Security Leakage,The Defense minister Paolo Conteh has just been manhandled by ex-military service men and women around State House. According to report from one of the local radio stations in Freetown, he was asked to come out to talk to them about their long outstanding retirement benefit, as they were forcefully retired with the excuse that they are not fit to service the army.
By Lansana Juana
Food poisoning is not a new phenomenon in Sierra Leone. Most of the so called top restaurants do not believe in hygiene. Roy, one of the fantastic beach bar and restaurant situated along Lumley beach in Freetown is a place to actually pay for a good diarrhea, because they do not believe in hygiene. All what they believed in is an attractive out look of their business site.
This is not the first time I have published about this particular restaurant on this medium about the way in which they are endangering the lives of local people, visitors, and tourists that are going there to have nice, hygienic and healthy food. Unfortunately, the restaurant can not measure up to that expectations as their foods are always contaminated in various ways. The time I came up with the first article about my encountered with their contaminated food, was a big surprise to many people who used to go there for food, I stopped going there for food for quite a long time. Over the week end, one of my Friends who was here on a holiday visit asked me to go there to eat. I told him about my past experience with there food that it is not hygienic, and it is full of contamination. He convinced me to go there, even though I personally recommended Montana beach bar and restaurant along the same Lumley beach, he insisted that we should go there, because one of his colleagues has recommended the so called Roy’s beach bar and restaurant to him that they have nice food. I followed him with a suspicion to the place, we had food together, immediately after eating, he started complaining about his stomach, but I did not take it seriously, considering the time we have had the food. Before we could jump in our car to go back home, he asked to go to the toilet, after going to the toilet, he started vomiting right from there. I had to take him to the nearest health center called Good Sheppard Hospital off Wilkinson Road, at the back of St. Mary’s super market for treatment. There he was diagnosed of being having food poisoning, and he needed an urgent treatment. He was hospitalized for a night, and treated. Luckily for him, nothing was wrong with him, and he was discharged the next day.
This is a warning to all who are coming to Sierra Leone to be highly carful with eating food out, especially at Roy’s beach bar and Restaurant along Lumley beach.
Ex-combatant in every post-conflict country has the potentials to perpetrate violence. Sierra Leone as one of the post-conflict countries in West Africa has all the potentials of having conflict in the November 17th Presidential and Parliamentary election. I am definite to say this based on the past electoral violence and allegations going around some political figures that they are training former fighters to disrupt the above election to achieve their political aims.
This is ten years now since the eleven years civil war ended, yet still the issue of political violence, intimidation of peaceful citizens has been going on unstoppable based on the fact that the politicians are using ex-combatants as their personal bodyguards. Recently, there was an extreme political violence that took place in the capital city, Freetown during a bye-election to replace a late Councilor from the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC) party where one politician Lansana Fadika former Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) Western Area Chairman who has crossed to APC was stabbed on his thigh. Prior to that, Bo Town, the second city has had serious political violence where they burnt down three (3) houses, one person was killed and many others were fired by live bullets and others stabbed. In Kono also, one of the diamond rich towns in Sierra Leone, there was a political battle between the vice President and the Minister of Internal Affairs Musa Talawally, where many people were injured, some lost their properties worth millions of Leone. It has happened in Togo Field, Pujehun Town, Yedema to name but few. In all of the above violence, ex-combatants were mentioned as the main tool that was used by the politicians to cause the violence.
As the election is getting closer every day, Mind to Change (MTC), an International organization working to promote peace in Sierra Leone is presently working in collaboration with a group called Action Group for Peace and Development (AGPAD) to campaign for violence free election. The main aim of this campaign is to have peaceful elections without any form of violence before, during and after the election. Presently, we are embarking on radio sensitizations, to educate and appeal to other ex-combatants to reframe from violence. We have drafted a petition, asking all the politicians, peace loving Sierra Leonean to sign that they are all denouncing violence as stated above.
ALL EX-COMBATANTS IN SIERRA LEONE SAY NO TO VIOLENCE
Based on the allegations that ex-combatants in Sierra Leone are involved in committing violence and crime against humanity, we are here by saying no to violence in all shapes and forms. All ex-combatants have unanimously agreed to campaign against violence before, during, and after the general election. We have therefore decided to come out with a PETITION so that every peace loving Sierra Leonean can contribute and sign for sustainable peace and development in our beloved country, Sierra Leone.
AFRICELL IS A FRAUD CELL
The internet customer care Manager apparently become a good cleaner by sweeping under my wife’s feet in their Bathurst Street office on the 27th February, 2012 in the name of apologizing for thieving the sum of ninety thousand Leones (Le 90,000) from us on the 9th February, 2012. The Damager was trembling, sweating, and restless after still trying to make fool out of us after discovering that he is a thief in that office, criminally managing one of the popularly known mobile phone companies in Sierra Leone. The action of criminals which is on an unstoppable increase in Sierra Leone has direct link to the mobile phone companies in Sierra Leone especially Africell. Many people who have gone through in the hands of fraudsters in Sierra Leone went through communication by using one of the registered phone companies in the country.
We went to their office on the 9th February, 2012 to buy internet sim pack, we were asked by the Customer care Manager called Alusine to pay the sum of fifty thousand Leones (Le 50,000) per package, we asked for two. We were happy to pay the price, because they told us that their internet browsing with what they called ‘Data Pack Sims’ is free for now.
We were told by one of our friends that we have been cheated by the company. We reacted on the advice immediately by going to their Head Office at Wilberforce village and asked for a refund as we were having a signed receipt bearing the company’s logo. Upon our arrival, the Manager station at Wilberforce office told us to go back to the Bathurst Street office to collect the refund, and that he has emailed them to refund the money. When we arrived at the office, the Criminal Manager asked us with confident to give back the sim before he could refund us. The other guy, who claimed to be Africell worker in the office started arguing that they told that if we want an automatic internet updated sim pack should pay the said amount. The main criminal only started apologizing when I told him that I am going to publish him online, and that I am online journalists, who hate this type of behavior especially for people who may want to visit Sierra Leone for the first time. From there, he started begging, going down on his knee to sweep the floor in the name of begging me and my wife for me not to publish him for what he has done and still engage in doing. However, I promised him that if he really deviates from the fraudulent management, I will not publish this story, but there is a saying that ‘ monkey nor de lef e black hand’ meaning monkey cannot leave his or her black hands. On that same day yesterday, one of my journalist friends called Mr. Sulay Musa took his friend for the same service, they asked him to pay thirty thousand Leones (Le 30,000)for a sim. Even Mr. Musa paid a very good sum for his own Africell internet sim pack.
Next article will focus on the detail of the activity of one man called Alpha Karamonko Mongor who is using people like the said Africell manager to fraud people in Sierra Leone.
What seems to be a Hollywood movie is the recent escape of a deputy manager in charge of the cleaning section of Sierra Leone Central Bank or Bank of Sierra Leone in Freetown? Although official statement has not been made about the issue or information about the matter could not be accessed, but this medium has been informed by some of the Bank’s workers, who explained their part of the story to our reporter in Freetown. According to one of the junior staffs, it all started one early hours of one of the working days in November, 2010; when one of their colleagues who was busy with work and could not have chance to deposit his hard earn money into his personal account asked their boss; the said – Deputy manager, to assist him deposit the money in to his account.
As the story continues, the said source revels that the deputy manager accepted the money from his subordinate with DI – (Different Intention) to dupe the Bank by interchanging the real money in to demonetized notes (money that has been condemned by the central bank ready for destruction).
Never did it occurred to Mr. Manager that he could be noticed, he slip in to one of the stores where a huge sum of demonetized notes have been kept and the manager selfishly exchanged Le, 80.000 worth of the good notes in replacement with the demonetized notes with the intension of stealing the bank and even the state, because the said money has been condemned by the Government from circulating.
The real drama unfolded when the deputy manager of the cleaning section took the mixed up notes to the cashier’s desk to be deposited in to the account of his colleague, from there, cashier straight way noticed that some of the notes deposited had the mark of the demonetized note in the store. The cashier then pin the deposit slips to the deposited money and forwarded it to the Bank Governor’s Office for the matter to be further investigated.
Few days later, the Bank Governor and his deputy then called on the crook Deputy Manager of the cleaning section to his office, in the presence of other senior staffs of the bank; to personally investigate the issue.
To the dismay of the Bank Governor and his deputy, the deputy manager of the cleaning section requested to use the rest room before he could explain anything. Due to the gravity of the issue the Bank Governor even went further to asked the accused cleaner to use his official rest room attached to his office but the other senior officer refused and suggested that the accused should go down stairs with one of the securities attached to the bank. As the accused cleaner and the security officer went down stairs; no one knows how the accused man escaped from the security man.
Sources closed to the accused cleaner disclosed to this press that the man directly went to his home and sold some of his household properties and left for an undisclosed destination. Presently, the security guard from whom the cleaner (accused) escaped has been suspended from his job until he presents the accused cleaner.
The drama is still unfolding, stay in contact with this medium for detail report about the issue.
A joint security unit at Lungi International Airport on Thursday arrested Ibrahim Mustapha Tarawalie of Old Railway Line, Kenema with 380g of gold and US$ 42,000 in cash while reroute to Dubai.
According to sources from the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Resources, the alleged gold and diamond exporter only declared 714.38g of gold he was planning to export and paid the 3% export fees of about Le 3, 631,492 to the Government Gold and Diamond Office in Freetown.
The sources said that it was during the search at the airport by security officials that the extra gold was discovered along with two Sierra Leoneans passports with serial numbers, 0120096 and 0270589, bearing the name of the suspect.
‘’US$ 42,000 and Le 960,000 were also discovered in the luggage, after failing to declare them,’’ disclosed the sources. According to the Mines and Minerals Act 2009, any person caught trying to smuggle minerals out of the country will forfeit everything to the state, and 40% of the money derived from the sale of the minerals will go to the units that made the arrest and 60% to the Consolidated Fund. ‘’ The amount that goes to the units that make the arrest serves as an incentive and motivation to officials in the units,’’ the sources said, adding that the incentive serves as an encouragement to officials to do further arrests.
However, concerns has been raised by officials at the units as to why the units have not been benefiting when such arrests are made in the past, saying they had been deprived of their rights.
They called on the Government to allocate to them the amount the act specifies so that they will be robust in tackling future illegal activities at the only international airport we have as a main gate way in to the country.
The issue of smuggling is not a new phenomenon in Sierra Leone, if I can recall in all of my travelling instances out of Sierra Leone, I used to come across series of cases of smuggling. In 2009, similar case of smuggling came up at the Cambia Border Crossing to Guinea, where a Sierra Leonean woman was caught with more than 40,000 Euros and large quantity of gold deposit in her possession. When I came to Freetown, I tried to follow up the case from one of my colleague who was stationed at the Border on a student holiday job, told me that the matter had been resolved, and they have allowed the woman to cross to go to Guinea. Again I have travelled with Air Maroc to Casablanca on several occasions with a lot of business people from Sierra Leone including Lebanese business people, where handshakes in different ways will give red carpet to the business people without going through rigorous check as compare to non business passengers. The handshake used to always give me bad feeling about myself for why my own hand is not being shaken by any of the security officers, but I can now understand why not my hand, but business hand.
According to the teacher representative at the Dr. S .M. Boardrick Municipal
Primary School in Freetown, Mr. Mohamed K. Senesie, the Sierra Leone Teacher Union (SLTU) solitary a moment ago summoned a meet for teacher’s representatives from various schools in Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone to make things clear to them concerning the availability of bank loans for teachers.
According Mr. Senesie, “teachers are to organize themselves in to cooperative groups in order to access loans from the numerous commercial banks in the city”.
Mr. Senesie further explained how his colleagues could not understand his explanation about the criterion for the so called bank loans for teachers; in a staff meeting that suffices the Sierra Leone Teachers Union (SLTU) meeting on Monday 22nd November, 2010 in Freetown.
“But whether they understand or not the fact remains here is that teachers now have access to bank loans, but with strict conditions”; Mr.Senesie continued.
In response to questions from our correspondent, Mr. Senesie said he will pass the concern of his fellow teachers to the national body of SLTU in any subsequent meeting.
A part from the loan issue ,that supersedes the said SLTU meeting other items were discussed ;including the inter-schools sports activities .On the issue of sports the national body raised high concern over the increase in violence amongst school pupils during inter secondary school sports occasions organized by the Ministry Education and Sport every year.
On the issue of violence in sport, the SLTU member representatives agreed on setting up a working committee that will police the inter secondary school sport activities in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Police, the Metropolitan Police or any Local or International Organization that to help prevent further occurrence of violence during sport.
By the look of the situation, there has been a repeat of violence in inter secondary school sports activities in Freetown and other parts of the country. According to one elderly man who stays by the National Stadium, most of the violence is caused during competitions mostly by school pupils that are now out of school, but are youths that are roaming about the street of the capital city, Freetown. The old man further said that such increases in violence are as a result of the past civil war that menaced the country the country for eleven years.
In further discussions, citizens raised great concern over the malicious thieving and damage that is been caused to ordinary community members around the sports venues in the city. According to news report from a local radio station, the Sierra Leone Police force has been very instrumental in making sure that perpetrators are always arrested ;which has somehow tend to reduce the incidence of violence crime during inter secondary school sports activities in the capital city.
Coopi intensifies support to Food Security in Sierra Leone
An Italian International Organization –Cooperation Internazionel (Coopi) has intensified it support to the tieless effort of the government in ensuring food security for the people of Sierra Leone; by distributing agricultural tools and organic fertilizer to subsistence farmers in the Urban West of Freetown.
In addressing the beneficiaries, Mr. Abdul. A.B.Senesie; the Coordinator for the Subsistence Farmers program at Coopi Organization explained the back ground of the project “This project in funded by the European Commission and implemented by Coopi in collaboration with the National Association of Farmers in Sierra Leone (NAFSL)”.
Mr. Senesie lamented on the various supports his organization is presently given to farmers in Sierra Leone; especially the West –Urban Subsistence Farmers in Freetown. Mr. Senesie also said that the objective of the day’s activity is to support Subsistence farmers with tools and organic fertilizer that will help the beneficiaries to engage in diversified food production by practicing the new agricultural techniques learnt during workshop sessions that preceded the distribution exercise.
Despite all the previous support from Coopi, the coordinator from Coopi explained that the present exercise is aimed at empowering the various subsistence farmer groups in the Urban West of Freetown with tool and fertilizer.
Mr. Bob Mangu who is the Admin Secretary for the National Association of Farmers in Sierra Leone (NAFSL) was one the observers at the distribution exercise; which took place at the Horticulture Division of the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security, at New England in Freetown.
In an exclusive interview with one of the beneficiary group leaders, Madam Nana Samura; who gave the vote of thanks; She appreciated the move made by Coopi to complement government effort in ensuring Food Self Sufficiency for farmers in Sierra Leone .According to Madam Nana Samura, the supply of tool and fertilizer had been a long gone story and she said that it has been over a period of two years without receiving such support from any government institution or Non –Governmental Organization; so she said they are very pleased to receive the tools and fertilizer. She also expressed that a heartfelt thanks to Coopi and the Government; on behave of all the other beneficiaries.
Madam Nana Samura went on to explain that most of group members are widows and their only means of survival is their back yard vegetable garden. She lamented that most of their children are out of school because they cannot pay school fees out of the subsistence vegetable gardening and she asked that Coopi and the government help them with scholarships for their ; in order to take them out of the circle of poverty . Madam Nana Samura ,who is the chairlady for the New England Vegetable Growers Association and a member of the Urban District Farmer’s Associative Executive, said that one of the major problem facing her group members (especially those who have their vegetable garden down below the Coco-cola Company is the contaminated waste that is constantly been deposited
Woman Jailed 6 Month for Sale of Counterfeit Drugs
Salamatu Kamara, a drug peddler in the Eastern city of Kenema has been sentenced to serve six month in prison by the Kenema Magistrate Court for the sales of counterfeit and substandard drugs contrary to the provisions of the Pharmacy and Drugs Act 2001 and the Anti Drugs Act of 2008 respectively.
After a marathon court hearing the court finds the said drug peddler guilty and made a verdict of a fine of Le 500,000 (five hundred thousand Leones) or serve six month in the high detention prison in the eastern city of Kenema.
Information investigated by this press; on the issue reveals that Salamatu was charged to court after she was arrested in a joint raid of the’ Police-Joint Task Force on drugs ‘of the Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone. The Police- Joint Task Force launched an unprecedented early morning raid on drug peddlers in the township of Kenema .
The case of Salamatu Kamara is not an isolated one this year as the Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone has ensured that many of the culprits caught in its frequent raid on drug peddlers in concert with the Sierra Leone Police have been successfully charged to court with fines and jail terms imposed using the new Anti Drugs Act of 2007 and the Pharmacy and Drugs Act of 2001.
Word from Shuwary Barlatt who is Head of the Inspection Department of the Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone says “the Board is very much happy at the few successes mentioned so far in the fight to reduce the level of drug peddling in the country, adding though that the battle if far from complete yet as majority of the problem in drugs counterfeiting in the country emanates from drug peddlers in the country”.
Head of the Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone WCN Johnson had earlier noted that 97% of the registered market of drugs and pharmacy in Sierra Leone if free of fake and sub-standard medicines but that all other drugs found in the black market are counterfeit and that the Government and the Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone are very determined to ensure that the problem of fake drugs menacing the public health of the country could be fought against by using the full strength of the law and public sensitization.
The Beginning of Bad politics in Africa
17 Apr 2011
Reports monitored from Fourah Bay College (FBC), University of Sierra Leone, indicate that former President of the recently dissolved Students Union government of the college, Alfred Minkailu Koroma (Jnr.), was mercilessly beaten to coma in the evening hours of Wednesday 13th April 2011 by unknown people. It remains unclear whether or [...]
No Justice for Youths in Sierra Leone
17 Mar 2011
“In today’s Independent magazine: a shocking article on the child inmates at Pademba Road prison,” a text message from Ade Daramy read. I had just woken up, switched on my mobile phone when this message came through. Ade, a very good friend of mine, always forwards numerous articles by email, often [...]
Youth unemployment and its consequences
28 Nov 2010
In Sierra Leone, the issue of youth employment had long been a major problem affecting the socio-economic and political development of the country, and it is an issue of general debate amongst Civil Societies, Local and International Non Governmental Organizations and the Government of Sierra Leone. The rate of youth [...]
Sierra Leone Ghetto Perspectives (2)
27 Nov 2010
Sierra Leone Ghetto Perspectives – 2nd Series All over the world, youths are said to be the center of attention of development strives; in terms of policy declarations made by all Government officials, the International Committee, Non Governmental Organizations and Civil Society Organizations. In Sierra Leone the story is just [...]
FBC (U/SL) Students Convocate
12 Nov 2010
As the end of the year approaches the Fourah Bay College (F.B.C.), and other constituent colleges of the University of Sierra Leone, will be graduating their hopeful and ambitious students about a month from now. The college, F.B.C., is one of the oldest universities in Africa that has to a [...]
Taia Lion Resources Retains Javelin Partners as Corporate Development Advisors
20 Apr 2011
Taia Lion Resources Retains Javelin Partners as Corporate Development Advisors New York, New York (JAVELIN – April 20, 2011) — Taia Lion Resources Inc (the “Company” or “TLR”) is pleased to announce the commencement of a 12 month engagement wherein Javelin Corporate Development Partners Inc. (“Javelin” or “Javelin Partners”) will [...]
6 Mar 2011
Technical Sub-Comittee present report to President Koroma on escalation of prices
Coopi intensifies support to Food Security in Sierra Leone
19 Nov 2010
Coopi intensifies support to Food Security in Sierra Leone An Italian International Organization –Cooperation Internazionel (Coopi) has intensified it support to the tieless effort of the government in ensuring food security for the people of Sierra Leone; by distributing agricultural tools and organic fertilizer to subsistence farmers in the Urban [...]