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…President Bio Urged to Intervene

The situation at the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) is rapidly deteriorating due to the perceived corruption and incompetence of both the Executive Director, Reverend Smart K Senesie, and the Board Members who have adamantly refused to dismiss the Director of Transport, Arthur Brima, despite his proven guilt in illegally registering a right-hand vehicle with Registration Number AVH 831.

What has caught many off guard is the inconsistency in the Board’s actions, considering that staff, including the License Manager, were dismissed in 2019 based on internal committee recommendations. A tipoff received by Salone Compass suggests that the Authority is withholding information about Brima’s wrongdoing, with allegations that the Executive Director and other senior officials are manipulating the report to shield the Transport Director while making another staff member the scapegoat.

It has been reported that the Board has received the Report and is expected to take appropriate action based on the recommendations provided. Sources indicate that the committee made several significant recommendations, with the primary one being the necessity to enforce disciplinary measures in line with the terms of service, which may lead to dismissal. The failure of the Board to act on these recommendations has been criticized as incompetence by many within the Authority, leading to a chaotic environment.

The right-hand drive car in question was seized at the Mile 38 checkpoint on January 8th, 2024. It was registered late last year, disregarding Regulation 73 of the SLRSA Act 2011, which prohibits the registration and use of right-hand drive vehicles in the country. Despite all committee members signing off on their findings, no report has been released, and no action has been taken.

Since Reverend Smart K Senesie assumed the role of Executive Director at SLRSA, the Authority has been in a state of upheaval. His refusal to adhere to the committee’s recommendations is seen as an attempt to undermine the efforts of President Julius Maada Bio. This has raised questions about how a man of the cloth can support corrupt practices and defy the committee’s recommendations.

In another ugly development, the Executive Director stands accused of creating artificial license scarcity after he allegedly stopped the payment for same.

It came following Parliament’s intervention to stop the unreasonable and exorbitant hike in prices of licenses proposed by the authority.

An agent working for SLRSA disclosed to this medium that the management has deliberately created a shortage of driver’s licenses by halting payments and is unlawfully collecting the same amount of the new license fees rejected by the Sierra Leone Parliament.

The agent further revealed that the decision to stop accepting payments was made for reasons known only to the Authority. He expressed his distress as an agent responsible for processing license payments, stating that they were instructed by the Executive Director, Reverend Smark K Senesie, not to accept any payments.

The agent also mentioned that they collectively agreed to refund customers’ money as per the directive from the head of the Authority. To their surprise, they discovered that the institution was still accepting payments from individuals willing to pay the revised fees that were declined by Parliament.

A commercial taxi driver, Brima Conteh, condemned this action as blatant corruption. He questioned how SLRSA could refuse payments due to Parliament’s rejection of the new license fee, especially when his license had expired and he was being pursued not only by the police but also by SLRSA officers. Conteh suggested that it was time for a protest against the current leadership of SLRSA.

It is worth noting that the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) had previously announced an increase in the tariffs for five-year driver’s licenses, effective from Monday, April 22, 2024. SLRSA stated that this decision was made after careful consideration of economic conditions, inflation rates, and the necessity to maintain high standards in road transport services.

The breakdown of driver’s licenses by categories and the corresponding fee increments are as follows:

– A Motor Bike Riders License: New cost $560

– Tricycle License: New cost $560

– AA+ Motor Bikes and Tricycle: New cost $560

– B Driving Cars, Jeeps, Vans: New cost $1,100

– C Driving Trucks: New cost $1,506

– D Excavators, Earth Moving Equipment: New cost $1,200

– AB Motor Bikes, Cars, Jeeps: New cost $1,450

– BC Cars, Jeeps, Trucks: New cost $1,500

– CD Trucks and Earth Moving Equipment: New cost $1,550

– ABC Motor Bikes, Cars, Jeeps, Trucks: New cost $1,600

– BCD Jeeps, Trucks, Earth Moving Equipment: New cost $1,650

– ABCD All Categories (Professional): New cost $1,700

This decision by SLRSA has faced severe criticism from the public, including prominent human rights activist, Edmond Abu, who denounced SLRSA for increasing license fees across all categories following the resignation of the former Speaker of Parliament.

In response to these criticisms, SLRSA Executive Director, Reverend Smark K Senesie, explained via a phone call that his prolonged absence from responding to the media was due to his month-long illness.


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