By Ahmed Fonike
On Wednesday 17th August 2016 marked another important milestone in the Energy Sector as various Ministries
participated in the signing of an Inter-ministerial Electricity Crime Framework to clamp down on electricity thefts in the
utilities at State House in Freetown.
The Permanent Secretary of the Energy Ministry, Mrs. Zainab Buya- Kamara chaired the signing ceremony which attracted many
institutions and organizations including the Office of Attorney General and Ministry of Justice, The Ministry of Finance and
Economic Development, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Anti-Corruption Commission, The Office of Chief Justice, Private companies
in the Energy sector and civil society groups. In her opening remarks, she stressed on the effective collaboration with key
stakeholders in the campaign which she said has prompted the move. She reminded all that EDSA should be a profit making
utility and must not always rely on government. She said the reliance has even caused serious pressure on Finance Ministry.

Giving the welcome address and the purpose of the gathering, the Minister of Energy, Ambassador Henry Macauley reminded all
present as usual that electricity business is everybody’s business and no one should shy away from it. The Minister stated that the
purpose of the meeting is to seek legal support and speedy justice to be done to the defaulters. He said EDSA is supposed to
make profit but is instead losing huge amount of money to the detriment of the entire nation. The salvage of this ugly situation by all
cost is necessary.

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice - Joseph Kamara in his statement said Issues of governance must be taken
very seriously and that is why President Koroma appointed some of them as Ministers. He continued that  the
presentation and signing ceremony of Electricity Crime Framework Agreement from the Ministry of Energy to curb down
heavily on crimes committed in the utility was the beginning of a new chapter discarding what people call ‘ government
na Kombra’. He said that saying must be now ‘proper safeguarding of government property’ adding that bridging the
impunity gap is now the order of the day and all Sierra Leoneans must be gatekeepers to project government property.
Electricity theft can even amount to what he referred to as sabotage in law considering the unfortunate things that are
happening in EDSA.

The Attorney General ended that the Ministry of Energy has his fullest support in this campaign.
Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs - Major Ismael Sengu Koroma started in his input with ‘The country’s electricity sector
has been experiencing epileptic and unreliable power supply, creating a harsh environment for economic development
and especially foreign investment’, as the words of Minister Macauley in 2015 as a new Minister of Energy then. Major
Ismael Sengu  koroma  continued that the Minister was right then and even right today as the utility in no doubt continues
to frustrate government’ s effort and putting more suffering to the people in the country. He stressed on the perineal
illegal connections and overloading transformers in different locations. He added that the arrest of the challenges as
Professor Davidson, the then Minister of energy filed well over 2000 cases of illegal connections to the CID for which
nothing was done.

The Minister of Finance, Momodu Kargbo in his short statement said if EDSA does not change, it will definitely wreck the
government financially. He considered the utility as a waste to government adding that people must have respect for
government entities and utilities and not to make stealing as the order of the day. Mr. Kargbo furthered that the way
forward is to change people to be good citizens and called on ACC to be very ruthless with the issues in the electricity
The Commissioner of Anti-Corruption Commission, Andi Macauley threw a challenge that if anybody has made
electricity theft a habit, he would definitely come for that person. He continued that he had been prosecuting cases of
electricity crimes at ACC when he was a prosecutor there and so, electricity crime issues are not new to him. The ACC
Boss asked Sierra Leoneans to face responsibility and report issues that affect the nation and citizens. He pledged his
support to the Ministry of Energy for the campaign.
After the signing of the Inter-ministerial Electricity Crime Framework, a rundown of the document through PowerPoint
presentation was done by Mr. Cyril Grant and Millicent respectively. The technical session of questions and answers with
all stakeholders was also conducted by the Permanent Secretary - Mrs. Buya-Kamara.
Author: Thomas J. Bindi
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