Last week, Leone Rock Metals Company, a subsidiary of Kingho Rail and Port Company, officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CTC Mining Company, a Bauxite mining company in the country, for the use of the railway and port storage facilities, in contravention of the notice of termination of its contract by the Government issued recently to the company.
This action by Leone Rock Metals has been seen as an open challenge to the authority of the Government and a clear violation of the notice of termination issued to the company by the Government. It could be recalled that recently the Government of Sierra Leone, which is the Landlord and owner of the rail and port at Pepel in northern Sierra Leone, issued a notice of termination to Leone Rock Mining with its subsidiary, Kingho Rail and Port Company, which had earlier been contracted to manage the rail and port facilities of the Government and people of Sierra Leone.
The said agreement between the Government and Kingho, was for six years, but with a caveat that after two years, the said contract can be reviewed, and if the Government is not satisfied, it has the right to enter into another agreement with a third party. Now, the Government has signed a contract with Arise IIP to manage the rail and port at Pepel and to further expand same for other rail users to have access to it.
However, the said notice was questioned by Kingho and an insinuation that they were going to take legal action against the Government on the termination of the said contract. But, as we go to Press, no such notice of Court action has been received by the Government to warrant it to put any hold on the desire to continue with the new contract entered into with Arise IIP. Thus, the said termination still stands, in the absence of any restrictive order from any competent court of law on the action of the government.
Against this back drop, the recent signing of the MoU with CTC Mining for the use of the rail and port is considered null and void, and an open challenge to the Government and people of Sierra Leone, who are the owners of the facilities.