The Minister of Local Government, Tamba Lamina has revealed the reason they used to have issues with the Freetown City Council.

In an interview with AYV TV, Lamina said one of the issues they had with the Council was their lack of collaboration with his ministry and other partners.

“Collaboration is very important. This is not a Federal State where councils are independent from central government,” the minister said.

He added that they should operate as partners and share information. He said there are even laws that direct councils to report some their operations to the ministry.

“If they secure funds, you (councils) need to declare it both to Parliament and the Ministry of Local Government,” Lamina said.

He said these are guiding principles that are in force to ensure councils don’t stray from their responsibilities and duties prescribed by law.

He clarified that his ministry never did anything to stop Freetown Council from operating but that what they did was mandated by the law.

Minister Lamina and Freetown City Mayor, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr have a no love lost relationship. The two have had disagreements in the past with Aki-Sawyerr reducing the minister’s action to witch-hunt.

“I don’t believe there was any hostility but clearly made sure of how things should happen,” the minister said.

He stated that there was lack of unity among staff and members of the Freetown City Council and that the ministry had step in to solve them. He said they set up and Inquiry Team which found out that the council was “quite dysfunctional” at the time.

He said they found out that there were issues between the mayor and his deputy and other staff.

“We looked at some financial issues like agreements were signed,” he stated. He said the council went to establish special offices that were not legal which like the Delivery Unit.

He said unlike other councils, the Freetown City Council failed to follow the due process in establishing their Delivery Unit.