The local government act of 2004 as amendment in 2007 gives a considerable amount of power to the local council. However, these powers are engulfed with edicts and dictates that silently undermines it independence and it flexibility.

Without prejudice, the devolution of the local government which was borne with the purpose to provide greater freedom and flexibilities at the local level (where the council can work seamlessly, effectively and efficiently to improve public services for their localities) has been poorly productive, while also being riddled with inefficiencies and conflict of interests.

It’s quite interesting to witness the cynical manipulation in our nation’s political discuss. In actual fact, the powers in the local government act are mostly inherited by the Minister/Ministry as provided under section 99.

(1) The Ministry shall satisfy itself and certify that-

(a) any proposed agreement by a Ministry or agency of government to delegate a power or function to a local council; and

(b) any proposed agreement or arrangement between a local council and a national or international organization.

This itself provides an evidence that the council cannot independently execute it mandate without the directives of the Minister/Ministry. Using the Freetown City Council (FCC) as a case study, we have witnessed over the years several attempts by the Ministries to stifled the functions of the council. Most notable event, the failure of the Ministry of Local government and rural development to transfer the Chief Administrator (CA) of the Freetown City Council upon receiving a petition letter written and signed by forty-two (42) councilors within the Freetown municipalities demanding his transfer.

These actions continue to reference some of the core dysfunctions embedded in the local government act. It has also helped to further weakened and degenerate the local council to a point that the Mayor, Yvonne Aki Sawyer, have become a shadow of her former self; showcasing her incompetencies and a lackadaisical approach in managing her duties and responsibilities.

Ministry officials (the minister) have become emboldened by these laws. They use them to exert pressure on the councils in-order to bend them to their will. It also helps to cover their tracks of political arm-twisting.

The autonomy of the local council will make it become more coherent and effective. Thus, creating a balanced composition in it work and in accordance with the domestic and international laws and standards.

Haroun Oluwole Zubairu continues to plea to every Sierra Leoneans to put on their facemask in public spaces, cough/sneeze in the elbow, wash your hands regularly, stay at least 5 feet apart, avoid social gathering and be vaccinated. Covid-19 is real. Let’s adhere to the advise and recommendations of NaCOVERC.