7. THE JUDICIARY
The true mark of any democracy can be measured by it’s citizens’ commitment to the supremacy of the rule of law. This supremacy dictates that justice will be dispensed with fairness and citizens will have access to redress if there is any doubt as to the fair application of the law.
The inequitable applications of the law
and the lack of fair access to the judicial system have been some of the
reasons that have contributed to undermining the rule of law in
The ability of the judiciary to properly dispense with justice has been handicapped by:-
When in government, the APC will:-
a) establish clear procedures to ensure an independent, impartial and autonomous judiciary.
b) separate the offices of the Minister of Justice and that of the Attorney-General.
c) ensure expeditious dispensation of justice.
Our government will achieve these by:-
a) ensuring a proper functioning of the judicial system by discouraging political interference in all spheres of governance including the Anti-Corruption Commission which shall be given the power to prosecute.
b) setting up Special Rapid response courts that will adjudicate in land issues, small claims courts, to settle disputes which otherwise have created bottle-necks in the legal system.
c) supporting the work of the
Law Reform Commission, the justice sector development programme and
other reformatory institutions to review laws that have no relevance in
8. FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION
The Foreign thrust of a re-elected APC
Government shall be to reinforce existing relations with foreign
countries and all International Organisations to which
Our ability to explore the full potential of foreign policy and International Cooperation has been characterized by the following:-
·Inability to fully fund the activities of our missions abroad
·Poor conditions of service
·None and sporadic remuneration
·Uncoordinated, Inadequacies and weaknesses in pursuing our national interest as pivotal to our foreign policy goals
The APC Government will
a) Implement a credible foreign policy that will enhance mutually rewarding co-operation with our International partners.
b) Strengthen but balance relations with they development partners focus on technology and knowledge transfer as well as market access and development
b) build up from the impressive, constructive and rewarding foreign policy of the previous APC Governments, an APC foreign policy shall re-introduce and maintain a positive, respectable, pragmatic and common sense approach in our dealings with nations and organizations.
c) renew our support and commit ourselves to meeting our obligations to all international organisations such as the Mano River Union (MRU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU), the United Nations and all other international organisations to which we are signatories.
In government the APC shall:-
a) endeavour to understand and interpret at all times, the constantly changing character of international situations in a changing world.
b) acknowledge that as patterns change, so will our friendships between and among nations shift. We shall adjust when necessary, to ensure valuable diplomatic representation and outreach that protects our national interest.
c) ensure unwavering national support for a new and dynamic foreign policy, the Foreign Ministry of an APC Government will step up outreach contacts with civil society, students, the media, traditional authorities etc to explain emerging international ideas and concepts such as the Millennium Development Goals MDGs, New Partnership for African Development. NEPAD and African Peer Review Mechanism APRM affect us as a country.
The Military and the Police are the two main state institutions charged with the responsibility of safeguarding the integrity of the National territory and protecting its people from both internal upheavals and external aggression. The peace which currently prevails in the country following a tragic eleven year civil war is a result of the collective effort of its people and the resistance provided by its armed forces.
The armed forces however have, for some time now reflected a situation of serious difficulties in various areas such as:
- Low salaries
- Poor living conditions
- Shortages in modern communication equipment and general logistics
- Low morale
- Inability to respond robustly to external agreession as was evidenced with the rebel
- Corruption in the Police Force.
The prime objective of the All Peoples Congress Party will be to address the prevailing weaknesses in the armed forces, and to adopt appropriate strategies for systematically and consistently addressing the prevailing problems that exist in the army and Police. The APC Party will exert every effort to ensure that the armed forces are constantly built up to a level of preparedness for the protection of the state and to thwart any actual or perceived threat from any aggressor or potential aggressor.
The All Peoples Congress will endeavour to ensure that service men and women in the armed forces are fully and adequately provided for in terms of salaries, service conditions and their housing facilities.
As soon as possible, the APC Government will make a review of the salary structure, and the service conditions of our personnel in the army and police.
The APC will endeavour to ensure that modern communications and logistical equipment are provided for the Military and Police.
An adequate provision of modern weaponry will be made available to the armed forces to ensure that combatants are put at a reasonable advantage for the defense of the homeland.
-The Party will ensure that Soldiers and Police are properly and adequately, provided for in terms of housing facilities.
-The APC Party will work in conjunction with external parties for the training of army and police personnel to upgrade their performance to the highest level possible, for the discharge of their national responsibilities
-An APC Government will work in conjunction with external partners to explore the possibility of establishing a mechanized brigade, for the purpose of national defense as well as to participate whenever necessary in peace keeping activities in conflict zones.
9. EMPOWERING WOMEN
The APC recognises the invaluable contribution of women in every aspect of the nation’s economic endeavours. Women must be able to participate as equal partners in our quest for leadership and development of our Nation.
Up till now, women have suffered because of the following:-
An APC Government will:-
a) strengthen women’s groups as well as encourage and facilitate women’s involvement and participation in the policy making process.
b) support the education of women on major trends affecting their life and wellbeing arising from the effects of globalisation. The APC will undertake an assessment of the extent and in what ways government development plans and activities integrate the normative dimensions of gender equality in conformity with and follow up to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against women (CEDAW).
c) empower and work with the appropriate authorities and agencies to implement laws and policies that will eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against women.
The above objectives will be achieved by:-
a) ensuring that women’s issues are mainstreamed across all development and public policy processes. We believe that policies that are not engendered are endangered.
b) working with our development
partners, organizations and agencies operating in
c) supporting female-owned and managed enterprises through credit on favored terms.
10. THE WAR WOUNDED AND PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED
Quite a good number of the victims of the war have yet to put a closure to that nightmare more so because of the gross failure of the SLPP Government to implement the findings and recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Raped women, orphans, branded children, amputees; the mentally and physically scarred all require and deserve reparations and integration into mainstream society.
The current conditions of the war wounded and physically challenged are as follows:-
The APC Government will:-
a) implement to the fullest the TRC recommendations on the needs of victims especially those on health, pensions, education, skills training, micro-credit and community reparations.
b) initiate and promote propgrammes that will enhance the status and welfare of this group.
c) Enhance the legal capability, empower institutions and eliminate all forms of discrimination and biases against the physically challenged.
Our Government will achieve these by:-
a) working in collaboration with National and International Non-Governmental organizations (NGO’s) and Inter-Governmental Organizations (IGO’s) to ensure that programs and adequate services such as health, shelter and educational opportunities for the victims and their dependants are available in all districts.
b) making the activities of NACSA more effective and focused to ensure that proper and adequate measures are put in place for the benefit of the victims of the war.
c) designate a day of National Mourning in respect of the many who lost their lives and for those who remain permanently damaged.
d) erect a war monument so that the painful past will never be lost on the conscience of our people.
11. ENERGY AND POWER
This is why we initiated the Bumbuna Hydro Electric Project many years back. A situation whereby the nation’s capital has remained for years without dependable electricity supply will not be allowed to persist by an incoming APC Government.
Currently our energy and power sectors are characterized by these factors:-
An APC Government will:-
a) provide assured and reliable
electricity for the capital city -
b) rehabilitate all power stations throughout the country and ensure that they operate effectively.
In order to achieve these objectives the APC government shall:-
a) take action to ensure the
completion of the Bumbuna project and provide
b) encourage national and international financiers to invest in alternative sources of energy like solar and wind energy.
c) ensure the increase of the capacity of the Dodo electric power station so as to provide electricity for the growing cities of Bo and Kenema and their environs.
d) identify and explore other potential sources of hydro electric power Nationwide.
12. TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS
The APC recognizes that transport and communications constitute very vital links both in our domestic and international economic change. Inland and water transportation are stimulants to development especially within the rural areas. However, river transport infrastructure consisting of jetties, wharfs, warehouses and transit sheds are in dire need of attention. Similarly an improved network of trunk and feeder road system is necessary for the development of the economy and the delivery of goods and services.
The importance of air transportation in a globalized World cannot be overstated The dissemination of information in a timely and efficient manner depends on a reliable communication system.
These sectors have been hampered by the following factors:-
As a government the APC shall:-
a) develop sea safety standards and rehabilitate jetties and slipways and where possible build new ones.
b) extend the activities of
Sierra Leone Ports Authority by providing dry –dock services among
others and explore the possibility of having a free port in
c) rehabilitate trunk roads and bridges to facilitate public transportation.
d) complete on-going
construction of roads such as the peninsula road and
e) extend and improve existing feeder roads to enhance the movement of agricultural inputs, produce and other essential commodities.
f) seek to upgrade Lungi International airport and domestic air fields.
g) facilitate an environment in which our local Communication industry will compete favorably with other tele-communication companies.
As a government we hope to achieve these by:-
a) promoting transportation and
exploring the abundance of waterways throughout
b) strictly supervising and monitoring the disbursement of the road users’ tax.
c) continuing its program of trunk road expansion commenced whilst in office, through partnership with friendly countries willing and able to support such programs.
d) encourage private, local and International airline operators to invest in the airline industry.
e) reactivate our National tele-communication system by providing adequate resources.
This industry has been impeded by these factors:-
An APC Government will:-
a) fully harness our gifts of nature for touristic purposes.
b) revitalize the tourism sector to become a major contributor to the national economy.
c) encourage and regulate the active participation of private entrepreneurs and non-governmental organisations in the development of our tourist industry.
As a government these objectives can be met by:-
a) encouraging and inviting
African and peoples of African descent in the Diaspora to reconnect with
their heritage by visiting historic places like Bunce Island - the 18th
century British slave outlet in the Republic of Sierra Leone. This
little known island has the closest link to
b) extending the nation’s tourism programme into the interior to make it truly national.
c) encouraging tertiary institutions to interest their pupils and students to pursue careers in the tourism industry because of the sector’s employment potential.
d) seeking co-operation and active participation of local and international investors in the tourism industry.
e) ensuring that tourist areas are demarcated and legislation enacted to prohibit the erection of illegal structures for residence, trade and commerce.
14. MINERALS & MINING
Currently the situation of Minerals and mining is as follows:-
·The country does not derive the revenue it should from the mining sector
·The alluvial miners do not receive just rewards for their work
·Inhabitants in Company mining areas derive no benefit
·Vast environmental degradation
·Very high spate of lawlessness
The APC Government will:-
a) declare our strategic mineral resources s national assets.
b) review all exploration and mining contracts that are in operation.
c) require that all our mining partners provide infrastructural facilities that will enhance the standard of living of the residents of mining areas.
d) seek adequate compensation for the devastation of mining areas where landowners can no longer use their land for farming activities.
In Government, we can meet these objectives by:-
a) ensuring that residents in areas producing the wealth of the country are entitled to reasonable portion of the income generated from the area.
b) requiring that any engagement in mining activity must be subject to environmental safeguards.
c) re-examining and revisiting exploration and mining contracts, sale, export and marketing of all minerals and will come out with a comprehensive mining policy that will cover exploration, mining and export.
d) encouraging and facilitating the establishment of a diamond cutting and processing industry.
e) resuscitating vital area of economic activity that will encourage artisanal miners for both diamond and gold to set up cooperatives and/or joint venture companies. These will provide the institutional framework through which small scale miners can access funding for their operations. The APC acknowledges that increased and profitable activities in this area will result in reducing unemployment and increase regular payment of royalties and taxes to government.
15. INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING
This sector is beset by these problems:-
The APC Government will:-
a) use the mass media to serve as a medium to educate the public in matters of state and how these matters impinge on their daily lives.
b) be committed to greater freedom, and democracy and we would enhance the role of a free, unfettered and responsible press.
c) place a high premium on responsibility of journalists and broadcasters to build up the professional capacity that will enable them to perform their functions without fear or favor.
d) examine the on-going privatization process of the SLBS and SLTV
These will be achieved by:-
a) reviewing the 1965 Public Order Act.
b) assisting the fourth estate in building itself up in terms of capacity, professionalism and ensure its independence.
c) improving public trust, confidence and interest through information sharing. Whilst in office the bottle necks and obstacles that stifle this free flow will be removed
d) encouraging and strengthening the National Media Commission.
e) improving radio/TV dissemination nationwide.