THE DRAMA OF POLITICS PLAYING ITSELF OUT IN FREETOWN
Observers of developments in Sierra Leone say that the drama of .politics is playing itself in Freetown. As the General Elections is approaching, the government is said to be leaving no stone unturned to get a leg up on the opposition parties. The latest drama that observers say smells of politics is last week’s announcement by the government that it had removed the job of garbage collection from the hands of the Freetown City Concil.
On December 22, 2006, an important and surprising release from State House , said in part : “Government wishes to inform the General Public about its concern for keeping the City of Freetown clean and about the mounting garbage all over the city. In order to arrest this situation, Government has decided to transfer the responsibility of garbage collection in the city of Freetown from the Freetown City Council to the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development. Government is constrained to take this action because of the inability of the Freetown City Council to effectively carry out this responsibility”
This announcement came in the backdrop of accusations from the opposition All People’s Congress ( APC ) – controlled Freetown City Council that the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) government was deliberately withholding funds and logistics meant for cleaning the city to give the council a bad rap. As a matter of fact, the Secretary General of the APC, Mr. Victor Foh in October accused the government of deliberately failing to support the FCC’s “Keep The City Clean” campaign and was also holding back money and logistics for the project , to create the impression in the minds of the public that the APC- led council was incapable of cleaning the city , so as to hinder the chances of the APC winning the 2007 Elections.
Government authorities have denied these allegations, saying that they were being given to excuse the incompetence of the present Freetown City Council. Indeed, the transfer of garbage -collection from the hands of the FCC will exacerbate tensions between the SLPP and APC as Sierra Leoneans and the world eagerly await next year’s General Elections.