Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Journalist harassed by staff of Sierra Leone Water Company

Alie Mozart Sesay, a reporter with privately-owned Torchlight newspaper, was attacked on June 19, 2013, by a group of workers of the Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO) based in Makeni, a district in the northern part of Sierra Leone.
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)’s monitor reported that Sesay was nearly lynched by the workers as he entered the offices of SALWACO upon an invitation by the Manager, Alimamy Kolleh Kargbo.

According to the monitor, “the workers accused Sesay of taking photographs of them in the past and they had been looking for an opportunity to teach him a lesson, so since he had dared to enter their premises they will not let him go free”.
Sesay explained that he was invited to the office by Kargbo after he called him on phone to inquire if he had knowledge of a group of workers in a SALWACO branded water tanker, busily selling water to Aqua Max, a private company that produces sachet water.

According to Sesay, Kargbo claimed responsibility for the sale of the water and invited him to the office to see receipts of the transaction with Aqua Max. However, on reaching the premises the angry workers pounced on him and harassed him.
Sesay’s inquiry comes months after the Northern Resident Minister, Alie D. Kamara, disclosed in a press briefing that there is evidence of suspected illegal sale of water to hotels and some private institutions by the Makeni-office of SALWACO.

The MFWA is against such harassments of journalists and call on the authorities of SALWACO to offer a public apology to the journalist.

We iterate the advice by the Minister of Information and Communication, Theo Nicol that “anybody with issues to resolve with the press, should go through the media regulator, the Independent Media Commission (IMC)”.

Source: MFWA

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