Parliament yesterday enacted the Chieftaincy Act, 2008, and the Minister of Local Government and Internal Affairs Hon. Dauda Kamara said the Act seeks to legitimize and consolidate the position of Paramount Chiefs within the laws of Sierra Leone.
The Chieftaincy Act, 2008 provides for the participation, elections, powers, functions and
removal of a Paramount Chief or Chief and other matters connected to Chieftaincy.
Speaking to the Press briefly after the bill was enacted, the Local Government Minister said the institutions of Paramount Chieftaincy was the basis of governance in the country as it has been in existence from the colonial period.
He disclosed that there were forty vacant seats for Paramount Chiefs and because of the large number of people that would be interested in becoming chief the Act would be a guide on how to carry on with it.
The Internal Minister also stated that the Act retained the element of the Electoral College system which he referred to as something that had been in existence but which has now been refined. He explained that for every twenty tax payers, one person will vote on their behalf for a Chief “When that is done, it makes it much easier on election day and very soon we shall start doing the assessment for every chiefdom to determine the number of people that will qualify based on the tax paying population at the chiefdom. We have to be very firm on that to make sure that nobody intrudes to inflate the number” he said.
He explained that one of the important amendments the Act went through was that dealing with the amalgamation of chiefdoms. He said there were some areas where documents were signed for a rotational ruling but it was decided by Parliament to look at every case where amalgamation took place and to ensure that the chieftaincy rotates. By Ishmael Bayoh