New Paramount Chiefs Welcomed into Local Government
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Mrs. Finda Diana Konomanyi Kabba presented 14 new Paramount Chiefs to President Ernest Koroma at State House on Monday, March 24.
According to Awareness Times, the minister said the induction ceremony marked the end of the process conducted in line with the 2009 Chieftaincy Act, in collaboration with the National Election Commission (NEC).
Minister Kabba lauded two key achievements since her appointment to the local government ministry in 2012. They include payment of salaries to chiefs and other local staff from the Consolidated Fund and production of a Code of Ethics and Service Standards for Chiefs. She also spoke about central government policy and the expectations of traditional administration in Sierra Leone, the paper added.
Also at the event, Christiana Thorpe, Sierra Leone's chief electoral commissioner called for review of the 2009 Chieftaincy Act, AT reported. Thorpe said the NEC recommends the use of a national voter register for all elections including that of chiefs. This would create room for more transparency in line with modern day practice, the paper said.
|Archive photo of Minister of Local Govt. and Rural Development Mrs. Finda Diana Konomanyi|
Paramount Chief Charles Caulker of Bumpeh in Moyamba District, who is also the national chairman of the Council of Paramount Chiefs, called on his new colleagues to abide by the Code of Ethics for Chiefs. New Paramount Chief Mandu Farley Keili-Coomber gave the vote of thanks.
Kalilu O. Bah, a permanent secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, said the chieftaincy is an embodiment of the history, culture and tradition of Sierra Leonean society; noting that paramount chiefs serve as a key source of authority in rural areas.
|Photo taken in April 2011 shows Paramount chiefs with staffs and regalia in procession at the National Stadium during the 50th Independence celebrations|
The chieftaincy in Sierra Leone was established in 1896, when Governor Cardew transformed society by empowering a set of Paramount Chiefs as the sole authority of local government in the newly created Sierra Leone Protectorate. The chiefs remained effectively the only institution of local government until the World Bank sponsored creation of a system of local councils in 2004. A Tribal Authority made up of local notables elects un- der the system, chiefs for life. Only individuals from the designated “ruling families” of a chieftaincy, the aristocracy created and given exclusive right to rule by the British at the initiation of the system in 1896, are eligible to become Paramount Chiefs. (The Chiefdoms of Sierra Leone, Tristan Reed and James A. Robinson, July 15, 2013)