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Saturday, July 2, 2022
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Last Week Roundup with Alfred Koroma: IGR exposes indiscipline in the Fifth Parliament of Sierra Leone

IGR says 25% of MPs did not attend the total 20 sittings held in 2021.

MPs tardiness and absenteeism has become notorious in the House of Parliament. This is happening as a result of lack of indiscipline in the country’s legislative house of which the leadership seems so complicit.

 Last week, a report from the Institute of Governance Reform (IGR) exposed MPs unnecessary absenteeism and poor punctuality in the House. The issue of punctuality has always been a source of concern for Speaker Hon. Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu and the leadership of the four parties in the house but the leadership has not done enough to remedy the situation.

By procedure, Parliamentary sittings should start at 10 a.m., but the legislative house rarely meets on time.  IGR recorded an average late start of about 20 minutes as the leadership waited to meet the 25% members presence required to form a quorum.

As if that is not enough, about one fifth of MPs did not attend half of the Parliamentary sittings in the last quarter of 2021. Of the few that attended, 47 percent of them were dormant, or better still, did not participate during debate.

The report says MPs punctuality is a perennial challenge facing parliament, recommending that Party whips and the leadership enforce existing procedures to increase punctuality.

Concord Times reporter, Yusufu S. Bangura was present at the launching of the report last week and wrote more on it in our Thursday edition.

 Household Air, Water pollution still a major killer in Africa

Despite ongoing efforts by UN agencies, committed groups, committed individuals, and some national governments, pollution still remain a major cause of premature deaths in Africa and the world at large.

A report published over a week ago by Lancet Commission on pollution and health has disclosed that household air and water pollution are still the predominant causes of pollution-related disease and death in Africa.

As countries in the continent develop economically, industrialise, build infrastructure and become increasingly urbanized, Lancet says the amount of ambient air pollution and the number of deaths from air-pollution-related NCDs have begun to increase.

In 2019, pollution was responsible for approximately 9·0 million premature deaths.  Both household and ambient air pollution, remains responsible for the greatest number of deaths, causing 6·7 million deaths in 2019 while water pollution was responsible for 1·4 million premature deaths, Lancet says.

Globally, pollution kills 9 million people per year, accounting for one in six deaths, the report says.

The report titled Pollution and Health: a progress update was published by Richard Fuller and team. The report presents an updated estimate of the effects of pollution on health, made on the basis of the GBD 2019 data, and also makes an assessment of trends since 2000. These data show that the situation has not improved, and that pollution remains a major global threat to health and prosperity, particularly in low income countries.  Alfred Koroma , reporter for Concord Times wrote more on this in our Tuesday publication last week.

Bio’s State opening speech debate: opposition MP blast the President

As Parliament commences debate on the President’s State opening speech last week, Hon. Foday Lamin Kabba representing the people of Constituency 044, Koinadugu District has taken a swipe on the President Bio, saying the President deceived about Kabala Township road.

In his speech delivered in the Well of Parliament on the May 10th, President Bio mentioned that his government has done major rehabilitation and constructed roads in the township of Kabala. But Hon. Kabba said nothing of such development, as cited by the president in his speech, has taken place in Kabala, stating that the roads in the township were in the same condition as were left by the then administration. Emmanuel Gborie wrote more on the MP statement and the President State Opening speech.

Over $11.5 million cocaine from Sierra Leone impounded in Burkina Faso

According to Reuters, Customs officers in Burkina Faso have confiscated cocaine worth more than $11.5 million believed to have come from Sierra Leone. 

The 115 kilograms cocaine was intercepted along the main road linking Burkina Faso’s southwestern city of Bobo to the capital of Ouagadougou, hidden in a vehicle with a foreign plate pretending to transport manioc flower.

The vehicle which was heading to Ghana is reported to have loaded in Sierra Leone and drove through Guinea and Mali before crossing into Burkina Faso. A customs spokesman told Reuters that all smugglers on board the vehicle escaped from the scene and no arrests have been made. Alfred Koroma wrote on this story last week in the last week Friday edition of Concord Times Newspaper.

The Murder investigations where the bereaved family cries foul

The family members of 34-year-old Sahid Saio Jawara are dissatisfied with the controversial release of one Joseph Cole who was in police custody in respect of the matter. Theophilus  Sahr Gbenda filed in this report in our last week Monday edition.

According to Gbenda, Joseph Cole ( nicknamed J Pack)  and Gabriel Alie were the two names that reigned top during the investigation of the allege murder.

From the post-mortem result, Sahid Saio Jawara was murdered through multiple blunt force fractures/injuries of the neck and right leg, severe physical assault including manual strangulation with finger nail and dislocation fracture of the cervical vertebral with spinal cord injury, Gbenda wrote.

And before his death,  the deceased, according to Gbenda  told his mother and other family members  the torturous encounter he had in the hands of a gang amongst which were known friends, and particularly mentioned the name of J. Pack as being one of those involved in his alleged physical manhandling.

And finally, this is all we have on today’s Weekend Roundup. You can read the complete version of all Concord Times publications  here https://slconcordtimes.com/     

Thank you for reading.  See you next week on the same page. 

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