Why Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr should be given  a second term as Mayor of Freetown –  Litmus test for APC – Op ed

Dr Doma: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 19 April 2023:

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE, former Mayor of Freetown is running for the same seat under the ticket of the All People’s Congress (APC). Many will agree with me that her exemplary leadership and developmental trajectory in Freetown was unquestionable.

It is again obvious that her tenure as Mayor of Freetown is filled with suppression, intimidation and to a very large extent a showcase of hate and political miscalculation by the rulling SLPP and others, that hatred has permeated and pierced into their minds because of her straight forwardness and her value of integrity which her profession as a chartered accountant taught her.

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr’s term in office can be described as very stressful but her passion to Transform Freetown, pursuant to a Letter from the Minister of Local Government, Tamba Lamina dated 8th February 2023 instructing all Mayors, Chairpersons and Councillors to “Vacate” the Local Councils on the 1st March 2023, is clearly evident. As a very law-abiding person she heeded the call of the minister.

The Local Government minister’s letter saw a lot of criticism from Lawyers and public outcry, criticizing the choice of words used “Vacate” and some other constitutional matters.

Again, this move shows another level of intimidation poised at the outgone mayor as many could recalled that the current government showcases a syndicate of intimidation against the Outgone Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr.

Four years on, outgone mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr’s successes could be characterized as a win for Freetown and by extension Sierra Leone.

Here are a few of the successes during her reign as a mayor:

✓The Early Learning Adventure Centres in the city, which is another score under her leadership equipping young Lads from an early age for the future.

✓ The FCC Salary harmonization process which was completed and a transparent system of salary bands that objectively reflect qualifications, experience and length of service was being implemented for all staff from February 2023.

✓ Over 1000 Jobs were created for market women, street sweepers, MET Officers  during her tenure which has provided economic empowerment, growth and development.

✓ The Kingtom Faescal waste Plant that was constructed by the FCC.

Freetown is a growing city of at least 1.05 million people, and half a million barrels of raw faecal sludge is produced each year. In the absence of a treatment plant this sludge was dumped on top of solid waste on the town landfill, without any treatment and allowed to seep through the waste and enter into waterways which was proving to be a critical health hazard.

✓ Raised awareness about Climate Change, Designed and implement interventions to address this major risk and other challenges in our city.

✓ FCC can now boast of a foundational system for sustainable development.

✓ Initiated the development of a Cable Car system to ease the Transportation crisis in Freetown.

The cable car is a ropeway technology to be used for the very first time in Sierra Leone. This technology is gradually increasing in cities around the world and serves as a supplement to conventional means of transportation.

✓ The establishment of the Freetown the Tree Town Initiative

✓ Sanitation is also a key achievement practiced by many residents now in Freetown making the city healthier and sickness free.

All of these achievements are in Line with the Transform Freetown agenda that continue to transform Lives and giving a face lift to our city, Freetown.

Transform Freetown is a collective action and a priority strategic plan established and operated by the outgone Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr which was developed with the input of numerous community stakeholders.

While Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr was unable to achieve all the targets set out in her Transform Freetown plan due to the numerous challenges mentioned above and more not mentioned, she stood firm and was still able to bring drastic changes to the lives of Freetonians. As such, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr is asking for 5 more years to continue to #Transform Freetown.

APC have given Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr the mayoral symbol to run for re-election for a second term, so now it’s up to Freetonians to get out and vote for Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, so that we can all see continued development in our beloved city.

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