Sierra Leone-Press-Review

Sierra Leone: Covid-19, party leadership tussle steal local press headlines

APA-Freetown (Sierra Leone)

Friday’s editions of Sierra Leonean dailies focus on Covid-19 response and a leadership tussle within the governing Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) in parliament, among others.

Various papers report the country’s response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic from various angles, ranging from measures being put in place by government to the contributions of individuals and institutions.

“Covid-19: Moa Wharf community “neglected,” says Politico Newspaper.

The story is about the state of preparedness or the lack of it in one of the largest slum communities in Freetown which was hard hit by the Ebola epidemic. 

The people there fear that they have been forgotten by the government in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The same paper also reports on drop in hospital visits as a result of fear of infection with the virus.

“Sierra Leone caught between poverty and Covid-19”, says Success newspaper, as front page lead article.

The same paper carries a related story under a smaller banner headline: “Opposition not happy with State of Emergency.”

The Calabash leads with a story by the Employers Federation and the Labor Congress calling for government to intervene and implement measures to cushion the effect of the pandemic on the local economy, amidst fears of job losses and closure of businesses. 

The two organizations in a joint statement list a number of suggestions they want the government to consider, including tax waiver for customs duties.

“Use facemask appropriately,” Heritage newspaper quotes a medical doctor warning as the personal protection gear becomes increasingly popular in the country amidst rising cases of Covid-19.

The Night Watch newspaper in a small front page banner headline predicts another nationwide lockdown. It reads: “Another 14 days lockdown soon.”

Several other papers carry stories of donations towards the national covid-19 response efforts, from a High Court Judge to the Lebanese community.

The second prominent story of the day is the leadership tussle with the parliamentary bench of the ruling SLPP. 

The current leader of the bench, Sidi Tunis, was replaced unceremoniously last week following his election recently to the position of ECOWAS Parliament Speaker.

“Leadership tussle grips SLPP,” says Sierra Express Media as its lead.

The story is accompanied by the photos of Mr Tunis and the SLPP chairman, Dr Prince Harding.

“Speaker intervenes to solve parliamentary leadership crisis,” says the New Citizen, also as lead story. 

The story carries the photo of the Speaker, Dr Abass Bundu.

“Prince Harding spat with ECOWAS Speaker,” screams the lead of the Voice of Salone newspaper.

Other stories of the day include the treason trial of former Defense Minister Major (rtd) Paolo Conteh, whose daughter is reported to be lamenting the treatment of her dad. 

There is also the overturning of the result of the leadership election for the umbrella association of women journalists in the country - Women in the media Sierra Leone.


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