From left to right: Minister Tamba J.S. Lamina, Deputy Minster Melrose Karminty, and Permanent Secretary Thomas B. Lansana.
Youyi Building, Freetown, Tuesday 2 March, 2021. The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) has intervened and resolved the simmering dispute between Local Councils and the Local Government Commission over recruitment and transfer processes at a round table dialogue held in Freetown on 2nd February.
It could be recalled that a couple of months ago, the Local Government Commission recruited and transferred staff to the twenty-two (22) Local Councils in Sierra Leone. This action sparked a disagreement between the Heads of Councils and the Local Government Commission, which led to their appearance before the Parliamentary Committee on Local Government in the Well of Parliament.
Mayors and Chairperson expressing their dissatisfaction to the Local Government Ministry
As a parental body that is charged with the constitutional mandate of supervising both the Local Government Commission and the local Councils, the MLGRD summoned the two entities to a round table dialogue with the aim of resolving the matter.
In his address, the Minister of MLGRD, Tamba John Sylvanus Lamina, noted that the moment he took over the affairs of the Ministry, he visited all the twenty-two Councils and interacted with their staff in an effort to getting better understanding and insights into their operations and to also create a cordial relationship with all and sundry.
He admitted that over the past few months, the Local Government Family has not been in good terms because of series of issues surrounding recruitment and transfer, and that such issues have the tendency of impeding development in Local Councils if proper redress is not taken. He added that it was against this backdrop that the Ministry invited members of the Local Councils Association to the dialogue.
“I have noticed that the confusion between the Commission and the Councils is from the Local Government Act, which is not too clear as to who should set the rules and who is to implement it,” he said.
He pointed out that the Local Government Commission has invested a lot into the recruitment and transfer processes ranging from publication of advertisement, shortlisting, conducting examinations, interviewing and posting. He added that all stages undertaken by the Commission involved time and expenditure, which made it very difficult to be reversed.
“I am pleading that we forget about the mistakes that have happened and put measures in place to prevent future occurrence. As for others administrative issues within the Councils, I suggest that we solve them bilaterally since I have an open door policy,” he said.
He concluded by assuring the Local Councils Association of his unwavering support and that more issues would be discussed during the Ministry’s forthcoming retreat in Bo.
The Minister and Deputy of LGRD with Mayors and Chairpersons of Local Councils
The president of the Sierra Leone Local Councils Association, Joseph M. Bindi, said they were perturbed with the fact that the Commission left them out of the recruitment process, but said since the Minister has appealed on its behalf and promised to fix the issues to avoid future occurrence, they have agreed to move forward. Bindi also appealed to the Minister to create a way for his association to be having meeting with President Bio annually.
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Frederick V. Kanneh