“Is Akie-Sawyer a Witch?” …Local Government Minister Ask

   “Is Akie-Sawyer a Witch?”

…Local Government Minister Ask

By Mohamed Konneh 

“Is Akie Sawyer a witch that she should be hunted? Why should anybody in government want to hunt her when she is not a witch,” remarked Ambassador Tamba Lamina, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development.

He furthered that as a government they have no reason to witch hunt Madam Akie-Sawyer as they are not witch hunters. “We don’t have the means to witch hunt anybody. So, for the former Mayor to be parading around the city saying that she was witch hunt, making her unable to deliver her mandate is just baseless,” Ambassador Lamina noted.

The Minister was reacting to claims made by the former Mayor of the Freetown City Council, Yvonne Akie Sawyer during her several interviews lately. 

Yvonne Akie Sawyer has also been talking about deprivation, and this is not true. 

‘We did not deprive the Makeni City Council, and other Councils in the north why the Freetown City Council?” he asked.

Ambassador Lamina noted that in the last five years, the Freetown City Council received over Le 88 Billion and this include Special interest, Property tax, Payment to Council School Busses and Cleaning of the city from the Central government.

“The Freetown City Council alone received Le 9.9 Billion as Property rate because they were unable to collect property rate as a result of COVID. The Councils have been given the leverage to develop property tax using the guidelines. That taxes were not substantial because of compliance. So as a government we had to come in.

The minister said funding will never be sufficient but the Freetown City Council and other Councils were supported. 

He said the Freetown City Council received the greatest support as compared to other Councils across the country.

‘We never took away the functions from Council. In terms of cleaning or clearing the drainages, we realized that the SLRA has the capacity for which the Freetown City Council never had. We also provided vehicles to Councils and Freetown City Council had a greater number of those vehicles. “What else could we have done and now she is just moving from place to place telling stories and crying like a baby,” the Minister said. 

The Minister furthered that the Freetown City Council was not serious about cleaning the markets and the reason why garbage continues to pile up and eventually ended up along the streets.  

The Freetown City Council lacks the capacity to clean the drainages and the more reason why the aspect was given to the SLRA. They also had no capacity to give building permits and this was something they were crying about.

As a government, we would not continue to argue with her but to put the records straight. 

Tamba Lamina said only a bad workman will always quarrel with his or her tools and that is exactly what the Mayor is now doing. 

The government in the last five years has done a lot in supporting the Councils though it has been difficult, yet the government was able to decentralized a lot of functions and also supporting devolved functions. We now have the Decentralization policy, with a number of policy direction he said.’ 

The government had been supporting the Council, transferring funding to Council to devolve functions so that they will be able to perform and deliver on their mandate.

It was the government that was paying the drivers of the school busses and purchasing fuel.

“We believe that Freetown City has a challenge of managing their funding including payment of staff. That was the reason why we took that decision to conduct an Inquiry. 

The Mayor set up a Mayor’s Delivery Unit which was illegal and with this Yvonne Akie Sawyer failed to understand that the Council is a subsect of the Central government. They are not an independent council so you cannot come and put aside the local staff and bring in different people, pay them very huge salaries. This was wrong,” the Minister noted. 


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