A tumultuous tide of political violence has swept through Kowa Chiefdom in the Moyamba District since January 26th, 2024, casting a shadow over the community’s peace and stability.

The eruption of violence coincided with the paramount chief election process initiated by the government’s directive to elect local authorities nationwide.

At the heart of the unrest lies a deep-seated dissatisfaction with the purportedly impartial distribution of 2022 local taxes determining eligibility for the Tribal Authority (TA) role. Residents, expressing discontent over alleged foul play and fraud, escalated their grievances into a full-blown conflict on January 26th, 2024. The chiefdom witnessed the incendiary destruction of houses, loss of crops, and numerous injuries caused by gunfire and violent acts.

The aftermath has left Kowa Chiefdom grappling with chaos, as schools have remained shuttered since January 26th, denying children access to education. The suspension of learning activities has reverberated through the community, disrupting the development of the younger generation.

Moreover, the chiefdom’s mainstay, farming activities, has ground to a halt due to the pervasive fear of ongoing violence and potential arrests. Many residents have sought refuge in the safety of surrounding bushes, hesitant to return to their homes.

Authorities have responded to restore order, detaining approximately eighteen individuals suspected of involvement in the January 26th violence at the Bo Central Police Station. Thorough investigations are underway to address the root causes of the unrest.

In defiance of the prevailing turmoil, long-awaited elections took place on February 14th, 2024, under heavy security presence. Madam Amy Tator Tibbie Kallon emerged victorious, assuming the paramount chief role for Kowa Chiefdom. The community holds hope that her leadership will usher in stability, paving the way for the return of normalcy.