14th December 2018
"Public Bias on the Altercation between Deputy Minister and Mayor," Local Govt!
By a press release (18/10/18)
The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has accused the public of bias after the Deputy Minister and Mayor altercation.
All started in the aftermath of the altercation that ensued between the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Tondoneh and the Mayor of the Freetown City Council Aki-Sawyerr over the conduct of the monthly cleaning exercise initiated by the SLPP government of President Julius Maada Bio. (Photo: Aki-Sawyerr in hi-vis at dump site). Below is the press statement in verbatim:
The Ministry of Local Government and rural Development has received with utter dismay the bias public reaction against the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development from certain quarters of the public with respect to the altercation that ensued between the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and Her Worship the Mayor of the Freetown City Council over the conduct of the monthly cleaning exercise initiated by His Excellency The President, and implemented by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD). Following the said altercation, the Ministry has observed the following public reactions on social media:
1.) That it was a gender issue and disrespect on the part of the Deputy Minister to have had the said encounter with a female Mayor of the Freetown Municipality, both acting in their official capacities;
2.) That the Mayor presented a case of accountability and transparency over the Deputy Minister’s emergency concerns to get the streets cleared in time; and
3.) That waste management falls within the purview and statutory mandate of the Local Councils; posturing the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development as overstepping its mandate.
The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development would like to clarify the above misconceptions emanating from Central Government financing and conduct of the monthly cleaning exercise in collaboration with 22 Local Councils.
1.) An analysis of the video making rounds on social media clearly shows the Deputy Minister indicating the number of trucks approved for the exercise in the Freetown Municipality as 120 and that the poor management of the exercise on the part of the Mayor has left the operations with 69 trucks, a claim Her Worship has not denied. The Mayor’s failure to hire and pay the approved number of trucks has left mountains of garbage in the streets of the Municipality. In effect, there was no issue of gender or male chauvinism, but the Honourable Deputy Minister considered the failure on the part of the Mayor to get all 120 trucks working, a sabotage of Central Government policy.
2.) The altercation between the Deputy Minister and the Mayor had nothing to do with accountability and/or transparency, but the Mayor’s routine challenge to the Ministry’s authority to supervise the monthly cleaning exercise as a major Presidential flagship project that was introduced by an Executive Order.
3.) The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development is fully aware of Councils’ statutory ownership of normal waste management, however, it is important to inform the public that the monthly nationwide cleaning exercise does not fall under the statutory mandate of the day-to-day waste management of Councils. The exercise is supervised by the Central Government through the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in collaboration with the Councils.
The public is therefore informed that the Deputy Minister of Local Government was acting in his supervisory capacity of the National Cleaning exercise when he discovered that the Mayor has failed to hire the services of the required number of trucks to cover the entire Municipality. It is unfortunate that certain groups have reduced the entire encounter between two Government officials to an untenable gender slur.
Further, the public is referred to Section 97/4c of the Local Government Act, 2004 on the level of supervisory responsibilities the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has over the District and Municipal Councils
Courtesy: Signed: Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development Press Release: Tuesday 9th October, 2018