By Bampia James Bundu
The Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh has over the weekend launched the World Food Day celebration at the Ansaru Boys Secondary School Field in Kono. The ceremony which was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security in partnership with Sun Secretariat was graced by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Ministry of Trade and Industry, FAO, Helen Keller International, UN Family, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Ministry of Development and Economic Planning.
In his keynote address, the Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh expressed thanks and appreciation to farmers across the country that traveled from their various regions to grace the wonderful celebration.
He commended the Ministry of Agriculture and line ministries who came together to ensure that the celebration was a success.
Dr. Juldeh Jalloh stated that World Food Day celebrations have been observed for decades but this one is special and very important as it is the only celebration that urged the United Nations to hold Food Summit in New York to deliberate on the effects and possible solutions to food shortage in the world, and to also set a road map on how to make the world food self-sufficient.
He maintained that opposition parties have been blaming the government for the increase in prices of commodities in the country knowing fully that such increments are caused by global price hikes. He described food production as an important component in alleviating poverty in a country, that was why His Excellency the President Julius Maada Bio focused his key priorities on Human Capital Development targeting Agriculture, Education, Health among others.
The Vice President Dr. Juldeh Jalloh disclosed that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the world seriously. “We have to grow what we eat and eat what we grow. It’s hightime we stopped depending on other nations for the importation of food; the world is starving today due to crisis in food during this pandemic,” he said.
The Vice President used the forum as an opportunity to catalogue the successes the New Direction government has attained over the past few years. He revealed that this government has invested a lot in Health, Education, Agriculture, Economic Transformation, Corruption among others.
The Chairman Kono District Council Mr. Solomon Gbondo praised the Vice President and other stakeholders for choosing Kono as the venue to host this year’s World Food Day celebrations. He stated that it is high time Sierra Leoneans started to grow what they eat and eat what they grow as with that food security will be attained.
He revealed that food production is not the problem in Sierra Leone but post-harvest challenges, as immediately after harvest, farmers eat almost all that which they planted. He appealed to the farmers and the authorities to continue to put premium on agriculture and pleaded with the President to do more to make Sierra Leone food secure.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security Dr. Theresa Dicks expressed her appreciation to the farmers leaving their various areas to travel to Kono to celebrate the day. She thanked the Vice President who graciously accepted to celebrate with the farmers. Dr. Dicks described this year’s celebration as strategic as the world all over is working towards ensuring that food self-sufficiency is attained.
She maintained that the Agriculture Ministry alone cannot provide food for every Sierra Leonean that was why the ministry has had a policy shift in partnering with the private sector.
“Private sector partnership will give even farmers the opportunity to benefit from whatever the government is involved in,” she said, adding that government has invested a lot in agriculture over the past three years and they are committed to do more.
She assured the Vice President and other stakeholders of a wonderful celebration and urged the delegations to visit all the booths and enjoy the wonderful products of Sierra Leonean farmers.
In his address the Deputy Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Mr. Ibrahim Turay described the theme for this year’s celebration “Our action are our future, better production, better nutrition, better environment, and a better life” as timely and could not have come at a much better time.
He revealed that fish is the largest source of animal protein in Sierra Leone, which is why the government of President Bio is putting premium on the fisheries sector with a view to improving food and nutritional security and diversification of country’s economy.
“We have an opportunity as a country to change the narrative and bring back our once prosperous agriculture and fisheries to an ecologically sustainable and economically efficient level in the country,” he said.
Further statements of solidarity were made by members of the UN Family, and other stakeholders.
APC LAWYERS, SYLVIA BLYDEN AT LOGGERHEADS By Feima Sesay
Lawyers representing the All People’s Congress party have called on Justice Adrian Fisher of the High Court of Freetown, to strike out the affidavit filed by the former Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children Affairs Dr. Sylvia Blyden.
They made this submission after Dr. Sylvia Blyden filed an affidavit at the High Court of Sierra Leone in Freetown to be a party of the case filed in by Alfred Peter Conteh, with regards to the alleged illegality of the current executive of the APC.
The Court was flooded with supporters and stakeholders of the All Peoples Congress party to listen to the hearing, including Ibrahim Bundu, Sidi Yayah Tunis and the party’s Deputy Chairman Minkailu Mansaray.
Dr. Sylvia Blyden a few days ago filed an affidavit at the High Court of Free Town to be a party of the case filed in by Alfred Peter Conteh, with regards to the alleged illegality of the current executive of the APC.
First defendant in the matter Ernest Bai Koroma’s Lawyer Ibrahim Mansaray said that most of the paragraphs of Dr. Blyden’s affidavit were scandalous and irrelevant to the proceedings.
Lawyer Ibrahim Mansaray also said that the pages of Sylvia’s affidavit were not numbered which according to him was in contravention of Order 31 Rule 6 of the High Court Rule of 2007.
According to Lawyer Africanus Sorie Sesay for the second defendant Osman Foday Yansaneh, the affidavit was not properly prepared by Dr. Blyden, whom was without a Counsel and happened to represent herself.
Lawyer Africanus Sorie Sesay stated that the orders requested by Dr. Blyden are extraneous, fresh or already litigated by the substantive plaintiff. “No amount of amendment will cure its irregularities” he said and canvassed the Court to strike out such an affidavit, based on what he believed as fatal to the proceedings.
In his own objections, Counsel representing the APC party, Ady Macauley underscored that the motion of Dr. Blyden is not in the appropriate form but rather in a book format.
Lawyer Macauley said aside from the costly irregularity that has to do with the book format, Dr. Blyden also failed to sign the backing of her affidavit.
He furthered said you cannot ask for a particular judgment to be set aside without mentioning the said judgment, which he said Dr. Blyden failed to do in her affidavit and according to him, she failed to show them the action and called for the motion in question to be thrown out.
Justice Fisher has adjourned the matter for lawyer Jessie Munda Jengo, representing Alfred Peter Conteh in relation to Dr Blyden’s affidavit to make his submission and also for Dr. Blyden to respond to the objections of the other counsels.
Parliamentary Committee Promises 30 New Buses
The Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Transport and Aviation chaired by Hon. Ambrose Maada Lebby on Tuesday 19th October 2021 officially concluded four-day visitations to Ministries Departments and Agencies under its a supervisory constitutional mandate; to ascertain compliances in the following areas, status report, procurement plan, challenges, and successes
During the four-day engagement with MDA’s, the chairman of the committee, Hon. Ambrose Maada Lebby said as a committee they are doing their parliamentary functions to monitor and to ascertain compliance with MDA’s terms of references whilst underscoring the relevance of parliamentary oversight cognizant to lawmaking, Representation, and Oversight. He called on MDA’s to put familiarities apart and delivered in the best interest of the nation; “put politics aside and work diligently based on the manifesto of president Bio’s administration”, he asserted.
Addressing MDA’s visited, the Deputy Leader of Government Business, Hon. Bashiru Silikie emphasized the importance of Parliamentary oversight and urged Officials manning these MDA’s to transmit President Bio agenda into reality.
First visited was officials of the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority in which Committee members were very disappointed to be treated with levity by SLRSA officials for failing to produce adequate documentation in front of the hearing and base on the seriousness of the offenses a motion was moved to summoned the Board of the institution and the supervisory Ministry to Parliament for further deliberations.
At the Sierra Leone Road Transport Cooperation the committee engaged officials in which operational overview and another related probing were done on the financial management for the period 2020_2021.The General Manager disclosed to the committee that come 2022, thirty brand new buses would arrive in the country to alleviate the transportation issues in the country.
At the Ministry of Transportation Aviation, the minister and officials briefed the committee so far on their operational activities, ranging from their successes and challenges.
At the Maritime Administration, the committee observed that revenue generated is spent hugely on overhead cost whilst committee notice procurement discrepancy on the internet service provided; Similar visits were done at the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority, and Sierra Leone Airport Authority.
Overall the committee was very displeased with the documentation presented during the hearings and promised to see that the needful attained.
The oversight functions were climaxed by a conducted tours of facilities of MDA’s and on the sport visit at the construction site, Search and Rescue Center at Sherbro Island, Bonthe District to ascertain work fulfilled. The Committee observed that the construction project has stopped considering the timeline and budget disbursed to the project. The Chairman and his team promised to summon the contractor to Parliament to ascertain the delay of construction.