The status of the streets of Freetown is really unbearable as the Chief Administrator, Festus Kallay refused to sign the cheques and documents for the payment of tricycle youth groups and sweepers. Festus Kallay was accused of sabotaging and undermining the agenda and authority of the Mayor of Freetown, Her Worship Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr.

Her Worship succeeded in keeping the streets of Freetown clean when she secured funding from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and European Union (EU) with the support of tricycles. These tricycles were distributed to Sierra Leonean youths for the sweeping of the streets, public space cleaning and door-to-door waste collection. It created thousands of jobs for Freetonians. Under the support of IOM and EU, the operation of cleaning the streets for over one year went smoothly under the supervision of the Project Coordinator, Aruna Mans-Davies as payments were made on time by Catholic Relief Service (CRS).

However, the system became difficult when the funding from IOM and EU for the payment of the tricycle groups came to end and the venture was transferred to Freetown City Council (FCC) in February, 2021. Delay of payment started immediately FCC took up the responsibility. It became worst in August 2021 which made the sweepers to stage a peaceful protest in front of FCC building. The delay of payment continues for September and October months. The tricycle youth groups and sweepers had to protest also to receive their salaries. According to bank details, the sweepers were paid the October salary on 29th December, 2021 after a long battle. Now, the groups are requesting for their November, December and January salaries or else, they will lay down their tools.

According to sources, the cause on the delay of payment was as a result of the Chief Administrator, Festus Kallay refusal to sign the cheques and documents. The sources added that, Her Worship Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Festus Kallay and Chief Finance Officer, Mr Bah are the authorized signatories to the bank accounts of Freetown City Council. Documents were always sign by Her Worship to approve payment on time which the Chief Administrator always refuse to sign until he pleases.

Nevertheless, the tricycle youth groups and sweepers have been working without salaries for over 3 months because of their commitment to Transform Freetown agenda and the ways Her Worship was motivating them until they realized that, their rights was abused for not paying their salaries. As they started their peaceful protest at Cotton Tree, they decided to lay down their tools until salaries are paid.

After 2 days of their absence, Freetonians have raised concerns on the deplorable conditions of the streets of Freetown. All the streets especially streets at Lumley are filled with garbage. This has made Freetonians to call on the attention of Freetown City Council to do the needful so that sweepers can go back to work.