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APC wants SLAJ’s IMC rights swindle

APC wants SLAJ’s IMC rights swindle

The President of Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) seems strikingly offended over government’s disregard to issues relating to the appointment of commissioners at the Independent Media Commission (IMC).

It was disappointing to the SLAJ President, Umaru Fofana (in photo) , Tuesday 24th soon after the Deputy Minister of Information, Sheka Tarawallie, delivered a statement at the launching of the state of the media report by the IMC.

Umaru said that the Minister’s comment contradicts old aged practices of both SLAJ and successive governments; which according to him, practically goes against laws as established in the IMC Act of 2000.

“SLAJ has had ceaseless violations of section 4 (1&2) of the IMC Act, a section that deals with the appointment of Commissioners,” Deputy Minister Sheka Tarawallie said.

According to him, section 4 (1) reads as “the commission shall consist of a chairman and ten other members, all of whom shall be appointed by the President acting on the advice of SLAJ and subject to the approval of Parliament.”

By this he said the right to appoint commissioners is solely the responsibility of the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone and not SLAJ’s regular and forceful submissions of names of persons for IMC appointment.

Conversely, the same section 4 (1) mandates SLAJ to advice the President on who is or not be nominated as commissioner (s) for the IMC.

Some sections of the media described comments of the Deputy Minister of Information, who also doubles as the proprietor of a tabloid called ‘Torch Light Newspaper’ as ridiculous, irrational, illogical and unreasonable of a state official.

That Sheka Tarawallie’s hypothesis of what section 4 (1) is, seems completely unrelated to its true and legal interpretation.

Facts have it though that the ruling APC government intends to sign up their own men as IMC commissioners thus paying no attention to SLAJ’s rights as explained in the IMC Act 2000.

“Make no joke at all,” some journalists said, “it is seemingly a fact that government is formulating plans to swiftly shift SLAJ from taking part in the appointment of IMC commissioners.”

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