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300 Youth Complex workers go nine months without salary

...but APC Youth League says they will be paid for three months

January 13, 2017 By Joseph S. Margai

Three hundred (300) workers of the Ernest Bai Koroma Youth Complex at  Masalia village via Masiaka, Port Loko district-northern Sierra Leone, have claimed to have gone without salary for nine months.

It could be recalled that the Ernest Bai Koroma Youth Complex was born out of the initiative of the former Minister of Youth Affairs, Alimamy Kamara, to have a political academy to do short courses for would-be Members of Parliament, councilors, ministers, among others.

Alusine Sesay, Chairman of the workers at the Complex, said they have gone without salary for nine months now, adding that there were nearly 300 workers at the Complex but stated that some of them usually go to the youth farm to work in the morning hours and return to the Complex in the evening.

“Besides the nine months, the Youth League members came some months ago and paid us for two months. We are suffering here seriously but we are encouraged by the former Minister of Youth Affairs, Alimamy Kamara, to continue to work,” he said.

The chairman said there were people from Bekeh Curve, Masorie, Masiaka, Masalia, among other villages that were working at the facility, adding that some of them were residing at the complex because of the distance they cover daily to and from their villages.

He disclosed that there are five houses at the complex which will be used to accommodate people that will attend conferences ,but stated the structures  were currently being occupied by the workers.

The situation, according to Sheku Manasaray, National Treasurer of APC Youth League and General Head of Administration, will be addressed on or before Monday 16th January, 2016. He noted that with the consent of the workers, they have agreed to pay all of them for three months.

“We don’t have permanent workers at that Complex. The project was voluntarily embarked on by the APC Youth League and most of us are either students or unemployed. We don’t have the capacity to employ permanent workers. The 300 workers were there on voluntary basis but that did not debar us from giving them small stipends whenever the need arises,” he said.

Asked whether he could tell the number of workers at the Complex, he said he could not because some of them were volunteers and that they were also working at the National Youth Farm.

 He disclosed that the President of the Youth League, Bai Mahmoud Bangura, has agreed to employ 50 permanent workers, adding that the essence of the project was to have a political academy to train politicians.

He said the facility would help people in other professions to get first -hand training in what politics means and how they should govern their people.

Asked about the various facilities that would be at the Complex, he said they were planning to get recreational facilities like volley ball court and football pitch, a hall for training, conferences, accommodation for trainees, among other facilities.

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