The Almighty Sierra Leone Telecommunication Company (SIERRATEL) and The Sierra Leone Postal Services Limited (SALPOST) used to be the pride of Sierra Leone in service delivery but have crumbled down the drain to their unexpected lowest standards that really need some interventions.
Sierratel was formed as a government entity to provide affordable telephone services to the nation. It has in no doubt been the only gate way for all sorts of communication in Sierra Leone – meaning all companies do pay for this gate way. In the past years, Sierratel was a business giant in Sierra Leone from the late 1980s to early 1990s making meaningful economic contribution to the government. The first action that started crippling it was the establishment of an open line to homes and commercial premises which led to massive corruption among workers. Those connected were misusing the international line, no proper accountability from senior workers and payment of staff salaries became problematic. So, the ill managed company gradually turned out to be the centre of staff strikes and corruption. This continued till the wake of mobile companies in Sierra Leone in the late 1990s to 2000. Covered by the gate way mobile lenders from Sierratel, the mobile companies toppled Sierratel and became more powerful to this moment. The imperative question one may ask is - what has really killed the Almighty Sierratel, is it the mobile companies’ revolution or lack of innovation?( the giver to become the great loser).
After allowing customers or subscribers to the mobile companies to be loyal and develop trust in them, it became difficult for Sierraratel to wake up from its long slumber and catch up with the 100 meters ahead mobile companies. To leap-frog now, build confidence in the millions of mobile subscribers in Sierra Leone has been a herculean task for the one time pride of Sierra Leone telecompany.
One may suggest among other things as a way forward that added to the cheapest rates, Sierratel which operates both land and mobile telephone services must design strategies like the sim and credits paid for but the mobile phone itself free. Also seasonal raffle draws and other sales promotions should be done.
The Sierra Leone Postal Services Company (SALPOST) on the other hand was formed to ensure effective and efficient delivery of mails, other parcels, information packages (normal and classified) both internal and external. It had a good structure and did well in the 70s and 80s but started declining in the wake of the new media technology known as Internet. This was because the internet provides website, email, facebook (social media) facilities that could easily replace the services SALPOST could provide.
With innovation however, SALPOST could have still survived and maintained its expected service delivery especially the hinterland document services in the country. There are certain documents that still need the services of SALPOST both local and International that go beyond international facilities. With facilities and well coordinated programs, SALPOST can still make its contribution to nation building. Why have DHL, Red Coat and others are still surviving and making inroads to the happiness of the public, staff and most important their owners/Managing Directors? All this is because of well coordinated programs and dedication. The idea is centred on sober arrangement with the Airlines for prompt delivery of international mails to their respective destinations. For local mails around the country, SALPOST should have small and good vehicles with dedicated staff who will not give flimsy excuses to deliver parcels on time. The above are just few examples of numerous services SALPOST should offer this nation.
Nevertheless, since SALPOST has lost direction of what to do to keep the Institution above the water, it is imperative that government inject and render it some innovations to salvage the deplorable and ridiculous condition of SALPOST.
The first move government can do towards this is to like the US A transfer the issuance of all passports to SALPOST whiles the Immigration concentrate on the real enforcement of immigrants and other duties. If passports issuance is done by SALPOST, that will wake up and make it fulfil all other functions. Added to the revenue SALPOST will generate for government, it will also become more viable and be a pillar of the Agenda for Prosperity. Immigration on the other hand will then be steadfast in checking for residential permits, expert rate fee, work permits and other documents around our bothers, in the cities and other big towns. The effectiveness and efficiency of this enforcement body (Immigration) can then be achieved and appreciated, hence a contribution to the Agenda for Prosperity. What out for more in the next edition in trying to salvage the situation of SALPOST.
ACADEMIC CHEATING AND ITS NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES: WHAT, HOW, WHERE, WHEN, AND WHY?
“The battle is neither for the swift, nor the strong but those who endure” Those with the swiftness of a Dove and the pervading endurance of an Eagle let them fly; phoenix-like, slowly, but surely, we’d trot our way through” “Those who deny freedom to others deserves it not themselves”-Abraham Lincoln
Sometime last March, I listened to the regular BBC “Africa Have Your Say” programme and the subject of the discussion in question was academic cheating especially at tertiary level acrossthe Globebut with emphasis on Africa. The discussants, mainly youth who had either gone or are going through the rigours of University education debated the topic bringing to bear their various experiences and or responses to challenges during their days in the University.
On Tuesday the Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel opened its doors today after a complete refurbishment which has focused on stylish and spacious interiors and a welcoming atmosphere.
The Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko is Sierra Leone’s first five star hotel and achieving those sorts of standards has taken time and the entire refurbishment of the building to Radisson Blu’s exacting standards. The hotel features 172 rooms and suites, many with breath-taking views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Sierra Leone's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom today received a petition on behalf of Galaxy Radio Sierra Leone against popular Lebanese businessman Yazbeck.
His Excellency Edward Mohamed Turay was handed in a petition by the leader of the London-based Galaxy Group Abu Rattata at the conference room of the High Commission, in which they catalogued their grievances against the Lebanese businessman whom they accused of trying to seize the building that houses Galaxy Radio based in Lungi in Freetown.
Rattata said that Galaxy Radio is an African project which also operates in Lungi and Lunsar as well as in London and other African countries.
He called on government to intervene in the matter which is already in a Freetown court. "This is a project that is benefitting a lot of Sierra Leoneans because apart from the community radio, we are also providing tertiary education and offering scholarships for people in those communities."
CALLING THINGS BY THEIR RIGHT OR PROPER NAMES: KILLING TRUTH FOR SELF INTEREST OR POLITICAL MILEAGE
“Those who destroy others to achieve their own selfish ends, destruction awaits them on the eve of their perceived success”
“Man to man, is so unjust. Children, you don’t know who to trust.
Your worse enemy could be your best friend, and your best friend, your worse enemy.
Some will eat and drink with you….
Then behind they chew-chew upon you….
Only your friend know your secret eh. So only he, could reveal it.
So who that cap fits, let them wear it…”-Bob Marley
It is an academic debate that from the point of view of journalese (not journalists or journalism), issues are sometimes inseparable from characters or personalities. This is because there can only be issues because people’s behavioral patterns continue to change by the day. In such situations, there is no way one can discuss such issues without making reference to their authors or initiators. It is against this premise that individuals or characters would be inevitably discussed in this piece.
In a landmark judgment delivered by the Hon. Justice M.A. Paul, in the case of The State vs. Solomon Katta and Four Others, the Anti Corruption Commission successfully secured conviction for the offence of Unexplained Wealth for the first time in the history of Sierra Leone.
Prosecution for the offence of unexplained wealth has been sparingly applied in corruption cases the world over due to difficulties in the investigative process and proof of the elements constituting the offence. More importantly however, the greatest obstacle has been political interference in the successful prosecutions of such cases. Despite the challenges, the ACC braved the odds and presented evidenced acceptable by the Court to meet the burden of proof beyond reasonable doubt.
Unexplained wealth is defined as where ‘any person who, being or having been a public officer maintains a standard of living above that which is commensurate with his present or past official emoluments; or; ‘is in control of pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to his present or past official emoluments, unless he gives a satisfactory explanation to the court as to how he was able to maintain such a standard of living or how such pecuniary resources or property came under his control, commits an offence.
Recent high-profile cases have focused attention on the transfer of assets abroad by heads of state and other senior officials from developing countries in amounts that far exceed their legitimate sources of income. Article 20 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, (UNCAC) criminalizing illicit enrichment, was drafted to address this issue. However, very few of the states parties to the UNCAC have introduced this offence in their legal systems, largely because of due process concerns. The challenge is to find ways to implement Article 20 that balance the rights of the accused with the right of society to recover illicitly acquired national wealth.
2013 Barristers and Solicitors
C/o Sierra Leone Bar Association
11Lamina Sankoh Street
The Honorable Chief Justice 3rd April, 2014
Republic of Sierra Leone
Chairperson of the Council of Legal Education
Law Courts Building
Our Honorable Chief Justice, RE: SCANDALOUS ALLEGATIONS AGAINST NEWLY CALLED MEMBERS OF THE BAR.
We are concerned with the allegations made against newly called members of the Bar. Such allegations have the tendency not only to militate against us but greatly jeopardize our standing in the eyes of the public. For the past three months, there have been scandalous publications in both the electronic and print media impinging on the credibility of the 2013 Bar Final Examination. Subsequently, a committee was set-up to investigate the results. We have been reliably informed that the said committee has concluded its investigations and submitted its findings to the Council of Legal Education for final decision.
Nineteen Fragile States to Meet In Sierra Leone June 2014
“The group of eighteen of the world’s fragile and conflict affected countries, which have come together to share experiences and encourage international actions to engage more effectively in support of state led transitions from fragility to agility will meet in Sierra Leone, June 2014” Said Dr. Kaifala Marah, Sierra Leone’s Finance and Economic Development Minister.
SIERRA LEONE HIGH COURT HANDS DOWN CUSTODIAL SENTENCES ON NRA/ECO BANK OFFICIALS FOR CORRUPTION OFFENCES
The High Court of Sierra Leone, presided over by the HONORABLE MR. JUSTICE M.A. PAUL, on 10th April 2014, pronounced sentence in the matter of the STATE VS SOLOMON HINDOLO KATTA and OTHERS; having found them guilty in a judgment delivered on 3rd April 2014.