From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Hon. Kumbu-Smart laid to rest Tuesday in Sierra Leone
By Theophilus S. Gbenda
Sep 15, 2005, 15:10

The remains of late Hon. Alfred Kumbu-Smart of the All Peoples Congress (APC) party representing the Port Loko district in Parliament was Tuesday September 13, 2005 laid to rest at the Kissy Road Cemetary in Freetown. The late Honourable, who until his death, was a member of the Parliamentary Caucus, died in Freetown on August 28 2005 after a brief illness.

The late Kumbu Smart

The late Hon. Kumbu Smart who is survived by his wife Margaret Kumbu-Smart and seven children was born on the 28th of April 1942 in the Port Loko district in Northern Sierra Leone.

He attended the Albert Academy Secondary School in Freetown, up to his fifth form between 1955 and 1961. He later attended the Saint Edwards Secondary School also in Freetown, where he did his sixth form education.

On attaining this peak, he progressed to the Academy of Economic studies in Romania, where he conveniently secured his Masters degree (thus being the first Sierra Leonean to have attained such a degree).

He returned home in 1964 as a specialist in International Trade Relations and subsequently secured a job in the civil service as a Trade Economist. He worked for several years at the Ministries of Trade and Industry and State Enterprises, Development and Economic Planning. He also worked as Trade Attache at the Sierra Leone High Commission in the United Kingdom, during which time he secured multiple accreditations to the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

The late Hon. Alfred Kumbu-Smart had a lot of exposures with international organizations such as the GATT secretariat now known as the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland and also had a ten years job service as Head of the Trade and Tourism Division at the ECOWAS Secretariat in Nigeria.

The Hon. Kumbu-Smart later retired from the civil service and entered into politics.

He contested the 2002 general and parliamentary election under the banner of the APC and successfully became a Member of Parliament representing the Port Loko district.

Because of his wealth of experience he was overwhelming selected as the Deputy Parliamentary Whip of the APC.

He was also selected to be one of the 27 members of the APC Parliamentary Caucus as Secretary and Deputy Chief Whip.

Throughout his three years as Member of Parliament, the late Hon. Alfred Kumbu Smart was known for his regular attendance in parliament, his active participation in Parliamentary debates and other deliberations. He represented the APC party on several occassions at conferences and seminars both internally and externally.

On his loyalty to the APC, the late Hon. Alfred Kumbu-Smart is said to have played a significant role in spreading the ideology of the party in the Port Loko district and ensuring that the party grows to higher heights.

He was regarded as the party’s consultant on trade issues and also said to have provided wise counsel to the Chairman and Leader of the party, Hon. Ernest Bai Koroma in many ways that have enhanced his vibrancy and sharpness as expected of an opposition party leader in parliament. His demise is therefore no doubt a serious blow to the party.

His remains were first laid at the party’s head office at Liverpool Street, where party supporters reflected on his premodial role as an elderly party man whose wise counsel and human touch they said will be greatly missed. One party stalwart whilst weeping the death of Ho. Kumbu-Smart said in tears, “We are going to miss him greatly during the 2007 elections. We are missing his kind heartedness and determination to see the party through in times of crisis.”

During the laying out ceremony at the House of Parliament, his collegue MPs paid glowing tributes to his personality, high sense of humour and respect for the others ideas.

A special funeral service was conducted for him at the King Memorial United Methodist Church in Freetown, after which he was graciously taken to his final rest.

The APC, led by Hon. Ernest Koroma and  Hon. Chukuma Johnson, was in full presence and included all those that matter in the making and shaking of the party’s affairs.

There was a general sense of loss among party members and also amongst members of the ruling SLPP over the death of Hon. Kumbu-Smart. As the Reverend who delivered the address in church stated, “Sierra Leone has come a very long way in our search for political tolerance.”

Awareness Times Newspaper wishes the Kumbu Smart family, the peace of the Lord at this time of bearing their irreparable loss. May his Soul Rest In Perfect Peace.

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© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.