Residents in the Fourteen (14) chiefdoms in Kono district in the Eastern province of Sierra Leone have expressed frustrations over what they described as ‘unfortunate’ statements by the Resident Minister East, Karamoh Kabba on Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) in Kono.
Following the recent riotous conduct by youth in Koidu town after heavy rain washed off a bye-pass route on Wednesday 27th July 2016 which prevented the flow of people and goods into and out of the city as a result of illegal mining activities championed by few stakeholders within the district at Congo Bridge.
After calm was restored in the township and its environs by civil society and the Sierra Leone police the Resident Minister for Forty-four (44) chiefdoms in the three districts of Kailahun, Kenema and Kono, Karamoh Kabba, during a radio interview on SLBC in Kono using what was described as ‘obscene’ languages on residents in that part of the country and boastfully calling himself the ‘New Sheriff.’
The Resident Minister’s utterances shocked listeners when broadcast on radio and it was seen by many as not only a disrespect to women in that part of the country but also as incompatible with the President and the Country’s vision for womanhood.
In an exclusive interview with Martha Sia Lewis, the coordinator for Kono Women Organizations Network (KoWONet) in Koidu town on their positions as women on the Minister’s utterances on behalf of all the women in the district. She said the statement was against them as women in the district and the country as a whole.
Madam Sia Lewis said, “We detest the statement from the minister as it is against us but we also want to inform him that his statements were unfortunate and unacceptable not only that his wife, aunties and sisters are women but also he came from a woman. There is no hot tenderness that can lead someone to utter such statements on radio which goes across the length and breadth of the district at a time when almost everyone was glued to his or her radio set.”
“We are not expecting such words to come from the mouth of a Minister not even a deputy because we are expecting them to be a role model from whom we are expected to copy from and not the reverse so much is expected from him,” she pointed out.
Mattar Sia Lewis cited pillar 8 of the Agenda for Prosperity which was demonstrated by President Koroma by appointing more women and support their empowerment. She said they are calling on the President who according to her, selected the Minister, to take strong action against him, pointing out that they were expecting the minister to console them rather than behaving like low level people.
“Mr. Minister come and apologise to us the women in Kono for your utterances because we are not happy for you so also is God as before creation we were blessed,” she prophecy.
The Minister has however intimated that his statement has been taken out of context and he has problems expressing himself in Krio which is not his real language and that the same message was well received by his people when he expressed the same sentiments in his local Kono language.