IDPDC collaborates with District Office for peaceful elections

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A team of civil society activists,youth representatives and members of the Koinadugu Inclusive District Peace and Development Committee will leave Kabala township tomorrow,September 16,2016  for Falaba and other villages in the Sulima chiefdom.

The rationale behind the visit is to sensitize community members and intending candidates for the sectional and township elections in Sulima chiefdom.The elections are slated before the end of the year.

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meeting in progress

About two months ago,the Inclusive Committee played a vital tole towards the restoration of Chiefdom Speaker of Sulima that was suspended alongside other chiefs for violation of the ebola bye laws last year.

After his restoration,the District Office in Koinadugu scheduled dates for the conduction of sectional and townships elections in that chiefdom.The process was postponed due to the misunderstanding of the Chieftaincy Act of 2009.

According to some community members, those who were in acting positions before the declaration of dates for the elections had thought they are already qualified to contest.Some were even alleged to have said that since they have already acted in their various capacities there was no need to change them.

A date was set by the District Office to conduct elections but due to the momentum  everything was put on hold.

Chief Kamara-team member

Chief Kamara-PRO 1, IDPDC and team member

According to the District Officer,Ajina Mansaray,the Chieftaincy Act of 2009 stipulates that in order for a candidate who acts for a specific period to be qualified for both sectional/town chief elections,he/she should resign six months before the elections but not much sensitization has been done to teach community members on the provisions in the Act.

In its end of month executive meeting,IDPDC resolved in partnership with other civil society  to collaborate with District Office to sensitize community members on the Chieftaincy Act so that they could be reasonable enough to understand the process and allow the smooth and peaceful conduction of elections.

The team will hold town hall meetings with community members in different locations.

 

Posted in From the Ground: Program Updates from Sierra Leone, Koinadugu District, Recognition | Tagged | Leave a comment

Moyamba stakeholders meet to harmonize revenue collection

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For the past years,the collection of revenue(property tax,local tax,evacuation fees etc) by local authorities on one hand and the Moyamba District Council on the other had been very difficult.This is the fact that the relationships between local authorities and Council have not been cordial.This could also be attributed to the unclear and undefined roles each party should play as stated in the Local Government Act.

Prof. Kandeh briefs the audience

Prof. Kandeh briefs the audience

 

According to Council,it has not been receiving revenue from chiefdoms for the past years.On the other hand local authorities have equally accused Council of  not getting their own share of taxes collected in their various chiefdoms .

These allegations and counter allegations continue and affect development of communities.

Due to this ugly situation,the Moyamba Inclusive District Peace and Development Committee(IDPDC) has,at the end of a one day executive meeting resolved to organize a forum for community members,Paramount chiefs,Members of Parliament and Councilors.

The rationale behind the dialogue is to discuss pertinent issues especially those dealing with property and local taxes and the collection of revenue in all 14 chiefdoms in the Moyamba district.

audience in rapt attention

audience in rapt attention

In his statement at the meeting on September 5,2016 at the Council hall in Moyamba,Chairman,Moyamba District Council,Prof Herbert Bob Kandeh,who is also chair of the Moyamba IDPDC,said there are  series of problems in own revenue collection by Council.He told his audience that initially when the Local Government Act came into existence,it worked very well in the first three years but problems started arising few years back due to the unclear roles and responsibiilties of both local authorities and Council.

He said there is every need for IDPDC to convene a dialogue forum to discuss issues surrounding revenue collection as it will be clearly explained who should do what

Prof. Kandeh said although Government plans to review the Act,stakeholders will  also look at it and find ways how they could work together to raise revenue and how it would be shared among Council and communities.

 A cross section of IDPDC members from other districts

A cross section of IDPDC members from other districts

Paramount Chief Foday Momoh Gulama of Kaiyamba chiefdom lamented over the manner  of tax collection by Council.He said because communities are not benefiting from Council,most chiefdoms have stopped paying taxes few years back.He said traditional leaders should be involved in every aspect of development if Council wants to succeed.

Hon.James Alie appreciated the efforts of Fambul Tok and the committee. He called for possible ways to bring Councilors and community members together so that the issue of taxation should be properly explained.He said if this is not done,revenue generation and collection will continue to lag behind.

Executive Director,Fambul Tok,John Caulker disclosed the hosting of the inter-district conference in November.He said the idea is bring together community members from the three pilot districts of Moyamba,Kailahun and Koinadugu to share ideas and learn from each other.He emphasized that the conference will look at what worked and what did not work for the past year  so that proper planning will be done to roll out the People’s Planning Process

 

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Fambul Tok writes President Koroma

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In an open letter to His Excellency President Dr.Ernest Bai Koroma,dated 23rd August 2016,Fambul Tok International Sierra Leone has called for an independent and inclusive panel of investigation into the violence in Koinadugu and Moyamba districts.

Please Read on:

FAMBUL TOK LETTER

 

 

 

Posted in From the Ground: Program Updates from Sierra Leone, Organization | Tagged | Leave a comment

IDPDC to engage chiefs,Councilors to resolve impasse

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The Kailahun Inclusive District and Peace and Development Committee(IDPDC) in its first meeting has resolved to organize a one day stakeholders’s meeting at the end of the month to settle numerous challenges and the way forward for the development of the District.

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IDPDC meeting at Luawa resort in Kailahun

One of the major challenges in the district is the growing tension among Paramount Chiefs and the Kailahun District Council which has been existence for a very long time now.

There were instances when traditional leaders were accused of not paying chiefdom and other charges to the District Council for the fact that Council,for the past four years has not brought any development to their communities.

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Kailahun IDPDC Chairman.Hon.Fatorma

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Meeting in progress

Equally so,the District Council is blaming traditonal leaders of not paying revenue collected from their various chiefdoms. These allegations and counter allegations continue  resorting to sour relationships and backwardness of the entire district

According to Hon. Sahr Fatorma,chairman of IDPDC,he says ‘we should work very hard to bridge the gap between chiefs and council for the development of the district’.Hon. Fatorma emphasized that peace is important and if there are no good working relationships  among stakeholders it will difficult for the progress of the district.

He went on to state that because of these problems,Kailahun remains under-develop and called on all to hands on deck to work in the interest of communities.

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John makes a point

Hon.Fatorma assured all and sundry that irrespective of the problems, he is optimistic that after the meeting in Pendembu, Kailahun will go back to the glorious days as everyone will be brought on board.

The Executive Director,Fambul Tok,John Caulker gave an overview of the formation of district committees in Moyamba,Kailahun and Koinadugu. He said it is a framework to address district problems and highlight successes.He added that communities should take the lead in development process.He mentioned activities  carried out by  committees in their various districts.

Sharing her experience with the Kailahun committee,Hawa Conteh, a member of the Koinadugu District Committee highlighted  successes such as resolving road construction and that of chieftaincy in the district.She said through the intervention of IDPDC members the suspended chiefdom speaker of Sulima chiefdom was reinstated.She also mentioned the setting up of a whatsapp group for effective communication purposes.She promised to share what she observed in the Kailahun meeting.

The Development and Planning Officer of the Moyamba District Council who is also Secretary to Moyamba IDPDC mentioned successes. Alhaji Ansumana explained the amicable settlement of the Moyamba road construction saga which nearly brought the exercise to a standstill.He said with the intervention of the committee the company has agreed to employ people from Moyamba district and consented to build the camp site in Tonkolili district because of technical reasons.

He was very confident as he disclosed the recovery of stolen solar batteries in Moyamba through the efforts of committee members and other stakeholders.

Having shared experiences,Hon. Fatorma appreciated both members of IDPDC in Moyamba and Koinadugu districts,stating that Kailahun Committee members have learnt a lot and promised to  come to speed in terms of resolving issues.

As a proactive measure,the Kailahun IDPDC has set up a sub-committee to intervene in the recent suspension of two chiefs.

 

 

 

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Prof. Kandeh calls for local mobilization of resources

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Moyamba District Council chairman who is also chair of the Inclusive District Peace and Development Committee(IDPDC) has emphasized the need for organizations and communities in the district to put hands on deck to raise funds for the implementation of projects

prof Kandeh 1

According to Prof Herbert Bob Kandeh,communities have a lot of local resources that should be tapped into for the development of their various areas but continue to depend on external support.He was addressing members of IDPDC in Moyamba recently.

He mentioned that the formation of IDPDC is not a replacement of existing structures in the district but plays vital roles in the development of communities especially in the post ebola era

He said if communities want to recover in the post ebola phase they should work very hard so that whoever comes to the aid will be complimenting their efforts.

Dilating on activities of IDPDC,he explained that they have resolved the impasse between stakeholders and MSF construction company.He said the issue has to do with camp site as the company decided to build it in Tonkolili district.He said with the intervention of members,the issue was resolved as the company has now resolved to employ citizens of Moyamba district while the camp still remains in Tonkolili for technical reasons

members in rapt attention

members in rapt attention

Executive Director,Fambul Tok John Caulker disclosed the inter-district conference which will bring stakeholder’s in Moyamba,Kailahun and Koinadugu together to share ideas and experiences .He said the meeting will set the pace for the National conference for possible roll out of the People’s Planning Process to other district.

Posted in From the Ground: Program Updates from Sierra Leone, In the News, Moyamba District | Tagged | Leave a comment