Salone News

Freetown: SLPP, APC Fight Over Garbage

By  | 28 December 2006 at 02:03 | 719 views

Reports from Freetown say there is an ongoing tussle over who is to rid the city of its perennial garbage problem although the ruling SLPP government seems to be having the upper hand by constitutional fiat.

A December 22 press release from the office of president Kabbah states that due to mounting concern about the state of the city, his government has decided to to transfer the responsibility of garbage collection from the Freetown City Council to the ministry of Local Government and Community Development because of "the inability of the Freetown City Council to effectively carry out this responsibility".

The release further indicated that the government had solicited technical assistance from the German government, which offered the services of GTZ, a German agency "with considerable exprience in waste management".

"Government has also provided equipment and the sum of twenty "thousand United States Dollars to kick-start the programme for cleaning the city.When Government directed that this amount be placed in a special account to be jointly operated by the Freetown City Council and GTZ,thus ensuring transparency and accountability, the Mayor categorically refused", the release went on, adding that mayor Winstanley Johnson wanted to be the sole signatory, which, according to the release, is contrary to the "provisions" of GTZ and the World Bank who are providing the funds.

The press release then went on to present several other "obstacles" the mayor and his team allegedly created leading to the present action of removing the cleaning of the city from its hands.

However sources at the Freetown City Council say it was they, the SLPP government, that had been creating obstacles for the FCC simply because it’s being run by members of the opposition APC party.

"The SLPP does not want the APC to have the glory and praise of cleaning up Freetown when the SLPP itself had failed to do that in the past. It’s all politics", a source at the FCC told the Vanguard.

Mayor Winstanley Bankole Johnson(photo) has always compalined that te SLPP government is not happy that the APC is running the FCC and has created many problems for him including accusing him falsely of corruption while failing to respect the office of mayor and refusing to adequately fund FCC projects.