Freetown City Council suspends budget planning review as government is accused of sabotaging service delivery

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 16 October 2021:

Elected councillors of the Freetown City Council along with the city’s Mayor – Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, yesterday suspended a budget review the council was undertaking with central government, in reaction to what the mayor described as the government’s continuing efforts at sabotaging the council’s service delivery.

Freetown City Council has 49 elected councillors, of which only one is from the ruling SLPP party. This, policy analysts point out is the reason for the government’s determined political campaign to bring the council into disrepute with voters across the city.

Local council elections are due to take place next year, and the ruling SLPP are desperate to win as many of the 49 seats by all means necessary.

Speaking shortly after the review meeting was called off, Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr said: “This morning, myself and the FCC Councillors had no option but to request the temporary cancellation of the Freetown City Council 2022 Budget hearing as explained in the statement recorded below.

“We were elected to deliver sanitation and many other services to the residents of Freetown, and we are committed to ensuring that we do so. Consistent efforts to sabotage service delivery must be addressed.”

You can watch the Mayor speaking yesterday:



  1. Freetown used to be one of the most developed and cleaned cities in our region. Unfortunately, under the leadership of past APC Mayors and Councilors, our city has slowly and gradually reduced to a “ BIG SLUM””. For the past years, the Mayors had failed to restore law and order in our markets as they refused to pursue the “untouchable “petty traders who have been the largest voting block of the APC party. They have occupied the whole city, even dangerous highways and residential areas are now market places. The reality is, the SLPP government will never win control of the Freetown municipalities which have been infected with massive corruption for decades, and that’s the challenge the current Mayor and the New Direction government is facing.

    President Bio introduced monthly cleaning by collaborating with Mayor Yvonne Aki- Sawyer and also requested for dump trucks from China and Russia to assist in the cleaning process. But the recent corruption allegation against the Mayor about opening a separate bank account for donor funds and hiring her friends and contractors without the knowledge of the central government has resulted in conflict with her Chief Administrator.

    In my opinion, I believe that most of these disgruntled cleaners should have been sub -contractors and should have been paying taxes to the government while still making money like the regular “ Okada and Kekeh” drivers. I hope and pray that the corruption investigation will be speedily completed by the ACC, and also the investigating team set up by the “diplomatic and tough” local government minister Mr.Tamba Lamin will reach a just conclusion.

  2. One does not have to be a colourful observer or statistician to know that Freetown has been significantly APC. The behaviour of the Bio government can only be described as amateurish and naïve. How can one want to make inroads into an opponent’s territory through foul play and unruly aggression, especially when the opponent is nimble and skillful in defending and immediate counterattack?

    In Her Worship Mayor Aki-Sawyer SLPP keep failing to recognise a fearless and formidable foe, who thinks taking prisoners is the worst idea ever contrived. She exposes the infantile traits of Bio and his government everywhere. Her Worship is such a clever public relations expert that whenever she decks SLPP for the count , she triggers hurricane Aki-Sawyer which seizes the attention of the public to make SLPP even more less likely to achieve any significant foothold in FCC ; they could even lose the single seat which they currently have next year.Has anyone ever told Bio that nobody can clinch the presidency without carrying Freetown?

    Allah/God knows that the hatred which I hold for SLPP and APC is beyond human understanding, but Her Worship Mayor Aki-Sawyer is one person in APC that I would make president in a hundredth of a second if I had the constitutional power. She epitomises progress and forthrightness.

  3. Political sabotage is an old tool kit used to undermine your political opponents,in other to create an alternative narrative, and political universe that says only you that is capable to deliver the service delivery that the ordinary people are crying out for. And as we can see on this ongoing drama that our touring president have managed to demonstrate, his willingness to stop at nothing but use scare tactics to obstruct, intimidate, and coerce our internationally recognised Mayor Akin Sawyer to force her, and Freetown city Council to bend to his whims by staving the City Council the necessary funding to meet its budgetary needs. Nationally, Bio through his misguided economic policies have failed us. But to be honest it willl be unfair to turn the torch light on his failures on him alone with out blaming his ineffective doctorate Ministers for their underperformance,and outrageous behaviours since taking office.

    They are the ones this president were looking up to, to come up with solutions to solve our countrys problems, but instead they have become the problem rather than offer us a alternative way of getting things done in our country, for the benifets of everyone. Hence with her city Council strapped budget, sometimes operating on shoe strings, the Mayor have delivered for Freetown residents, more than the one directionless government of Bio can dream of for the rest of the country. We have a government that lack the courage to take the hard decision, either because of incompetence, or as the directions of travel is blatantly making clear, Bio is all thing to everyone. It all depends who his audience is. In his speech at Harvad University on leadership, he was more or less expressing his frustration for the lack of movement on any of his desired goals he set out in his political manifesto.

    Naturally he is jealous of Mayor Akin Sawyer, who despite all what the Bio government is doing to undermine her work, she hasn’t flinch and is just doing what she is does best, trying to improve the lives of Freetown residents that place their lives and trust in her to work for them. No amount of political vendettas and witch hunt from Bio and his government is going to change that. You will never get a foot hold in Freetown. The Freetown residents are not fooled by your political gerrymandering. There is a time and place for everything. The voters of Freetown is not as stupid as they look. They knows where the fault lies. And if Bio think he can hide behind a cloak of immunity, he should think again.

    • What has this mayor actually achieved in her tenure, that anyone can confirm? Absolutely nothing. She should spend less time self promoting herself to the general world media and more time doing basic things. Like ordering for gutters to be cleaned out in central Freetown. Something as simple and as basic as that can be achieved in any poor city in any country. Also why all the infighting? Her tribalism comments before would have resulted in a sacking in any other country. Why hasn’t been sacked I’d never understand. She’s actually extremely incompetent. She should spend less time perfecting her fake American accent and more time actually getting the streets of Freetown cleaned up. One the most incompetent mayors ever. Get rid of her.

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