Leadway’s timber export Lacks Accountability

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In the absence of a statutory agency to regulate the timber business in Sierra leone, a sole agent was appointed by government in the person of Babadi Kamara, represented by his leadway company for the exportation of timber.

His initial assignment was to export 699 containers in port and 194 containers outside the port that have already been paid for and the proceeds deposited into the consolidated revenue fund (CRF).

Leadway Company was to further verify the payments of in and out of port containers to the National Revenue Authority and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and to submit a verification of payment reports of the 699 containers in port and 194 containers outside the port.

Essentially, Leadway was only given the mandate to export an estimated amount of 13,000 containers of timber already awaiting shipment before the imposition of the timber ban.

What continues to baffle us as a news medium is why the said Leadway is still exporting timber logs outside of Sierra Leone when government has only given them the mandate to export only 13,000 containers of timber.

One can deduce that Mr Babadi is prevaricating and falling short with regards the total amount of timber generated revenue to be deposited into the CRF. It`s as if proper accountability is lacking with only a paltry sum collected as revenue for government whiles the substantial amount is converted for private use.

Public Review newspaper is asking for Mr. Babadi Kamara to tell Sierra Leoneans how much money was realised from the exports of those 13,000 containers of timber.

We are also asking the appropriate government authorities to explain to Sierra Leoneans why they have failed to set up the timber agency three years after they promised to do so.

We will also want to know whether the Leadway company has the legal mandate to continue exporting timber without the appropriate right to do so.

We have reproduced the referenced press release for your perusal.

It is a fact that centuries of slash-and-burn farming has destroyed the fertility of most of our soils in Sierra Leone; and Sierra Leoneans must embark on massive making of manure, tree planting, and greening.

However, timber logging has also massively affected the flora and fauna across the country and Sierra Leone is no exemption to climate change

Simply put, deforestation is seen as the clearing of forested lands. In Sierra Leone, Leadway takes the lead to logging and removing Forests or trees for Timber export purposes .

The preceeds are huge, according to by the Sierra Leone’s Audit Service report.

Tree loggings by  Leadway has disadvantaged land farms, ecosystems but more importantly the danger it has caused to our environments and the threats to Climte change.

This Wood harvesting by Leadway has caused potential damage to the livelywood of poor rural people and the environment in particular in the noth –esat of the country .

Again, in the south -eastern parts ,  Leadway has expanded its activities to remove forests and stand of trees from farm forests – lands.

So you now see where Timber logging in a samll poor country like Sierra Leone is raping the country and its people. 

In house where LAC was lodged…

Saio Jawara beaten to death

By Theophilus Sahr Gbenda

The circumstances that led to the sudden death of Saidy Saio Jawara commonly known as ‘TrupJeezy Classic Man’ aged 34, continue to put his bereaved family in great shock and fear.

It all started on one fateful day when the now-deceased disclosed to his mother Madam Hawa Jawara that, “Mother, my friends have succeeded in killing me”. He went on to say, “It’s like I have been poisoned because since I drank a bottle of water I took from the fridge in the house where I and my friends stay, I have been feeling uneasy”.

Not treating the surprising disclosure lightly, the mother who is based in Maryland in the United States of America (USA) but on vacation in Sierra Leone, pressed for more details, much of which she recorded using her mobile phone.

Shortly afterwards, Saidy, according to Madam Hawa Jawara, told her he was leaving to watch the football match between Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast. “I did not want him to go anywhere, but by the time I sent people to ask him to return home to me, he was already far gone and hence couldn’t be found”, said Madam Hawa Jawara.

Since then, she said she couldn’t trace her son’s whereabouts and that after a couple of days she became extremely worried that something wrong might have happened to him.

It was at this juncture according to her, that she decided to make a phone call to Joseph Cole popularly known as J. Pack, to enquire about her missing son.

According to her, J. Pack who happens to be the immediate known close friend of Saidy, responded harshly to her saying, “Never you ask me for your son again. It happened again the last time when your son got missing, I was the one you called to ask about his whereabouts”.

She said J. Pack went as far as telling her that from henceforth he was no longer interested in the friendship with her son, and that he warned her never to call him again for anything whatsoever.

Three days after, according to Madam Hawa Jawara, her son was discovered lying helplessly at the gate of her residence by Alie Jawara, his uncle, who was leaving the house for early morning Subuh prayers at a nearby mosque.

“His entire body was covered with muddy dirt and visible wounds and bruises”, Madam Jawara said, adding that, “He could not even walk or speak clearly”. At this point, she said her son had to be physically carried to her apartment upstairs, where he was placed at the palour.

Asked what happened to him, late Saidy according to the mother, Madam Hawa Jawara, disclosed to all present and on tape that he was mercilessly beaten up by his friends and even dragged on the bare floor with the intention to kill him. Late Saidy is said to have quoted one of his assailants as saying, “You too hat for die” (meaning, you are too hard to die).

Late Saidy, according to Madam Hawa Jawara, became clearly angry when she narrated to him what transpired between her and J. Pack. His reaction according to her was, “Me too, I don’t ever want him for friend again because in fact he is one of those involved in my beating”. Another name he reportedly mentioned is Funky Pee, also staying at the same house.

Late Saidy is quoted to have stated that, “In fact I am going to pack all my belongings from the house and relocate to my mother’s place”.

To restore his health, late Saidy was put on intensive treatment. A body scan result shows that he had lots of pain and was therefore being administered the due treatment when he eventually died.

When news of his death flared in the neighbourhood, it was reported that some angry youth mobilised themselves and were heading towards J. Pack’s residence to avenge his death, but were pacified by Saidy’s mother who prevailed on them not to take the law into their own hands.

FAO Concludes National Consultative Review  

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 By Uzman Unis Bah (Communication Consultant)

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) concludes a National Consultative review of the Priority Programme for 2022 and 2023. Stakeholders identified priority areas in adapting the Cooperation Framework Strategic to support Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security, and Climate Resilience in Sierra Leone.

Stakeholders from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), Ministry of Environment, Environmental Protection Agency Sierra Leone (EPA_SL), Ministry of Planning and Economic Development (MoPED) and the Nutrition Directorate of MOHS made contributions to the formulation of the priority programmes for the running year 2022 and 2023.

The Head of ECTAD and acting FAOR, Germain Borbo, thanked the stakeholders for their valuable contributions and participation. “We will consider all your inputs in developing the CPF and the new strategic framework of FAO; we will consider all your contributions in formulating a working document that will address the sustainable development of the country.”

Harding Wuyango, AFAOR Programmes, said, as the world is facing threats that require a collaborative effort to act immediately in safeguarding rural livelihoods, it is crucial to work in transforming agri-food systems to develop a future-proof and sustainable outcome in line with the agenda 2030. He notes that the consultative review informs the sustainable development of Sierra Leone in achieving Agenda 2030.

In 2021, the UN Secretary General’s Food Systems Summit provided a process through which agri-food systems transformative approach can be better articulated and an improved alignment of food system actors’ initiatives in support of more sustainable food systems promoted. Feeding into the development of the Strategic Framework, FAO undertook a Corporate Strategic Foresight Exercise aimed at accelerating strategic thinking to increase preparedness and effectiveness in providing support to achieve Agenda 2030; and to share knowledge regarding challenges, threats and opportunities to move food and agricultural systems towards sustainability.

The new Strategic Framework places the 2030 Agenda at its center and uses key SDGs indicators to promote focus and track progress, grouped by the four betters – Better nutrition, Better environment, Better life and Better production. FAO’s contributions span across all SDGs, guided by the lens of SDG 1, SDG 2, and SDG 10.

The FAO Country Programming Framework (CPF) aims to support farmers – especially women, youth and other vulnerable groups to have equal access to information and decision-making opportunities on land, forest and fisheries tenure, knowledge of improved agricultural practices, inputs, technology, financial services, and linkage to markets, leveraging appropriate technologies and innovations.

Abdulai Bangura, Head of the Green Jobs Project – FAO, said through the project, a mix of selected rural and urban youth in Sierra Leone gain capacity development opportunities across green agriculture, green energy, and green waste management sectors, and transferable soft skills (problem-solving, communication, teamwork, gender leadership, green business development, and financial literacy).

The National Consultative Review will inform the Government consultations on the Sub/Regional Priorities – conveying the stakeholders’ response on the country priorities to advance the achievement of the SDGs.

FAO, through the CPF, supports the utilization of Land and other natural resources (forests, marine, wetlands, water, and pasture) in an inclusive, sustainable, and equitable manner. Supporting sustainable agriculture, food, and nutrition (regulatory, institutional, research and policy framework) and Sustainable and gender-sensitive systems is vital for addressing emerging pandemics and mitigating the impact of climate change and responding to disasters and crises in the country.

Orange SL CEO Schools FBC Engineering Students

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Orange CEO:Aminata Kane

Aminata Kane, Chief Executive Officer of one of the foremost telecommunications company that is operating in the country, Orange Sierra Leone, has schooled FBC students on the 4th digital industrial revolution.

She took the students of the Engineering Department at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, through the concepts, theories and practices of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Entrepreneurship and Innovation under  the topic: “Private Sector and Start-ups in the World and in Sierra Leone: How the Private Sector is Solving Critical and High Impact Societal Challenges?”

The Orange-SL Chief Executive Officer succinctly delved into the various aspects of the topic in a manner which was commendably good, holding the students very attentive as they imbibed new ideas. Hers was an interactive session with the students who were very excited to draw from her wealth of knowledge and happy to have a rapport with her. The course was facilitated by the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Dr David Moinina Sengeh.

Upon satisfactory completion of her delivery, according to the students they were able to:

– Know the wider trends in technology and innovation particularly as related to the fourth industrial revolution from a theoretical and practical point of view

– Appreciate and understand the mindset of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship including idea development, raising capital and collaboration.

– Develop fundamental critical thinking, entrepreneurial thinking and problem-solving skills.

– Know the processes of starting up and financing businesses and enterprises in Sierra Leone.

The charismatic CEO in expressing how she felt interacting with the students said it was indeed a great encounter as the student used the opportunity to ask pertinent questions bordering on the (still perceived too high) prices of telecoms, the cost of digitalization, how to have long lasting impact, supporting entrepreneurs at every step of the way, and how big companies can try and fail when it comes to innovation.

She also profoundly thanked Dr. David Moinina Sengeh for inviting her as a guest lecturer saying she really had a blast and informed the Chief Innovator that next time they will do a joint lecture on Tech, Fashion and Music.

Bio emphasises the importance of Human Capital Development

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President Bio

In his keynote address at the high-level meeting of the European Corporate Council on Africa and the Middle East (ECAM) on the theme ” African Leaders for change”, Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio has said “human capital development leads a nation to achieve accelerated and sustainable gains.”

The ECAM high level meeting took place on Thursday 17th February 2022 in Brussels on the margins of the AU -EU Heads of State summit.

President Bio believed that by investing in quality education, accessible and quality healthcare, food security, and critical infrastructure, Sierra Leone will be a more productive, more resilient, and a more prosperous nation.

He added that by investing in human capital it will make for sustainable gains in all facets of the country’s social and economic development.

The Sierra Leone President said despite the impact of the COVID-19 virus, his government laudable gains had been recognised by international partners.

President Bio explained about his government successes in the education: “More children, and especially more girls, more children with disabilities, more children from poor home and rural areas are now in school, stay in school, complete and are more successful in school than ever before”.

“We have escalated investments in school infrastructure, school feeding, teacher training and teaching and learning materials. As a result of our policy of radical inclusion, our fight against sexual and gender-based violence and the First Lady’s successful advocacy against early child marriage and other cultural practices, school is now a safer place where every child can work hard to reach his or her fullest potential” he maintained.

In the area of food security, he said the government had increased mechanised farming, provided improved seeds and fertilisers and more arable land had been put under cultivation.

President Bio also highlighted the gains his government has made in the areas of energy, healthcare, communications network, infrastructure development and the fight against corruption.

He expressed optimism for Sierra Leone on the Africa-Europe Alliance: “We are not quite where we want to be. But I am pleased that past dialogues such as the 2018, Africa-Europe Alliance foreground ‘deepening trade and economic relations,’ ‘strengthening the business environment and investment climate’ and investing in education and skills training, Sierra Leone stands ready for enhanced cooperation in each of those areas.”

The European Corporate Council on Africa and the Middle East was born with the primary objective of developing feasible, effective and lasting solutions for more sustainable healthcare and education systems throughout Africa and the MENA region.

Statements were also made by the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Eswatini, the President of Mozambique and other dignitaries.

374 Inmates Granted Bail During Judicial Week

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 The Judiciary of Sierra Leone has granted bail to 374 inmates during the nationwide JUDICIAL WEEK that commenced on 3Ist January, 2022 to 4th February, 2022.

The press statement intimated that there are eight hundred and seventy (870) cases were processed by the Court. Out of this number, four hundred and twenty-three (425) were from the provinces and the remaining four hundred and forty-seven (447) were processed in the Western Area.

According to the press release the Access to Justice Through Judicial Week is a huge success with a large number of cases handled and completed by 26 Judges who were deployed across the Country.

“In a bid to increasing access to justice and decongesting Correctional Centres across the country, a total number of eight hundred and seventy cases (870) had the opportunity of their incarcerations being reviewed through prolonged adjournments, bail variation, bail application, summary review and habeas corpus application”, the statement said.

The release continued that, as part of the Chief Justice’s commitment to enhance access to Justice inmates/accused persons or some convicted persons have the opportunity to be heard and their cases reviewed by specific Judges deployed across the country. Three hundred and seventy-four (374) inmates were granted bail to secure their release two hundred and fifty-nine (259) in the provinces, one hundred and fifteen (115) in the Western Area.

However, It should be noted that the initial number of incarcerated inmates was one thousand and thirteen (1,013). The number later increased to one thousand one hundred and seventy-five (1,175) inmates. Out of this number (1,175), the total number of prolonged adjournments were one hundred and thirty-tour (134) and ninety-three 93) were completed. There was a total of one hundred and tour (104) Summary

The press release ended that Review cases of which one hundred and one (101) was completed. Out of a total of one hundred and three (103) of the habeas corpus application, seventy-eight (78) without Indictments was completed and the remaining twenty-five (25) were referred to the Law officers Department. A total of two hundred and thirty-four (234) nationwide were discharged.

Business Woman Owes Pee Cee & Sons over Le158m                              

 By Feima Sesay.                            

Tina Mans, a Business woman, was on Monday 14 February 2022 dragged to court by Pee Cee & sons for allegedly obtaining goods worth over  Le158 million.   

The accused made her first appearance in court and was charged with one count of Obtaining Goods by false pretences contrary to section 32(1) of the larceny act 1916. 

 The police alleged that the accused on diverse dates between Wednesday 10th November 2021 and Saturday 27 November 2021, at Lumpa Waterloo with intent to defraud, obtained certain properties that are worth 779 cartoons of imported chickens valued one hundred and fifty eight million, nine hundred and fourty nine thousand leones, (Le 158,949,000) from Rakesh Dhameta of Pee Cee & sons Waterloo Branch by falsely pretending to pay the money in the period of three weeks knowing same to be false.

When the charges were read and explained to the accused, no plea was taken and no legal representation was made on her behalf.

 Police Sergeant 9155 Dwight Marcarthy is prosecuting the matter in court. Magistrate Kekura refused bail and remanded the accused in prison whiles the matter was adjourned to 21 February 2022.

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