CRC Chairman ‘surprised’ by APC’s refusal to sign draft report

By Kemo Cham

The head of Sierra Leone’s Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) has expressed shock at the conduct of the governing party which has refused to sign a draft report, effectively delaying the conclusion of ongoing review of the current Constitution.

Justice Edmund Cowan said the All People Congress (APC) party’s action is likely to delay the conclusion of the process which has so far lasted for three years. He told Politico that the excuse the party forwarded for its move was untenable.

Labour migration enhances economic development - officials

By Kemo Cham

An orderly and properly managed labour migration can be a catalyst for economic development, officials said Monday at the start of four-day training workshop on labour migration governance.

The training which took place in the Sierra Leone capital of Freetown, covered the protocol on free movement of persons within Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sub-region. It is part of a larger initiative designed to enhance the benefit of migration for both origin and host communities.

Anger in Sierra Leone amidst protest calls over “hardship” and fuel price increase

By Kemo Cham

The Sierra Leone government is under enormous pressure from citizens to reconsider the new pump prices of petroleum products announced last week with calls for protests planned for this Friday.

A group calling itself the Renaissance Movement says it has informed the police about its intention to stage a ‘Walk to Work’ protest as a demonstration of disapproval of the government’s decision. 

Sierra Leone amends tax regime in 2017 budget

By Kemo Cham

The Sierra Leone government has proposed a series of tax amendments aimed at boosting its revenue base as it unveiled an ambitious budget line for 2017.

Some 16 tax proposals were presented to parliament on Friday contained in the Appropriation Act 2017. They range from a 0.5 percent royalty on turnover of all companies and tax payable persons, to a 35 percent excise tax on cigarette and tobacco products.

"Gang-rape" in southern Sierra Leone

By Mohamed T Massaquoi 

The Family Support Unit (FSU) of the Pujehun Police Division says it is investigating a case of an alleged gang-rape of a 16-year-old girl involving five men.

The incident reportedly happened in Taninahun Village in the Malen Chiefdom. 

Detective Sergeant Lahai Koroma, the FSU Line Manager in the southern district, said the incident took place on the 5 November. He said the five suspected young men aged between 18 and 25 years, were all under police custody.

Sierra Leone enlists police to stop pregnant women delivering at home

By Mohamed T Massaquoi

Faced with a high rate of maternal deaths, the District Health Management Team (DHMT) in the southern Sierra Leone district of Pujehun has called for police intervention to curb a rising rate of home deliveries.

The district health authorities say home delivery is fuelling the rate of maternal mortality for which Sierra Leone is already ranked among the worst in the world. World Bank figures show that the country has 1,360 deaths per every 100, 000 live births.

Paramount Chief “compromised” sexual abuse case

By Prince Musa

A local nongovernmental organisation in Kailahun, eastern Sierra Leone, has accused the Paramount Chief of Mandu Chiefdom of intimidating police to pervert the course of justice thereby compromising a two-year-long sexual abuse case in the locality.

Humanist Watch Sierra Leone says PC Kellie Coomber and the Line Manager of the police Family Support Unit in Daru connived to frustrate progress in the case which involves the Town Chief of Mobai Mandu Chiefdom, Momoh Laa.