Fatmata Turay was not killed by circumcision – says Sierra Leone minister of social welfare

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 26 August 2016

Africa progress panel1

After much global publicity about the causes of death of a nineteen year old woman in Sierra Leone – Fatmata Turay, after undergoing circumcision, the official cause of death is now known. She died of ‘bilateral lobar pneumonia – seriously affecting her lungs’, according to results of examination conducted by the government pathologist – Dr. Owizz Koroma.

Responding to comments made at the recent press conference held in Freetown by the Forum Against Harmful Practices (FAHP), Sierra Leone’s minister of social welfare said that  Fatmata Turay “also had extensive other pathologies and conditions throughout her internal organs in her chest cavity, her abdominal cavity and her pelvic cavity”.

“It is the decision of her family members not to publicise what other conditions were found by Dr. Owizz Koroma in her chest, abdomen and pelvis. I respect that.”

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Corruption syndicate uncovered at Sierra Leone’s ministry of social welfare

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 25 August 2016

Poverty in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Two ministry of social welfare personnel are now at the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), helping with investigations regarding an alleged corruption syndicate involving senior public officials, uncovered at the ministry.

Sources at the ACC have this afternoon confirmed that they are both persons of interest. One of whom is the permanent secretary of the ministry – Mr Momo Bockarie Foh – the younger brother of the country’s vice president Victor Bockarie Foh.

It is understood that the other individual in ACC custody, is the chief accountant of the ministry – Mariatu Harding.

Yesterday, the permanent secretary at the ministry of social welfare in Sierra Leone, was caught red-handed attempting to withdraw thousands of dollars from an account held at the commercial bank in Freetown.

The scam was exposed in a secretly recorded audio conversation sent to the Sierra Leone Telegraph yesterday.

Sierra Leone’s ministry of social welfare is believed to be one of the most corrupt and chaotic ministries in the country, which the former editor of Awareness Times newspaper and now minister in charge of the embattled ministry – Dr. Sylvia Blyden was appointed early this year by president Koroma to bring under control.

But there are massive structural and administrative problems crippling her efforts.

More that 70% of Sierra Leone’s GDP or wealth created in the country, is consumed by the country’s public sector, with very little finding its way into the private sector for investment and job creation.

This cannot be good for tackling poverty in a country that is classed as one of the poorest in the world.

With most of the country’s GDP which is estimated at $4 billion, supporting the payment of public sector wages and salaries, the delivery of essential services and the running of government, opportunity for corruption and misappropriation of funds is astronomical.

Analysts say that yesterday’s corruption scam exposed at the ministry of social welfare is just the tip of the iceberg.

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‘There is nothing petty about petty corruption’ – says Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Czar

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 25 August 2016

Ady Macauley appointed by president Koroma

A few days ago, the editor of the Sierra Leone Telegraph – Mr Abdul Rashid Thomas, caught up with the man appointed early this year to take over one of the most difficult jobs in Sierra Leone – tackling corruption, to talk about his vision and the measures he is putting in place to control a virulent virus that is crippling the country.

He is Mr Ady Macauley – the Anti-Corruption Commissioner, who until his appointment by president Koroma in March 2016, was a senior prosecutor at the Commission, leading investigations and bringing those responsible for corruption to court. (Photo: President Koroma welcoming Anti-Corruption Czar – Mr Ady Macauley).

Speaking to the editor, Mr Macauley was unequivocal in his determination to get to the heart of corruption in Sierra Leone, so as to cut off its blood supply.

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What African countries like Sierra Leone can learn from Sheffield’s investment deal with China

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 23 August 2016

China investments

Many Africans who are supportive of China’s economic dealings with Africa, say that the global economic giant is being unfairly criticised, for simply doing what most developed nations have done throughout history to Africans – the exploitation of the continent’s natural resources, in return for shoddy infrastructure development projects and support for poorly managed healthcare facilities.

Critics do not see it that way. They say that China is taking more out of Africa than it is putting in.

In most countries of Africa where China is believed to be investing their capital, they say that such investments are largely concentrated in mining, road construction, fishing and large-scale mechanised farming for their own domestic consumption, invariably using their own imported labour force especially at management levels.

On the surface there is little wrong with such investments. But once the veneer is removed from the agreements that China signs with their African comrades, what is seen are the massive loans at huge rates of interest that critics say will burden Africa’s future generations, as well as sap much needed cash away from current spending on essential public services.

Writing in the conversation.com, Sharif Mahmud Khalid says there is much that African countries can learn from the northern city of Sheffield in the UK, where a $1 Billion investment agreement has been signed with the Chinese.

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Sierra Leone – moral corruption more destructive than financial corruption

Raymond Dele Awoonor-Gordon

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 August 2016

Poverty in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

You know something, while the chatter all across the country – on shop floors, in markets, within business circles, and in classrooms and beer parlours as well as gatherings of compatriots in the Diaspora, is about the current state of Sierra Leone, I have come to an inescapable conclusion that for whatever reasons, politics has turned us all to China phones that only make unnecessary noise.

Frankly, in the midst of our existential crisis, which has given rise to a warped value system, colossal waste and greed, an increasing crime rate fuelled by youth unemployment, economic strangulation and dire financial situation, politics is important, but it should not be at the expense of the survival of the country.

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Sierra Leone – When violence becomes the last refuge of the incompetent

Abdulai Mansaray

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 August 2016

Rioting in kabala1

No law abiding person should condone the use of violence in any shape or form. There can be no justification for violence or riots in our community. This brings to mind the senseless loss of lives during the recent riots in the Kabala Townships.

Reports have it that a proposed Youth village for Kabala was diverted to some other area in Sierra Leone. The veracity of this story could not be confirmed. However, the thrust of this article is not about how true this was.

It is about the misuse of arbitrary power of our police force to use lethal force (pardon the pun) at the slightest ripple of disturbance in our community.

There have been several incidents reported about police brutality or their penchant to be trigger happy, with reckless abandon in our communities. What happened to the much vaunted motto of our police force as a “FORCE FOR GOOD”?

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Why amnesty for former war lord of Sierra Leone – Johnny Paul Koroma?

Mohamed Kunowah Kiellow – The Netherlands

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 August 2016

Johnny Paul Koroma2

A campaign has started by some Sierra Leoneans imploring the president to pardon or grant blanket amnesty to former war lord – Johnny Paul Koroma.

Some proponents of the case for pardon are arguing that ‘for true peace and reconciliation for our people and the country, set Johnny Paul Koroma free or grant him blanket amnesty for any crimes he might have committed, so that we can turn to a completely new page.’

‘Let us appreciate the fact that, we cannot always solve our problems by retaliation, especially if we desire to be forgiven for our own trespasses,’ they claim.

The campaigners want president Koroma to set Johnny Paul Koroma free or grant him blanket amnesty. But how can a group of sympathisers beg the president to free Johnny Paul Koroma who is legally and ‘factually’ dead?

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