Your trusted place for Sierra Leone and global news
HomeFeaturedSierra Leone Dock Workers Union say no election

Sierra Leone Dock Workers Union say no election

Sierra Leone Dock Workers Union say no election

The Sierra Leone Dock Workers Union has called on appropriate authorities to cancel the Union’s presidential election slated for June 21,st 2014 as a result of what they described as prevailing malpractices for selfish gain.

In an exclusive interview with one of  the aspirants, Mr. Kekura Kargbo, he explained that the election should have taken place March 7th this year but noted that the reviewed constitution of the union stipulated that any person including the incumbent President who has interest in the Union Presidency should apply and  must be supported by  paid up  party members.

According to sources, the incumbent President, Mr. Abdul Kanasieu, was deposed by order from State House for allegedly being unable to deliver services like proper medical attention, availability of safety gear, which includes: safety helmet and shoes, protective clothing , insurance attention,  ambulance to help rescue workers who fall ill, and the worst of it no end of service benefit for workers.

Sources further revealed that, Mr. Kanasieu during his tenure wrote a letter to the Finance Controller Sierra Leone Port Authority (SLPA) Crispin Cole to deduct Le200,000 from the end of service benefit  from every worker without their prior knowledge adding that even the benefit that due some  workers  under privatization  was not given to them.

Sources further revealed that based on those facts, the general workforce developed grievances against Mr. Kanasieu and they therefore called for his deposition.

It was also disclosed that before he was removed from the seat of power, the union went on a 14 day sit down strike causing the management and government to lose billions of Leones.

Our investigation has revealed that, His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma intervened to stop the instability and restore peace among workers in the union by ordering Mr. Kanasieu to stay away from office since his tenure ended on November 8th 2013.

It is said that, President Koroma instructed the workers to select an interim leader who will run the office. The workers then chose one Alhaji Musa Conteh to serve as the interim President on the 17th December 2013 with the mandate that the interim body should review the constitution and allowed workers to select or elect their executives.

The interim body went through the constitutional review process and it was taken to members and was adopted by the general membership.  The interim committee then went further with the transitional process by firstly advertising the positions of President, Organizing Secretary, Financial Secretary and Auditor with the Vice President and Secretary General appointed by the newly elected president.

Article (8a) of the reviewed constitution states that “any person including the incumbent vying for the position of Presidency shall write a declaration of intent to the Union Secretary General supported by thirty (30) paid up members of the union within 40 days before the election”.

“After I have been interviewed and gone through these steps and accepted to contest as a candidate through a communiqué I signed with the interim President and Secretary General of the union Allieu Fofanah on the 6th March this year, Mr. Kanasieu went for an injunction at the High Court of Sierra Leone, a process they said intended to stop the election process and was postponed until after hearing of the injunction”, said Mr. Kargbo.

Sierra Express Media has learnt that the Court injunction was dismissed on the 9th April 2014 because it allegedly lacked merit. vAfter the dismissal of the injunction investigation has it that the Minister of Labour and Social Security Hon. Mathew Timbo intervened and stopped the whole process.

In a letter dated 22nd April 2014 by Hon. Mathew Timbo to the interim President   Alhaji Musa Conteh stated that, “consequently the ruling disqualified Mr. Abdul Kanasieu since he did not apply to contest within the stipulated time frame as prescribed by the electoral process.

Also Mr. Kekura Kargbo disqualified to contest because he is neither an employee of any of the three entities at the port nor was he fully paid up member as provided for in article 13 of the revised constitution of the union”, the letter read.

Sources also explained that, after receiving the letter the interim President Mr. Conteh copied Mr. Kargbo and Mr. Kanasieu who have already been disqualified for the position.

The interim President failed to abide by the dictates of the letter and accepted Mr. Kekura Kargbo’s candidature for the fact that he has gone through the necessary procedures.

Allegedly the interim president stepped down as a result of threats and harassment received from the Labor Minster.  Him stepping down means the Labour Ministry and Minister are presently spearheading   the union election which is against the union constitution.

In the name of peace, stability and transparency Mr. Kekura appealed to authorities to wash their hands off from the union elections.

Numerous members of the union on Thursday 12th June 2014 stormed State Avenue to tender their dissatisfaction to President Koroma about the malpractice rocking the Dock Workers Union election and asked for “no election” until all irregularities that stand as bottle necks disturbing the process are eliminated”.

By Abdulai Mento Kamara

Stay with Sierra Express Media, for your trusted place in news!

© 2014, https:. All rights reserved.

Share With:
Rate This Article
No Comments

Leave A Comment