Salone News

Cleaning of Freetown: Mayor Reacts

9 January 2007 at 00:23 | 640 views

By Our Correspondent.

The mayor of Freetown, Mr. Winstanley Bankole Johnson(photo) has reacted strongly to the SLPP government’s decision to take away the cleaning of the city from the Freetown City Council, which he heads.In a press release issued recently, the SLPP government says it has taken over the cleaning of the city together with GTZ, a German agency, because the FCC has failed to carry out its duties and had created unnecesary obstacles in government’s attempt to resolve the problem.In a recent letter made available to the press, the mayor wrote the unedited piece below:

I knew and saw it coming all along - from the word
“Go”, I have been
drumming it into the ears of everyone who cared that
this SLPP
government
was committed to devolution and decentralisation “in
words only” - not
deeds. But nobody listened. In fact virtually all the
pro-government
newspaper editors (including Sama Banya, a special
adviser to President
Kabba) gleefully waved my concerns away as “...the
brooding of a new kid
on
the political block who was too much in a hurry to
learn”.

But Sa Lone Times contributor Oswald Hancilles knew
far better, when in
an
article of 2nd July, 2004 - barely two days after our
inauguration -
he
intimated that “......as long as it is Bankole Johnson
that the APC has
made
Mayor, the SLPP must do all in its power to stifle
him, failing which
they
should forget about the 2007 elections”. How
disappointed the SLPP will
be
come post 28th July.

Today I am being proved right by every tick of the
clock, that the SLPP
government is using every trick of the trade to
“frustrate” me. If only
they knew what resilience and dogged determination is
all about!! There
is
one thing however that I promised Vice President
Berewa when I assumed
office on 1st July, 2004, and that was that as I came
into politics
with
my character intact, I will definitely leave politics
unblemished - no
matter what.

Thankfully with God on my side, thirty months into the
job, and with
much
success over a labyrinth of government conspiracies to
impeach or
imprison
me, I have absolutely no intention of letting Mr.
Berewa down. No
goblin
or foul fiend can daunt my spirit. No “political lion”
can frighten me
and
if it becomes necessary to do so in the interest of
the electorate, I
can
even fight with giants (short or long).

In writing this piece, I will not attempt castigate
the entire SLPP
government as charlatans because to be honest, most of
the robust
defenses
and critical information updates at my disposal have
come from my
friends
amongst their memberships. This shows that even across
the political
spectrum, and with a little bit of tolerance, maturity
and goodwill,
there
are still very good Sierra Leoneans refusing to
contribute to the
further
degradation of our nation state out of blind tribal,
regional and
political ignorance.

I take all of those SLPP friends as the very nucleus
group of the much
trumpeted “third force” which has to come from within
(and against
tremendous odds) to make this place better than the
lurch we’re in
today.
So I will not be attacking the SLPP government
wholesale. I will
however
not spare anyone in the SLPP that has allowed him or
herself -
irrespective of age - to be “scapegoatized” and used
as pawns in this
game
of “garbage politics” - all in the name of continuity.

I listened to that BBC interview with the Attorney
General a few days
ago
and like most people, was able to punch holes of
inconsistencies and
inaccuracies embellished through his utterances. And
so did the
interviewer who was no doubt Sierra Leonean. Either
that or the
Attorney
General wasn’t au fait with the truth. How I wish he’d
ever had the
privilege of being supervised by this Mayor! His
esteem would no doubt
have improved by leaps and bounds because his
conscience would have
been
much clearer!!

The Radio UNIOSL (FM103) interview with Sidikie Brima,
the Local
Government Minister on the morning of 5th. January was
as usual far
from
being impressive. It was equally full of gaping holes.
For example I
have
only been in charge of solid Waste for 21 not 30
months - having taken
over the assignment on 15th March 2005. Also there is
no way he can
review

Freetown City Council’s (FCC) competence to resume the
functions
because
we are not on board the Task Force in the first place.
And for someone
stressing the need for accountability, it was
absolutely reckless for
the
minister not to be able to quantify exactly how much
money they have
expended since re-taking the functions on 21st.
December (see below).
How
I wished I also had such unchecked access to
government finances!!

To the SLPP government, decentralizing specifically to
an APC dominated
Freetown City Council is anathema. It means losing
power and that they
cannot afford to do at this crucial time. Participants
at the last
Hotel

Bintumani Decentralization workshop can well remember
the chief driver
of
the programme, Minister Sidikie Brima openly
manifesting a lack of
faith
in the concept by stating that “they say our ministry
also has to
devolve.....but what we have to devolve I don’t even
know but let’s wait
and
see”. That is why they have been persistently creating
Commissions and
changing the focus and character of some NGOs under
their firm control,
transforming them into their counterpart Councils in
the various
localities.

For example, instead of partnering with Council in the
implementation
of
various projects (in compliance with Sec.23 of the
Local Government Act
of
2004), some local NGOs are persistently going it solo,
and will always
have the Vice President at hand to commission the
projects on
completion.

For example, it was as far back as 2004 that Mr.
Berewa, in sensing the
management prowess of this Council quickly wrote to
advise that
“.....NaCSA
will not be subsumed by any Local Councils”. Obviously
the embargo
there
was specifically for the Freetown City Council.

The next election must be won at all cost, so no
efforts will be spared
in
denigrating the Mayor. But the more they try - with or
without Police
intimidation - the more they have goofed disgracefully
because you
simply
cannot bring a good man down!!!

This piece therefore is a credible attempt to
illustrate with
chronological clarity, documentary evidence that the
recent unabated
government publicity about their re-taking over the
Solid Waste
functions
of the municipality from the City Council (the best
Christmas present I
have received in ages though!!) was all a calculated
bundle of lies,
calumny and subterfuge typical of their
administration. I will leave it
with you to discern the truth.

A few of my “home based” compatriots believe I should
have come out
with a
counter press release. But that would have simply
added value to a man
whose ministry is in fact irrelevant and constitutes
an impediment to
civilization and development. With the re-introduction
of Local
Councils,
the Ministry of Local Government and Community
Development honestly
lacks
continued relevance and will continue to constitute a
political
masquerading mischief. How can a hand-picked,
pro-government minister
effectively and impartially supervise duly elected
Local Government
Institutions with “executive and legislative
authority”?

From the perspective of the critical majority, the
tirade will not be
worth an oyster - especially with a government that
periodically shoots
itself in the mouth. For example, less than one week
after the bogus
press
release, the now notorious Ministry of Local
Government were out again
with another radio announcement informing the public
that their efforts
to
sanitize the city were being frustrated by unpatriotic
elements engaged
in
removing garbage from the landfill (“Bormeh”) sites
and spewing them
back
into the main streets. Another abominable lie!!

This government must have been day dreaming to have
ever imagined they
will go scot- free for attempting to smear my name and
character. In
the
interest of the masses, I will however not be averse
to an open public
debate between myself and Mr. Sidikie Brima, the
Minister of Local
Government on the matter at his own convenience, so as
to come out with
the whole truth and I hope he will not disappoint
“our” people.

But first there are a few simple issues and questions
requiring very
simple answers and clarifications as follows-:

• Why is it that it is only now that they have eight
new trucks at
their
disposal that the government has decided to re-take
the functions and
not
earlier?

• How could a government that has only recently
signed-off the much
delayed US$2mio Subsidiary Agreement with the FCC on
9th August,2006
decide (within three months of signing that agreement)
to re-take the
functions we have been performing for nearly two years
without prior
notification to either us or the IDA/World Bank of
their reasons for
doing so?

• Why did the government deliberately fail to forward
a copy of the
above
executed Subsidiary Agreement to SALWACO, the Project
Implementation
Unit
up the date of their re-taking the functions? Equally
so, why did
SALWACO, (PIU) fail to have forwarded a copy of their
own Subsidiary
Agreement executed with FCC since 6th April, 2006 to
the IDA/World
Bank?

• Why has the government failed to produce documentary
evidence from
the
IDA/World Bank indicating that unless we partner with
GTZ, they will
not
release the USD$2mio or part thereof to the FCC?

• In all our deliberations it was categorically made
clear that GTZ
have
expertise but do not have, and are not committing
funds. So why the
lying
reference in their press release to GTZ as “also
providing funds for
the
implementation of the project”?

• If the government was so concerned about the
transparent and
accountable
nature of our proposed partnership with the GTZ, why
did they
surreptitiously and prematurely release US$20,000 from
the Consolidated
Fund to GTZ without notifying us? - i.e. prior to
suggesting that we
open
a special account? (Dr. Nour accepted that was a
serious mistake and
volunteered to refund the US$5000 already expended)

• Why has the Minister of Presidential Affairs failed
to produce on
demand, documentary or any other form of reply
evidencing of our
reluctance to participate in any institutional
arrangement involving
government and the donors?

• If as agreed with H.E. the President and team,
overall management,
supervision and control would be vested in the FCC,
why was GTZ asking
FCC
per their letter of 19th December, 2006 to “nominate a
representative”
to
their “Klin Salone” project? Aren’t we the ones who
should be asking
them
to do just that?

• Minister Sidikie Brima’s reference to my insistence
to operate a
special
project account “alone” is a blatant lie and simply
exposes his limited
knowledge about basic risk management practices, which
preclude sole
custodianship over public corporate assets. The fact
of the matter is
that
most government ministers and civil servants are so
profligate and
dissolute with public funds, that every other person
is viewed as
innately
as corrupt as themselves. But who in his right senses
would believe
that a
retired Corporate Executive of Head of Treasury rank,
would insist on
signing away public expenditure “alone”?

• If anything, to have excluded the City Treasurer and
Chief
Administrator
and agreeing to my operating the special account
jointly with the GTZ
representative would have been more beneficial to me
personally. But
that
would have constituted a great disservice to both the
electorate and
the
APC Party, and I do not see myself betraying that
trust.

• Minister Sidikie Brima’s reference to Sec.97 (6) as
his basis for
re-taking the functions from FCC is bogus because
there are mentoring
procedures to be followed before applying that section
of the Act. And
even where it is applied, it should be for period of
ninety days - not
indefinitely as is now the case. The fact that no time
limit has been
stipulated indicates that the government has no
intention of reverting
the
functions to FCC - unless and until as usual, thy have
exhausted the
IDA/World Bank support which they are deluding
themselves still stands
at
US$2mio.

• If this government knew that “my actions were
persistently beyond my
powers” - (Ref. Sec. 100 (d) of the Act) why did the
President not
preferably dissolve the Council using their
Parliamentary majority
approach? But both the Attorney General and Sidikie
Brima knew that
their
actions are untra-vires the Local Government Act,
hence their blatant
abuse of Sec. 97 (6).

• Can Sidikie Brima produce copy of the letter
inviting this Council to
collect sanitation vehicles? And if government was so
concerned about
the
sanitation needs of this city, why did they not donate
one of the
US$18mio
heavy duty equipment and vehicles inherited from
UNAMSIL, as they did
to
some other Local Councils?

• And can anyone please ask Sidikie Brima why this
Council was neither
favoured with a copy of the Press Release or even a
copy of the
contractual agreement between GoSL and GTZ forwarded
to the IDA/World
Bank
identifying the latter as replacement implementers of
the Solid Waste
Component under the Development Credit 3045-SL?

• Finally GTZ are not the only post conflict
development experts
operating
in Sierra Leone. The EU, UNDP, USAID, DFID, UNICEF and
even Prince
Charles
are all experts that have made caustic comments and
reports on the high
level of corruption, poor and weak central governance
structures and “a
troubled justice sector” in our country, and have even
proffered
solutions. But why has the President not thought it
fit to transfer
governance to those institutions or replace his
ministers with their
country representatives?

So the person to bear the greatest responsibility for
these unsavoury
developments is His Excellency the President himself.
This is because
since December, 2005 when he first broached the
subject of donating
trucks
and buses expected from Libya to enhance FCC’s city
cleaning and public
transportation capacity, up to another meeting with
him on the morning
of
10th September 2006 (prior to a general meeting with
the IDA/World Bank
Task Team at SALWACO) he never for once mentioned GTZ
as potential
partners.

When he eventually did at a subsequent meeting at
which myself and our
future President, Hon. Ernest Bai Koroma were present,
We consensually
agreed that partnership with GTZ must be predicated on
FCC owning
management, supervision and control - not as Task Team
members. I
believe
that as my fountain of honour, equity and justice he
should have
intervened at the appropriate time, rather than
allowing issues to
deteriorate this far.

In hindsight I can now recall the President
volunteering to act as my
personal “bulldozer” immediately after my
inauguration, if anybody
stood
in my path. Many seasoned journalists had a good laugh
when I confirmed
my
reliance on the President’s assurances then. I am
afraid I’ll have to
disappoint them again but I don’t see why I should not
always trust my
country’s President and Chief Executive

Before letting you into a synopsis of the solid waste
crisis dating
back
to 2004, let me ask yet another simple question.
Knowing African
governments for what they are, what in your wildest
dreams would have
been
the predominant wish of this very government that has
so much attempted
to
asperse my character under the circumstances? Simply
taking functions
away
from the Council and leaving me in peace would
certainly not have been
an
option. They would have compounded my disgrace for
having the
effrontery
to challenge them by additionally locking me up for
the GBP1million
they
alleged I stole from Crown Agents?

I leave it to you to read, mark, learn and inwardly
digest. But you
have
an obligation to join this crusade for the truth, by
disseminating
these
documents to the widest community in the diaspora to
avoid being
classified as “educated morons”. Send it to everyone
on your email list
- 
Sierra Leonean or not. This is your contribution to
help redefine the
future of this country called Sierra Leone. It is not
that many here
are
not aware of our problems, but because of
“hand-to-mouth” syndrome,
they
are afraid to openly speak against the ills of
society.

The intention is to get this SLPP government to stop
politicizing
everything and show greater commitment to deepening
democracy at local
levels. If we allow them to get away with this they
may try something
more
detrimental to your country in future. Remember the
adage, “give a man
an
inch and he’ll ask for a yard”? This country belongs
to us all and
those
who have been duly elected must be given an
opportunity to serve the
people who voted them into office.

If on the other hand you are part of the international
community, you
are
morally obliged, as guarantors of the peace and
stability we continue
to
enjoy at your expense, to see that all arms of
government function
according to the prevailing rules and regulations of
the game. You must
insist that the grounds for usurping the Solid Waste
functions are both
irregular and frivolous, press for those functions to
be reverted to
the
FCC and supported at the same levels once accorded the
Office of
National
Security - Le100mio/US$33,000 for a single day (March
25th, 2006) or
Le60million/US$20,000 for a week only (25th Dec. 2006
to 1st January,
2007) to GTZ as at now. (The GTZ support can be
verified from
transactions
over their Rokel Commercial Bank Ltd, Foreign and
Local Currencies
Accounts Nos. 1046737 and 1743763). Throughout the
entire 21 months FCC
was in charge, only Le40million per month was received
from the
government
to cover fuel, maintenance/repairs and wages for over
100 labourers.

Now to the crux of the matter and thanks for your
patience for reading
this far.

A BRIEF SYNOPSIS OF FCC/GoSL WASTE MANAGEMENT
PROBLEMS

Council was reconstituted 1st. July 2004 to assume
full responsibility
of
various municipal responsibilities including Waste
Management. This
function was previously under control of the Ministry
of Youths &
Sports
(MY& S) and supported Le980mio annually. Dr. Bright
himself confirmed
that
much in one correspondence refuting my insinuation of
an annualized
Le5billion support.

Even with Le980mio annual support, the MY & S, as a
government in
power-
were an absolute failure and were unable to
satisfactorily perform.
Thus
between October - December 2000, the Ministries of
Health & Sanitation
(MoH&S) and Transport & Communication under World Bank
Transport Sector
Project committed Le802mio over a period of three
months through the
UNDP.
The municipality was divided into four (4) zones as
follows-:
• Zone 1 - From Ferry junction to Hastings - Le197mio
allocated to John
L.Swarray of Duguray Engineering & Construction Ent

• Zone 2 - From Ferry Junction to East End Police -
Le182mio allocated
to
Mr. Tunkara of Mabella Youth Company

• Zone 3 - From Clock Tower to Sanders Street -
Le198mio - allocated
to
Alithur Freeman of Community Development Unit (CDU)

• Zone 4 - From St. John to dead West - Le225mio
allocated to SKEMPSM

The entire project failed and the cleaning activity
reverted to the
MoH&S.
The Accountant General at the time was funding the
MoH&S Le60mio
monthly
to cover fuel expense only. On the other hand
throughout the 21 months
period the Freetown City Council (FCC) was charged
with the
responsibility
of city cleaning, we only received an average of
Le40mio monthly to
cover
fuel, wages, spares and even medical & death expenses
of the temporary
workforce.

A Statutory Instrument of 11/11/04 ceded Waste
Management functions
from
MY & S to FCC - but actual devolution delayed until
Mid-March of 2005.

We held a meeting on 16/11/04 with Dr. Bright and team
at his
Brookfields
office to discuss handing over of functions. FCC team
comprised Deputy
Mayor and Chief Administrator. At that meeting, Dr.
Bright’s request
for
FCC to contribute labourers to complement and
understudy his work force
declined. FCC proposed instead a properly sequenced
and phased
devolution
plan approach of human resources, assets and funding.

Dr Bright agreed to FCC proposals but did not
follow-up. Instead MY &
Sports entered private arrangements with Deputy Mayor
regarding funding
for use of FCC lorries to undertake Waste Management
functions. I
ordered
two vehicles back to FCC Works Yard pending proper
arrangements
concluded.

By 1st December, 2004, the MY & S had been seeking
tenders for the
supply
of cleaning equipment and hiring of trucks, front-end
loaders and bull
dozers - without reference to FCC. This was a
desperate attempt to
access
and dissipate the IDA/World Bank US$350 contemplated
for an emergency
cleaning of Freetown before handing over the cativity
to FCC.

Between 1st. December, 2004 and 10th March, 2005,
several meetings held
at
George St offices of Minister of Finance (MoF) with
J.B.Dauda and his
two
deputy ministers, Dr. Bright, Sidikie Brima, including
Finance, Youths
and
Sports and Local Government ministries’ officials. FCC
position at all
of
such meeting was not to accept responsibility unless
government
complies
with the following-:

• Sec.47 of the Local Govt. Act - i.e. that “Until and
including the
financial year ending 2008, Parliament shall
appropriate to Local
Councils
as a tied grant for each devolved service, at least
that amount
necessary
to continue the operation and maintenance of the
service at the
standard
to which it was provided in the year prior to its
devolution” - i.e.
Le980mio annually.

• Refund to FCC the amount of Le663mio as per Cabinet
Conclusion Paper
dated 24/9/2003 on account of illegal withdrawals from
the FCC
superannuation Fund

• Arrange for the IDA/World Bank grant of $2mio per
Development Credit
component for Solid Waste be ceded by a formally
executed Subsidiary
Agreement to the FCC

• Clearance by Government of Sierra Loene (GoSL) on
status of two
previous
agreements purportedly signed 19th December 2003 and
19th January, 2004
between MY & S and Alternative Use Plc UK by which
municipal solid
waste
functions were to have been taken over by AU Plc UK

GoSL refused to comply with or clarify status of all
above unless we
first
accept responsibility. FCC declined again because we
had no “start up”
finance or assets to kick start operations. In a
desperate attempt to
relinquish the responsibility, huge burn fires were
set all over
Freetown
immolating all the skip bins whilst the few vehicles
at their disposal
had
been comprehensively vandalized and their carcasses
abandoned at our
Works
Yard.

On Thursady 25th February, 2005, Dr. Dennis Bright
caused to be
published
in a number of tabloids; a Public Notice captioned
“GOVT. CLAIMS MAYOR
REJECTS WORLD BANK FUND”. The body of the press
release was extensively
aspersive both on my character and the institution I
head, and was
calculated at misleading the public into believing
that I had
personally
rejected an offer of GBP2.3mio. - “....because of my
incapacity to
understand simple and commonsensical procedures...”

In between, the previous GoSL facilitator Haroun
Sankoh had been
frequenting FCC premises and openly boasting that he
would rather “make
love to his own mother” than allow an APC-led council
to enjoy the
US$2mio
IDA/World Bank Grants their SLPP government had worked
so hard to
successfully negotiate. It is believed that it was
Haroun Sankoh -
rather
than Minister Dr. Bright of Youths and Sports who
actually signed the
Credit Agreement on behalf of that ministry

Several aborted meetings convened in between at MoF
George Street
ofices.
At one such at which the World Bank Country Manager
convened and
volunteered to mediate, the then minister of Finance
(J.B. Dauda)
deliberately locked Mr. James Sackey in his top floor
office and
instructed his two deputies to deal with us instead
below. That meeting
was aborted. Mr. J B Dauda and Bank Country Manager
apologized
profusely
and agreed to re-convene two days later. That never
happened.

In between those aborted meetings there were
allegations that by
Cabinet
decision, the SLPP government was already showing
willingness to commit
Le30mio to SLPP Youths to clean city for one day -
instead of genuinely
assisting the FCC to expedite take over of its
statutory functions.

By his letter of 25th. Feb, 2005, Local Govt Minister
threatened legal
action if we failed to accept responsibility by 1st
March 2005. FCC
sought clarification from minister on government
position regarding
private agreement between MY& Sports and UK Firm (AU
Plc) on Waste
Management and how it might affect our take over. As
usual, the
government
did not respond.

A proposed field trip between 14th and 10th February,
2005 by My &
Sports
and FCC officials to examine assets and land fill
sites before take
over
did not materialize as MY & Sports minister and
officials failed to
show
up at agreed Works Yard site. FCC conducted
independent assessment.
Result-: all vehicles skip bins etc. had been
comprehensively
cannibalized.

Following further consultations GoSL finally agreed in
principle to
comply
with all requests bullet-pointedon Page 7 above -
commencing with an
immediate Le250mio release as token of commitment. FCC
accepted
responsibility by 15th. March, 2005.

Within 4 months of taking over the assignment, the
IDA/World Bank Task
Team commented thus on Page 3 of their Aide-Memoire
dated 25th. July,
2005. “.....The mission noted with pleasure the improved
cleaniness in
the
city since the mission’s last visit and complimented
the Mayor on this
achievement, despite the shortage and poor shape of
the equipment
handed
over by the Ministry of Youths and Sports”

Throughout 2005 out of Le980mio committed, only
Le462mio was paid to
FCC
for Solid Waste up to 20th December, 2005. The
Le663mio Cabinet
recommendation has been withheld to this day and no
effort made by then
to
sign the subsidiary agreement.

Total amount received by FCC for Solid Waste
management throughout 2006
was Le406mio. Amount paid over to National Security
Office and FCC
Chief
Administrator for one-day March 25th. City-wide
cleaning was Le100mio,
whilst amount paid over direct to GTZ from
consolidated fund last
November, 2006 to clean the city prior to the
Consultative Group
meeting
and Prince Charles’ visit was US$20k.

On recommendation from IDA/World Bank Task Team,
CEMMATS were
contracted
to provide work plans for 4 - 6 months “Interim/Short
Term City
Cleaning”
against $400 funding. IDA/World Bank team accepted
CEMMATS work plans
but
rejected consultancy rates of pay. Work again placed
into abeyance as
CEMMATS would not revise consultancy costs downwards.

Interventions by State Lodge recommended meetings
between J.O.Benjamin,
S.Brima & Mayor to discuss funding possibilities to
enhance city
environmental hygiene. The very first and only meeting
with John
Benjamin
aborted as the thrust was to take over, instead of
financing FCC
activity.
On pressure from H.E, an additional Le100mio was paid
to FCC by 21st.
December, - thus taking total amount received for 2005
to Le562mio.

By mid 2005 I had successfully concluded arrangements
with
Kingston-upon-Hull City Council, UK for a fleet of 4
compactors
(sanitation Vehicles) - with full freight of GBP20,000
borne by Hull
City
Council. Our request for customs duty waiver to a
government that
purportedly cares for the environmental needs of its
citizens was
initially declined. “The Duty Waiver and Permit
Committee noted that
the
Freetown City Council does not fall under the
category of those
entitled
to duty-free concessions and accordingly recommended
that the permit be
denied on the vehicle in question” (Ref-:
MF-REV/100/62/01) from
Financial
secretary. So even where they could not provide the
resources, they
were
disdainful of the fact that we could have done it
without their efforts
and were going to punish us for that - to the
detriment of the
electorate.
Duty-free clearance was achieved two months later
after much
persistence.

The minutes of another meeting convened 13th January,
2006 at the
President’s request in Sidikie Brima’s office aptly
blamed persistent
and
deliberate government short financing of FCC as a
major constraint
which
the minister promised to raise up with his colleague
at finance
ministry.
He never did, nor did he even bother to sign copies of
the document
forwarded for our files.

Apart from short financing the FCC into incapacity,
the government also
spared no effort to threaten those willing to
complement FCC’s efforts
- 
even where they have been paid to provide the
services. For example,
the
Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) recalled their
four (4) heavy duty
trucks and loader equipment rented and already fueled
by FCC for an
operation on what they confirmed were “...orders from
above. More
recently, a haulage and construction enterprise was
forced to also stop
renting equipment to FCC for fear of being sidelined
from government
contracts. Prior to government re-taking the Solid
Waste functions, no
one
risked partnering with FCC except in the dead of night
- for fear of
being
branded APC.

Following revisions of the closing date to access the
IDA/World Bank
$2mio
grants, several meetings were held subsequently at
State Lodge and
Local
Government Ministry in which FCC insisted on GoSL
executing the much
delayed Subsidiary Agreement making FCC the
implementing agency of the
Waste Management component under development Credit
3945-SL - an
IDA/World
Bank pre-condition for release of the US$2mio grant.

In one meeting at Ministry of Local Govt. again
convened at the behest
of
the President, S.Brima, A.R.Turay and J.B Dauda
appealed to me to
prevail
on CEMMATS to accept lower consultancy rates “in the
interest of the
country”. CEMMATS conceded, but GoSL again failed to
follow up words
with
deeds.

That Subsidiary Agreement was eventually duly executed
9th August,
2006.

Prior to that date FCC, with consent of Joe Kallon,
Deputy Minister of
Finance and World Bank Country Manager I sent a letter
to MoF
requesting
an extension of the Sep.1st. 2006 deadline date for
the formation of
the
Freetown Solid Waste Management Company. That letter
was not replied
to,
nor has that request been considered.

Also, even though they promised to do so, the MoF
deliberately failed
to
provide SALWACO, the Project Implementation Unit (PIU)
with a copy of
the
Subsidiary Agreement - on which basis a previous
agreement signed
between
FCC and SALWACO dated 6th. April, 2006 should have
become effective.

In none of the Aide Memoirs of the IDA/World Bank
prior to Sept 2006
was
any reference made to the German Technical
Co-operation Team - GTZ. A
detailed analysis of their proposals for Councillors’
recommendation is
reproduced below and captioned “GoSL/FCC/GTZ Waste
Management
Partnership
Plan and Mayor’s Personal Concerns and Guidance for
Councillors’
Considerations”

Also when promising to provide FCC with 5 - 8 expected
trucks and buses
from Libya, H.E the President never made reference to
GTZ
collaboration.
Nor did he ever make reference to GTZ during our
morning meeting of 5th
September, 2006 to discuss handing over of the Libyan
trucks and buses
to
FCC during the week - without pre-conditions.

It was after that meeting that the H.E President
called me later in the
evening to express regret that because of new
developments, the
Minister
of Presidential Affairs will be writing to apprise me
of a new date for
the handing over of the trucks and buses to FCC.

In a letter dated 6th September, 2006 and captioned
“REVISION OF OFFER
OF
SANITATION EQUIPMENT”, Presidential Affairs Minister
Dr.Sheku Sesay
stated
that because the President had received indication of
FCC’s reluctance
to
participate in a proposed institutional arrangement to
clean Freetown,
they were pursuing alternative arrangements excluding
FCC. My next
day’s
reply sought information as to how and in what manner
FCC’s reluctance
was
assessed by, or communicated to H.E. the President,
but I again
received
no reply. By Thursday of that week, all other Local
Councils were
invited
to the inspection of the vehicles - except the FCC

The GoSL has failed to ensure GTZ adherence to an
agreement made at our
mutual meeting with H.E. the President at the Lodge
and subsequently at
the ministry of Local Government, that “ownership,
management and
control”
should be vested in the FCC. GTZ further failed to
consult with FCC in
the
identification and training of the various Youth
Groups, and instead of
restricting themselves to training and the provision
of basic tools
such
as wheelbarrows, masks, gloves, shovels, and rakes,
they now want to
co-sign on FC account. The whole episode now reeks of
an attempt to
include the cleaning of Freetown under Vice President
Berewa’s SLPP
Youth
Employment Scheme - which dream he knew will never be
actualized if the
grants came under FCC control.

Whilst FCC was open in nominating its own members to
the GTZ-Task Team,
we
neither knew who their own nominations were, nor were
we consulted on
the
proposed door-to-door refuse collection fees
structure. GTZ were going
it
alone - no doubt with instructions from the GoSL who
in late November
released $20k direct to them as “start -up funds” to
begin the “Klin
Salone” project.

The GTZ is a willing and compliant tool and the GoSL
was never sincere
about facilitating release of the IDA/World Bank $2mio
grants for which
we
had long signed a Subsidiary Agreement. Otherwise the
MoF should have
sent
copies to the local PIU (SALWACO) and the IDA/World
Bank to expedite
release. Besides if they had no ulterior motive, the
GTZ should have
been
located within Council’s premises rather than at State
Lodge as the
Hon.
Ernest Bai Koroma evidently verified himself.

Apart from the $20k start-up funds released to them
direct from the
Consolidated Fund without reference to this Council,
GTZ are also
seeking
$600 over a period of 5 months (see document
reproduced below captioned
“Immediate Funding Needs Of The Freetown Waste
Management System”) to
undertake the very same Freetown “Interim Solid Waste”
programme that
CEMMATS had valued at under US$350k. The GoSL is
insisting that unless
we
work with GTZ, the IDA/World bank will not release the
$2mio. They
however
failed to produce the relevant correspondence that a
sovereign
independent
nation cannot access its legitimately contracted
Development Grants
without prior overt intervention of a foreign donor
agency.

Per their letter of 19th December, 2006 requesting FCC
to nominate a
representative to the “Klin Salone Steering Committee,
it was clear GTZ
and not FCC was in charge of “management, supervision
and control”.

Withdrawal of the solid waste functions from the FCC
though an
abrogation
of Sec.97 (6) of the Local Government Act is “a
blessing in disguise”,
because the remedial or corrective measures and
procedures in Sec.97
(a)
to (d) were not followed. Otherwise the GoSL would
have known that the
very reason for the FCC not being able to “perform
adequately” was
purely
because the government has over the years been
persistently and
deliberately under-funding us into incapacity.

By refusing to support FCC whilst at the same time
agreeing to provide
GTZ
with $20k was totally anachronistic to good governance
and sound
democratic values. Obviously GTZ would equally not
have been able to
perform without the massive financial input of
US$600,000 contemplated
from the government over a period of five months. The
question now is
why
would the GoSL prefer direct financial intervention to
GTZ over and
above
a duly elected Local Council?

The deceitfulness of government’s intentions are
clearly seen in the
fact
that in abusing Sec.97 (6) of the Local Government
Act, there is no
attempt to correct the “lying” deficiency in Council
by developing our
capacities, nor was any ministry or department
consulted to do so. The
function was withdrawn indefinitely, contrary to sec.
97 (7).

GoSL/FCC/GTZ WASTE MANEGEMENT PARTNERSHIP PLAN
AND MAYOR’S PERSONAL CONCERNS AND GUIDANCE
FOR COUNCILLOR’S CONSIDERATIONS

UNDATED GTZ AUGUST CONCEPT PAPER

GTZ aware of perennial problems regarding logistics,
collection,
disposal
and government’s deliberate efforts to stifle Council
and admitted “....
Collection can be hindered by shortages of public
funds”

*Youth Employment focus through groups engaged in
Solid Waste
Management
under an “umbrella organization” to create
self-employment potentials
for
marginalized, unemployed and uneducated youths whose
numbers in the
Western Urban areas continue to multiply even long
after the war.

Opportunities for revenues generation through private
house to house
garbage collection on fees basis, sorting at landfill
sites for
potential
buyers of saleable refuse and wastes recycling.

*Guidelines and operating procedures will be
introduced by “umbrella
organization” for interested individual youth groups
to be registered
within the scheme.

*Umbrella Organization/Association already created
with its own
constitution and called “Klin Salone” and is seeking
“recognition” by
the
authorities

GTZ is committing no funds, but will muster expertise
to-:
• *Train all youth groups for 2-4 months in waste
collection (42 groups
initially, whilst another 28 youth groups are
collecting city wide
data),
sorting, disposal services in accordance with standard
guidelines,
MANAGE
THEIR FINANCES AND ACTIVITIES AND ENGAGE SUBSCRIBERS.
They will also
provide basic equipments like gloves, masks, push
carts, shovels, and
aprons for hygienic purposes.

• *Redesigns dumpsites to include access roads and
sorting areas

• *Eventually phase out direct support to youth groups
and will leave
exercise to them for continuity.

GTZ EXPLANATORY LETTER - DATED 16TH. OCTOBER, 2006

• Rehabilitation of Works Yard buildings, Workshop,
Garage and Compound

• *Rehabilitation of 18 out of 28 vehicles and
generators parked in
compound

• Provision of Management Plan

• Logistics Plan for 8 vehicles from Govt.

• Logistics Plan for 18 post- rehabilitated vehicles
and generators

• Operational Plan

• *Submission of a 6-month “Emergency Cleaning”
Budget/Financial Plan
through GoSL of the FCC to the World Bank for funding

• Preparation of concept document for long term
Municipal Waste
Management
Authority

• *GTZ and THW are offering consultancy services “free
of charge”

GTZ NOTE OF APOLOGY FOR GoSL, FCC & WORLD BANK -
20/11/06

• * CG visitors meting by 28/11 is key reason for
accelerating
“Emergency
Cleaning” operations

• *8 new trucks from Govt could not be handed to FCC
because “..there
was
no operational plan or budget for their management”

• Because DFID input to rehabilitate King Tom landfill
site will be
delayed, GTZ will continue managing dumpsites with
existing bulldozer

• *Clearance of Works Yard an imperative so that 8 new
trucks can be
transferred there and made operational “...if the
corresponding budget is
made available”

SUMMARY OF GTZ PROPOSAL DOCUMENT - 20/11/02
• For successful 5-month emergency operations, Works
Yard 2 to be
rehabilitated to facilitate management of 8 new trucks
and bulldozer
pending DFID King Tom landfill rehabilitation

• *Design long term waste management plan based on
private enterprise
logic for the municipality as a compromise between “a
local Authority”
and the IDA/World Bank “Freetown Solid Waste
Management Company”
concepts

• *Immediate of $20,000 by GoSL to GTZ to commence
city cleaning
operations with the 8 new trucks by 23rd. November.

GTZ IMMEDIATE FUNDING NEEDS FOR 5-MONTH EMERGENCY
CLEANING

1. Rehabilitation of Works Yard - $78,000.00
Le231,268,200
2. Works Yard equipment Procurement $132,254.24
390,150,000
3. Cleaning of entire Works Yard $ 15,000.00
44,604,000
4. Rehabilitation of FCC Vehicles/Gen $129,622.03
382,385,000
5. Rehabilitation of Bulldozer $ 8,614.75
25,413,500
6. Functional Bulldozer Plan/Trailer $ 36,020.34
106,260,000
7. Salaries 241 Staff $ 88,559.32 261,260,000
8. Maintenance of 8 Trucks x Months $ 97,840.10
288,628,300
9. Utility/Incidental Costs $ 12,855.93
37,925,000
(Totals
USD599,282.71 /
SLL1,767,884.00)

“The cleaning of Works Yard (Annex 3) will cost
US$15,000, the total
cost
of the rehabilitation of its buildings and workshops
is US$78,000
(Annex1). The functioning and maintaining of 8 trucks
during the five
months emergency phase is $115,000 (Annexes 8 & 8A).
The utility bill
for
Works Yard 11 during 5 months is US$8,000 (Annex 9).
The costs of
rehabilitation and functioning of the bulldozer (which
is needed to
arrange the two final dump sites during the emergency
phase) is about
US$65,000 (Annexes 5 & 6). The staff salaries for the
entire Waste
Management Unit would be covered during 5 months by a
sum of US$89,000
(Please find the details in Annex 10)

The amount needed to start the operations this week is
about $20,000 to
$30,000.

The amount needed in order to create the
pre-conditions for a
functional
Waste Management System in the next few weeks
(cleaning and
rehabilitation
of Works Yard 11) is US$93,000 - plus the cost of
acquiring the basic
maintenance equipment for the workshop $132,000.

The amount needed to cover the functioning costs of 8
trucks and a
bulldozer for five months is US$188,000. The amount
needed to cover the
staff salary costs for five months is US$89,000

In order to make the Waste Management System function
up to the
creation
of the “Authority” described in the proposal within a
period of 5
months,
a global amount (including all the above mentioned
figures) 0f
US$600,000
would be needed. This amount is not to be considered
as “costs of
consumption” but rather as an investment in the
rehabilitation of the
Waste Managemen System which should at the moment of
handing it over to
the “Authority” be able of generating income in an
orderly way”

*P.13-: The financial resources for the emergency
phase can be managed
by
the “Task Force”, with the assistance of GTZ under the
supervision of
the
FCC and GoSL according to a transparent procedure to
be agreed upon
between the IDA/World Bank, GoSL,FCC and GTZ

P.14.3 -: Stakeholders Responsibilities
*- GoSL: Adoption of proposals, negotiations with the
IDA/World Bank
for
release of funding for emergency phase and membership
of supervisory
body

*- FCC: Adoption of proposals, selection of “Task
Force” members,
authorization, membership of supervisory body, weekly
monitoring,
planning
and implementation

*- IDA/W/Bank: Funding and membership of supervisory
body

*- GTZ: Technical Assistance to “Task Force” and
monitoring and
evaluation

*P.14.4 -: Rehabilitation budget for 16 vehicles and 2
Generators
recommended to be placed in abeyance??

MAYOR’S PERSONAL CONCERNS AND GUIDANCE FOR
COUNCILLORS’ CONSIDERATION

1. UNDATED GTZ AUGUST CONCEPT PAPER
The concept is excellent, (even though the concerns
and constraints
highlighted by GTZ are not new and have been discussed
several times in
the past) but its application would appear to be
eroding the basis for
our
acceptance, which is that overall management,
supervision and control
of
both the “Emergency” and “Long Term” municipal waste
management plans
must
be vested in the FCC.

For a start, FCC readily embraced the GTZ concept and
even easily
nominated its complement to the “Task Force”, but we
still do not know
(as
the Local Authority) the GTZ personnel attached to the
force. Besides,
our
representatives to the Task Force were not given any
mandate to act for
and on behalf of FCC, but simply to represent and
report back to
Council
for appropriate guidance before decisions are arrived
at.

FCC was neither consulted nor engaged in the
identification of the
engagement of the 42 Youth Groups to be trained (for
between 2-4
months)
initially, or in the identification and engagement of
the 28 Youth
Groups
in city wide data collection. Have the skills
trainings commenced or
completed? Most of the Youth Groups listed by GTZ are
synonymous with
MYNCOS/Haroun Sankoh, wholesomely pro-SLPP or Junta or
simply no longer
exist. Councils’ involvement is crucial to ensure the
full potentials
of
Ward Committees and exploited.

Council was further not engaged or consulted in
arriving at a suitable
designate appellation for the project. How was the
name “Klin Salone”
arrived at for a project that will not impact beyond
the Western Urban
municipality? Why were we not consulted on the mater
of drafting and or
implementing a “constitution” for the umbrella
organization that will
be
supervising all Youth Organizations engaged in the
project? Who is the
proper authority to “recognize’ the umbrella
organization? The FCC
whose
statutory functions is solid waste management and is
supposed to
manage,
supervise and control the project, or the GoSL?

On completion of the 5-month “emergency phase” and
“implementation of
the
subscription-based collection and sales of sorted
waste systems, GTZ
will
phase out of the project, leaving continuity to the
umbrella
organization.
By that process, FCC would have been exited finally
from performing its
statutory role, Why?

2. GTZ EXPLANATORY UPDATES LETTER - DATED 16TH.
OCTOBER, 2006

The overall amount required under this caption is
almost twice what
CEMMATS contracted for the same job PLUS
rehabilitation of the King Tom
landfill site.

The initial government reason for not releasing the
trucks to FCC was
because they wanted GTZ to first rehabilitate 16
vehicles and the 2
generators at the Works Yard, so that
operationalisation can be robust
with a fleet of 24 vehicles (16 rehabilitated and 8
new from govt.).
But
we are seeing now that repairs to all broken down
vehicles and
generators
will not be first undertaken before release of the 8
new vehicles to
GTZ.
What is it that is motivating this government’s
preference for GTZ - a
foreign NGO - over a legally constituted local
Authority? (See ensuing
commentary)

In terms of Sec.23 of the Local Government Act of
2004, all
Inter-Service,
Donor NGOs/CBOs are obliged (and without waiting to be
prompted) to
consult and partner directly with the Local Authority
in their areas of
operations. They must not usurp the authority of the
Local Authority.

The situation is further compounded by the fact that
initially, GTZ did
not have and were not making any financial input into
the project and
their involvement was restricted to youth mobilization
and advice and
provision of basic equipments like gloves, masks, push
carts, shovels,
aprons to hygienic purposes. How come they have
suddenly been
transformed
into IDA/World bank Fund Managers on behalf of FCC?

What do GTZ mean by submission of a 6-month “Emergency
Cleaning”
Budget/Financial Plan through GoSL of the FCC to the
World Bank for
funding? We signed a subsidiary agreement with GoSL on
8th August
identifying FCC as the new implementers of the
Development Credit
(SL-3945) component dealing with Waste Management of
$2mio. What is the
status of that agreement? Why has the Ministry of
Finance (MoF) refused
to
make a copy of that agreement available to Sierra
Leone Water Company
(SALWACO), the recognized IDA/World Bank Project
implementation Unit
(PIU)? In the absence of any correspondence canceling
that agreement,
the
only competent body to authorize funding release is
the FCC. So how and
why should the 6-month “Emergency Cleaning” budget
/Financial Plan have
to
go through GoSL, instead of World Bank PIU (SALWACO)?

In all this, we are told the GTZ and THW are offering
“free
consultancy”
services for which we should be very grateful. If
true, then we have no
need continuing with the World Bank
Pricewaterhouse/Coopers/DHV
consultants who as at 31st. July 2006 had already
“overpaid” themselves
$189,227.80 (Ref. Page 4 of SLPWP -Water Component -
Third
Post-Contract
Supervision Mission (Sept4 - 11/06) Reception Report)

In view of the thankfully free consultancy expected
from GTZ, the
relationship with Pricewaterhouse/Coopers/DHV needs to
be automatically
reviewed and exited, both for prudent economic reasons
and to avoid
unnecessary duplication of activities and information.
An immediate
stock
must be taken of what percentage of the bulk $2mio
committed for Solid
Waste Management under the Power & Water Project has
already been
utilized
by the IDA/World bank consultants, and what exactly is
left for use, so
we
can better appropriate the residue under the GTZ
approach. But there is
no
way both can go together and GoSL must clarify this
status.

3. GTZ NOTE OF APOLOGY FOR GoSL, FCC & WORLD BANK -
20/11/06

For over two years now GoSL has deliberately and
persistently
under-funded
us into incapacity - no matter what the situation or
circumstances. In
March GoSL instructed Office of National Security
(ONS) to override our
administrative controls and organized a rather botched
one-day
city-wide
cleaning for a budget of over Le100mio. As at close of
business 30th
November we had only received 49% of the annualized
pre-devolution
support
of Le980,000,000 from MoF for the same purpose.

But let us carefully consider the following
contradictions-:

GTZ are saying Consultative Group (CG) visitors
meeting by 28/11/06 is
key
reason for accelerating “Emergency Cleaning”
operations and demanded
$20,000 down payment from GoSL which was promptly
released from the
Consolidated Fund without reference or information to
FCC. Why was this
amount not paid directly into FCC (Solid Waste
Management Account) who
in
terms of our understanding are supposed to “manage,
supervise &
control”
all GTZ operations?

GTZ are saying GoSL did not hand over the 8 new trucks
to FCC because
“.....there was no operational plan or budget for their
management”. But
how
come that GTZ were so quickly able to influence
release of those same
trucks even without evidence of operational plan or
budget? What
documentary evidence exists to show that we as a
Council (FCC) have
authorized GTZ to manage releases of World Bank
funding in respect of
our
Solid Waste Management Project to them?

Is it not interesting to note that instead of focusing
on the
rehabilitation of the 16 vehicles as originally
proposed, GTZ are now
saying that clearance of the Works Yard of all
derelict vehicle is a
pre-condition for the 8 new trucks to be transferred
there “....if the
corresponding budget is made available”?

4. SUMMARY OF GTZ PROPOSAL DOCUMENT - 20/11/02

The IDA/World Bank have always been firm in their
request for the
formation of a Solid Waste Management Company as the
preferred long
term
solution. Are they now comfortable with the compromise
management plan
“...based on private enterprise logic for the
municipality under a local
“Authority”? We need to see evidence of this
acceptance, particularly
as
we know that at the end of the 5-month “emergency
cleaning” period, GTZ
plans to phase out of the project, leaving continuity
to the umbrella
organization. (See above)

The immediate release of $20,000 direct to GTZ (on
demand) to commence
the
“emergency cleaning” programme instead of into FCC
Account and without
reference to FCC is both disturbing and
counter-productive. The result
is
that instead of us working together as a unified force
and for the same
purpose, GTZ staffs are doling out funds to FCC “Task
Force” members
for
activities we had already provided for financially.
And this does not
show
that we are truly in charge.

5. GTZ IMMEDIATE FUNDING NEEDS 5-MONTH EMERGENCY
CLEANING

The total amount GTZ are requesting ($600k) is twice
what the IDA/World
Bank Task Team Leader Moes refused to countenance from
CEMMATS, stating
among other reasons that their rates of pay quoted
were not for
Africans.
Even without FCC exiting its responsibilities under
the subsidiary
agreement with GoSL/MoF, on what basis will they
release funds
previously
meant for us to GTZ?

Management of the financial resources by the “Task
Force” as proposed
by
GTZ is unacceptable. We agree to proceed according to
transparent
procedure to be agreed upon between the IDA/World
Bank, GoSL,FCC and
GTZ,
but the “Task Force” should be reporting to FCC, not
control its
resources
(Ref. Page 13) and even GTZ should be directly
responsible to
Council/FCC
not State Lodge.

On the basis of the “authority” conferred under the
subsidiary
agreement,
it is FCC that should be negotiating with the
IDA/World Bank for
releases
of funding for emergency phase, not GoSL (Ref
Page.14.3)

GTZ suggestion (Ref. Page 14.4), to place
rehabilitation budget for 16
vehicles and 2 Generators in abeyance is unacceptable
because it was
their
acclaimed resourcefulness to address such malaise to
boost the fleet
that
enticed GoSL to take them onboard. It should be noted
that one main
reason
for IDA/World Bank refusing to consider funds release
(at whatever
amount)
was because of an inability to generate additional
funds to either
rehabilitate derelict vehicles or procure second-hand
ones to
complement
efficiency. So how can they now choose to set that
aside?

In summary, I see the whole GTZ influence as a
deliberate GoSL policy
to
rob us APC-led FCC of our right to perform purely for
political
reasons.
But if you choose to work with GTZ the following are
to be
clarified/agreed to in addition to all other concerns
raised above -:
• All drawings from IDA/World Bank or Consolidated
Funds must be paid
into
our FCC Solid Waste Management Account for our
management and control
• FCC must be involved in the entire recruitment
process of the 241
“emergency cleaning” staff apart from those that will
ultimately be
involved in the long term FSWMC plan
• GoSL to clarify status of subsidiary agreement for
$2mio.- and how
much
spent to date.
• GoSL to provide documentary evidence to support
their statement that
the
IDA/World Bank will not proceed with the project under
FCC control
unless
we take GTZ on board.
• GTZ to resume operations within FCC purview - not
from State Lodge.

Let me finally refresh your memories on recent FCC/GTZ
relationship. In
July 2004, they proposed to partner with FCC in the
implementation of
an
EUR1mio (US$1.2mio) 18-month Youths/Street Kids
Rehabilitation Project.
Our genuine and valid questions of that project remain
unanswered to
this
day, but the rancour, bitterness and division that
reigned in our
council,
engendered by their decision to instead relocate the
project to the
Western Rural District Council at Waterloo were
lasting. As at now,
even
6-months after the project completion date of 30th.
June, 2006, there
is
virtually no evidence of their input in terms of the
positive impact of
that project on that locality. There is also word on
their failed
USD$14.5mio Rural Electrification Project.

A word to the wise............and we should therefore tread
cautiously to
ensure
that management, supervision and control of the entire
solid waste
management projects (both short and long term) remains
vested in FCC.

MAYOR’S RSPONSE TO SIDIKIE BRIMA’S REQUEST OF 14TH.
DECEMBER TO OPERATE
ACCOUNT WITH GTZ.
MAY/MLGCD/12 14th. December, 2006
Mr. Sidikie Brima
Minister of Local Government
& Community Development
6th Floor, Youyi Buildings,
Brookfields,
Freetown.

Dear Minister Brima,

MUNICIPAL WASTE MANAGEMENT - GoSL/FCC/GTZ

I have discourteously not been favoured with a copy of
Dr. Nour’s most
recent report about me, but it would appear you are
not abreast with
developments.

I had a rather long and frank telephone discussion
with Dr. Sheku Sesay
on
the matter in which I amply and succinctly clarified
my position which
is
still unchanged. And it is that as the Mayor of this
municipality, I
will
not under any circumstances voluntarily operate any
joint account
funded
from the Consolidated Fund and in whatever name, for
purposes related
to
the execution of statutorily devolved functions which
as a government,
you
are obliged to continuously fund at pre-devolution
levels up to and
including the year 2008.

As you are no doubt aware, it is well beyond your
remit as a policy
maker
to impose signatories upon this duly elected Council.
It is also
administratively irregular for unrecognized third
parties to operate
this
Council’s accounts. Nor am I authorized within the
context of my
responsibilities to operate third party accounts for
Council purposes.
You
may therefore wish to clarify as to why, and in what
capacity you are
insisting that Dr. Nour should be taken on board to
manage funds
clearly
intended for municipal solid waste management, a core
responsibility of
this Council.

If it is related to the eventual management of “Other
Tied Grants” type
of
account which might require inclusion of donor’s
signatories, then I
have
no aversion to that. But where the funds are coming
from the
Consolidated
Fund, then it is the regular signatories of this
Council that will
apply.
Government funds are not intended to be controlled by
a Foreign NGO
resource, and I am not aware of any arrangement by
which a special
account
should be opened.

Let me remind you that in all previous discussions
with the government
regarding GTZ input, the consensus has always been
that overall
management, supervision and control of the project
must be vested in
the
FCC. We are appreciative of the excellent ideas
proposed by Dr. Nour
and
anxiously await your release of the Le1.7 billion
Leones 5-month
budgetary
support contemplated (through our books of course) to
actualize her
short
term goals. If however Dr, Nour cannot work with FCC
until and unless
she
controls or signs over Council’s account and you feel
so desperately
that
the exercise cannot succeed unless we so concede, then
I regret my
inability to progress further.

As our supervising minister, you are no doubt fully
siesed of the fact
that as with all other devolved activities, we do have
a Solid Waste
Management Tied Grant Account No. 1013401 in the books
of the Sierra
Leone
Commercial Bank Ltd, into which all funding and
subventions from the
Consolidated Fund should be paid and I will
respectfully suggest that
you
pay the local counter value of the $20,000 into that
account without
delay.

As the Chief Executive of this Council, I am sure you
would appreciate
that, it is of much greater concern to me (more than
anyone else) to
expeditiously address the environmental health and
sanitation needs of
the
citizens of my municipality. I shall therefore be most
obliged if you
can
reconsider your stance and for once be seen to be
supportive of this
Councils in line with your obligation.

Ideally you may wish to alternatively relieve FCC of
this onerous,
persistently explosive and politically manipulated
issue of cleaning
Freetown by ceding it entirely to GTZ or work directly
with other
resource
within this Council. But as a matter of principles,
your approach is
wrong
and constitutes an abrogation of the statutes which
regrettably I
cannot
subscribe to and in the process betray the electorate.

Meantime let me take this opportunity to enquire about
the status of
the
following-:

• The US$2mio Subsidiary Agreement between FCC and
GoSL (executed 8th
August 2006 between the Mayor of Freetown and the
Minister of Finance)
confirming FCC as the implementing partner of the
Solid Waste component
in
WB/IDA D-C SL 3945

• A Subsidiary Agreement between FCC and SALWACO dated
6th. April, 2006
(which became effective on the date of execution of
the above agreement
between FCC and MoF) confirming our acceptance of
SALWACO as the PIU in
respect of the above intended project.

It would appear that both above documents (copies
attached) which were
supposed to have been forwarded to the IDA/World Bank
for their “no
objection” responses to expedite resolution of the
emergency and long
term
municipal waste management needs of my city have since
been placed in
abeyance. Your urgent advises as appropriate for the
benefit of my
council
will be highly appreciated.

In conveying my highest considerations, please accept
my sincere wishes
for a Merry Christmas and a bright and prosperous
2007.

Cllr. Winstanley.R.Bankole.Johnson
MAYOR
Copy-: H.E The President Alhaji Dr.Ahmad Tejan Kabbah
Hon. Vice President Mr. Solomon. E. Berewa
Hon. Minister for Presidential Affairs

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