As Kenema Mayor joins to slam display of corpses
The Head of Kenema Ebola Burial Team, Solomon Williams has revealed to the Awareness Times that the protest made by some members of his team was unwarranted and unreasonable. Speaking via telephone interview from Kenema City, Solomon told this medium that all those who mounted the protest are currently in total regret even though the delay of payment of their backlogs has been long overdue.
Solomon noted that it was inhuman to display the dead as according to him dead people are not expected to be displayed especially in front of the public. He said relatives of those whose remains were displayed as well as some citizens will never remember all their previous patriotic work done since the outbreak of the Ebola disease.
“This was an unwarranted situation to drag dead bodies from the morgue and display in the full view of the people including relatives”, he disclosed adding that some of those who conducted the act are now asking for forgiveness.
|Please, NERC CEO, Paolo Conteh( Please accept their apology )
However Solomon went on to say it had taken them two months without allowances. According to him, their counterparts working for the Red Cross and International Rescue Committee (IRC) are still receiving their weekly allowances.
He said they have had peaceful negotiations with some authorities including the Resident Minister East, Hon. Maya Kaikai; Assistant Inspector General of Police, East, Karrow Kamara and others on the same backlogs during their previous protest.
He disclosed that their negotiations with the authorities on the backlogs did not make headway.
“The authorities could not solve the problem unto Monday 24th November 2014” he disclosed.
Further the Burial Team Leader said on Monday they went to see some Ebola Taskforce authorities at a meeting held at UNICEF but they were treated with scorn. He said when they came back to the hospital he told all of them to decide whether to stop working or continue.
He decided to go home.
“On my way home, someone called me to say my men were protesting around the hospital, displaying dead bodies. When I returned to the hospital it was unbelievable to see some of my men performing such an inhuman act.In his final statement, Solomon told our reporter that he is apologizing to the whole nation on behalf of his team.
The Mayor of Kenema City, His Worship Joseph Samba Keifala via telephone interview told the Awareness Times that the situation was unfortunate. He said the burial team has always staged a protest creating problems but the one on Monday was unreasonable.
“How can you display the dead for backlogs” he stated.
He said the Government is like a mother; they will delay you but will pay you.
He said the Kenema Government Hospital has two managements, the District Health Medical Team and the Medical Superintendent. He said the Medical Superintendent is in charge of the burial team and because of the numbering they have to verify first before undertaking any payment.
He said what was so disappointing was the displaying of remains of some respectable community people in the presence of their relatives.
“Two wrongs cannot make a right” he said adding, we know that the Government has delayed to pay them but their action was not commensurate to the displaying of corpses.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.