Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 June 2019:
Yesterday, Sierra Leone’s parliamentarians decided to revoke a controversial State of Emergency Decree that was promulgated by President Bio on 19th February 2019, which was subsequently ratified by Parliament on Friday 22nd February 2019.
Since the passing of the State of Emergency Law in February, there has been widespread confusion as to how this presidential Decree could be enforced.
Civil society groups have strongly called for an overhaul and strengthening of existing laws so as to give tougher and wider powers to police and welfare organisations to tackle the alarming rise in sexual offences in the country.
Revoking the State of Emergency on Rape Decree in parliament yesterday, the Leader of Government Business – Sidie M. Tunis MP, moved a motion in pursuant to Section 29 (13) of the 1991 Constitution, that: “Parliament revokes the declaration of the State of Public Emergency Regarding Rape and Sexual Violence”.
This revocation now places in front of MPs for debate, a new Bill entitled “The Sexual Offences Amendment Act 2019” for consideration.
In another development, the Parliament of Sierra Leone yesterday also debated and approved the appointment of Dr. Francis Kai-Kai to serve as the country’s new Minister of Planning and Economic Development.
Dr kai-Kai will take over responsibility for assisting President Bio in the implementation of policies and programmes contained in the government’s “New Direction” agenda.
Dr. Kai-Kai (Photo), previously served as Sierra Leone’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.
Seconding the motion to approve Dr Kai-Kai, Veronica Kadie Sesay MP, said she has no scintilla of doubt that Dr Kai-Kai will do well for the country and that he will be working on a solid foundation laid by the former Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Nabeela Tunis. She encouraged Kai-Kai to work in the interest of women, children and the country as a whole.
However, the APC party Deputy Opposition Leader – Ibrahim Ben Kargbo MP, said even though they had good reason not to be part of the screening process, they knew about Kai-Kai’s capabilities.
Independent member of parliament for Pujehun District – Shiaka Musa Sama, praised President Bio for selecting qualified Sierra Leoneans to serve in public office. He referred to Dr. Francis Kai-Kai as “passionate about development”.
He said the only way to effect change in the New Direction is putting the right people in the right places and Dr. Kai-Kai best suites the position.
Concluding the debate, the Leader of Government Business – Mohamed Sidie Tunis MP also commended President Bio for nominating qualified Sierra Leoneans to serve the country.