The Sella Development for Education and Progress (SeDEP) last Sunday 14th August 2016 has inaugurated its new executive. The Chairman of the occasion Mr. Ahmed S. Kargbo while making his statement recalled on the challenges faced by the organization when he was president.
He furthered expressed delight and thankful to God on its present status of the organisation.
In his statement, Mr. Alimamy T. Bangura, former President of SeDEP who is now serving as adviser to the president encouraged the new executive to be committed to push the organization to another level.
"Don't ask what the organization has done for you; ask yourself what you have done for the organization," he quoted the late American Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr.
Written by Jonathan Abass Kamara and Kadrie Koroma
Tuesday, 16 August 2016 05:13
The Medical Superintendent of the China-Sierra Leone Friendship hospital at Jui in the outskirt of Freetown has disclosed plans to launch a new humanitarian programme known as the Friendship is Good project.
The Medical Superintendent, Dr. Alex Kanu’s initiative he said would help address the brain drain in the medical profession and ease the problem of overseas travelling for medical treatment, and promote maternal and child health.
The project which he described as the “3-win project for the government of Sierra Leone and the Health Ministry in partnership with their Chinese counterpart would focus on three key areas: The first win for the patient, the second win for the hospital and the third win, transfer of technology from their specialists to local medical officers. These three wins Dr. Kanu said is making impact, and lauded the Health Minister and the Chief Medical Officer for their continued support towards achieving the desired goal of sustainable resilient health system within their operations.
Under the dynamic leadership of Minister Elizabeth Mans, Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) has poised to put an ultimate end to illegal fishing and piracy on the territorial waters of the country.
In many maritime regions of the world, illegal fishing has massively contributed to the depletion of fish stocks, especially in developing countries’ coastal waters. The world’s fish stocks are not only under threat from intensive legal fishing activities; they are also at risk from Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.
This unscrupulous fishing practice also exacerbates the problem of overfishing because IUU vessels even operates in marine protected areas where a total fishing ban has been imposed. It is difficult to estimate precisely the total catch from pirate fishing.
Researchers are engaged in the painstaking process of collating data from various countries’ fisheries control agencies, experts’ estimates, trade figures and findings of independent research expedition’s in order to arrive at an approximate figure of the total IUU catch. As this is a black market, estimates are bound to be unreliable.
The Anti-Corruption Commission has secured a conviction against a traffic warden attached to the Operational Department of the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA), formerly Sierra Leone Road Transport Authority (SLRTA) in a judgment delivered on Monday 1st August, 2016, at the High Court of Freetown by Justice Alusine Sesay. He will be sentenced on Friday 5th August, 2016.
Victorino Fayia Joseph was convicted on two counts of Soliciting an Advantage and Accepting an Advantage contrary to the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008.
As provided for in the AC Act 2008, an accused person convicted on a charge relating to Soliciting an Advantage and Accepting an Advantage will be liable to pay a fine not less than Thirty Million Leones (Le.30,000,000) or serve a prison term of not less than three years or suffer both fine and imprisonment.
“My strategy in the fight against corruption focuses on hunting the tigers and swatting the flies. I will make no distinction between grand and petty corruption. Corruption is a terrible offence, and I will pursue perpetrators vigorously,” the ACC Commissioner, Ady Macauley, told the General Assembly of the Network of Anti-Corruption Institutions in West Africa (NACIWA), in Cotonou, Benin. It was the maiden participation of the Commissioner.
Ady Macauley said in Sierra Leone the public clamour when the Commission prosecutes high profile people and this is so because they believe that people in authority are entrusted with the management of State resources for the public good. He said the Commission continues to enjoy public confidence and trust and is performing exceedingly well in its prosecution front.
The ACC Boss said, on petty corruption, his Commission is getting support from Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDAs), the media and CSOs. He highlighted to the Assembly an instance where a traffic police officer brought to the ACC a commercial driver for attempting to bribe him.
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.
The Legal Aid Board office in Freetown was stretched to the limit following the storming of the office by desperate students ofthe Njala University seeking the intervention of the Board to secure the release of their colleagues who had been arrested and held in police cells around the city.
On a normal weekday, you would expect at least forty people crammed in the Freetown office to seek the services of the Board. The situation on Thursday, March 23 was characterized by mild chaos as too many students wanted to visit the office to provide updates on students arrested by the police.
The team of Legal Aid Board staff comprising Bankole Morgan and Anthony Karim Kamara negotiated the release of five of the six students detained at the Central Police Station. One was not released because of an alleged inflammatory statement to bring the city on its knees.
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.