Western Rural District Poises to Ban Red, Green Colors in School Sports

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Kasho Holland Cole, District Chairperson of Western Rural District Council 

By: Amara Kargbo

 Kasho Holland Cole, Chairperson of the Western Area Rural District Council (WARDC) has declared that the council will impose a ban on all ‘Red and Green Colors in school sports activities in the district and introduce white, blue, mauve, orange and other colors.

Chairperson Cole said in an exclusive interview, that heads of schools are earnestly encountering difficulties in their respective institutions during schools sports sessions in the district, with the assumption that, whenever there is sports “Red House wants to be victorious at all times likewise the Green House wants to come first at all times which its result to always pill pressure on sports officials in schools across the district.”

He stressed that in the next school academic year in his district no school will be using red house or greenhouse colors at the district in sports activities.

The district chairperson said he has consulted the Deputy Director of Education in the district about a sitting that is scheduled on the 13th of April, 2022 to discuss such a decision.

 “It`s our responsibility as a council to seek the welfare and security of our people, by deciding the council and make it as a law in the district that no school should use red and green colors in sports activities,” he said.

He intimated that the Education Department in the Council will effectively monitor all schools and ensure that such colors are banned.

Chairman Cole equally noted as the country is heading for 2023 general elections there is a high political tension among colors that had been cascaded in learning institutions like schools in the district which are causing dreadful things within sports colors in schools.

“It will be direr next year between March and April when elections will be around the corner and schools that will conduct their sports on April and May and an election is on June fears are more likely to experience the odd situation from the Red and Green school sports colors.  To enjoy the peace and quietness children’s school authorities have been adoring in sports,’ council says no to red and green colors in sports activities in the district”, the chairman stated.

Val Nora Edwin, Civil Society and Good Governance Human Rights Campaigner underscored her points.

She said that it was an unfortunate situation for a country democracy is to be practicing that way where most people were passionate about their political parties that tend to dominate pupils pastime activities, especially primary schools sports colors and the obstacles exist there, is when people take party color or affiliation bigger than their country.

She outlined that during school pastimes, talented individuals will be identified as those that are interested in athletic,  Olympic and other sports disciplines and politics in it all it’s should not be involved in such activities.

She extolled the Western Area District to identify it as a warning sign and measures to address such practice, argued that banding the colors as much as it is deemed to be the safest way, and proffered that the people need to develop a culture of acceptance and ensure children enjoy sports.

She mentioned that these colors had been in existence before any of these political parties exist and they will continue to exist beyond SLPP and APC, besides, the red and green colors were just colors, and whatever colors someone wears belonged to a political party it is very ill-fated in a wider scale it is becoming a challenge in certain space this negative passion for party affiliation.

She stated that everyone has a role to play in civic education and that teachers of schools should not start to impose a ban on red and green colors just for the interest of these political parties.

 She called on state institutions and Non-Governmental Organizations to continue to reinforce civic education in schools, parents and teachers to inform them that these are just colors and they have been existing all over the world.

Pres. Bio Commissions St Josephine Bakhita Primary School

His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio had commissioned the Saint Josephine Bakhita Primary School, a state of the art learning facility, as he embarked on a long working tour in the southern part of Sierra Leone.

The President thanked his people for their role in national development, saying that his visits to their villages, towns and chiefdoms were to demonstrate that governance was not just about seating in the city’s capital and directing developments to the rest of the country.

He further stated that he was reaching out to the people in those hard-to-reach areas so that, as a leader, he could have first-hand information on how the national resources were being distributed to citizens. He noted that over the last four years his government had not only started and completed many development projects, but they had also traversed difficult terrains to engage and bring governance closer to the people.

“Despite the devastating effects of the COVID-19, for the first time ever in the history of the country, more children have access to free and quality education, more women are being protected, more access to justice, more teachers are being recruited, more nurses are being employed. There is a remarkable expansion in the generation and distribution of electricity in towns and villages across the country and we are building more schools and have renovated others,” he said.

He said he had committed to prioritizing education because no nation would see development without building the capacity of its citizens, adding that that was why he admonished school-going pupils to take their studies seriously and urged parents to monitor their children’s educational growth.

“When I chose Human Capital Development as my government’s flagship programme, I did so intentionally. Our nation, Sierra Leone, was referred to as the Athens of West Africa because of education. Over the last decades, our educational system in the country depleted because of bad governance and corruption. Through my leadership style and my flagship programme, which has given access to millions of children to go to school, we are beginning to be recognized internationally. Today, wherever countries are being called for performing well in education, Sierra Leone will be mentioned,” he said.

At the commissioning of the Saint Josephine Bakhita Primary School in Kunduma town, Valunia Chiefdom, Olivar Andrews, Chairman of FG Gold Mining Company, the benefactor, thanked the President for his strong and focused leadership qualities, and especially for prioritizing education. He noted that they had constructed the school to give back to the community and in fulfillment of their corporate social responsibility. He further disclosed that their company would continue to work with the community people to empower them by providing many basic social amenities.

According to FG Gold, “Baomahun gold project is Sierra Leone’s first large-scale gold mine and is set to become a major contributor to the country’s economy and to have a tremendous social impact by creating thousands of jobs, both directly and through its supply chain”.

President Bio thanked the FG Gold Mining Company for their gesture, saying that no gift could bring lasting development and empowerment to a community like the construction of a school that would be used to impart knowledge to the children. He noted that education was not only a major pathway to development and the only way to lift a community and a nation out of poverty, but it would also eventually help Sierra Leone match up with the challenging eras of the 4th Industrial Revolution, where societies were more technology-driven like never before.

“On behalf of this community, the people, and the government, I want to thank you very much FG Gold. The construction of this edifice will change the story of this community. We are forever grateful,” President Bio concluded.

Supreme Court Judges Overturn Appeals Court Decision, Refuse Le1 Billion Cost

Supreme Court Judges-Hon. Justice Allan B. Halloway (JSC); Hon. Justice Alusine S. Sesay (JSC); Hon. Justice Mangay F. Deen- Tarawally (JSC); Hon. Justice M. Sengu Koroma (JSC) and one Court of Appeal Judge, Hon. Justice Ivan A. Sesay have overturned the decision of three Appeal Court Judges-Hon. Justice E. Taylor-Kamara ; Hon. Justice Sulaiman A. Bah and Hon. Justice Fatmata B. Alhadi delivered on  10th August, 2020 against the Appellant-Emmanuel Ekundayo Constant Shears-Moses Esq.  

Shears-Moses Esq. was brought before the Court by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to answer to two Counts of the Offence of Abuse of office and improper use of office contrary to Section 42 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008.

On count one of the Indictment, it states that the Appellant being acting Head of Department of Law in the faculty of Social Sciences and Law at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone on a date between the 1st day of July 2015 and the            31st day of January, 2016 abused his office, to wit; improperly conferred an advantage on Alimatu Tity George, a student of Law by improperly awarding her passing examination grades for the Module, “Dissertation.”

On count two, the particulars of offence state that the Appellant being acting Head of Department of Law in the faculty of Social Sciences and Law at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone on a date between the 1st day of July 2015 and the 31st day of January, 2016 abused his office, to wit; improperly conferred an advantage on Jamilatu Alicia Sesay, a student of Law by improperly inflating her examination grades for the Module, “Jurisprudence and Legal Theory.”

The Presiding Judge, Hon. Justice Allan B. Halloway (JSC) in agreement with the other Judges stated for count one that, “clearly sufficient and reasonable information as to how allegedly, the Appellant improperly used his office was given, the same being, by improperly awarding her passing examination grades for the module, “Dissertation” when in fact and truth Alimatu Tity George did not submit any Dissertation for grading.”

The empanelled Judges said that if in both Counts 1 and 2, the advantage conferred on Alimatu Tity George and Jamilatu Alicia Sesay for the Appellant’s improper use of office allegedly is the improper use of his office, then the particulars of offence have failed to give reasonable information as to the advantage which the Appellant conferred upon some other persons by the improper use of his office.

The Appellant was represented by Lawyer Charles Francis Margai who made an application for cost to be awarded by the ACC to his client with the sum of one billion Leones but majority of the empanelled Judges, apart from the Presiding Judge, refused his application.

The ACC was represented by Oladipo V. Robin-Mason Esq.

The empanelled Judges overturned the Appeal Court decision by stating that, “..the conviction is hereby set aside and replaced with the orders as follows…that Emmanuel Ekundayo Constant Shears-Moses, the Appellant herein is hereby acquitted and discharged of the two counts…that all fines paid by the said Appellant to satisfy the sentence of him on his conviction of the offence aforesaid, at the High Court shall be refunded to him forthwith.”

In Koindu: 2 Jailed For Sexual Penetration

The resident High Court Judge of Kailahun District, Hon. Justice Francis Banks-Kamara who’s currently presiding over cases at Koindu Town, Kissy Teng Chiefdom, Kailahun District in the ongoing High Court Circuit sittings has sentenced 25-year-old Farmer, Thomas Othello to 14 years imprisonment for sexual penetration.

Accused Othello was before the court on a one count indictment of Sexual Penetration contrary to section 19 of the Sexual Offences Act 2012, Act No. 12 of 2012, as repealed and replaced by Section 4 (a) (iii) of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2019, Act No. 8 of 2019.

He was alleged to have on the 7th January 2022 at Bayama Lela Town, Kissy-Teng Chiefdom Kailahun District in the Eastern Province of the Country, engaged in an act of Sexual Penetration with an 8-year-old Marian Davies (not real name).

After his arraignment, Othello who was a neighbor to the victim, pleaded guilty of the offence charged.

Immediately after his plea, State Prosecutor Patrick Daniel Mansaray informed the court that the convict is said to have sexually penetrated two other girls before the third for which he was eventually charged.

In his allocutus, the convict pleaded for mercy, saying he lost his parents to Ebola.

Upon his guilty plea, Hon. Justice Francis Banks-Kamara sentenced him to 14 years imprisonment.

Similarly, Hon. Justice Banks-Kamara also sentenced 18-year-old Peter Emmanuel to 6 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of Sexually Penetrating 6-year-old Sarah Kenneth (not real name).

He was before the court on a one count indictment of Sexual Penetration contrary to section 19 of the Sexual Offences Act 2012, Act No. 12 of 2012, as repealed and replaced by Section 4 (a) (ii) of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2019, Act No. 8 of 2019.

He was alleged to have on the 29th day of August 2021, at Dia-Town, Kissy-Kama Chiefdom, Kailahun District in the Eastern Province of the country, engaged in an act of sexual penetration with Sarah.

Emmanuel also pleaded guilty upon his arraignment.

According to the victim’s medical report, the Doctor observed that there were no external injuries with a normal vulvar, discovered blood spot in the underwear, no active bleeding and a ruptured hymen.

In his allocutus, the convict pleaded for mercy.

Hon. Justice Banks-Kamara sentenced him to 6 years imprisonment.

The session continues today and tomorrow with over 8 cases before the court ranging from Sexual Penetration to wounding with intent, among others.

The High Court Criminal sessions are funded by the Judiciary with funds from the Government of Sierra Leone, aimed at taking justice closer to the people as well as decongesting Correctional Centers.

S/Leone to Host Africarribean Festival

Sierra Leone has been chosen to host the six day AfriCarribean festival that will take place in Freetown from December 28th, 2022 to January 2nd, 2023. 

The AfriCarribean festival is a bold step in the creative industries that will bring together and evolve the engagement of Africans, Carribeabs, African Americans, Afro- Latinos and Afro- Asians  through music, arts, culture and ancestry in a week-long carnival festival. The organizers selected Sierra Leone for its unique historic connections among the African Diaspora.

Already, the organisers have received encouraging support from the Sierra Leone Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Hon. Memuna Pratt and her ministry for the up-coming  festival.

The organisers are in  discussions with local and international private sector businesses to realize the festival in Freetown. Also they are in negotiations with airlines that have routes into Sierra Leone from the United States. So far, Brussels Airline, Swiss, Austrian, Eurowings, United Air Canada and Lufthansa have partnered with the festival and have created discount travel packages for the festival goers from any destination to Sierra Leone.

AfroCaribbean Festival’s mission is to celebrate, showcase heritage and promote local and international talents from the Afro-Caribbean Diaspora.

Professional Global University (or Professional Global Training Institute)

By Dr. John Idriss Lahai

Another so-called university that is awarding degrees in Sierra Leone (to Sierra Leoneans) without accreditation from the TEC (Tertiary Education Commission) is the newbie called “Professional Global University or Professional Global Training Institute.”

Their address: Old Immigration Building; 15 Rawdon Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Owner: The proprietor is Alim Mackie-Conteh. He is not new. He was involved in the 2012 China Scholarship scam — the selling of China Scholarships that were meant to be free (his business associate in this China scholarship scam was Mohamed Yamba Bangura, the owner of the fake St Clement University (closed) and African Graduate University (closed).

Board Chairman: Ambassador Bon Wurie — who is a senior Adviser to the President of Sierra Leone, His Excellency President Maada Bio.

They (the Professional Global University) started awarding certificates and degrees (bachelor and master’s degree) without TEC accreditation — In violation of the law.

Since I started my revelations on both the fake and unaccredited degrees (and their awarding institutions), Alim Mackie-Conteh have manipulated and exploited Ambassador Bon Wurie’s influence to  increase pressure on the TEC to grant accreditation to his institution before I turn my radar on him/them.

To the TEC: Resist the pressure from Alim Mackie-Conteh (and Ambassador Bon Wurie, the unsuspecting instrument Alim Mackie-Conteh is exploiting). Make sure you do thorough checks (due diligence) and verifications before you award them accreditation. Be careful with Alim Mackie-Conteh: the 2012 scandal (the criminal act of selling free scholarships) is still fresh in the minds of our people.

As for the degrees he (Alim Mackie-Conteh) has awarded prior to accreditation, declare them “unusable” and “unrecognised” in Sierra Leone.

 As they continue increasing prices without due procured…

SAFARI INDUSTRY ACCUSED OF FAILING CUSTOMERS

By Alhaji Turay

As companies continue defined government and its people in terms of holding concert commitment towards their businesses, some III motivated companies in Sierra Leone continue to increase prices without due procured and violation of government laws.

In another, SAFARI OXYGEN company is producing oxygen gas locally at the cost of LE 500, 000 previously while PIONEER OXYGEN GAS company sells at the cost of LE 450,000, but this was charge recently by the Safari company by increasing price from LE 500,000 to 750 without the notification of the ministry of trade and industry and its costumers that lead to an alarm by the customers for the double inflation on them.

A cross section of the civil societies and the Media went on a sport check to ascertain the fact on the increment of the oxygen gas by the safari industry without the involvement of the government.

According to the Director of health concerns Sierra Leone Silvanus koroma said that safari company went beyond government laid down laws that dictate before any increase in price of gas and fuel , this must be approved first by the state actors with a press release indicating the increment and the price list which was never done by the company, He said on their visit to the two companies safari and pioneer industries they learnt that the previous price of the oxygen gas was little bit encouraging for the costumers but the recent increment of the gas was totally not in line with business people in the country.

Noting that safari company had violated costumers trust in business by a vast increment of the oxygen gas without involving its partners in business and of such government should levied a fine to this company.

He said in their to safari industry at kingtom billing street in Freetown the host at the company, according to sauce, that the Human resource manager Mr. Kenneh that he has ever hostile or friendly to the people as he acted rudely to the civil societies and the Media present at the company.

When contacted the HR who also double as the Public relation officer, Mr. Kenneh said that they consulted the ministry of trade and industry and also their  customers about the increment and he cannot comment or say anything further that, he also denied the fact of high increment of the oxygen gas saying it a global issue of the increased of dollars rate.

Sources disclose within the corridor of safari, that some workers of safari OXYGEN GAS industry said that there was no notification by the company.

According to some workers in the said company who did not want this to happen, disclosed to this medium that there is no notification by the company to customers, that they are calling on the government to quick intervention to salvage the situation or they will lose potential customers and business people doing gas.

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