New Cabinet Appointments: Over-Bloated Wage Bill

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Despite the fact that the current President Julius Maada is trying to convince Sierra Leoneans in general over the decisions he takes, his most recent appointments are seen as a complimentary move to compensate certain individuals in the wake of the 2022/2023 elections.

Political pundits say President Bio’s recent appointments, though good, stink of a systematic political process he is creating to pave his way to victory in the 2023 presidential election.

By appointing a die-hard APC stalwart in the person of Alhaji Alpha Khan is reasonable enough for the general public to suggest that President Bio is already on a campaign to win the 2023 presidential election at all cost.

Meanwhile, it is also a fact that the current Cabinet appointment has added more money to the wage bill in the country’s treasury account and this will create more economic implications in the country.

The fact remains clear that, as one can compare the amount of salary paid to Cabinet ministers and commissioners which is more than triple to that paid to university lecturers, teachers and doctors etc. this country is still a long way away from growing economically.

For Definitive Justice to Hold…

Chief Justice Urges Magistrates to Do More 

Description: First Lady's #HandsOffOurGirls Campaign bears fruit, as President Bio  declares a National Emergency on Rape. – The Office Of The First Lady,  Republic of Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone’s Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards, has called on all Magistrates across the country not to be static but to do better in the effective and efficient administration of justice.

“It’s a New Year and I want the wheels of justice to be running smoothly, effectively and efficiently,” Chief Justice urged Magistrates, adding that, “I want new things aimed at making significant progress in giving justice to the people.”

In his first meeting with them in 2022, the Hon. Chief Justice admonished all the Magistrates to know that their discretion is within the law, whilst cautioning them to desist from doing their jobs any how or outside the prescribed laws.

Addressing the issue of committals, the Hon. Chief Justice noted that the time between transfers of cases from the Magistrates’ Courts to the High Court is too long which amounts to unnecessary waste of time and delay in the completion of cases.

Chief Justice Edwards also encouraged them to be diligent in handling committals and depositions in view of the fact that their decisions are being tested by summary reviews.

He used the occasion to urge them to consider themselves as people trained to be Judges someday, to know the Act on sentencing in respect of specific offences, to be compliant to the directive on monthly returns, cross-check and double check bail documents and to deal with recalcitrant Court Registrars within the law.

“You should be men of honesty, integrity and stout character in protecting the Courts,” the Chief Justice stressed, urging them to help in protecting the integrity of the courts which will enhance the smooth administration of Justice in the country.

Orange-SL Shows Leone Stars’ Matches on Big Screen TVs

Description: Orange SL Shows Leone Stars matches on Big Screen Televisions in Sports Areas

By: Amara Kargbo

Orange Sierra Leone, one of the leading telecommunications operators in Sierra Leone, is currently providing easy and comfortable avenues for people to watch all Leone Stars and closing matches live on big television screens in major sports areas in Freetown and other districts.

The company timely catered such opportunities for Sierra Leoneans through Grade-A game screen televisions to cushion the challenges people encounter in cinemas especially overcrowding to watch football games.

This package covers people who are out on the streets, especially traders, pedestrians, and others to view the matches that they have started showing on these screens.

Viewers in all sports areas turned up in large numbers to give their unwavering support to Leone Stars, spectators in Calaba Town, East-End of Freetown where one of the Grade-A Screen Television was placed, expressed excitement for watching the match on a clean and clear opened screen television.

Additionally, viewers at the Rawdon Street, Central Business District in Freetown, commended Orange Sierra Leone for playing live Leone Stars match of the African Cup of Nations on such a big television screen, a moment in which they all supported Leone Stars together which promotes unity and love among themselves.

Chinese Foreign Minister Tours Africa

On the morning of the first working day of the New Year, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi embarked on his first trip abroad in 2022, to Africa of course, as always. It has been an unbroken tradition for 32 years, rain or shine, Ebola or Omicron. This is his second journey to Africa in a little over a month. In late November, State Councilor Wang visited the continent for the eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). In his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the conference, Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation (i.e. sincere friendship and equality, win-win for mutual benefit and common development, fairness and justice, and progress with the times and openness and inclusiveness), proposed nine programs (i.e. medical and health program, poverty reduction and agricultural development program, trade promotion program, investment promotion program, digital innovation program, green development program, capacity building program, cultural and people-to-people exchange program, and peace and security program), and put forth the building of a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era. This New Year trip is to follow up and deliver. It is a testament to time-honored, profound friendship between China and Africa, an engagement for deeper cooperation of mutual benefit, and a commitment to peace, progress and prosperity of the developing world.

A friend in need

Braving the shock of Omicron, State Councilor Wang traveled to Eritrea, Kenya and the Comoros. Health is high on the agenda, and rightly so. African countries have been hit hard by the virus. The need for vaccines is apparent. The World Health Organization put forward the goal of achieving full vaccination rates of 40% in every country by the end of December 2021, a target missed across most of Africa. Challenging times reveal true friendship. President Xi announced at the FOCAC meeting another one billion doses of vaccines to Africa to help make vaccines more accessible and affordable and bridge the immunization gap. China will provide another 10 million doses to Kenya and as many vaccines as the Comoros requires to realize vaccination for all within this year. And not just that. In Chinese philosophy, you give others fish and also teach them how to fish. There will be joint production of vaccines, development of cold-chain facilities and medical and health programs to build greater capacity of preparedness and response to the current pandemic and potential outbreaks. Such gestures attest to China’s strong resolve to stand firmly with Africa until the virus is ultimately defeated.

This visit to the horn of Africa happens in the context of much reported flareups in the region. The situation in Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan has been news headlines for quite some time, albeit for distressing reasons. A genuine friend is always ready to oblige. State Councilor Wang proposed an outlook on peace and development in the horn of Africa, tossing out the idea of a peace conference and offering to appoint a Chinese special envoy to facilitate the process. Put it in a nutshell, China kindly suggests addressing both the symptoms concerning security and the root causes related to development and governance. It’s as important to accelerate economic growth as to resolve ethnic and religious discord. It’s as important to keep the region’s destiny in its own hands as to pursue development and achieve stability, Africa-led and Africa-owned. Non-interference in internal affairs, a principle enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, remains as true today as ever before, if not more.

A partner in deed

As peace and security is a prerequisite for development and progress, growth and prosperity in turn reinforces stability and harmony. At the new Kipevu Oil Terminall (KOT), the largest of its kind in Africa, built by a Chinese company, State Councilor Wang rekindled the memory of historical bonds, the three visits by the Chinese navigator Zheng He to Mombasa over 600 years ago, when he presented to the local communities nothing but goodwill and tea. He commended the Chinese engineers as following the illustrious footsteps of Zheng and contributing to the best railway (the Standard Gauge Railway from Nairobi to Mombasa) and the best oil terminal in Kenya. Both are signature harvests in high-quality, people-centered Belt and Road cooperation between China and Africa.

Standing side by side, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said that the new offshore jetty, replacing the 50-year old onshore KOT, will reduce not only the cost of fuel but also to ensure that Kenya and the region will be able to consistently have an adequate supply of fuel for development needs of the people. “Our partnership with China is not a partnership based on China telling us what to do. It is a partnership of friends, working together to meet Kenya’s socio-economic agenda.” “I can clearly say Kenya would not have been able to achieve many of our social economic development agendas without the support of China. And this is something that not only we as a government appreciate but also the people of Kenya appreciate,” the President said. Powerful words, noble deeds.

More than 10,000 kilometers of railways completed, nearly 100,000 kilometers of roads built, almost one thousand bridges and one hundred ports, numerous hospitals and schools, the list of China-Africa cooperation goes on. Numbers don’t lie and facts speak the loudest. To get rich, road and bridge. This Chinese saying most aptly captures how infrastructure can make a big difference. Yet China-Africa partnership is much more than that. Trade, investment, digital innovation, green growth, cultural ties, opportunities abound. With an impressive track record and a firm dedication to solidarity and partnership, China and Africa, comrades-in-arms, will make new, big strides on the path to modernization. The prospect of greater wellbeing of the 2.7 billion of Chinese and African people is what this mutually beneficial partnership is all about.

Rewind to 1963, in his first trip to Africa, Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai described the visit as a journey for friendship and cooperation. The principles of equality, mutual benefit, and non-interference he expounded on almost 60 years ago resonate most compellingly today. Five decades since the restoration of New China’s lawful seat in the United Nations, the Chinese people never forgets the profound friendship of African brothers and sisters. Guided by the commitment to true multilateralism and international justice, China and African countries will continue to work closely together to safeguard the common interests of the developing world, and open up a new chapter in human history where each and every nation enjoys the right to development and gets to make their dreams come true.

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