Smiling on top verandah of my Cockle Bay house as I took this photo few seconds ago. I am reflecting on Patriots, Traitors, Valiants, Cowards, Loyalists, Opportunists, Protectors, Bullies, Upstanding honest, Gutter-low dishonest – every nation has such characteristics amongst its citizens.
At various points, the Almighty allows signposts to be spiritually planted to guide a Nation as it journeys. The past two months have seen many signposts planted for the people of Sierra Leone to read and understand the signs as we journey along together.
Thanks to all who advocated for my release from the Special Court female prisons. I walked out on bail this afternoon. The case continues in court. I am now safely home and very happy as you can all see – in my red blouse with my national flag pin on my coat. I appreciate all your efforts. You are all too many for me to list down but knowing you were out there advocating for me, ensured my days were filled with so much happiness behind bars. I am blessed.
I cannot however end without a special thank-you to my noble lawyer, Hon. Charles Francis Margai Esq. No money is enough to reward you sir, for your efforts this week. Only God can reward you sir. Amen
2019 Corruption Perception Survey Report Presented by CARL
According to the Corruption Perception Survey Report 2019 efforts in controlling corruption in the country has yielded tremendous dividends. The Report, which was presented on Wednesday 29th April 2020 at the Headquarters of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) office, was conducted by the Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law (CARL), Public Finance Management Consortium, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and Christian Aid (UK) in order to gauge the views and perceptions of citizens about the ongoing fight against corruption, with focus on the administration of President Bio’s leadership of the country and Francis Ben Kaifala’s tenure at the helm of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) since 2018 but also draws insights from three (3) years before.
The Report, according to the Executive Director of CARL, Ibrahim Tommy, states that, 80% of respondents in the survey sample size of 2,619 persons in all the 16 Districts of the country said that corruption still remains a very serious problem in the country citing poverty, greed and lack of integrity as the main reasons for such.
However, 92% of the respondents believe that the ACC can make (and is making) the biggest impact in the fight against corruption, and that the presence of sacred cows has decreased from 57% three years ago to 47% over the last year. Also, 71% of respondents claimed it was common to pay a bribe 3 years ago but that in the last 12 months that number has dropped to an encouraging 56%. It also confirms that 91% of respondents have heard of the ACC and its work – which underscores that the Public Education drive is effective in disseminating anti-corruption messages to the general public. Critical also is, 69% of respondents who believe that prosecution is the most effective way of combating corruption.
With regard to the “Counting the cost of Corruption” Report (a joint report of the Corruption Perception Survey), Ibrahim Tommy noted that, according to estimations, the country has lost, between 10.45 Trillion Leones and 15.9 Trillion Leones in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
He furthered that, it was estimated that this figure was higher than the combined revenue for the three years aforementioned, which totalled 8.8 Trillion Leones. He said an average of 12.7 percent GDP was lost to corruption in each of the three years mentioned. It also shows that corruption galloped massively in 2017 (which may be due to the fact that it was the year before election).
The data that informed this Report was collected from ten sectors which according to the report, accounted for 72.5% of the economy. These sectors ranged from Agriculture, Mining, Health, Energy, Education, and Transport; to name a few.
Receiving the Report, Commissioner of ACC, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. expressed his appreciation by stressing his reliance on coalition building and partnership.
Commissioner Kaifala reiterated that the Commission relies on feedback from the public to ensure the socio-economic emancipation for the people of Sierra Leone is pursued and realized. He said, to the Commission, there is no negative or positive feedback as feedback is feedback. It is what we do with the feedback that matters.
A number of recommendations are contained in the Report which the Commissioner encouraged all to read and digest in a bid to properly plan for effective engagements. He emphasized his aim to making things better through partnership with the public and private sectors; albeit for the betterment of the lives of Sierra Leoneans. The Commission, he ended, has its reserved strength to provide leadership in the fight against corruption within the agenda of the President, His Excellency, Brig. (Rtd.) Julius Maada Bio.
Earlier, the Deputy Commissioner, Augustine Foday Ngobie who chaired the program, registered his appreciation to CARL for such an undertaking and the positive effect it will have on the Commission and its work going forward. He said the ACC cannot be a player and a referee at the same time, hence, the activities and performances of the Commission need to be measured and assessed by outsiders, particularly independent ones like CARL. He assured we will build on the positive feedback to correct the negative ones.
The closing courtesy was done by Emmanuel Koivaya Amara, Coordinator of Operations at the ACC.
(C) The Calabash Newspaper
Broader economic program would provide up to $160 billion over next 15 months
WASHINGTON, April 2, 2020 — The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a first set of emergency support operations for developing countries around the world, using a dedicated, fast-track facility for COVID-19 (coronavirus) response. The first group of projects, amounting to $1.9 billion, will assist 25 countries, and new operations are moving forward in over 40 countries using the fast-track process. In addition, the World Bank is working worldwide to redeploy resources in existing World Bank financed projects worth up to $1.7 billion, including through restructuring, use of emergency components of existing projects (CERCs) and triggering of CAT DDOs and spanning every region.
The World Bank Group is prepared to deploy up to $160 billion over the next 15 months to support COVID-19 measures that will help countries respond to immediate health consequences of the pandemic and bolster economic recovery. The broader economic program will aim to shorten the time to recovery, create conditions for growth, support small and medium enterprises, and help protect the poor and vulnerable. There will be a strong poverty focus in these operations, with an emphasis on policy-based financing, and protecting the poorest households and the environment.
SOURCE: WORLD BANK READ COMPLETE ARTICLE HERE
GOVERNMENT OF SIERRA LEONE
OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY AND PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESMAN
Date: 26th November 2019
President Julius Maada Bio Returns the Finance Bill, 2020 Unsigned
The general public is hereby informed that His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio has returned the Finance Bill, 2020, to Parliament unsigned following a Minute Paper dated Friday 22nd November 2019 from the Clerk of Parliament requesting the President’s gracious assent for the Finance Bill, 2020, pursuant to Part V, Section 106(1) of The Constitution of Sierra Leone, 1991 (Act No. 6 of 1991).
His Excellency the President has returned the Finance Bill, 2020, through a Memorandum to the Clerk of Parliament. Pursuant to Part V, Section 106(7), in the Memorandum, the Secretary to the President stated the reason for the refusal of the signature of the President:“His Excellency the President has perused the document and has expressed grave concern over the open-endedness of the ‘non-accountable imprest’, as provided for in the said Act. He is of the view that this is prone to improper use of public funds”.
Therefore, to address the carte blanche provision of Section 42, His Excellency the President has proposed to Parliament that Section 42(6) be amended so that it makes provision for a ceiling for the non-accountable imprest.
Unlike the past, the fact that Parliament and members of the public are now discussing Presidential imprest demonstrates the President’s avowed stance on transparency. If amended by Parliament, imprest of such nature and the proposed ceiling will now be guided by law. Members of the public are reassured that His Excellency the President has an unwavering commitment to democratic accountability, transparent governance and prudent management of public funds.
For more enquiries:
State House Media and Communications Unit* Telephone: +23276758764/+23288269282
Email: [email protected]
State House, Freetown, Thursday 11 April 2019 – The Chinese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Sierra Leone, Hu Zhangliang, has today presented his Letter of Credentials to His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio at State House in Freetown.
Ambassador Zhangliang said it was an honour and privilege to present his credentials to President Bio and to represent his country in Sierra Leone. He said China had high respect for the Government of Sierra Leone because of the devoted efforts of President Bio to the wellbeing of the people, adding that under his leadership in one year he had embarked on a new historical path with fresh vitality.
“China and Sierra Leone enjoy a traditional relationship. Over the past 48 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties, the two countries have enhanced political trust and have made good progress in advancing the friendship and cooperation in various fields. China appreciates Sierra Leone’s efforts in maintaining the ties between our two countries.
“Last year’s meeting between the two Presidents sets out the blueprint for the future of our bilateral relations. China has had great importance placed on a comprehensive, strategic and cooperative partnership with Sierra Leone. We will continue to strengthen cooperation with Sierra Leone in areas of infrastructure, agriculture, health care, education, culture, military and other fields to further develop our relations and bring benefit to our people,” he assured.
For More Enquiries:
State House Media and Communications Unit
+232 76 758764/+232 88 269282