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SEXUAL HARRASSMENT: VICTIM TO FORFEIT BEACH LAND

Sexual harassment in any institution is a prosecutorial criminal offence and the offender if convicted, where substantial and circumstances evidence are available suffers the penalty for his/her action. It is not only men that commit the offence of sexual harassment; women too comment sexual harassment offences. It is an offence that has been internationally condemned and unacceptable in all workplaces, establishments and institutions around the world to which Sierra Leone is an integral part. The Minister of Tourism, Mr. Peter Bayoku Conteh may have been reluctant to find out why some officials of the Tourism Board and his ministry are pushing hard to flush out Annie Metzger from benefiting from a piece of land at the Lumley Beach that has been leased to her, which she is making serious effort to develop.

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Ms. Metzger was able to secure the piece of land after her application to the Ministry of Tourism and Culture through the Tourism Board was approved since 2000, with specific instructions giving to her that the land should be developed within a period of three years. During this period and to date she has paid and continues to her lease rents and development of the land had been in progress, despite several constraints she is faced with, which many Sierra Leoneans too are experiencing. Evidence of payment compliance of her yearly lease rents spanned from 2000  to 2012  when she began experiencing setbacks and frustration from officials of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, all because she turned down love advances from a very senior official at the Tourism Board who vowed to teach her a lesson and make her life miserable not to achieve her dreams.

Almost every month Ms Metzger would be bombarded with letters from the Tourism Board and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture threatening her not to proceed with her beach project, claiming that her lease had been cancelled, notwithstanding the fact that she had spent millions of Leones developing the piece of land.

To make her life further miserable, recently on whose instruction is yet to be known a forty feet container has been placed on the piece of land by an unknown intruder, claiming that the piece of land had been leased to him and demolition of the structure already established by Ms. Metzger would be effected at any moment.

What has forced some sections of the media in the country to take up the matter for the attention of the public and President Ernest Bai Koroma is that some workers of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture who are sympathetic of Ms. Metzger, considering how much she has poured on the piece of land to date is what they have referred to as the alleged conspiracy between the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Tourism Board in frustrating the effort of a young Sierra Leonean woman trying to translate the vision of President Koroma in developing Sierra Leone and make it a proud and enviable State.

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An official of the Tourism and Culture Ministry commenting on the situation has blamed Mr. Peter Bayoku Conteh for allegedly lending support to the unpatriotic mission of the Tourist Board to frustrate a Sierra Leonean Woman whose ambition is to contribute her own quota to the development aspiration of the Country “Why some of us are blaming the Minister is that he failed to investigate why a senior Tourist Board member, now retired was pushing to cancel the lease agreement of Ms. Metzger” the official commented and went on to say “There is no smoke without fire” (To be continued in our next edition)

 

 

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