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Freetown elects first female mayor since 1980.

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Sierra Leone capital, Freetown, has a new mayor in the person of Yvonne Aki Sawyerr. She won the position in recently held March 7 general elections.

The Chartered Accountant thus becomes the first female mayor since 1977 – 1980 when the position was held by one Dr June Holst-Roness.

According to records from the National Electoral Commission (NEC) Sawyerr who run on the ticket of the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) beat five other competitors (all men) to the seat.

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Her closest contender was candidate of the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP). She polled over 309,000 votes representing 59.92% of votes as against the SLPP’s Raymond Desouza George who got 167,200 (32.36%). The others shared the remaining votes.

“Freetonians this victory is for all of us. Thank you for believing in my vision and for giving me the honor to serve as your Mayor for the next four years. I look forward to working with all of you to make Freetown a city we are all proud of,” she said after he election.

She is a holder of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and was given a presidential medal for work she did on sensitization on the deadly ebola virus that ravaged the country years back. Her job is cut out foir a capital that recently as last year suffered a deadly landslide.

Her campaign website said about her: “Yvonne is a finance professional with over 25 years of experience in strategic planning, risk management and project management in the public and private sectors.

“A team player with a demonstrable record of leading institutional change, Yvonne is passionate about the development of Sierra Leone.

“She is a Chartered Accountant and holds an MSc in Politics of the World Economy (London School of Economics) and a BSc Hons in Economics (Fourah Bay College).  She is married with two children.”

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PM Abiy reiterates Ethiopia’s decision over latest clampdown.

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has finally spoken on ongoing anti-corruption and rights abuse clampdown stating that there was not going to be any backing down let alone retreat.

A statement from the Abiy’s office issued in Amharic tasked citizens to rally behind the development as a means of ridding the country of lawlessness and criminal elements.

State-affiliated FBC reported that the statement titled, ‘Let’s Fight (the) Cancer,’ said the government was bent on bringing people behind injustices to book.



The statement said the underlying objective of recent arrests was to get rid of Ethiopia criminals. “… criminals do not care about ethnicity, country, or morality; they only care for themselves.

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“The key to justice is to create a system for innocent citizens to live in freedom and dignity while criminals are held accountable and punished in accordance with the law,” the statement read in part.

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Since early this week, authorities have announced the arrest of over sixty former military and intelligence officials arrested in connection with rights abuse in prisons and gross corruption in the military run business conglomerate, Metals and Engineering Corporation, MetEC.

A former head of MetEC, Kinfe Dagnew; and a former intelligence chiefs, Tekleberhan Woldearegay and Yared Zerihun have all been detained and put before courts in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Head of security at the state monopoly, Ethio Telecom, Gudeta Olana, has also been arrested as has head of the entity and brother of ex-MetEC boss, Essayas Dagnew.

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New Zealand denies refusing refugees with holiday visas entry.

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New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, on Friday, rejected allegations that the country’s government was blocking refugees who wished to travel into the country from Nauru on visitor visas.

Nauru’s president, Baron Waqa, also claimed in an interview with Australian media that he had also personally brokered a deal for New Zealand to accept 80 refugees currently located on the island.



“It’s incorrect to say that there is some kind of agreement for 80 specific individuals to take residence or visit,’’ Ardern told media at the East Asia Summit in Singapore.

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“The request did not ask about whether refugees could visit New Zealand on holiday visas,’’ he added.

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The country assessed all applications for visitor visas on a case-by-case basis. This applies regardless of a person’s country of origin or nationality.

The country is under pressure to transfer the remaining 30 children from the island.

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