Alimu Barrie of Pavi Fort ‘’Broke Ose’’… Thousands Homeless at IMATT

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Seidya Group Sierra Leone (SL) Limited has led the destruction of homes and disrupted schooling activities. It is a fact that the Government of President Julius Maada Bio takes education as its flagship programme in order to empower especially girls and women.

A letter that was addressed to the Citizen Advocacy Network (CAN) on the 29th September by the aggrieved party complained that, occupants at the South Ridge Community, IMMAT, in Freetown were barricaded by members of the Operational Support Division (OSD) of the Sierra Leone Police, which in the company of others vandalized structures and rendered over seven hundred occupants homeless.

Jespy M. Thoronka, Chairperson of the aggrieved informed the Citizen Advocacy Network that, according to the police, they were executing a purported Court Order for which they had no knowledge, because they were never taken to court to challenge their legal ownership of the land they occupied.

The occupants, who now are homeless, are expressing deepest displeasure over the illegal demolition of structures and subsequent eviction of over seven hundred (700) legal occupants, including women and children at South Ridge Community, adjacent to the Embassy of the United States, Hill Station in Sierra Leone.

The Chairman explained that since they had occupied the said community for the past fifteen (15) years with no interference from individuals and they were never invited to court to defend their legal status regarding the land they occupy.

He continued that the ‘‘police had acted in favor of Alimu Barrie, who lately laid claim over a community which had been in existence for over fifteen years now, and Barrie hoodwinked the police to believing that the said land belongs to him, albeit occupants have documents to the effect that legitimizes their ownership.’’

Currently, the chairperson lamented that women and children have no place to sleep and the schooling activity of their children has been disrupted by this single act of the police, in cohort with other state authorities who wrongfully backed Alimu Barrie as against seven hundred legal occupants.

This medium has proactively spoken to the Citizen Advocacy Network, a human rights defenders, and the institution responded that  they are soliciting the intervention of the appropriate ministries into this matter as it infringes on the fundamental human rights of citizens to own land as enshrined in the constitution of Sierra Leone.

OSIWA Urges S/Leone & Guinea to Correct Political Ills

Description: Joe Pemagbi

Joe Pemgbi CEO OSIWA

Joe Pemgbi CEO of Open society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) has said in a radio interview that the government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and all Citizens of West Africa Civil Society Organizations will come together as a body to reverse the change of some Africa leaders that always try to manipulate the constitution on their favor.

The CEO said within the same year he had witnessed several constitutional manipulations in some West Africa countries in the likes of Cote d’lvoir, Mali, Guinea and more.

He commended the MRU for doing a good job but that he believes that it is the citizens of some of these West Africa countries that have to put more pressure on their respective governments to support such initiatives for review.

Mr. Pemgbi also said that government has always had a key role to play in the security sector and that the democracy aspect for every country has its own electoral management body and that most of them are supervised by their internal affairs ministry and that at the end, it brings the issue of independence and impartiality and guaranty of some of state functions.

The CEO added that when the former president of the Republic of Guinea came in power, he compromised many issues and even changed the country’s constitution, adding that all of these issues did not follow the principles of democracy in West Africa.

He added that he is very happy with President Bio for his engagement with the current Guinea President, adding that it is because Sierra Leone is a neighbor country to Guinea.    

‘Intolerant’ Minister Wrecking Health Ministry    

Description: Sierra Leone's President Bio launches 'Hands Off Our Girls' Campaign  Operational Plan – The Sierra Leone Telegraph

Judging by correspondences traded between the Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Austin Demby, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Rev. Canon Dr. Thomas T. Samba and the Permanent Secretary, Morie Momoh there is a simmering war of words over postings or no postings going on at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.

This latest development comes as a very big slap and disappointment to the Bio-led administration, taking into consideration that top officials in the ministry which is supposed to be in charge of health services in this country, are instead busy fighting themselves over postings.

In a letter dated 23th October, 2021, the Minister of Health, instructed the Permanent Secretary to “rescind all postings and appointments by the Chief Medical Officer in October 2021,” adding that “all officers should revert to their original positions on September 30th 2021.” He stated further in his letter that “there would be an appropriate review and consideration of all postings in alignment with the national vision for healthcare delivery in Sierra Leone.”

On the same date, 12th October, 2021, the CMO, Rev. Canon Dr. Thomas T. Samba registered his dismay over the Health Minister’s letter in a query letter. In his query letter to the Health Minister, the CMO stated among other things that: “for over six months, a number of critical vacancies have existed in key Directorates and other and other relevant areas within the MoHS.”

He maintained that “the postings were presented to the Postings Committee in the MoHS which is co-chaired by the Permanent Secretary and myself and subsequently, presented to the Ministerial Team for concurrence before popularization.”

In his letter the CMO told the Health Minister: “You vehemently blocked the postings as we struggled to explain the rationale and legitimacy behind the postings. Again, as far as I can testify, you were the only one in the leadership team that was averse to the postings under reference. For you, it was more a show of authority in a very undemocratic manner. This is the first time that a minister has intentionally obstructed the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) from performing his official functions to the detriment of health service delivery.”

The CMO in his letter noted that: “Subsequently, you even mentioned your intention to recruit candidates outside the professional domain into key technical positions. An idea that was unfavorable to all and you were advised against such intentions. You were also admonished that appointments into certain offices were either in accordance with the existing Civil Service provisions or at the level of His Excellency, the President.”

The CMO added that out of frustration he consulted his colleagues and he was advised to put the reminder in the form of a letter which he did and addressed to the Permanent Secretary.

“You are very intolerant to frank scientific and professional discussions on subjects of interest to the growth of the MoHS and you will use all draconian tactics to mutilate a voice that does not rhyme with your expectations.

“Under your inexperienced leadership, technical and administrative processes have depressingly and disappointingly a sluggish pathway while you pride yourself in building castles in the air. There are multiple instances of depressing and irritating stalling of documents and processes in the day-to-day administration of the health sector leading to unnecessary delays and unproductivity.

“As the professional head of the MoHS, I firmly believe that leadership such as the one manifested by you, if not modified, has the high propensity to render the MoHS inefficient and unproductive,” the CMO stated in his letter to the Minister of Health and Sanitation.

Meanwhile, as all of this is going on, it is unclear what line of action President Bio will take, when it it is abundantly clear that the Health Minister’s intention is to source candidates from outside the ministry while the CMO is ready to go by the books by sourcing candidates from the professional wing of the ministry.

However, against this background, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation wrote to the Director General Human Resource Management Office, all Directors, Program Managers, DMOs and Medical Superintendents conveying the instructions of the Minister of Health.

Investigations continue.   

See letter from Health Minister:

See Letter from CMO

Letter from the Permanent Secretary of Health Ministry

Seidya Group Sierra Leone (SL) Limited has led the destruction of homes and disrupted schooling activities. It is a fact that the Government of President Julius Maada Bio takes education as its flagship programme in order to empower especially girls and women.

A letter that was addressed to the Citizen Advocacy Network (CAN) on the 29th September by the aggrieved party complained that, occupants at the South Ridge Community, IMMAT, in Freetown were barricaded by members of the Operational Support Division (OSD) of the Sierra Leone Police, which in the company of others vandalized structures and rendered over seven hundred occupants homeless.

Jespy M. Thoronka, Chairperson of the aggrieved informed the Citizen Advocacy Network that, according to the police, they were executing a purported Court Order for which they had no knowledge, because they were never taken to court to challenge their legal ownership of the land they occupied.

The occupants, who now are homeless, are expressing deepest displeasure over the illegal demolition of structures and subsequent eviction of over seven hundred (700) legal occupants, including women and children at South Ridge Community, adjacent to the Embassy of the United States, Hill Station in Sierra Leone.

The Chairman explained that since they had occupied the said community for the past fifteen (15) years with no interference from individuals and they were never invited to court to defend their legal status regarding the land they occupy.

He continued that the ‘‘police had acted in favor of Alimu Barrie, who lately laid claim over a community which had been in existence for over fifteen years now, and Barrie hoodwinked the police to believing that the said land belongs to him, albeit occupants have documents to the effect that legitimizes their ownership.’’

Currently, the chairperson lamented that women and children have no place to sleep and the schooling activity of their children has been disrupted by this single act of the police, in cohort with other state authorities who wrongfully backed Alimu Barrie as against seven hundred legal occupants.

This medium has proactively spoken to the Citizen Advocacy Network, a human rights defenders, and the institution responded that  they are soliciting the intervention of the appropriate ministries into this matter as it infringes on the fundamental human rights of citizens to own land as enshrined in the constitution of Sierra Leone.

OSIWA Urges S/Leone & Guinea to Correct Political Ills

Description: Joe Pemagbi

Joe Pemgbi CEO OSIWA

Joe Pemgbi CEO of Open society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) has said in a radio interview that the government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and all Citizens of West Africa Civil Society Organizations will come together as a body to reverse the change of some Africa leaders that always try to manipulate the constitution on their favor.

The CEO said within the same year he had witnessed several constitutional manipulations in some West Africa countries in the likes of Cote d’lvoir, Mali, Guinea and more.

He commended the MRU for doing a good job but that he believes that it is the citizens of some of these West Africa countries that have to put more pressure on their respective governments to support such initiatives for review.

Mr. Pemgbi also said that government has always had a key role to play in the security sector and that the democracy aspect for every country has its own electoral management body and that most of them are supervised by their internal affairs ministry and that at the end, it brings the issue of independence and impartiality and guaranty of some of state functions.

The CEO added that when the former president of the Republic of Guinea came in power, he compromised many issues and even changed the country’s constitution, adding that all of these issues did not follow the principles of democracy in West Africa.

He added that he is very happy with President Bio for his engagement with the current Guinea President, adding that it is because Sierra Leone is a neighbor country to Guinea.    

‘Intolerant’ Minister Wrecking Health Ministry    

Description: Sierra Leone's President Bio launches 'Hands Off Our Girls' Campaign  Operational Plan – The Sierra Leone Telegraph

Judging by correspondences traded between the Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Austin Demby, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Rev. Canon Dr. Thomas T. Samba and the Permanent Secretary, Morie Momoh there is a simmering war of words over postings or no postings going on at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.

This latest development comes as a very big slap and disappointment to the Bio-led administration, taking into consideration that top officials in the ministry which is supposed to be in charge of health services in this country, are instead busy fighting themselves over postings.

In a letter dated 23th October, 2021, the Minister of Health, instructed the Permanent Secretary to “rescind all postings and appointments by the Chief Medical Officer in October 2021,” adding that “all officers should revert to their original positions on September 30th 2021.” He stated further in his letter that “there would be an appropriate review and consideration of all postings in alignment with the national vision for healthcare delivery in Sierra Leone.”

On the same date, 12th October, 2021, the CMO, Rev. Canon Dr. Thomas T. Samba registered his dismay over the Health Minister’s letter in a query letter. In his query letter to the Health Minister, the CMO stated among other things that: “for over six months, a number of critical vacancies have existed in key Directorates and other and other relevant areas within the MoHS.”

He maintained that “the postings were presented to the Postings Committee in the MoHS which is co-chaired by the Permanent Secretary and myself and subsequently, presented to the Ministerial Team for concurrence before popularization.”

In his letter the CMO told the Health Minister: “You vehemently blocked the postings as we struggled to explain the rationale and legitimacy behind the postings. Again, as far as I can testify, you were the only one in the leadership team that was averse to the postings under reference. For you, it was more a show of authority in a very undemocratic manner. This is the first time that a minister has intentionally obstructed the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) from performing his official functions to the detriment of health service delivery.”

The CMO in his letter noted that: “Subsequently, you even mentioned your intention to recruit candidates outside the professional domain into key technical positions. An idea that was unfavorable to all and you were advised against such intentions. You were also admonished that appointments into certain offices were either in accordance with the existing Civil Service provisions or at the level of His Excellency, the President.”

The CMO added that out of frustration he consulted his colleagues and he was advised to put the reminder in the form of a letter which he did and addressed to the Permanent Secretary.

“You are very intolerant to frank scientific and professional discussions on subjects of interest to the growth of the MoHS and you will use all draconian tactics to mutilate a voice that does not rhyme with your expectations.

“Under your inexperienced leadership, technical and administrative processes have depressingly and disappointingly a sluggish pathway while you pride yourself in building castles in the air. There are multiple instances of depressing and irritating stalling of documents and processes in the day-to-day administration of the health sector leading to unnecessary delays and unproductivity.

“As the professional head of the MoHS, I firmly believe that leadership such as the one manifested by you, if not modified, has the high propensity to render the MoHS inefficient and unproductive,” the CMO stated in his letter to the Minister of Health and Sanitation.

Meanwhile, as all of this is going on, it is unclear what line of action President Bio will take, when it it is abundantly clear that the Health Minister’s intention is to source candidates from outside the ministry while the CMO is ready to go by the books by sourcing candidates from the professional wing of the ministry.

However, against this background, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation wrote to the Director General Human Resource Management Office, all Directors, Program Managers, DMOs and Medical Superintendents conveying the instructions of the Minister of Health.

Investigations continue.   

See letter from Health Minister:

See Letter from CMO

Letter from the Permanent Secretary of Health Ministry

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