged in election related violence, it has successfully secured the discharge of a twenty-five old from Wilberforce in the West of Freetown charged with violence.
The Legal Aid Defence Counsel Hadiru Daboh secured the discharge after drawing the court’s attention to the failure of the complainant to attend court sittings for seven consecutive adjournments. What’s more, the complainant has not furnished the court with any reasons for his absence. Magistrate I.S. Bangura agreed with the Defence Counsel and discharged the matter. He noted that discharge would not stop the prosecution from reinstating the matter in future.
The accused, Alpha Kanuwho plied his trade as driver and apprentice at the Wilberforce lorry park got involved in a fight with his boss Michael Aruna in February 2017. He was arrested and taken to the Congo Cross Police station following a complaint by his boss. According to Alpha Kanu, his injuries were ignored by the police even though they were more serious. He spent fifteen days at the Congo police station before the matter was charged to court.
U.S. Africa Command Launches a 33-Nation Maritime Exercise: Sierra Leone Maritime “Full Speed Ahead”
During March 23-31, the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) issponsoring “Obangame Express”, an in-port Command Post exerciseand at-sea maritime exercise designed to enhance maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.The exercise includes 33 partner nations, as well as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
The exercise is designed to improve cooperation andinformation sharing, and to refine tactics, techniques and procedures among participating nations.
The “Obangame Express”exercise will be based on realistic modern-day scenarios such as piracy, illegal fishing and hijacking. During the exercise,Maritime Operations Centers (MOCs) will be challenged to recognize illicit acts and share trackinginformation with other MOCs throughout the region.
The winner of the Pride of Australia Award, Ansumana Usman Koroma popularly known as AUK has called on all Sierra Leoneans within and outside Sierra Leone to support and fully participate in both the ongoing voter registration that has started March 20 to end April 19 2017 and the forthcoming nationwide civil registration process slated April 24 to June 11 2017.
AUK who is a Political and Policy Analyst working in Australia said the mass registration of every citizen is a very important process in the development agenda of the country. He therefore appealed to all Sierra Leoneans to put politics aside and understand that the process would help government consolidate citizens’ data and enhance effective service delivery and improve monitoring of government programmes and policies.
He stressed that the national civil registration authority is created to promote a greater sense of nationalism and common identity.