Sierra Leone Local authorities machinery is the oldest signifier of local authorities in the sub-region it was established as far back in 1799, when a Royal Charter granted by the British to the Sierra Leone Company made Freetown a municipality with a Mayor, Alderman and Sheriff.

The 1896 Proclamation of the Protectorate over the backwoods of Sierra Leone brought a new type of local authorities different from that of the settlement known as the Indirect Rule system. The backwoods was divided, ab initio, into five districts-Karene, Ronieta, Bandajuma, Panguma and Koinadugu – each was placed in charge of a British District Commissioner. ( Joe A.D Alie- ” A New History of Sierra Leone ” , 1990. p184 ) .

“ The 1924 Slater fundamental law recommended for the associated state to be represented in the legislative council, since ” the anomalousness presented by the council which legislated for the associated state holding on it no direct, representative of the associated state. The new fundamental law was to do commissariats for the assignment of three Paramount Chiefs one from each to be official members of the legislative council, since under the tribal system no others would hold equal rubric to talk with authorization ” . In 1946 the District Councils were formed. By 1962 there were many ailments of corruptness and misdirection by the District Council, which led to the suspension of most of the councils. The councils were reinstituted in 1965 merely to be suspended once more in 1967 by a military junta ” ( Joe A. D. Alie – 1990- p157 )

When the APC authorities took power in 1968 they set up a Local Government Committee and obtained international aid to measure local authorities in 1969. The commission reported in December 1970 that despite its defects, District Councils had performed utile functions, but they should be reformed and strengthened instead than abolished. The A.P.C authorities nevertheless, took the determination to suspend the elected facet of local authorities in 1972. ( A.B.H Kargbo 2004 )

In 1972, elected local councils were officially abolished in Sierra Leone. A host of accounts were advanced runing from political alibis to factual statements such as the prolongation of an organized and institutionalised signifier of corruptness with a slant towards backing and regionalism. There have been matching antagonistic statements but one thing that has remained undisputed is the issue of corruption- financial, administrative and political which must hold plagued the Local Councils. ( Emmanuel Gaima 2005 )

The abolishment of elective local councils ushered in the dominance of commissions of direction with authorization, trueness and duty straight traced to the main executive appointed as president by the cardinal authorities who was the beginning of the acquired authorization. This ugly state of affairs did non back up, nor promote participatory administration within the local communities and accumulated a batch of grudges and dissatisfaction which led to the high rate of poorness and disease. This ugly event was province disaffection and want which subsequently lead to civil struggle which span a decennary of devastation of lives and belongings and state of affairs which preempted many bookmans to mention to Sierra Leone as a failed province.

3.2Legal Framework and Constitutional Provisions of the Decentralization Process in Sierra Leone

The legal statutory paperss regulating the local councils elections are the 1991 Constitution of the democracy of Sierra Leone the National Electoral Commission Act 2002 ; the Political Parties Act 2002, the electoral Torahs act 2002. These paperss give equal footing for conductivity of free and just democratic elections in relation to international criterions. For the smooth running of democratic administration of any province it is necessary that national fundamental laws enshrine the wide rules on which decentalisation should be and run, including the rights and duties of all degrees of administration be it national or local ; the description and function of chief establishments at cardinal and local degrees, and the footing on which elaborate regulations may be established or amended. At the lower limit, the cardinal jurisprudence, act or legislative act should set in topographic point before the beginning of the procedure.

The current programme of decentalisation procedure in Sierra Leone as the full approval of the 1991 fundamental law which was initiated after the democratic passage in 1996 by Sierra Leone Peoples Party ( SLPP ) led authorities of Dr. Ahmed T. Kabbah. In 2004, the SLPP authorities introduced major legislative reform by ordaining the Local Government Act of 2004. This landmark statute law provides the legal frame on which the full national decentalisation procedure is based. It is a really comprehensive statute law which include the followers:

1. Political decentralization-which include the different intergovernmental subdivisions such as the local councils, chiefdom councils and the MDAs. It created 19 local council countries ( 5 urban councils, 1 metropolis council, 1 rural council and 12 territory councils ) . That apart, it besides prescribes the composing of local councils, with the bound and extent of authorization clearly spelt out etc

2. Administrative decentralization- the direction agreements are made clearly, out concentrating on Council in session and the assorted council and other sectoral commissions.

3. Fiscal-the intergovernmental financial agreements are clearly laid out bespeaking the gross raising authorization and the countries of outgo beginnings of support ( cardinal authorities tied grants for devolved services and administrative grants ) every bit good as ain / local gross. There are comprehensive commissariats to guarantee and guarantee prudent fiscal direction.

4. Transparency, Accountability and Participation- the qualities of good and crystalline direction and how to guarantee conformity, it stipulates footings and conditions which will heighten non merely financial but political answerability every bit good. ( Emmanuel Gaima 2005 ) .

5. Functional- it is clearly spelt out in the 3rd agenda of the Local Government Act of 2004 maps are to be devolved to the local councils.

The multi-party 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone, which marked the passage to multi-party democracy at the national degree, endorsed the 1996 reforms. It made proviso for the purpose of decentalisation within the overall context of a broad democratic fundamental law. The aim of decentalisation procedure was laid out unequivocally in local authorities Act of 2004 which province that: “ being an act to consolidate with amendment, the jurisprudence on local authorities, and to supply for the decentalisation and degeneration of maps, power and services to local councils and for other affairs connected therewith ” enacted by the President and Members of Parliament in the House of representatives on the 1st March 2004.

3.3 Sub-National Government Structure

The Sub-National Government construction created by the Local Government Act of 2004 ( the 1991 Constitution ) was loosely divided into two ( 2 ) grade, viz. , the City Councils and the District Councils. Local authorities construction in Sierra Leone basically consists of a system of 19 elective councils, interrupt down into six ( 6 ) metropolis councils, 13 ( 13 ) District Councils.

The District Councils are:

Bo District Council

Bonthe District Council

Moyamba District Council

Portloko District Council

Bombali District Council

Kambia District Council

Koinadugu District Council

Kenema District Council

Kailahun District Council

Kono District Council

Tonkolili District Council

Pujehun District Council

Western Area Rural District Council

3.3.1 District Council

The District Council headed by District Council Chairperson remains the cardinal establishment in the decentalisation procedure in Sierra Leone nevertheless, and its function is discussed foremost, before that of the City Councils. Additionally, the national degree establishments responsible for operationalising decentalisation are briefly outlined.

The past Local authorities elections were held every four old ages at about a twelvemonth after the cardinal authorities parliamentary and presidential elections. The territory MPs are besides allow by the act to take part in the council, though in a non-voting capacity, while the District Chief Administrator is the secretary to the local council and the caput of disposal.

The District Councils are sub divided to commission constructions, of which the executive Committee ( EXECO ) is the most important, responsible for general policy and overall development planning. The EXECO is composed of one -third of the elective councilors and they perform the chief executive and administrative maps. Under it are five statutory sub-committees ( development planning ; societal services ; works / proficient substructure ; justness and security ; and finance and disposal ) , with the EXECO able to make other ad hoc sub-committees as the demand arises. All sub-committees study to the Council through the EXECO. The territory council Chairman is the caput of this all of import organ of the council and assisted by his/her deputy.

The District Councils were to presume control over the maps of 18 cardinal authorities ministries and bureaus, and the constitutional proviso for the constitution of a local authorities service is recalled ( Part XVIII Section 126 -third agenda of the local authorities act of 2004 ] ) .

Figure: 1 The Local Council construction

3.4 Power and Functions of the Local Councils

of Sierra Leone clearly province that: “ A local council shall be the highest political authorization in the vicinity and shall hold legislative and executive powers to be exercised in conformity with this Act or any other passage, and shall be responsible, by and large for advancing the development of the vicinity and the public assistance of the people in the vicinity with the resources at its disposal and with such resources and capacity as it can mobilise from the cardinal authorities and its bureaus, national and international organisations, and the private sector ” ( Part V- Section 20. ( 1 ) Of the 2004Local Government Act )

Powers of Local Council

Local Councils are accorded wide-ranging powers by the 1991 Constitution and the Local

Government Act of 2004 within their designated geographical country. They are the:

aˆ? Highest political and administrative governments ;

aˆ? Planning governments ;

aˆ? Development governments ;

aˆ? Budgeting governments ;

aˆ? Rating governments.

Functions of Local Councils

The 1991 Constitution and the Local Government Act of 2004 spelt it really clearly that without bias to the generalization of subdivision ( 1 ) , it shall be the map of a local council to-

Mobilize the human and material resources necessary for the overall development and public assistance of the people of the vicinity ;

Promote and support productive activity and societal development in the vicinity ;

Initiate and keep programmes for the development of basic substructure and supply plants and services in the vicinity ;

Be responsible for the development, betterment and direction of human colonies and the environment in the vicinity ;

Initiate, pull up and put to death development programs for the vicinity ;

Coordinate and harmonise the executing of programmes and undertakings promoted or carried out by public corporations, other statutory organic structures and non-governmental organisations, in the vicinity ;

Cooperate with relevant bureaus to guarantee the security of the vicinity ;

Oversee Chiefdom Councils in the public presentation of maps delegated to them by the local council ;

Determine the rates of local revenue enhancement ;

Approve the one-year budgets of Chiefdom Councils and supervise the execution of such budgets. ( Part V Section 20. ( 1 ) local Government Act of 2004 )

3.4 Current position of the Political Decentralization Process

Six old ages after the passage of the local authorities Act 2004 which ushered in the decentalisation procedure in Sierra Leone, it was merely in February 2010 that the bill of exchange national decentalisation policy was made. Even though it seems giving local authoritiess with major political, administrative and fiscal authorization yet the extent of the decentalisation is still little, more particularly in the sentiment of the ordinary Sierra Leonean who have high outlooks for the procedure. Major challenges the cardinal authorities will meet to the local authorities in doing it more crystalline and accountable to the people they serve. For the decentalisation procedure to accomplish it aims and objectives it is incumbent upon the national authorities to work out major challenges runing from political, disposal and finance at the local degree, the engagement of traditional governments in local authorities and paramount among them is national integrity which is the key to success. This makes it more hard for one to reason that with decentalisation, local authorities will be more democratic and effectual because of the grounds stated above.

The Republic of Sierra Leone Government is soon sing progressing plenty authorization to local authorities. Like in other states of the existence, the grounds behind these attempts are that giving more power to sub-national authoritiess will increase their degree of public presentation, mitigate national authorities outgos, and above all doing the local authorities more crystalline and accountable to its citizens. Actually it is non clear in the instance of Sierra Leone whether these premises will work, because in Sierra Leone decentalisation procedure has the possible to develop more struggles than it solves in most communities in the state. There are plenty restraints in doing local authorities more effectual and efficient that are more of import to believe before accepting any attempts for greater decentalisation procedure in the Sierra Leone.

Political decentalisation chief purposes is to give the citizens and their elected representatives with plenty decisionaˆ?making authorization at the local degree but this besides pose large job in Sierra Leone as there are ever interference from cardinal authorities in decision- devising procedure at the local degree.

Attempts made by stakeholders of the decentalisation procedure to give plenty determination doing authorization to local authoritiess in Sierra Leone creates two major distinguishable challenges: For grounds of national integrity and security, the chief political parties of the state do non back up extended political decentalisation and Political decentalisation is besides face with firing the challenge of converting the cardinal authorities to turn to the job of the inclusion of the traditional swayers into the local authorities construction formal

3.4.1Composition of Local Council

Part III Section 4 ( 1 ) of the local authorities 2004 province that “ a local council shall dwell of the figure of individuals composing prescribed under paragraph ( D ) of bomber subdivision 2, made up of: ”

The president and deputy for territory councils, Mayor and deputy for metropolis councils, stipulated sum of elective councilors form a community called a Ward and must be elected through cosmopolitan grownup right to vote in conformity with the electoral Torahs stipulated by the 1991 fundamental law of Sierra Leone. Paramount heads were besides portion of the councils represent their involvement, but the figure of their representation is specify in portion II of the agenda of the local authorities act of 2004. However, their figure of representation varies from one territory to another, unlike in the western rural territory and the Freetown metropolis were the traditional rural are non represented in the councils. All the local councils were mandated by jurisprudence to dwell of non less than 12 members in a council

3.5 Election of Councilors in the Local Council

All elections in Sierra Leone are conducted harmonizing to stipulated by the 1991 fundamental law which gave the authorization to the National Election Commission ( NEC ) as the exclusive organic structure to carry on election and declare victor. All councilors are elected by cosmopolitan grownup right to vote which province that a individual must hold attained the ballot age of 18 ( 18 ) old ages to vote for or to be voted for as a councilor and the election is simple bulk. Elections of councilors in Sierra Leone are largely bi-partisan which means campaigner competition under a political party although independent campaigners are besides legible competition. As a consequence the three major political parties are ever ruling the council. This partizan election besides pose a large job in the political decentalisation procedure in Sierra Leone in that good intending sierra Leoneans who are competent plenty to be councilors and aid in the development of the vicinities are rejected by their people because of trueness to their political parties when they chose to contend elections as independent campaigner. All independent campaigners that won their seats were those campaigners who contested the primaries in the political parties and they were refused symbols and thinks they are loved by their people they were left with no option but to travel independent. The utmost instance of this partizan paradigm is that even uneducated citizen who can non read and compose but contested on a political party his preferred by the people to a good qualify citizen who contested as independent, this is a smack on the face non merely to the people on voted for him/her but besides those who formulated the act that qualify a individual who ca n’t read and compose to be elected as a councilor in this universe of intelligence and invention.

Local council elections are conducted every four old ages. In the instance of a councilor place is declared vacant by the national electoral committee cause by decease, unwellness, surrender or disqualified under subdivision ( 2 ) of subdivision 6, local authorities act 2004 or a councilor absent him/herself for three back-to-back meetings a by-election will be conducted once more for that place to be fill by another elected councilor to avoid power vacuity in the council.

Table: 2008 Councilor Election- Seats by Political Party/Independent Candidates

POLITICAL PARTY GENDER

Vicinity

Armored personnel carrier

IND.

NDA

PMDC

SLPP

Sum

Male

Female

Kailahun Dist. Council

2

27

29

26

3

Kenema Dist. Council

1

1

32

34

30

4

Kenema City Council

12

12

9

3

Koidu City Council

15

15

11

4

Kono District Council

22

1

1

24

23

1

Bombali Dist. Council

24

3

27

21

6

Makeni City Council

15

15

8

7

Kambia Dist. Council

21

2

2

25

22

3

Koinadugu Council

19

5

24

18

6

P/Loko Dist. Council

33

1

34

32

2

Tonkolili Dist. Council

26

2

28

23

5

Bo District Council

1

2

23

26

24

2

Bo City Council

18

18

14

4

Bonthe Dist. Council

3

6

9

18

15

3

Bonthe Municipal

6

6

12

4

8

Moyamba Dist. Council

6

1

17

24

22

2

Pujehun Dist. Council

1

21

22

18

4

W/A Rural Dist Council

18

1

1

20

16

4

Freetown City Council

49

49

34

15

NATIONAL TOTAL

253

18

0

16

169

456

370

86

Beginning: Republic of Sierra Leone National Electoral Commission- updated 21 July 2008

From the tabular array above it decidedly clear that the independent campaigners are happening it really hard to win without running under the umbrella of a political party in Sierra Leone local council elections. The independent campaigners got 18 ( 18 ) seats out of the four hundred and 56 ( 456 ) seats contested which is 3.9 % of the entire seats. This downgrading consequence for the independent campaigners is truly a class for concern for the stakeholders of the decentalisation procedure if they are to accomplish it aims and aims which laid more accent on the corporate engagement of the citizens in the determination devising and development of their vicinities, but I instead see it as more sole than inclusive because people tend to see more on campaigners that contest on political parties and that non good for the political decentalisation procedure in the state. The greatest carnival for this partizan election is that it has the potency of making division in a community which makes it really hard for development to take topographic point. It is of important import to observe here that elections in Sierra Leone are chiefly base on tribal and sectional lines. The All Peoples Party ( APC ) which is the governing party has it strong holds in the North and western parts of the state which is predominately occupied by the Temnes and Limba folks, while the resistance Sierra Leone Peoples Party ( SLPP ) has it strong holds in the south/ eastern parts of state with the Mendes has the chief folk. For case you will see a party stalwart, say in the E of the state who will state that he/she does non desire to cognize the capableness of the individual contending what he knows he vote for the party nor for the person and that goes for the other parts in the state. Let take Freetown the capital metropolis for another illustration wherein people voted for campaigners that they have ne’er set eyes on, acerate leaf to speak about their competence and capableness for the place, this really large job that I will hold to discourse in the following chapter in inside informations.

3.6 ELECTION CAMPAIGN AND PRE-ELECTION ENVIRONMENT

The political parties began their political candidacy far in front before the official electoral run period was announced by the national electoral committee in May, 2008. The political parties every bit good as independent campaigners used a broad scope of runing activities including mass meetings that were conducted largely in a peaceable mode and house to door trial of campaigners to the citizens of their vicinities. In some parts of the state, these run were connected with series of election related force incidents and there was no flat playing field for most campaigners because of the partiality in which the elections were conducted, more particularly for the independent campaigners who sometimes there protagonists were victims of victimization from contending political parties protagonist and besides the traditional leaders who involved themselves into the electoral procedure to much at the advantage of largely the incumbent political party, more particularly in the fringes as such, this establishment of traditional authorization is about going a threat in the electoral procedure of the state. Whether it is a bid from the power that be or a manner of protecting their places at the disbursal of the people they governed lone clip will state. Many school of idea believe that because of the stopping point relationship between the Paramount Chiefs and the SLPP since independency in 1961 they still remained loyal to the SLPP more particularly the old Paramount Chiefs. In most instances, they abused their legal powers and place in favor of the SLPP even in the North which is the fastness of the APC. Throughout the candidacy period, freedom of address and look was widely respected by all. Both independent and political party ‘s campaigners laid accent for the demand for free, just and peaceable elections as the route for the development of the state.

The opinion APC and the two chief resistance parties, PMDC and SLPP dominated the full period of the run go forthing the independent campaigners far behind with limited resources and support. Among the methods and schemes used by the contestant in beging support were polling people, exposing of postings of campaigners, parades in the communities utilizing traditional music, utilizing community wireless Stationss where they are available, expense of money by some campaigners more particularly the governing party in communities where they thought money can talk.

Merely a twelvemonth after the presidential and parliamentary election of 2007 which ushered in the present opinion APC authorities to administration and which is still fresh in the mines of the people so came the Local Council elections in 2008 which made it ferociously contested election between the opinion APC and the chief resistance SLPP. At this phase the run was really much tribal and sectional to the extent that people do n’t look at issues any longer, even political parties campaigners do n’t follow their party pronunciamento they present to the people but instead concentrated on prophesying tribal and sectional belongingness. For case the resistance SLPP lost all the seats in the Freetown metropolis council where the capital metropolis is and in the North the strong holds of the opinion APC, while the same thing happened in the fastness of the SLPP wherein the governing party lost about all the seats in the South and the E to SLPP and PMDC. This tells us how provincialism and tribalism has entered the cloth of the Sierra Leonean society which if non pull off good by present and subsequent authorities to come lead to many jobs which will impact the development of the state.

However, there were series of stray instances of election related force despite the run were declared by many perceivers as peaceful and mostly unagitated countrywide. There were claims of stray clangs between the resistance SLPP protagonist and APC in countries like Kono, Koinadugu, Kenema, Bo territories. The President of the democracy who is besides the chairman/Leader of the opinion APC as a manner of responding to the force delivered a message of cautiousness and restraint to all protagonists of the contestant and the state as a whole in which he guarantee the conductivity of peaceable, free and just election. This nevertheless coils down the state of affairs, with besides the aid of the PPRC, NEC and the international community.

3.7 Engagement of Women in the Local Council Election

The gender measure which became an act of parliament On 14 June 2007 in sierra Leone was hastily passed by the House of representatives merely within a individual twenty-four hours of it debut without straying on it decently as other measures. Urgency in ordaining this measure could non be unconnected with the force per unit area passed on the parliamentary from the President of the democracy as a manner of carry throughing one of his promises to his people. This measure consist of the Registration of Customary Marriage and Divorce Act, The Domestic Violence Act and The Devolution of Estates Act ) all represent good purpose for the authorities to better the position of the adult females in the society which has been a clarion call for many advocate organisations for gender equality

This is the first bold measure taking by the authorities of President Ernest B. Koroma same twelvemonth he came to power in carry throughing its duties in progressing the legal place of adult females in political, economic and societal life under the international and regional pacts he has pen down his signature.

In 1988, Sierra Leone ad like many other states in the universe went in for the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women ( CEDAW ) and December 2006, sierra Leone gave it first study to the UN CEDAW Committee for it perusing. In Ward Development Committees of territories and towns councils, the Local Government Act 2004 besides gives 50 % quota as a manner of encouraging adult females engagement in the decentalisation procedure. However, nature of the sierra lone society which is strictly patriarchal as militated against adult females political life. There are plenty communities in state that do n’t allowed adult females to take leading function in their vicinities. Let take a instances in most parts in the northern part where adult females are out to go paramount heads that entirely as already militate their opportunities of going councilors. Out of the one hundred and 49 ( 149 ) paramount heads in the state merely eleven ( 11 ) are female and all of them are for the south/eastern parts of the state where adult females are allow to contend for paramount chiefs elections.

In the pronunciamento of the three taking political parties, the APC, SLPP and PMDC they made it really clear that they are ready to work for the authorization of adult female and their engagement in both political and mundane life, the governing APC authorities even travel further to province in their pronunciamento that they will integrate adult females in the policy devising procedure and will extinguish all sorts of favoritism and force against adult females in the society.

On this country of gender balance all the political parties failed dreadfully compared to what they write on their pronunciamento none lived to their outlooks has few adult females were nominated to contend under their parties. In existent footings party hierarchies in Sierra Leone are male dominated in all angles and this suggest why a smattering of adult females take part in the political decentalisation of their assorted vicinities because there right are under the graduated table of penchant of the political parties with batch of power hungry adult male who see the presence or the engagement of adult females is of no significance.

In the last local council election conducted in 2008, out of the four hundred and 56 ( 456 ) councilors elected, merely eighty -six ( 86 ) are female which 18.9 % far below the 30 % representation adult females were inquiring for in the council which the political parties promise them during their run. In fact for the places of Mayor in the metropolis council and Chairperson in the territory council no adult female was elected for the places that tell you how work forces have discouraged adult females in the political life of the state. One 1000 three hundred and twenty-four ( 1324 ) campaigners including all political parties and independent campaigners contested the local council elections in 2008, out of that figure two hundred and 25 ( 225 ) were female which approximately is 17 per centum ( 17 % ) and one 1000 and ninety-nine ( 1099 ) were male which is 83 per centum ( 83 % ) , this is a clear indicant of the domineering function played by the male when it come to the political dispensation of the state. However it does non merely halt here in the local council but it cut across all over the state in all sector including the House of representatives ( parliament ) and even the executive subdivision in which the president has the power given to him by the fundamental law to name and disregard curates, about 80 ( 80 ) per centum of his current curates are male. This makes it really hard for adult females to take part actively or taking prima function in the political life of the state in all sectors. The tabular array below provided by the national electoral committee as exposed the political parties on their deliberate act of non given adult females the equal opportunity like work forces to contend under their parties ‘ names.

Table: Showing gender breakdown by political party association of campaigner

Political Party

Female Campaigners

Male Campaigners

Entire

% of Female Candidates

% of Male Candidates

Armored personnel carrier

87

384

471

18.5 %

81.5 %

Mugwump

29

169

198

14.6 %

85.4 %

NDA

5

5

0 %

100 %

PMDC

49

223

272

18.1 %

81.9 %

SLPP

60

318

378

15.9 %

84.2 %

Sum

225

1099

1324

17 %

83 %

Beginning: Sierra Leone National Electoral Commission

Traditional beliefs and patterns which is a nucleus in the Sierra Leone society has greatly dampen the spirit and to some extend destroyed the motive of adult females to actively involved in the political decentalisation more particularly in the state. Let take a expression at Kambia and Moyamba territories in the north /southern states severally in the tabular array below, they have the lowest sum of female campaigners contending local council election because these territory are predominately Muslim countries where adult females play no taking function in the society. The same goes for Portloko territory in the North where besides adult females functions are minimum in society, in fact like I mentioned inter earlier in this territory adult females are wholly exempted from going a paramount head. But when you come to the urban parts like in the western country where the capital metropolis is located and where many people are educated, traditional beliefs has little or no room for adjustment, you realized that there is an addition in adult females engagement in the political decentalisation of their vicinities. The per centum of adult females given opportunities to contend the local council ‘s elections was approximately 27.6 % in the western country urban and 20.8 % for western country rural. This is truly encouraging and serves as a motive for other parts or territories of the state.

Table: Showing gender breakdown territories and part

District

Region

Male

Female

Entire

% Male

% Female

Bombali

North

59

20

79

74.6 %

25.3 %

Kambia

North

59

4

63

93.6 %

6.3 %

Koinadugu

North

66

11

77

85.6 %

14.2 %

Portloko

North

59

5

64

92.1 %

7.8 %

Tonkolili

North

53

8

61

86.8 %

13.1 %

Bo

South

125

23

148

84.4 %

15.5 %

Bonthe

South

83

20

103

80.5 %

19.4 %

Moyamba

South

83

5

88

94.3 %

5.6 %

Pujehun

South

63

12

75

84 %

16 %

Kailahun

East

77

17

94

81.9 %

18.1 %

Kenema

East

127

23

150

84.6 %

15.3 %

Kono

East

78

20

98

79.5 %

20.4 %

W/A Rural

West

57

15

72

79.1 %

20.8 %

W/A Urban

West

110

42

152

72.4 %

27.6 %

Sum

1099

225

1324

83 %

17 %

Beginning: Sierra Leone National Electoral Commission -result drumhead July, 2008

3.8 Turnout and Fairness of 2008 Local Council Elections in Sierra Leone

The local council elections were go arounding around the 19 ( 19 ) council created by the local authorities 2004, the anterior readying for the conductivity of successful local council elections was in the first topographic point engulfed with jobs in footings of seasonably and effectual elector and civic instruction on the side of the lawfully mandate organic structure to organized elections in the Sierra Leone which NEC on one manus, political parties and politicians and even the civil society in another manus. That apart, there were besides job with the local council system itself which is still regarded by many as a new system, now traveling from the old elections in 2004 to the so 2008 local council election which was comparatively different in nature with the latter, as such there were batch of misinformation and misconstruing my many people. These compounded jobs affected the full local council election more particularly the polling twenty-four hours.

There was gloss of elector apathy in the past local council election in 2008 in the full state. Harmonizing the national electoral committee the electors ‘ turnout was really low compared to the presidential and parliamentary election which has more 75 % turnout in 2007. The turnout was 38.8 % for the local council ; it is still dubious what truly went incorrect and why merely a twelvemonth after the overpowering turnout for the parliamentary and presidential elections.

Table: Showing sum-up of ballots and Turnout by Council

Vicinity

Valid ballot

Invalid Votes

Entire Votes

% Turnout

Kailahun District Council

71,844

4,862

76,706

39.8 %

Kenema District Council

84,567

6,244

90,811

47.3 %

Kenema City Council

37,834

1,256

39,090

43.7 %

Koidu/new Shembehun City Council

25,153

1,315

26,468

43.8 %

Kono District Council

55,505

4,298

59,803

45.6 %

Bombali District Council

37,556

2,379

39,935

33.0 %

Makeni City Council

16981

472

17,453

30.3 %

Kambia District Council

43,056

3,758

46,814

32.6 %

Koinadugu District Council

46,333

4,436

50,769

39.3 %

Portloko District Council

49,977

4,063

54,040

24.2 %

Tonkolili District Council

53,149

4,047

57,196

32.5 %

Bo District Council

67,432

3,159

70,591

45.9 %

Bo City Council

46,683

1,249

47,932

47.6 %

Bonthe District Council

32,709

2,311

35,020

47.6 %

Bonthe Municipal Council

2,172

87

2,259

55.2 %

Moyamba District Council

42,424

3,048

45,472

35.7 %

Pujehun District Council

42,916

2,550

45,466

43.9 %

W/A Rural District Council

44,725

3,015

47,740

38.0 %

Freetown City Council

193,508

9,367

202,875

39.3 %

National

994,524

61,916

1,056,440

38.8 %

Beginning: Sierra Leone National Electoral Commission- consequence drumhead 21st July, 2008

The tabular array above shows the clear turnout of electors by council ‘s state broad, it further shows the turnout to be a spot higher in the south/eastern part of the state which is the fastnesss of the resistance SLPP than in the North and western the fastnesss of the opinion APC. For case, in Bonthe Municipal and Bonthe District Council the turnout was 55.2 % and 47.6 % , Bo City and District Councils 47.9 % and 45.9 % severally from the South and 47.6 % for Kenema District Council, 45.6 % in Kono District Council both from the eastern part. Portloko District Council and Bombali District the turnout was 24.2 % and 33.0 % severally both from the North and 38.0 % for Western Area Rural District. This shows that the SLPP who merely lost power to APC were more determine to recover their countries and perchance they must I have convinced the electorate to take part in the electioneering procedure than the APC in their ain fastnesss. The statistic of this turnout prompted a batch of arguments as to why it turns out to be like that.

Harmonizing to a study carried by the National Accountability Group ( NAG ) a local NGO, it was revealed that many people claimed to be tired of elections every twelvemonth and the force that followed them, so people preferred to travel on with their normal life without prosecuting themselves in activities that will problem their support. Some claimed non hold assurance on politicians any longer as most clip they promised and they ne’er fulfilled their promises.

Political torment and bullying of the independent campaigners is besides a instance in point. They were series grounds where in political parties ‘ harassed independent campaigners, even to the extent of either coercing or utilizing some agencies like subscribing understandings bundles with them to step down more particularly in the North and some portion of Kono territory. In these countries their where batch of unopposed campaigners, as a consequence, many people refused to take part in the bell ringing procedure. Another importance issue that besides affected the low turnout in some countries my particularly in the rural countries was the long distance of polling centres. In the peripheral countries, people have to walk long distance before making the polling centre and as a consequence, people choose the option of non traveling to vote.

Furthermore, high degree of illiteracy in the state could besides non be unconnected. Sierra Leone has an illiteracy of 65 % , so with this immense figure of illiterate people, many attention less about the responsibilities and duty to the state. In rural countries, some people argued that the election of local councilors will decidedly eroded they powers of the traditional authorization and in clip to come they will for good replace traditional establishments of chieftainship, as they under local councils activities like election. They table above besides revealed that there were batch of invalid ballots in the local council election. About 61,916 ballots which are 5.9 % out of the 1,056,440 ballots casted in the 2008 local council election was invalid Tell us how illiteracy has affected the polls.

Despite the stray instances of force that characterized the run period, the polling twenty-four hours itself was peaceable as there was no incidence of canvassing misdemeanor. Both international and national observing organisations declared the election as peaceable, free and just. For illustration the European Union observation Mission province that: “ The 2007 elections in Sierra Leone were by and large good administered, peaceable and competitory. They mark a important and positive development in Sierra Leone ‘s advancement towards consolidation of democracy and peace. The people of Sierra Leone turned out in high Numberss to vote, showing their committedness to the farther democratisation of their state. Furthermore, the readying of these elections showed a committedness of the Government of Sierra Leone to set up independent establishments to carry on elections and this proved to be a cardinal step that ensured that the elections by and large met election criterions. However, there were a figure of violent incidents during both run periods. ” This is a clear indicant that the election consequence was widely accepted non merely within the state but over the universe by reputable organisation.

3.9 Key stakeholders of the Decentralization Process

The national decentalisation policy highlighted cardinal stakeholder in the decentalisation procedure in Sierra Leone. It farther went on to sort these cardinal stakeholders in the followers, which include: Cardinal stakeholders and Local stakeholder.

1 The cardinal stakeholders include the followers:

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development

Ministries, Departments and Agencies ( MDAs )

Sierra Leone Parliament

Judiciary

Sierra Leone Auditor General ‘s Office

Commission and Committee

2 Local stakeholders include:

Local Councils ( City councils, District Council, Municipal council and Ward Committees )

Traditional Governments

3 Other Stakeholder:

Private Sector

Civil Society/ Non-governmental Organizations

Table: Showing the Key Stakeholders of the Decentralization Process.

The tabular array above explain clearly the cardinal stakeholders of the decentalisation procedure in Sierra Leone runing from the highest office in the land which is the Office of the President to the least commissions which are the ward commission. The tabular array is hierarchal in construction. It farther went on to foreground the relationship bing among the stakeholders in footings of put to deathing their responsibilities and maps towards the procedure. It shows the coordination among the stakeholders in the procedure. But all centred on how to do the Local Council go efficient and effectual so that it can accomplish it intended intent.

For the intent of this research which chief concentration is on the current political decentalisation or degeneration procedure, I will merely look at the function played by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the parts of the civil society which is my country of involvement. Part 14 of the 2004 Local Government Act and the National Decentralization policy of 2010 delegate among other activities the Ministry of Local Government to oversee and supervise the activities of all local councils, aimed at doing certain that the Local Government Act and other of import passage are decently follow to the missive. The ministry is empowered by the act to hold entree to all paperss that will be of important importance to the review of all belongings owned by the councils The Ministry is empowered by the Act to take action when a local council has failed to present. This heavy and plenty powers given to the Ministry made really hard for procedure to travel on swimmingly without any intervention from the authorities of the twenty-four hours.

In the current political decentalisation or degeneration procedure in Sierra Leone, because of the inordinate powers entrusted to the Ministry of Local Government must instances they misused them to their favor. Let take in the instance of naming the District Chief Administration who is the administrative caput and secretary of the territory council, the act spelt out that “ there shall be a Local Council Chief Administration for each council who shall be appointed by the local council after confer withing the Commission ” Part VI subdivision 31 ( 1 ) of the Local Government Act of 2004, but in world most of the assignment were influenced by the Ministry, most of the functionaries keeping this offices are partizan, they did non under went through scrutiny as required by the act. To farther perplex the procedure and transfuse their presence in the councils, merely late the Ministry of Local Government has once more reintroduce the District Officers ( Dos ) has political caputs of the District stand foring the cardinal authorities. The District Officers ( Dos ) are direct staff of the cardinal authorities coming straight from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development as portion of their provincial staff, headed and the supervised by the Provincial Secretary ( PS ) who is the regional caput of the state. The major grounds advanced by the so SLPP lead authorities in 2004 for the exclusion of territory offices was to avoid convergence of power and duties between territory council offices headed by Chairpersons and whilst the territory offices are to be headed by District Officers, which if non treated with cautiousness will to power battle between the offices, because their activities are about the same. The motivation and purpose of the present authorities to reintroduce the District Officers is still problematic to my many people.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee ( I MC ) has been formed by the 2004 Local Government Act as a manner of assisting the Ministry activities for the effectivity of the procedure. It Composition include of the Vice President of Republic of Sierra Leone as the president of the commission, the Minister of Local Government ; Minister of Finance, Development and Economic Planning ; Minister of Education and Science and Technology ; Minister of Health and Sanitation ; the Attorney -General and Minister of Justice ; Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Minister of Works and Maintenance and including four presidents of Local Councils. The chief duty of this commission is to supervise and oversee the general activities of the local council. But merely late, we have seen some instances of intervention by the inter-ministerial commission, the president of this commission who is the Vice President of the Republic really late ordered the resident Minister East to act upon re-appointment of the Chief Administrator and Procurement Officer of the Kenema District Council after he was dismissed by the council, which is wholly against the local authorities act. Part V1 Section 32 ( 2 ) of the Local Government Act, 2004 clearly states that “ a local council need non confer with the committee in regard of the assignment of staff aˆ¦ . ” The office of the vice-president of Sierra Leone has no authorization or legal authorization to oversee or mandate the local councils as mistakenly agitated by Kenema territory Peoples Movement for Democratic Change ( PMDC ) and the All Peoples Party ( APC ) party Presidents in their protest missive of 29th December, 2009 addressed to stakeholders of the Process. Harmonizing to the act, the Local Government Service Commission ( LGSC ) is the legal committee with the highest constitutional right to be consulted by the Local Council in footings of assignment and whose ranks do non include the frailty president. It rank harmonizing to Part VI subdivision 36 ( 2 ) of the local authorities Act 2004 besides province “ shall be appointed by the President with the blessing of Parliament ” which besides do non give any legal authorization to the Vice President to make such map.