CHRDI DIRECTOR LASHES OUT
As University Students Brutalized
By A.M. Fatoma
Sierra Leone Police SLP) under the leadership of IG Sovula have once again demonstrated their unprofessionalism, lack of understanding of trending issues and above all their brute force in handling issues of public order and safety.
On Tuesday 13th April, 2021 IPAM students had a right to assemble peacefully, and they were assembling peacefully.
The police came and instead of facilitating the peaceful protest, they shot at students. The police didnâ€™t understand and could not understand that students were protesting about issues affecting their future. It is a challenge because what the police should have done was to first find out what went wrong and then negotiate a settlement.
The Police Act 1964, Act No. 7 of 1964 , Section 4 states the general duties of the Police Force, which include detection of crime, apprehension of offenders, preservation of law and order, protection of property and enforcement of all laws and regulations with which the Police Force is charged.
The college administrationâ€™s negative attitude towards the students is unfair and unprofessional.
The role of student (s) is to gather knowledge and wisdom and must not waste his/her precious time carelessly. He/she must submit him/herself to the rules of discipline to build a civilized society.
SL Mining Accused
SL Mining Limited on April 13, 2021 in Lunsar, issued a press release responding to recent false statements in press articles following an industrial fatality at its Marampa mine site, with the death of Sheiku Saffa, 39, an experienced Workshop Supervisor, on April 7, 2021. Two other personnel who were at the workshop at the time of the accident were not injured.
According to the release the companyâ€™s emergency protocols were immediately activated and implemented. Security and a nurse from the Health and Safety department along with a company ambulance arrived at the scene within minutes, but sadly the employee had already succumbed to his injuries.
The release on behalf of SL Mining, the directors and management of SL Mining and SL Miningâ€™s employees conveyed their heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to Mr. Saffaâ€™s family, co-workers and friends, adding that since the tragic accident, SL Mining have been providing all necessary support and assistance to Mr. Saffaâ€™s family. Management and the general workforce joined together to mourn the tragic loss of their colleague on April 8th.
The Company, which is currently under â€˜Care and Maintenanceâ€™ immediately, notified the Local Unit Commander of the Sierra Leone Police, and the Managing Director informed the companyâ€™s management immediately thereafter. Contrary to certain press reports, SL Mining did immediately, on the same day as the incident, report the accident to the National Minerals Agency (â€œNMAâ€) in accordance with all NMA requirements, who on April 9th confirmed the receipt of such information.
SL Mining is conducting a more detailed investigation and cooperating with all authorities in this unfortunate accident and out of respect for Mr. Saffaâ€™s family will refrain from commenting further in the press.
The release added that however, given the false articles that are circulating in the press, SL Mining wishes to make clear that this was a tragic accident and to disregard the false press that is circulating.
SL Miningâ€™s top priority is the health and safety of its workforce at its mine site and the company observes the highest health and safety policies and standards. Until such time as the outcome of the enquiries has been reached, SL Mining Limited cannot release further details.
Orange Foundation Rescues Lactating Mothers & Constructs Pre-school
By Feima Sesay
Orange Foundation SL has on Wednesday 14 April 2021 donated baby packs and rice to vulnerable mothers at the Princess Christian Maternity Hospital in Freetown.
The event took place at the PCMH and the items were ten baby packs with assorted toiletries and ten 25kg bags of rice to the vulnerable mothers and their babies.
Donating the items on behalf of Orange Foundation SL, the president for the women of Orange Sierra Leone Martha Sumaila in her statement said one 0f the key values of Orange is to promote women empowerment within and outside the company.
She stated further that as an organization, one of their mandate is to impact the lives of women outside of Orange.
” Fortunately, this is the first move we are making since I assume office about a month ago and that the donation is in support of what Orange Mobile company generally is doing in terms of helping to curtail maternal deathÂ in Sierra Leone”, she said.
Madam Sumaila underscores that the donation is to augment the effort of what Orange Sierra Leone has been doing, adding that about a month ago, the company launched the maternal health care services were in they will be supporting women across the Kroobay community.
Madam Sumaila said the women within Orange thought it fit to donate these items in order to help promote maternal health in Sierra Leone because their CEO is very personate about women empowerment.
She further disclosed that the donation was in consultation with the Matron who helped them with some of the items the patients need in order to support the baby and the mother.
She emphasizes that even though the items would not be enough, but said a little is enough to impact a life as she said they understand that women are so much need.
“Being in this hospital today, we have seen so much that what we bargain for as there is so much need, we are happy to help women who are so much in need as we have been through all the ward and it is so much emotional but we know that what every we have donated will be of much help to them”, she stated
In conclusion she encourages women who have not been going to the hospital for their Anti-Natal Care to make it a point of duty to attend their ANC as it reduces the risk of complication during delivery.
Â Matron Irene M. Sesay for Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH) receiving the items on behalf of the patients thanked Orange Foundation for such a laudable gesture as she said they were not expecting such gift.
She added that the donation was timely as the hospital has been looking forward for such gifts.
Matron Sesay said most of the women at PCMH are vulnerable and could not afford to take care of their babies, noting that sometime they come to give birth to their children without coming with nothing.
She said the donation came as a surprise to her and a dream come true as she said they are looking forward to more donations coming from the Foundation.
Sister Roselyn M. Kamara of Domiciliary wing PCMH applauded the foundation describing the donation as a big venture.
She said the problem of women in Sierra Leone is more than the country itself, adding that especially when it comes to mother and child.
Sister Roselyn further noted that the initiative is a good by the Foundation coming together to seek the welfare of women in the society.
The donations covered three mothers at the domiciliary wing PCMH including one set of twins.
Two at ward 5 including one set of twins.
Five sets of the baby packs and 5 25kg bags of rice were donated to ward 2 that happen to have the most vulnerable mothers.
Three sets of twins benefited from this donation.
The beneficiaries includes Mabinty Bangura who gave birth to twins andÂ Mariatu Sesay.
These two were fire victim from the Susan bay community.
Mariatu Turay, Makalay Bangura, Emmanuella Koroma, Hawanatu Bah who suffers partial stroke after giving birth, Fatmata Lebbie, Lovetta Kanneh, Isata Kargbo and Marie Yamba benefited from the gesture.
They all expressed thanks and appreciation to Orange Foundation Sierra Leone for such a time gesture.
In another development ,Â the Orange Foundation has Â on Monday 12th Â April, 2021 commissioned another ultra- modern pre-school In Korgbutuma village Kpange section Kayamba chiefdom Moyamba District in order to complement the governmentâ€™s Free Quality Education flagship project.
The Early Community Development School was officially commissioned by the Chief Executive Officer Orange SL Madam Aminata Kane Ndiaye and the Director General of National Telecommunication Company (NATCOM) Daniel Kaitibi.
These projects cost over four Hundred Million Leones and it is part of the companyâ€™s pledge of 1.5 Billion Leones to support the governmentâ€™s Free Quality Education flagship project.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Director for Orange Foundation SL madam Jestina Betts in her statement on behalf of Orange CEO said she was very much excited to be part of the commissioning.
Describing their company as a Tok and Do company, she added that the construction of the school was done within three months, noting that the school is not the only development the company will offer the people of Korgbutuma village but also promised them a communication tower that will enable them get access to communication as there is no mobile network system in the village.
“It is very evident that some of the facilities needed to ensure that our children in the provinces benefit from governmentâ€™s Free Quality Education is not available in all parts of the country, therefore the Ministry of Basic Education which is the driver to ensure FQE is implemented across the country understands the areas of need and has been pushing very hard to ensure that these areas are met”, she stated.
She underscored that the objectives of the project is to ensure that the ministry enjoys the distribution of Early Childhood Centers, noting that this is the second pre -school the company has commissioned.
She admonished the pupils to take good care of the facility as it is for them, adding that the early childhood development center is an opportunity for them to learn and further pleaded with the parents to encourage their children to go to school as they are the future leaders.
She however assured the people of Korgbutuma town of the companyâ€™s continuous support in order to give their kids the best education in conducive environment.
The Director General of National Telecommunications Company (NATCOM) Daniel Kaitibi who was the guest speaker of the event in his statementÂ said it is an opportunity for him to commission such a school noting thatÂ this was his first time to commission a building that has to do with education.
He admonished the people to notÂ useÂ poverty as excuseÂ to educated their children, adding that he came from a poor family who father died when he was at age four but yet he work hard and today he is the DG of a company.
The Director General however disclosed that during his school days, he never saw or touched computer until when he was admitted to the university but said today children have access to these facilities in pre-school and therefore encourage them to make good use of every opportunity they have now.
He applauded Orange Foundation for constructing such an ultra- modern pre-school, describing the school as the best in Moyamba.
He said the project is to complement the government Free Quality Education flagship project. Speaking on the issue of connectivity pleaded with the company to make their promise a reality by constructing a tower before the end of this year so that the people will get access to communication in that part of the country as they already have 447 towers across the country.
He said the intention of the president is to ensure that every corner of the country has access to communications.
Director Kaitibi encouraged the kids to work hard and make the nation proud, stated further that it is not the beauty of a school building that makes a student but the students themselves.
He further encouraged the people of Korgbutuma town to ensure that children use the school for the purpose it was built and not to convert it to a primary school.
Prior to the commissioning of the school,Â Adu Mboyawa chiefdom speaker for Kamyaba chiefdom Moyamba District in his welcome address said it is a big day for the children of Korgbutuma village describing them as the future leaders.
He expressed his appreciation to Orange SL for choosing their village amongst others for constructing such a laudable pre-school.
He further expressed excitement over the installation of a pole in their village that will enable them access as he said the network system in their community is very poor.
Chief Mboyawa said Orange Mobile network is indeed the leading telecommunication company in the country and assured the company that he will ensure that the school will be utilized for the intended purpose.
Hon. Simeon Fefeula of Constituency 096 Moyamba District in his contribution thanked Orange Foundation SL for constructing such a school in complementing the government effort and further welcomed the idea of bringing a network system for his people as he said it has been the cry of his people.
He also assured the company of his continuous support for the development 9f his constituents.
Another Meaningful contribution was made by the deputy director from the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary School Education Mr. Kai Wuseni in support of the project.
â€˜â€™INCREASED LEVEL OF POLICE BRUTALITYâ€™â€™
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â -CGG URGES GOVT.
Campaign for Good Governance (CGG) has waded on the debate regarding the increased spate of police brutality meted out students and other peaceful citizens. Below is a statement for immediate release.
GOVERNMENT OF SIERRA LEONE TO TAKE URGENT ACTION TO ADDRESS INCREASING LEVELS OF POLICE BRUTALITY!
Campaign for Good Governance (CGG) is seriously worried and disturbed over the continued display of excessive force by the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) in response to protests/demonstrations in Sierra Leone. We note with incredible dismay the high-handed and unprofessional conduct of some personnel of the response team dispatched to quell the student demonstration at the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM) on Monday 12th April, 2021.Â
We are particularly shocked by the public stripping and extent of police brutality against a female student awaiting final result of the said institution during the operation. We wish to unequivocally state that such acts of violence by the SLP are unacceptable and a complete breach of human rights standards irrespective of the circumstances that precipitated the assault and battery. We also wish to inform the SLP, who are meant to be the custodian of our laws, that the conduct of their personnel amounts to gender-based violence, an issue which the President himself has stated his commitment.
CGGâ€™s investigations reveal that the demonstration by the students were triggered by serious administrative lapses with regard the omission in a published list for the conferment of degrees, names of students who have successfully completed their course and complied with all the accompanying administrative processes for conferment.Â
While we acknowledge that there are other legitimate avenues to be utilized by students for channeling of such grievances, we also note the lapses within the institutional arrangement that triggered the student response though unjustified.Â
Police brutality continues to be commonplace in Sierra Leone and we have not witnessed any serious action taken by government to investigate and hold accountable those who are found wanton of such acts of violence. Rather, citizens have always been the focus of accountability, an application of justice we perceive to be selective in all its forms and nature. While force is legitimate in curbing riotous conduct, international human rights standards have prescribed rules on the proportionality of force to be used for such operations and these rules must be respected.Â
In light of the above and the many incidences of the use of excessive force by the SLP, we call on the government, the leadership of the SLP and the Independent Police Compliant Board to take appropriate action. These Police officers in question must be immediately suspended pending an investigation into the incident and hold to account all personnel found wanting of this act of brutality on the female student so as to deter future unprofessional conduct by police personnel.
Campaign for Good Governance 8 King Street, Wilberforce Road Freetown, Sierra Leone West Africa
We also urge the Leadership of the University of Sierra Leone and IPAM administration to investigate the administrative lapses that triggered the demonstration and ensure systems including effective complaints and response mechanisms are put in place to build student confidence and trust in the administration so as to prevent a reoccurrence of such demonstrations.Â
Finally, CGG calls on all students to exercise caution and to channel their grievances through the prescribed institutional redress mechanisms and desist from any further uproar that would cause violence. CGG will continue to monitor the situation.Â
For further information please contact: [email protected], Marcella Samba-Sesay +23276984590,Â Bernadette French +23276622977 and Sahr Kendema +23276356691.
NCRA TO DOCUMENT UNREGISTERED POPULATION
The Director-General of the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA), Mohamed Mubashir MASSAQUOI has held a press conference to update media institutions on the Authorityâ€™s readiness to conduct a nationwide Confirmation of Personal Details of Citizens and Non-Citizens and to Register the Unregistered Population at the Ministry of Finance Conference Hall on George Street, Freetown.
The essence of the press conference the DG said was for media outlets to be made fully aware of the activities of the Authority and to disseminate vital information on the planned activities of the NCRA.
The DG announced to the press that â€œthe Confirmation and Registration exercise will commence on the 6th May through 28th July, 2021 and it will be done by region,â€
Mr. MASSAQUOI further informed the press that in response to concerns and recommendations from Political Parties and Civil Society Organizations, the Government of Sierra Leone has agreed on the following:
to provide support to increase the number of days for the regisrration from 8-10 days, that 345 Centers have been added to the initial 1,655 Confirmation Registration Centers bringing the number of Centers to 2,000; that Confirmation and Registration Centers have been mapped, updated and designated covering all 2,000 Centers for the exercise across the country, also, in addition to the 2,000 Centers and days, government has gone beyond the request of political parties and Civil Society Organizations by providing Roaming Teams to cover hard-to-reach areasÂ during the exercise to ease the burden of movement on the population and that adequate publicity will be made to inform the public on the process and period.
The Director-General added that in other to ensure transparency and credibility of the process, provision has also been made to allow Organizations and Institutions who wish to observe the exercise to do so without hindrance by applying through the Director-General of the NCRA, noting that application can be submitted from the 26th to the 30th April 2021 between the hours of 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday daily.
The DG mentioned that the exercise will enhance the acquisition of multi-purpose National and ECOWAS Identification Cards that will be used to facilitate personal transactions, movements and identification of people as well as provide valid, authentic or updated information on the identity and status of all residents in the country.
The DG therefore called on the general public to cooperate with the NCRA in the development of the Permanent Civil Register which shall be the primary source of data on the population of Sierra Leone as stipulated in section 41(1) of the NCR Act of 2016. He encouraged the press to adequately disseminate and continuously inform the public on the activities and programs of the NCRA.
Mr. MASSAQUOI also informed the press that prior to the commencement of the press conference he had earlier on engaged stakeholders collaborating with the Civil Registration,Vital Statistics and Identify Management process in Sierra Leone to update them on the Authorityâ€™s readiness to carry out an important national exercise that has been approved by the Government of Sierra Leone in the development of a Permanent Civil Register consistent with the NCR Act of 2016.
The DG noted that Civil Society Organizations and other Institutions have commended the NCRA for always recognizing them in the planning and implementation of the activities and programs of the authority. He therefore called on the press to continue to engage the public by informing them on the importance and benefit of not only the confirmation and registration exercise but CRVS and ID Management as a whole.
Â Murder: Soldier sent to jail
By Feima Sesay
Sahr Daramy a military man was on Wednesday 14th April 2021 sent to prison by Magistrate Mark Ngegba of the Pademba road court No 1 for the alleged murder of one Abu Bakarr Conteh.
The prosecution witness No.1 Inspector Mohammed Kargbo attached to the Criminal Investigation Department
In his testimony he said he recognized the accused and recalled on the 7 January 2021.
He said on that day, he was on duty at the office when a transfer case and enquiry file was received from the Adonkia police station Goderich with serial number 2052/2021 for the offence of murder.
He said the file contains seven witness statements, abstract police report; endorse police medical report of the deceased, autopsy report and others for continuation of investigation.
Inspector Kargbo furthered that on Friday 8th January 2021, a team of detectives headed by inspector Mondeh, line Manager at the homicide syndicate unit together with the accused visited the alleged crime scene at Borbor village.
He said a house to house enquiry was done and after that the team later return to the Criminal Investigation Department.
The witness continue that on 15 February 2021, he wrote a letter and send it to Provo Marshall at Cockrill requesting the released of the accused for him to face interview at the Criminal Investigation Department, Pademba Road.
He furthered that on the following day, he obtained voluntary caution statements from the accused by observing the judges rules.
Prior to that, the witness further that on 12 January 2021, an autopsy examination was conducted on the deceased at the Connaught hospital mortuary by Dr. Simeon Owizz Koroma government pathology.
He said the cause of death certificate was handed over to them which have been in police custody ever since.
The autopsy report was tendered in court to form part of the evidence.
In conclusion of his testimony, he said that on the 30 March 2021, he charged the accused with the offence of murder.
The witness was cross examined by defense counsel C.I William.
The accused Sahr Daramy was arraigned on a count of murder contrary to law .
According to the charge sheet, it was alleged that the accused on Saturday, 19 December, 2020 at Goderich murdered Abubakarr Conteh.
The accused was remanded in prison and the matterÂ was adjourned to the 21 April 2021 for further hearing.