Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 February 2022:
The long-awaited controversial report into the management of Freetown City Council under the leadership of Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr was made public last Thursday, by the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development – Tamba Lamina.
A key recommendation of the report calls for the Mayor’s Delivery Unit (MDU) at Freetown City Council (FCC) to be dissolved with immediate effect, following accusations of abuse of power by Mayor Aki-Sawyerr, which she strongly denies.
“As a Ministry, having gone through the recommendations of the inquiry team, which stated that FCC had a toxic and acidic working environment, dysfunctional relationship, financial mismanagement and that the MDU is a parallel administration to the statutory administration, we have resolved to disband it from the Council,” Minister Tamba Lamina announced last Thursday whilst the Mayor was attending a civic event in Liberia. (Photo above: Mayor Aki-Sawyerr presesenting report of her council’s performance in delivering projects funded by the Irish government to the Irish Ambassador to Sierra Leone).
Minister Lamina told the media that Part 14 subsection 97 to 99 of the 2004 Local Government Act, empowers the Local Government Ministry to monitor, supervise and provide oversight for all Local Councils.
He added that section 97 (4) of the Act gives the Ministry the responsibility to investigate defaults in any Council, map out ways to rectify them, decide on the actions or interventions that may be required to support Councils in effectively exercising their functions.
He said that the Ministry is very much concerned about the underperformance of the Freetown City Council and that it has developed a number of benchmarks which the council must now implement.
The Ministry, Lamina said, will be meeting with the management of the council including the Mayor tomorrow Tuesday 22nd February to discuss and agree on timelines for the implementation of the recommendations of the report.
Elected Councillors of the Freetown City Council had earlier issued a Press Statement criticising the Ministry of Local Government for failing to submit and discussing the findings of the Report before its publication.
They also said that as Councillors, they were appalled that they were not invited to Last Thursday’s meeting where the report was published.
The Councillors reminded the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development that they are the elected representatives of the people of Freetown and have been given a mandate to serve the people. In that respect, they said they are asking kindly that the Ministry in its supervision of the Council respects their decisions as representatives of the people of Freetown, continue to provide a platform for dialogue between political and administrative wings of Council, and in the event that there is an impasse, does not impose an administration that the Council – the elected representatives of the people – does not want.
This is minister Lamina speaking on Radio Democracy last Thursday about the report:
You can read the findings and recommendations of the Report here: