SIERRA LEONE: Bo District Elects New Female Chief

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Concord Times
Western Africa
Sierra Leone
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 

50-year-old Mama Yeanoh Kakpa was last week elected as the first female town chief of Mandu in the Valunia chiefdom, Bo district, southern Sierra Leone.

Chief Kakpa told Concord Times that she was elected by her people due to her development efforts in the chiefdom through projects and other activities. "I have contributed a lot to this community; that is the reason why people came out in their numbers to cast their votes in my favour. I am a woman but I will give my all just like the men to develop this chiefdom," she said.

The new chief thanked her supporters for the confidence reposed in her, adding that she will work hard to meet their expectations. "The men have been ruling us for many years and now it is the turn of the women. I will strive to be a role model and work towards motivating and empowering more women to be part of decision making and promoting good governance," she said.

Chief Kakpa scored 82 votes as against her opponent Mr. Mkayawo who got only 2 votes out of the 84 votes cast.

Paramount chief of Valunia chiefdom, James Bonbon Vonjoe, thanked his people for electing the 50-year-old Kakpa, a development he described as a step forward in the country's democracy. "I thank you all for electing someone that will make all of us happy," PC Vonjoe said, adding that they had recently also elected one Pa Sheku Abu as section chief of Vangalu chiefdom.

The occasion was witnessed by members of the 'Poro' secret society and some government officials.

Meanwhile, deputy minister of internal affairs, local government and rural development, Raymond I. Kabia said his ministry has the responsibility to crown any chief that the customs and tradition allow.