On the re-opening of SLPP Office … “We would never encourage violence” John Benjamin...
Both Mayoral candidates of the APC and SLPP Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr and Raymond De Souza George aka “Papa Ray” throughout their matter in High Court exhibited political tolerance by frequently shaking hands and hugging each other. At some point even before the start of the proceedings they were seen sitting together in one corner happily discussing and posing for some snap shots whenever requested by supporters and other members of the public present at the scene. In an interview with both candidates after the court ruling on their views of the case and their interaction throughout the process, Papa Ray maintained, “I don't believe politics should be war. It is human beings that makes many clean things dirty, because we came into politics with a fixed mindset that we should [...]
The flag-bearer for Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), Julius Maada Bio, has cautioned the National Electoral Commission (NEC) on the use of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) in the coming March 7th general elections. In his letter addressed to the Chair of the Commission, Mohamed N'fa Alie Conteh, Bio stated that over the last 12 months, SLPP has repeatedly raised with NEC the role of the SLP on polling day. The letter further stated that the SLPP notes that the SLP is critical in determining the credibility and outcome of elections, but “the party considers the role of the SLP on polling day as the most significant threat to a free, fair and transparent election and by extension threat to national security”. The SLPP flag-bearer alleged that “because the policy allows [...]
Over 40,000 pupils sat to the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in 2017. In late December 2017, the West African Examination Council (WAEC) released the of 4,731 candidates. It is alleged that 4,731 candidates were allegedly involved in some kind of malpractice during the exam. This raised the eyebrows of parents, guardians as well as some civil society organisations (CSOs) some of who demanded reasons why the council has to seize that number of results. Rachel Daramy, a guardian to one of the victims, said, “I am confident that my younger sister was not involved in any exam malpractice.” She demanded that the Council produce the exam papers of her younger sister and explain why they decided to withhold her result. Heal Sierra Leone in partnership [...]
The Rotary Club of Minnesota and Freetown over the weekend donated over 100 pedal vehicles to polio victims at the Polio Challenge Association School at Grafton. Rotarian, Alpha Tejan Jalloh, Project Director of Rotary Club, said Rotary contributes tremendously towards the eradication of polio “but this is the first time in Sierra Leone that the Rotary Club is helping the polio victims”. He explained that the symbol of Rotary Club, which is a 'wheel' signifies movement, freedom and mobility. Stating, “That is why when we were approached by Mobility Sierra Leone we saw the need to come to their rescue”. Adding, “These people are really disadvantaged. We want to make them mobile so that they can access certain amenities. These “pets”, which they fondly call the [...]
Freetown Mayoral candidate, Samuel Paul Itam, for the National Grand Coalition (NGC) sailed through the electoral nomination process on Saturday 13 January 2018. He described the process as very thorough and was impressed with the professionalism of the NEC officials. The Party nominated the Mayoral candidate and 48 Councilors for the Western Urban District at the Election Commission office at Tower Hill. Nationally, the NGC nominated 504 local council and mayoral candidates out of the 511 local councils and municipal seats available. “I was also impressed with the way in which the nominees conducted themselves. You don't see any boisterousness amongst them. They were all mature and civilized,” said Itam. The candidates were clad in the same bright, rainbow-coloured [...]
The Kenema District Chair of the Revolutionary United Front Party (RUFP), Morlai Eric Bangura, said that he is not happy about what is going on in their Party. Bangura said he does not support the coalition of parties involving RUFP. He said, “As a District Chair of the Party, I am not aware of happenings in the Party since they put the Party Chair, Raymond Katray, and the Secretary Osman Bangura, into office in October 2017.” He accused the Party Chair of dragging the RUFP into an alliance that is not in their interest. He said his position is not a secret as he informed their Party Chair in Bo when they were there to join the alliance. Bangura said he was not ungrateful but since the RUFP joined the coalition of parties, “…everything has changed and what they discus [...]
The Right to Access Information Commission (RAIC) will this week embark on a nationwide popularization of its 2013 Right to Access information Act. This was disclosed by the Chairman, Unisa Sesay at a press briefing at the Commission's national secretariat at Hill Station, on Friday 12 January. The project is funded by World Bank, has several components, Popularization of the Act, Establishment of Record Management Repositories in five MDAs, Capacity building of RAIC staff and development of an Open Data Portal. “The popularization package will entail engagements with the media, public education through media, billboards ads, distribution of brochures on practices of the Commission and how to request information, simplification of the Act amongst others,” Sesay said. He [...]
On Friday 12 January 2018, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) accepted the nomination of 28 councilors including Kasho Holland Cole for Western Rural District Chair put forward by the All People's Congress (APC) party at the NEC Western Rural Office in Waterloo. Among the 28 councilors, five were women and the rest were dominated by young men. Council and chair aspirants appeared at NEC with hundreds of supporters who jubilated across from the NEC office. The entire APC candidates and supporters were in red and white attire with the APC symbols. According to the Former Deputy Chair of the Western Rural District, Margret Kargbo, “The process was fairly done in order to assemble all of those candidates together.” She noted, the candidates who were awarded the symbol [...]
Ahead of the March 2018 general elections the Sierra Leone Women Situation Room has been set up by AMNET at the Bintumani Hotel. It will run 23-hours a day and will have observers placed in hotspot areas and headquarter towns. The situation room is a women peace-building platform that will be observing the pre-elections, during and after the elections. According to the initiator of the Women Situation Room (WSR) Counselor Yvette Chesson-Wureh from Liberia, the room will look into essential activities on women issues. She said the room is vital to observe happenings in the country regarding violence and intimidation of women. She said it is disappointing that the numbers of women that aspire to participate in politics are declining as compared to the previous parliament and [...]
Waking up on a breezy, wintry morning, I was curious why dozens of people fixed their sightings on a nearby forest edge. The group turned out to be members of a Birds Watchers Society wanting to identify early species brought in at the start of winter. I asked a female member of the group in a reporter's voice why the interest and she said, "I love waking up to the sound of birds arguing with their spouses." Washington never sleeps as stately and social activities returned the nation's capital with intensity. Americans joined by human rights activists celebrated the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King's Day today. King was one of the foremost leaders of the civil rights movement who organised the famous Mongomery bus boycott that eased of discrimination in the southern [...]