From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

SLPP Women Storm Parliament in Black
By Augustine Samba & Aruna Turay
Mar 26, 2009, 17:17

Dressed in a uniformed black attire, scores of women belonging to the Women’s Wing of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), Wednesday 25th March 2009, joined SLPP Members of Parliament at parliament building, to witness discussions on a motion tabled before the House, titled ‘That this Honorable House as a matter of public concern, national security and patriotism, unequivocally condemn the political violence that is currently being perpetrated in the Republic of Sierra Leone, which if allowed to continue, will derail the hard won peace so far achieved’.

The determined women led by the newly elected National Women’s Leader of the party, Madam Isatu Jabbie Kabbah (IJK), cheered their representatives in the House of Parliament as they spoke loudly and strongly against the recent act of rape allegedly perpetuated against some female supporters of the party on Monday 16th March 2009, following an attack on the offices of the party by hooligans reportedly linked with the ruling All People’s Congress (APC).

Proposing the motion, SLPP’s Hon. Elizabeth Alpha Lavalie, stated that while His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, is busy preaching peace and attitudinal change, some misguided and criminal elements are busy raping women, terrorizing and violating the rights of others.

"If you cannot stand criticism, do not partake in politics", Hon. Elizabeth Lavalie said, adding that "This time round, we the women will not sit down and allow violence against our party members and women in general".

She went on to state that "We will come out and make our voices heard, and will not cease until the desired goal is achieved".

She expressed dismay that the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma failed to visit the rape victims during their period of hospitalization, noting that until the truth comes out, they will remain dissatisfied.

After due deliberations on the motion, the House unanimously endorsed it, thereby relieving the aggrieved women of some of their grief.

In a separate development, the Committee on Appointment in Parliament has approved two presidential nominees, Mr. Joseph Manoh Koroma to the position of Presidential and Public Affairs Minister and Madam Sadiata Fatmata Sesay to the position of Deputy Information and Communication Minister.

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