Over Le3.36bn backlog claims…

Police support staff storm MoFED

By Patrick Jaiah Kamara

About 319 police support staff yesterday stormed the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development on George Street to protest for their backlog salaries and other emoluments, to the tune of three billion and thirty-six million eight-hundred and eighty thousand Leones, which they say the ministry has refused to pay.

The protesters, who were displaying placards, said the backlog covered a period of 56 months from July 2011 to February 2016, adding that the ministry had refused to honour payment of their wages and allowances, rent and transport for up to five years.

They disclosed that they had made several efforts in making sure that the payment process was finalised but to no avail.

“Labour Ministry, Sierra Leone Labour Congress and lawmakers reached an agreement for payment to be made. The document was gazetted, yet they haven’t paid us,” Moses Anthony, Chief Steward told Concord Times.

He said some of them were still providing labour in support of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) as cleaners and potters.

Another protester noted that the Ministry of Finance has no right to refuse to pay what is legally due them. He added: “We went to State House this morning and the President instructed Hon. Nurudeen Sankoh-Yilla, who spoke to us and promised to settle the issue today. But we are here to register our disappointment over the constant delay by the ministry,” said Alhaji Koroma.

Koroma disclosed that most of his colleagues had died and retired without receiving their backlog salaries due to unreasonable delay on the part of the Finance Ministry.

When the Head of Police media, Assistant Superintendent of Police Brima Kamara was contacted for his comment, he admitted that the protesters were police support staff and that the government owes them a significant amount of money.

“We have played our own part. We have given the ministry the amount of money due the workers and that is all we can do,” ASP Kamara noted.

Meanwhile, Public Relation Officer in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Sayoh Kamara, declined to comment on the issue because of lack of knowledge.