Sierra Leoneans hold the believes that the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Leone Rock Metals and CTC Mining, whilst the contract signed between the Government and people of Sierra Leone (owners of the property) and Kingho Rail and Port company had been terminated, is a gross disrespect to the directive of the Government, which was communicated to Kingho in a termination notice issued to its CEO.
Many Sierra Leoneans believe that any investor operating in the country has to comply with the dictates of the Government, which is acting on behalf of the people of Sierra Leone, and the fact that the agreement with Kingho had been terminated, is a clear indication that the Government had taken over the operations of the company and given it to another company that it feels is in line with its development agenda.
The new contract entered into between the Government and Arise IIP, has among other benefits, enhancement of trade between Sierra Leone and the sister Republic of Guinea, the enhancement of transportation of goods of citizens from both countries at an affordable cost, the easing of transportation of agricultural products from that part of the country to the city, which will effectively reduce the cost of living, especially at such trying times, and boost the economy of the country.
The new company is contracted to expand the rail services to Guinea, and to refurbish the port.
It could be recalled that according to the agreement entered into between the Government and Kingho, a subsidiary of Leone Rock Metals company, a caveat existed, where the Government, after two years of operation, has the right to review the said contract and to terminate or invite other players.
Thus, after two years of operation, since October 2020 to date, the Government decided to terminate the contract with Kingho, as it was not satisfied with the progress made, and therefore issued a notice of termination to the company, informing it of its desire to contract Arise IIP to manage the rail and port.
Kingho, in a letter written to the Government, indicated its reservations over the said termination and furthered that it will take legal action against the Government.
Unfortunately, up to the time of the signing of the agreement with CTC Mining company, no legal document had been provided by any court to stop the Government from going ahead with its engagement with Arise IIP. As a result, the termination of the said contract still stands.
With the above in mind, it is clear that Leone Rock Metals, a subsidiary of Kingho Rail and Port, is in complete violation of the directive of the Government’s termination of the contract it had with Kingho, and should not in any way be going into any contract or agreement with any company in respect of the use of the rail and port without the expressed consent and permission of the Government of Sierra Leone.
This action by Leone Rock has therefore been seen as a complete disrespect for the authority of the Government and people of Sierra Leone, and anyone signing such agreement with it will be doing so at its own risk.