SLAJ, MRCG And Other Media Institutions Engage Sierra Leone Parliamentary Gallery on The Way Forward

The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) in collaboration with the Media Reform Coordinating Group (MRCG), Guild of Newspaper Editors (GoNE), and the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists Electoral Commission (SLAJEC), on Thursday 2nd and Tuesday 7th September 2021 engaged the members of the Sierra Leone Parliamentary Press Gallery (SLPPG) on the SLPPG Reformation Committee (SLLPG-RC) Report. The engagements were to also chart the way forward for an effective and independent association of journalists reporting on Parliament.

The meeting on the 2nd September 2021 was scheduled for the SLPPG Executive and the other ‘aggrieved members’ to look at the SLPPG-RC Report and also for SLAJ, MRCG, GoNE to guide the process to ensure participation of all members and stakeholders.

However, the leader of the ‘aggrieved party’ (Abdulrahim R. Wurie) informed us that he would not be able to attend the meeting as he was sick but that his colleagues would be in attendance. The meeting adopted the recommendations of the report and agreed on the following as next steps:

1. To set up two committees: (i )Constitution and Membership Committee to review the SLPPG constitution and membership database, and ii) Finance and Assets Committee to look into the finances and assets of the SLPPG.

2. To invite the general membership of the SLPPG to the next meeting scheduled for Tuesday 7th September, 2021 to appoint members into the two committees and develop Terms of Reference (ToR) for each committee.

On Tuesday 7th September 2021 at 11:30 a.m. the second meeting commenced with the absence of the leader of the aggrieved party again despite sending the invitation letter personally to him and to the official SLPPG WhatsApp Group.

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With the guidance of SLAJ and MRCG the meeting appointed the following SLPPG members to serve in the committees as follows:

Constitution and Membership Committee:
1. Osman Karim Conteh
2. Marion B. George
3. Edwina Sia Janga
4. Melvin Tejan Mansaray
5. Desril Cole

Finance and Assets Committee:
1. Massah Nyanga
2. Joseph Johnson
3. Fatmata Sheriff
4. Samuel J. Kargbo
5. Zainab Turay
6. Allieu Vandi Kai-Samba
7. Shadrack A. Kamara

The meeting agreed that SLAJ will appoint one member each with the requisite qualification and experience to serve as technical guide for each committee.

Terms of Reference:
The Constitution and Membership Committee is charged with the responsibility to review the existing SLPPG Constitution and membership database.

The Finance and Assets Committee will audit the past and current SLPPG executives, reactivate the SLPPG bank account, and submit a financial report including an asset register.

The committees have a timeframe of one month (from 10th September 2021 to 10th October 2021 to complete their assignments and submit their reports to SLAJ.

After the submission of the reports, another meeting will be convened for discussion and adoption of the way forward for the SLPPG, which will, among other things, include the conduct of elections for a new SLPPG Executive.

The meeting resolved that all members of the SLPPG are always invited to participate in the various ongoing processes that will lead to reforms at the SLPPG.

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