Enough of the Political Tensions

Dear Editor,

I am a worried citizen not because of the difficult economic situations in the country but given the unending political tensions that keep disturbing our peace and tranquility. We must bear in mind that we have made serious gains over the years and whatever we should do to sustain those gains, we must work towards that.

It is sad that our politicians have not realized that elections are over. There is nothing we could do as a people if we don’t come together and work collectively for the general good. It behooves our political leaders, especially those in power to work towards unifying the country. We expect same from opposition parties, but the responsibility is mostly that of those managing state affairs. It was a good start to have called for a conference on peace and national cohesion. That however isn’t enough; we must put into actions, our commitments and words.

Government should ensure those institutions that are critical to building on our democracy and rule of law are fully functional. It is sad, that when we compare ourselves to other countries in the sub region, we are not making progress and this is unacceptable.

It is good to have read of a meeting between the former President, Ernest Bai Koroma and the current President, Julius Maada Bio in a bid to push for national cohesion. I am hopeful that the communiqué will be followed and respected.

Let the political tensions come to an end now. We should work towards development.

Saidu Sankoh- Jui

Donor Funding and Our Development

Dear Sir,

I am an avid reader of news via the local press. I once read our government signed $50,000,000 financing agreement with the World Bank. The said amount was to help improve our distribution and transmission of electricity. It always remains impressive, seeing institutions like World Bank IMF and even donor nations like the Chinese supporting us.  But how long should this be happening?

We appear to be having difficulty meeting our obligations to funding domestic projects by way of paying taxes and supporting other institutions like NRA and even councils. There is no way we could achieve our development aspirations without seriously committing ourselves to supporting the process. This is where I think we could come in collectively and individually. 

Whilst donor nations are helping us, we must also be part of the process.

Abdulai Konteh

Thanking the ACC Czar

I write to express my appreciation to the Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission for his strides towards tackling corruption. Agreed that the country was making gains and made good moves by way of empowering the Commission when it was given prosecutorial powers. We saw a lot of prosecutions during the former government and that was a success.

What I have also come to realize is that beyond prosecution is the need to recover funds embezzled. I hold the view, that is a good move and one for which the current ACC Chief should be commended. I would also suggest the commission intensifies its public education drives which I guess will help in the prevention aspect.

It however will be good if the Commission goes beyond investigating former government officials for I am sure, there must be issues of corruption and transparency in the last one year. I don’t want to go with the impression that the commission is only concerned with former government officials.

I was also disturbed to have seen suspects arrested by the commission, publicly paraded at the cotton tree in handcuffs even when they had not been charged to court. This is against due process and undermines the chances of winning in the court, whilst it also undermines the human rights of suspects in ACC custody.  I am not longing to seeing such a situation again.

 Lucy Brima- Freetown

Commercial Drivers & the Law

Dear Editor,

There is unending negative attitude of commercial (poda poda) drivers shuttling between Waterloo to Patton/Bombay Street, verse-versa.  The legitimately designated final stop for all “poda poda” vehicles coming from Waterloo is Bombay Street and for those coming from Bombay Street, it is Waterloo, with the official fee of three thousand Leones per passenger for either way. However, this is no longer the case especially at rush hours. And this practice is nothing new either.

During rush hours, “half-way” is the norm. Is there any law governing these commercial drivers? What is the government through the ministry of transport doing to remedy such perennial problem? What is the role of particularly the traffic police in addressing this challenge?

I recall when the “New Direction” government was sworn into office and how policemen would force drivers along Patton Street to carry passengers directly to Waterloo. Indeed, their work was applauded as it was yielding dividend. I therefore call on the law enforcement bodies to regulate drivers plying this route.

Ibrahim Tarawallie- Waterloo

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