Pursuant to the Court Order dated 9th August 2021, the All People’s Congress (APC) Committee of 21 has completed the conduct of delegate elections covering all the regions across the country.
In a press release, the APC states that however, “we are not oblivious of the challenges in other constituencies such as Constituency 061 in Kambia, Constituencies 081, 079 and 087 in Bo, and Constituencies 024, 025, 026, 027 and 028 in Kono that made it impossible to conduct delegate elections in those constituencies.” It added that the party is “mindful of our task of conducting delegate elections in a transparent and peaceful atmosphere, (which is why) the Committee suspended the process of conducting those elections to prevent an escalation of the rising tensions in those constituencies.”
“The release went on to state however that, “cognizant of the importance of having delegates to represent the aforementioned constituencies, the Committee will meet with the PPRC, which has supervisory role on its activities, to look at the root causes of those challenges and to set benchmarks that will prevent a reoccurrence of the ugly situation. Thereafter, a date for the re-run of elections for those constituencies will be announced shortly.”
Meanwhile, the Committee has conducted elections for delegates from the APC National Youth League and says it will conduct the elections of delegates for the Women’s Congress today 31st August 2021.
UAE Lifts Travel Ban on S/Leone
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday 30 August 2021 – Authorities in the United Arab Emirates, UAE, have announced the resumption of entry to the UAE by travellers with tourist visas from all countries, including Sierra Leone, who were suspended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A joint statement issued by The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, confirmed that applications for tourist visas would be opened to travellers from all countries, starting Monday 30th August, 2021.
In line with this the UAE authorities issued the following new rules and requirements:
1. The UAE will receive tourists “from all countries” who have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
2. Passengers with tourist visas must take a mandatory rapid PCR test at the airport of departure and on arrival. The previous rules for unvaccinated (from restricted countries), including exempted categories, remain in place.
3. Those with tourist visas must register their vaccination certificates on the ICA website (www.ica.gov.ae) or AlHosn app for approval to “enjoy the same benefits” as vaccinated residents in the UAE before embarking on their travel to the UAE.
This release furthered that the move was part of the country’s strategy to create a balance between public health and the activities of vital sectors, and in support of the national efforts to achieve sustainable recovery and economic growth
Lands Ministry Issues Stern Warning
The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Country Planning in a public notice has warned that the manner in which state lands are being illegally occupied by persons is disturbing and that it has also observed that such persons are in the habit of selling state lands under the pretext of owning it as private property.
In the notice, the Ministry says it is tracking, resurveying, mapping and recording all such lands in the National Land Banking Database System and that during this process, steps would be taken to recover all state lands in the Western Area that have been illegally occupied by individuals and/or institutions.
The release added that as part of this process, the general public is informed that all that piece and parcel of land situate on the left axis spanning from Number 2 Village right through to Kossoh Village in the Western Rural Peninsular are State Lands under the provisions of Section 31 of the State Land Act No. 19 of 1960,
It warned that any land interest by individuals or institutions contrary to that of the State should be brought to the attention of the Minister not later than September 24 2021. It added that the Ministry requires occupants and claimants of all such lands to produce evidence of claims within the period specified.
Sierra Leone, Egypt Sign Cooperation MoU
The Republic of Sierra Leone and the Arab Republic of Egypt has signed a considerable number of agreements for cooperation practically in political consultation, Youth and Culture.
Professor David J. Francis who heads a five man delegation was accompanied by Hon. MathewSahr Nyuma-Leader of Sierra Leone House of Parliament, Hon. Emilia Lolor Tongi representing Parliamentary Oversight Committee of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Victor Sheriff-Director of Africa Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Abraham John-Director of Ministerial Follow-ups to Cairo August 23 – 26, 2021.
The Minister declared that both President Bio and his Egyptian counterpart President Sisi had agreed to work together. Therefore, as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, he is delivering on the strategic foreign policies of the Chief Diplomat H. E. Bio. He acknowledged the Egyptian hospitality demonstrated so far. David Francis affirmed that Egypt is among the first countries to establish Embassy in Sierra Leone and has been there since. So, he was in Cairo to consolidate that special relationship. During his stay in Cairo, David Francis’ delegation met and signed joint cooperation agreements with Egypt Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Culture, Minister of Tourism, Youth and sports trying to grace a new partnership that has faith in Africa as Africans, they can work together to address their own problems. He recognized Egypt as a global player; hence his engagement is to demonstrate their strength and quality of the Pan-African identity and African common identity.
David Francis and his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry,both reciprocated views on a number of bilateral issues and regional objectives of mutual interest. ThetopDiplomats expressed their desire to intensify the degree of trade exchange to be equivalent to the political relations between the sister countries.Egypt Foreign Minister Shoukry pronounced that Egypt will send a package of medical aid to Sierra Leone to help support the health sector.
Shoukry advocated and spurred the intensification of bilateral and regional endeavor to dissuade terrorist organizations and organized crime groups in the Sahel Region as well as reconstruction and development process needed during the post-armed conflict stage.
Shoukry proposed a visit to Sierra Leone, and promised taking a trade delegation with him.
The discussions further dealt with solidarity in respect of African call to reform and expand the Security Council, in light of Sierra Leone’s presidency of the African Union’s Committee of Ten (10) concerned with the matter.The Security Council includes five permanent members, who have the right to veto resolutions (USA China, Russia, UK and France) in addition to five non-permanent members who are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms, and five non-permanent members, who are elected each year.Only one seat is designated for Africa out of the 10 non-permanent seats, so the African countries want to expand the UN organ to be included in the permanent membership as well as increase the African representation in the non-permanent seats.
The delegation’s engagement with Egypt Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr. Khalid Abdulghafer was fervent on supporting cooperation with Sierra Leone education to make study easy by facilitating Sierra Leone students pursuing education in Egypt with all that is needed. Both Ministers were enthusiastic on strengthening Scientific and educational ties. During the meeting, David J Francis and outgoing Ambassador Morie Fofana requested increasing educational Grants in different fields including Technical Education, Agriculture, Energy, Waterresources and entrepreneurship.
David Francis discussed economic bilateral cooperation with Egypt Minister of International cooperation Rania Ell- Mashat and expressed the desire to develop cooperation in the area of trade, investment, electricity, water, irrigation and renewable energy. David Francis expressed Sierra Leone’s wish to boost such ties with Egypt that will generate investment opportunities.
On Wednesday 25 August, the delegation was received by the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Dr. Khaled El Enany to discuss strengthening ways of joint cooperation between the two countries and take the values of the south – south cooperation and change the narrative on history and human capital development since both countries are sharing same mission and vision to exchange on tourism and archeology. Professor David Francis and his delegation meeting with Dr. Enany stems from Egypt’s invaluable experience in the fields of tourism, hospitality and antiquities for which the delegation waskeen on discussing ways of enhancing bilateral cooperation to benefit from the Egyptian expertise in the fields of tourism and antiquities. Minister Francis stressed the need to develop commonality of purpose on how to leverage cultural diplomacy for which Egypt is renowned and use the framing to learn from how Egypt has transformed the exchange into diplomacy. Egypt Minister of Tourism and Antiquities welcomed the accompanying delegation stressing the ministry’s full support to provide all possible means of cooperation and provide capacity building exchange training programs in archeology. Both ministers consented on identifying core areas and thinking of a Joint Cooperation Commission out of which they can develop key pillars on education, youth, sports and tourism. At the end of the meeting, both ministers exchanged souvenirs.
The delegation later had two meetings concurrently, with the minister visiting the Chancery Building in Maadi to talk with Staff of Sierra Leone Embassy in Cairo and Sierra Leone Community Executive at the other end the Leader of Government Business of Sierra Leone House of Parliament and his counterpart meetingwith their counterpart MP, Egypt Chairman of the African Affairs Committee to discuss matters of mutual parliamentary benefits. In a meeting held in the Chancery building of the Sierra Leone Embassy, the MinisterProfessor David J. Francis disclosed that he was pleased with the support given by outgoing Ambassador Morie Fofana and his team. He pledged support to local staff and called for professional commitment given that H.E. Bio’s government is about delivery and he needs the support of the Embassies or missions to work harder to support the agenda of the president. He declared that, repatriated diplomatic staff to Sierra Leone will be provided 40ft. container instead of 20ft
Speaking to executive members of Sierra Leone Union in Egypt, he declared that his purpose of meeting them was to share with them progress of the government, to identify talents to bring home and to assure them that of his ministry’s willingness to provide support to Sierra Leoneans. He also informed them that MFAIC is working hard on issues bordering on migration, labor and visa free & visa on arrival.
At a dinner organized in honor of the Minister, Prof. David J Francis was privileged to meet with the African Ambassadors Group in Egypt whose role has been complimenting. The minister also engaged multiple potential investors who expressed their intentions to invest in various areas. The minister revealed the private sector engagement is key, and the hospitality gave him the confidence that Egypt is capable to bolster cooperation ties with Sierra Leone at all levels. He declared that Sierra Leone is a land of vast opportunities for trade and investment as it is safe for doing business and it’s the new investment destination and the government is ready to build strong credible and reliable partnerships. He asked the investors to work with the Embassy in Cairo for the facilitation of a visit to Sierra Leone. The ceremony was climaxed with presentation of plaques, photographs and dinner.
By: Mohamed B. Kallon
Sierra Leone Embassy Cairo
The Arab Republic of Egypt
Mines Officer Faces Corruption Charges
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has on the 26thAugust, 2021, filed an indictment against DANIEL KAPRI SESAY, a Mines Compliance Officer of the National Mineral Agency (NMA), and of No. 26 Azolini Highway, Makeni, on five (5) counts of corruption offences. The offences include ONE (1) count of Peddling Influence, contrary to section 31(4); and FOUR (4) counts of Accepting an Advantage, contrary to Section 28(2)(a); of the Anti-Corruption Commission Act No. 12 of 2008 as amended by the Anti-Corruption (Amendment Act, No. 9 of 2019.
According to the particulars of offence, DANIEL KAPRI SERRY, on diverse dates between 1st February, 2021 and 29th February 2021, peddled influence and accepted an advantage for himself in order to make use of his influence to obtain a benefit from a public body. Between the said dates, DANIEL KAPRI SERRY, accepted the sums of Five Thousand US Dollars (US$5,000), Two Thousand US Dollars (US$2,000) and Three Hundred US Dollars (US$300) respectively for himself from businessmen of CHI CLMENT and SIMPLICE BEDY, in order to make use of his influence to facilitate the release and conveyance to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, of 15 Kilograms of gold valued at US$350,000 (Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand US Dollars). DANIEL KAPRI SERRY also accepted without lawful consideration an IPhone 11 in consideration for him to trace and apprehend one FATMATA BOMPORO SESSAY, a businesswoman involved in the sale of the said 15 Kilogram of gold.
Meanwhile, DANIEL KAPRI SERRY is expected to make his first appearance in the High Court of Sierra Leone Holden in Freetown on 4th October, 2021.
The Commission wishes to reassure the general public of its resolve to fight corruption at all levels and pursue justice at all times without fear, favor or prejudice.