By: Zacharia Jalloh
A one-day training session for cabinet ministers on E-Cabinet was held at the Brookfields hotel today Tuesday 17th May 2022. The training aims to enhance the capacity of ministers in using technology to present government programs and policies through electronic means.
E- Cabinet system is a paperless initiative that consolidates all Cabinet activities by linking all ministries. The system can be accessed and used by all government Ministers to transmit Cabinet papers for Cabinet consideration and discussions, while enabling Cabinet to coordinate their business as well as track progress with ease.
President Bio’s Human Capital Development drives has no boundaries. He believes in the empowerment of the human being through digital means and the Ministers are no exception. In his aspiration to drive the digital Transformation of Sierra Leone, Cabinet meetings are now electronically conducted. Therefore, the Ministers are undergoing training on how to use the E-Cabinet platform to perform their cabinet duties such as Presenting Cabinet papers and other functions. The President has always emphasized on the use of technology in solving problems associated with governance. This E-cabinet will definitely cut the huge cost expended on paper and other stationery.
Technology is now ingrained in governance all over the world and Sierra Leone under the astute leadership of President Julius Maada Bio has caught up with the rest of the world. Even at cabinet level, new digital technologies are supporting the decision making processes, ensuring transparency of executive decision making, cutting down high cost of preparing cabinet documentations, and dealing with the challenge of poor document control and approval systems.
This is a significant progress because instead of cabinet members having read through hundreds of pages of cabinet documents, they can now search and scan documents faster, saving time and enabling them to drill deeper into issues under consideration.
Furthermore, in the present COVID-19 world, where remote work and meetings are the norm, the E-cabinet platform enables cabinet members to participate remotely.
Extortion & examination malpractices…
ACC warns school authorities
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has received reports of some School Authorities allegedly engaging in the extortion of monies from pupils (candidates for the public examinations), their parents, and guardians, for the issuance of Batch Registration System (BRS), which serves as a “Pass” that will allow candidates to enter Examination Centres and sit to the respective Public Examination, i.e., the West African Senior Secondary Examination (WASSCE) and the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
The Commission hereby reminds school authorities that these acts are clearly in violation of Section 28 of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 as amended in 2019, which prohibits the soliciting, offering and accepting of an advantage; and the principles guiding the implementation of the Free Quality Education, since all tuition fees and fees for public examinations for Government and Government assisted schools are paid for by the Government of Sierra Leone.
Moreover, the Commission wishes it to be known that in tandem with the Communiqué of July 16, 2020, it will collaborate with the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE), the Sierra Leone Police and other education stakeholders, to vigorously and effectively monitor the conduct of the on-going WASSCE (SC) and forthcoming BECE Examinations.
Additionally, the general public, especially candidates writing these examinations, are reminded that, Section 128(3) of the Anti-Corruption (Amendment) Act of 2019 strongly prohibits examination malpractices of any kind; which penalty, upon conviction, is a fine of not less than Fifty Million Leones (Le 50,000,000) or imprisonment of not less than Five years, or both such fine and imprisonment. Schools and Examination Centres who intend to demand money from prospective candidates for the aforesaid Examinations in a bid to provide candidates the atmosphere to engage in malpractices are also strongly advised to desist forthwith.
In this regard, members of the public are encouraged to report any suspected corrupt acts to the ACC, by calling on the following numbers: 077-985-985 or 077-986-986. For further enquiries on this and other ACC matters, please contact
Illegal eviction in Waterloo…
Residents left homeless
It was unbelievable on Saturday, April 30th, 2022 when one lawyer Teddy together with some armed military officers spearheaded an illegal eviction at the United Diaspora and Morasta Base in Waterloo which led to the forceful removal and displacement of all occupants in the house without notification.
According to the Chief Executive Officer for the United Diaspora and Morasta, Abdul Rahman Sesay aka Morasta, he won the matter at the Waterloo Magistrate Court against the claimants of the said property ( Winifred Sesay, Cauklay Marcray and Mbalu).
“Since then what next we saw last month were armed officers and a lawyer that purported to be executing a high court order without notifying either him that is believed to be the rightful owner of the property which he inherited from his late father and had been under his supervision for over twenty five years now or the unlawfully evicted occupants who have been rendered homeless to wonder in the streets of the Western Area Rural District.
According to the UDM Country Director, although it had been confirmed that the bailiff was illegal for the fact that notification was not served to the occupants prior to the said unlawful removal through the alleged machination of lawyer Teddy.
This medium had also informed that even though it was very clear that the eviction was illegal, but lawyer Teddy who is said to be using political influence and power from the above to bully opponents had started offloading sand on the grounds to commence construction work on the disputed land.
The National General Overseer for UDM, Mr. William Taylor who also doubles as Leader for UDM Professional Dance Band whispered this press that the Waterloo police authorities including the Local Unit Commander were not informed about the secret bail lift or illegal eviction, instead Lawyer Teddy and compatriots clandestinely decided to use armed military men to crack down or terrorize the innocent and defenceless occupants.
However, the legitimate heir or inheritance of the conflicted property, Mr. Abdul Rahman Sesay aka Morasta and the general membership had vowed to take tough legal action against perpetrators of the illegal eviction until the truth which shall set us free reveals and regains their rightful property.
President Bio congratulates new UAE President
His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has met with the new President of the United Arab Emirates, UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, where he congratulated him on his election as President of the UAE.
President Al Nahyan was on Saturday, 14th May, 2022 elected President by the UAE Supreme Council, following the death of the Late former President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan late last week.
During the meeting, President Bio conveyed his condolences to the People of the UAE and the bereaved family adding that the late President played significant role in the nation’s building. He congratulated the new President and expressed hope that his leadership would continue to strengthen relations between the two countries.
On his part, President Mohamed bin Zayed commended President Bio for the visit, noting that the gesture meant so much, especially during the moment of grief. He also spoke of the ongoing strides to deepen bilateral relations between the two countries.
Also at the meeting was UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the UAE, Rashid Sesay, members of the bereaved family and other top ranked officials of the UAE Government.
His Highness President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and President Julius Maada Bio enjoy very cordial and brotherly relationship. As the then Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, capital and one of seven Emirates of the UAE, President Zayed sent a high-level delegation to Sierra Leone which explored areas of cooperation between the two countries and signed several agreements and Memoranda of Understanding in various sectors.
Currently, the UAE is also constructing the 100-bed Mohamed bin Zayed Field Hospital in Port Loko, Northern Sierra Leone, named after the new President.
sexual penetration offences reduce
By Feima Sesay
Sexual penetration has been the dominant offence being committed by men on children below the age of 18 years.
But the new May 2022, Criminal session which started yesterday proved otherwise.
According to the criminal session records, there was only one matter out of 51 cases that was sexually penetration related.
Over the past four to five sessions, there were nothing less than 15 to 20 cases for sexually penetration offense and was among the top two offences on the case list in all of those periods.
But there is a certain twist in relation to this new criminal session, which only has one case of sexual penetration, while larceny related offenses dominated the call over with 15 cases.
In with regards to the only sexual penetration matter, it was allegedly that Mohamed Turay, a 50 year old man sexually has sex with an underage girl. He was charged with one count of sexual penetration contrary to Section 12 of the sexual offences Act of 2012.
And according to the particular of offence that on 20th March 2020, in Freetown sexual penetration an underage girl.
The accused Mr. Turay denied the charges and was remanded by Justice Browne Mark at the Male Correctional Centre.