Clarifications and rebuttal continue to make the necessary negative impact on the Government Transition Team report relating to the purchase of lands and Government quarters. Yesterday’s publication of the Standard Times Newspaper contained the rebuttal of Mohammed K. Wansa associating him with the purchase of the SLPMB property on Hill Cut Road, which the GTT selectively claimed was purchased by him. Members of the team that selectively handpicked certain individuals must have been embarrassed, especially when it was done with a motive that is to present certain people as corrupt and selfish, and cover the backs of others. What is good for the goose should be good for the gander, but that was not the way the Government Transition Team perceived the process to be, objective and impartial. Even with the purchasers of Government Quarters, the team exclusively and deliberately embarked on an exercise that it thought when presented to the public it would be giving a heroes’ welcome, but unfortunately the welcome has boomeranged and has clearly showed that it was biased against some group of Sierra Leoneans while pampering other members of the public, particularly those members of the team considered to be their close relatives, political partners and brothers. By now, except, otherwise, members of the team would be in a state of regret for the bad work done with the aim of exposing people.

The rationale for Mohammed K.Wansa’s response is not only to put the records straight but to send a shocker to those who may have perceived him, based on the report as an individual who is selfish and corrupt “If I had kept quiet the motives of the Government Transition Team would have scored some marks against me and succeeded in dampening my hard earned reputation” He was quoted to have said.

“Many Government Quarters were sold to Civil Servants and other members of the public, which is not my business” he said, but the Government Team did not include those who bought, but went “ahead and associated me with the purchase of SLPMB property on Hill Cot Road” he added “Can’t the team done its work without mentioning the name of Mohammed Wansa?” He asked and went on “Is it to make the report looks good and gives credence to it was the reason for including my name in a transaction that I have no idea, nor was I involved or took part in it”? He concluded.

Since the Government Transition Team Report came out, it has been on the defence and not the admission by those the report indicted. This is because many Sierra Leoneans and the International Community have come to the fullest realization that the report is bias and cannot stand the test of time. Even the methodology used to collect information, without crosschecking what was received and verify it is irresponsible and out of fashion.

While the transition report concealed the names other purchasers of Government Quarters, Mohammed K.Wansa has pointed out that his Company known as UNISEL registered both in Sierra Leone and Nigeria purchased, namely plots 1,2 and 3 OFF Wilberforce Loop, Wilberforce with Government Quarters on it. As Chairman of the Company he revealed that every penny was paid including payments to the National Revenue Authority (NRA), to which receipts were issued out to the Company. The former Minister of Lands Country Planning and the Environment Hon. Musa Tarawallie who has now established a small office at State House is aware of the transaction and he endorsed it by signing the Conveyance of the property sold out to UNISEL dated 27th November, 2013. The document was prepared by the Law Officers Department on Lamina Sankoh Street, thus giving legality and legitimacy to it.

Parliament Interviews the Proposed ACC Boss

The Parliamentary Committee on Appointments and the Public Service, chaired by the Deputy Leader of Government Business Hon. Sahr Mathew Nyuma yesterday interviewed Mr. Francis Ben Kelfala, the proposed presidential nominee to head the Anti Corruption Commission. Mr. Kelfala is awaiting parliamentary approval subject to the recommendation of the Committee. He vows to bring a perceptional shift in the fight against corruption. The following Members of the Committee were present:
Hon. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, Hon. Emelia Tongi, Hon. Veronica Sesay, Hon. Chernor Bah, Hon. Mathew Nyuma, Hon. Segepoh S. Thomas, Hon. Kandeh Yumkella, Hon. Bashiru Silikie, Hon. Hassan Sesay, Hon. Amadu Kanu, and Hon. Lahai Marah.
No Member of the Committee contends the qualifications and competencies of the new proposed Boss to head our anti-graft Commission, other than procedural challenges.
Hon. Nyuma, Acting Chairman of the Committee acknowledged administrative challenges, and expressed satisfaction that Members of the Committee had agreed that the qualifications and competencies of the proposed ACC Boss are not contentious. He continued that “there is no abrogation of the law, with regards to the appointment of the proposed ACC Boss by President Bio”. He referred the press and the public to Section 53(3) and Section 171(15) of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone. These Sections are simply saying that the action of the President could not be inquired in court, and where any law is in conflict, to the extent of such inconsistency, the 1991 Constitution takes precedence. Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Bah posited that “information was not solicited from the public prior to the interview, but that Kelfala’s qualifications and competencies are not in any way contentious”.
Leader of NGC, Hon. Yumkella said that “due to the credentials before him, Mr. Kelfala is qualified and competent, but that the process is characterized by procedural challenges”. Meanwhile, the Committee reserves the right to determine whether the presidential nominee will be recommended for approval by the plenary.

“…another Misdirected Arrow”

Says Former Attorney General

The latest Executive Order dissolving Boards of Parastatals and State Institutions is yet again beyond the powers conferred on the Presidency. The action is palpably illegal. There are Boards that have tenure under the Statutes that created them, such as the ACC Board, under Section 22(5) of the 2008 Act, (5year term), Legal Aid Board Act 2012, Section 5(1) for a 3- year- term (to name but a few).The tenure of such Boards cannot be terminated by any means except that which was enacted by Parliament.Those functions assigned to the Board by Statute cannot be performed by any other entity. Not even the Office of the President can substitute the Board. The Executive Power to Hire & Fire is at all times subject to the Constitution and ANY OTHER LAW! Therefore, such Executive Powers are either absolute or unrestricted. Until the specified term of office of such Boards expire, not even the President has powers to dissolve them without recourse to Parliament.
Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, CoRSL


Dismissal of Civil and Public Servants

…7 Civil Society Organizations express concern

The Standing Together for Democracy Consortium [STFDC] is gravely concerned over the dismissal; and in some instances, the selective transfer and unsolicited leave placed on public/civil servants by the Government of Sierra Leone. Whilst we respect the constitutional powers of the President to ‘hire and fire’, we remain cognizant of the fact that this has to be done within the spirit and provisions of the law, and the need to build national cohesion after a divisive electoral process. As the country goes through a democratic transition, it is critical that we seek to build bridges between and among different facets of society and refrain from taking actions that are contrary to the principles of national cohesion; including the dismissal of public officials who have job tenures. To dismiss public servants especially those with tenure without due process as provided by law, goes against the civil service code of practice and other legal instruments.

As a civil society group at the forefront of deepening our democratic ethos, including state-citizen dialogue and inclusive governance, we are gravely concerned that the sacking and selective transfer of top civil/public servants without due process can be interpreted as an approach to ‘weed-out’ from the civil and public service a set of Sierra Leoneans considered to be unsympathetic to the regime, but who also desire to be treated with respect and dignity. Any attempt to justify a previous wrong done with another wrong doing in the public sector, is tantamount to chaos and unproductive national development and social cohesion. We call on the current government to set the good examples that pervious government might not have consider as the foundation of good governance – the rule of law. We want to take this opportunity to remind HE President Julius Maada Bio on his commitment to depoliticize the civil service and to govern Sierra Leone for all Sierra Leoneans and not a few. As a country, we have come a long way in our stride to nurture our democracy; which put at its core, the respect for the Rule of Law and the need to build a united country and people. The Standing Together for Democracy Consortium is a coalition of seven organizations lead by Search for Common Ground (SFCG): five Sierra Leonean organizations, namely National Elections Watch (NEW), Independent Radio Network – IRN, Campaign for Good Governance (CGG), Institute for Governance Reform (IGR), and 50/50 Group – the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) – jointly implemented an electoral support project which aims to create the conditions for free, fair and peaceful 2018 elections.

“Our people must stop dying…”

…says Dr. Wurie

The Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr Alpha Wurie has boasted that under his tenure every effort would be made to ensure that “our people must stop dying from preventable and curable diseases “. Dr Wurie said made this pronouncement at the official opening of a midterm review session of the health delivery and system support project on Tuesday 26th, June, 2018 at the Sierra Leone Police Mess Kingtom Freetown. He maintained that before the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone the Health Sector was faced with: low access to Health Services, poorly equipped Health Facilities, weak capacity, inadequate personnel and surveillance system all resulted to maternal and Child Health problems. Dr Wurie said the project focused on increased access to Health Services, improve resource mobilization and provide relevant training for Health Care Workers. The maternal and child mortality per birth still remains a cause for concern in Sierra Leone because it falls below the millennium development goal target. The mid term review session of the Health Delivery and System support project is aimed at taking stock of progress and major challenges and gaps in the implementation to bridge the gaps.
Dr Wurie reiterated that Government’s commitment to save cost and to increase access to Health Services across the country by developing infrastructural facilities across the country. The senior Health Specialist at the World Bank, Shiyong Wang said the project needs review to come up with actions or strategy that would strengthen the Health Sector. The program which is expected to last for three days was chaired by the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brima Kargbo.

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