Minister of Local Government dissolves Freetown City Council’s Mayor’s Delivery Unit

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:

report into the management of freetown city council – feb 2022

5 Comments

  1. As a Freetonian, I am deeply disappointed about this DAMNING report from this independent investigative committee put together by our credible and diplomatic Local Government Minister Tamba Lamina. He has used his wisdom by not jumping in the “ Wahala” or Cat and Dog” fight between the Mayor, her Debuty and her Chief Administrator who are all members of the destructive APC party, based on the fact that processes and procedures were not followed constitutionally.

    This report has nothing to do with corruption which can only be investigated by parliament and the Anti Corruption Commission. Since 1977 when we had a Woman Mayor late June Holst- Roness, I was excited and hoping that the Freetown City Council (FCC) which has always been one of the most corrupt institution under the continuous APC party would’ve transformed. So personally, I’m really disappointed with Mayor Yvonne Aki- Sawyer’s leadership skills based on this findings.

    I now hope and pray that she will cease from orchestrating the removal of her deputy and Administrative Officer unconstitutionally which carries the finger prints of the lifetime leader and chairman of the destructive APC party as he did with his former Vice President Sam Sumana.

  2. Sierra Leone will never move forward as long as the SLPP continue to play tribal politics..our country will always remain on the list of the poorest and most undeveloped countries in the world. How a barely literate man became our President still has me scratching my head; Tamba lamina has no class or integrity just like Maada Bio…they are all HUNGRY opportunists who can’t stand to see a woman outshining their mediocre efforts..Shame on Maada Bio…You are UNFIT to be President of Sierra Leone.

  3. This latest attack on our distinguished Mayor’s authority throws into sharp relief the Bio Administration’s profound animosity towards her person and deep abhorrence of all she has accomplished. The so-called report findings and recommendations relating to the Mayor’s management of the Freetown City Council and their wholesale endorsement by the Minister of Local Government, Mr Tamba Lamina, demonstrate just how determined Bio and his team are to clip the wings of our high-flying Mayor. It is case of showing her rather crassly who the boss is. Bio and his team’s overarching strategy being to do irreparable damage to her reputation, kick her out of office and bring in someone wedded body and soul to their ambition of gaining political control over Freetown and the Western region as a whole.

    How ironic and incongruous that Mr Lamina, who was never elected to office in the first place, should be the person to decree how an elected public official that our Mayor is should run her office. But at bottom, Mr Lamina is simply a cat’s paw, a tool used by his boss Bio and his Paopa regime to do their dirty bidding. However, I strongly believe that they are playing with fire here. The level of resentment their actions against the Mayor is bound to generate will be their undoing in their quest for a second term. Freetown and its environs are very strategic electorally. What voters there choose to do may prove to be the difference between winning and losing the next general and presidential elections. Harassing, hounding, bullying, victimising their beloved and immensely popular Mayor is a mad and foolhardy thing to do. It may well result in her enemies ending on the political scrap heap.

    A word to the wise, hopefully, is enough. Or is it too late in the day?

  4. Tamba Lamina’s pronouncements and actions convey a man who is an educated illiterate, functioning within a band of similar people whose script unambiguously states that they should not adhere to established norms – shrouded in civilised behaviour. To Tamba Lamina, his boss (Maada Bio) and the rest of the SLPP Structure, whatever includes the name Yvonne Aki-Sawyer should be treated with disdain, malice and unmitigated abhorrence,even if the facts are screaming for the opposite course of action. Nothing else can explain why upon the receipt of the report Tamba Lamina did not first summon the Mayor and her team to his office to discuss the findings therein before publication. Why the haste?

    One can easily and forthwith see the disappointment of SLPP in the findings of the report. They were hoping to see a Yvonne Aki-Sawyer up to her nose in corruption , rather, the report shows a sparkling clean, Honourable and professional Her Exellency Her Worship Yvonne Aki-Sawyer who operates in a class never before seen in Sierra Leone. The incessant harassment of the Mayor is driven by cancerous hatred and jealousy.

    The nation does not hear of any investigation into billions of Leones going missing at various government departments, hundreds of bags of rice disappearing in the hands of ministers, millions of dollars mysteriously appearing in the bank account of ministers, state operators building mansions beyond their means. Bent Kaifala and his ACC see nothing in such display of naked corruption . Tamba Lamina, please learn how to spell your name next time without thinking before tackling FCC who are dying to let you know that they are the elected representatives of the people of Freetown.

  5. The decision to disband Mayor Akin Sawyer’s dilivery unit at Freetown city Council, on the grounds of a report commissioned by the Bio government, which found amongst other things of the toxi and acidic relationship, which was caused by the SLPP thugs that Bio planted with in the FCC, to sabotage the workings of the Mayor and her team, and the aim here was to make Freetown city Council under Mayor Akin Sawyer ungovernable, which partially succeed in producing a dysfunctiional working environment and financial mismanagement, which was carried out by Bio’s agent within the council. And it got worst, when the Mayor challenged those individuals within or the enemies within Freetown city councils that she knew were up to no good, Minister Tamba Lamina got the brass neck of accusing her of abuse of power.

    To majority of Freetown city residents, there is a whiff of hypocrisy and damn right abuse of power by the Minister of local government. Otherwise, why was the report released when he knew the Mayor was out of the country making a working visit to Liberia? Why was the city Councillors not invited to this charade of events when Minister Lamina made the report public? . This is all part of the political witch hunt that this one directionless government have been doing against a popular Mayor that have stood steadfastly against the misogynistic bullies within the Bio government. No one talks about or investigate the litany of corruption allegations made against some of his Ministers,but they are quick to set up commission of inquiries to look at the workings of Freetown city Council.

    In today’s Sierra Leone, is the city Council the cesspit of corruption or the national government? We know under Bio’s watch corruption is now on steroids. You just look at the state of our roads, health care systems, education, housing, electricity, employment opportunities for the youths, majority of whom have found a new drug that is killing them, then you ask yourself, who is fooling who?

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