Platinum Media has reliably learnt that some senior officials of the Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP) have arrived in Kenema to execute the suspension of six of their own councillors.
The councillors were at State House to register among other things, their displeasure over the seemingly inadequate infrastructural development in the Kenema township as well as mending the existing sour relationship between the Kenema local councils and central government.
The team lead by the party’s Acting Publicity Secretary Chief Tondone and Regional Public Relations Officer, Dawson Kuyateh have been quoted as describing the recent visit of the five councillors to President Koroma as “unacceptable” and without the approval of the party.
Our reporter in Kenema say there is overwhelming support for the five councilors who believe the best way to promote development is to maintain progressive dialogue with the central government. We were told both the Nongowa Paramount Chief and the Kenema Town Chief have also vowed to stand by the six councillors as according to them, the development of Kenema district must transcend petty political theathrics.
It can be recalled that the opposition Minority Leader in Parliament Hon Bernadette Lahai had also openly endorsed the visit of the councilors to State House, describing it as “a right step” for the people of Kenema District.
We have also learnt of a potential protest by some young people in Kenema should the SLPP go ahead to suspend the councilors who have now earned celebrity status for confronting egotistical politics – the biggest threat to the district’s development aspirations.
“The argument that the central government is responsible for the backwardness of Kenema Town is no more feasible…..yes, Kenema is an opposition stronghold but what can you say about other opposition strongholds like Kailahun, Pujehun, Moyamba and Bo that have been transformed to a certain degree by the ruling government?” charged Mustapha Koroma a school teacher in Kenema.
Mustapha is one of the teachers recently approved with a full backlog payment by the Ministry of Education. ” I am now using that money to start the construction of my house” he explained.
It is yet unclear how the SLPP will have legal grounds for suspending the councilors. The 2004 Local Government Act provides for natural and constitutional factors for suspending or removing councillors from office. In the case of the Kenema councillors, we are yet to see where this is applicable.
In a conversation with Platinum Media, one of the councillors, Amadu Bah said the party’s constitution does not make provision for suspension on such grounds.
“As councillors, we are mandated by the Act to look out for development anywhere and there is nothing in the SLPP constitution that says I should seek clearance from any party official before seeing the president….this is an action we are going to definitely challenge” he stressed.