The Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Justice Edmund Cowan, has condemned the misrepresentation of parliament’s role over the passage of the much talked about gender bill, supposedly before the House.
Justice Cowan was on Monday reacting in parliament to what he described as a widely held notion that Parliament was “dragging its feet over the bill.”
The Speaker expressed dismay at the misplaced impatience of those who claimed to be championing the matter but prefered to blame Parliament and misinform the public when the document was not even before the House.
Justice Cowan emphasized that though the bill was being articulated since 2005, it had never been moved into the well of parliament.
The Speaker revealed that he even received spurious foreign calls with offensive inquiries about the gender bill.
Honourable Bernadette Lahai, of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), blamed the media and some women’s organizations “for not being honest with the truth”.
She told Parliament that in a recent public forum she had informed participants that the bill was yet to be received by the clerk as it was still lodged at the printers’.
Meanwhile, the Majority party leader in Parliament, Hon Mohamed Fofanah on behalf of the Presidential Affairs Minister, tabled a report on the commissioning of the M.V. Ferry Mahera, a process being overseen by the National Commission for Privatization.
Parliament also observed a minute’s silence in memory of the 22 Togolese who died in the Sunday helicopter crash at Freetown International Airport at Lungi.