The ding- dong battle between persons with disability and the Orthodox Mission Church in Sierra Leone has reached its highest peak as the former has called on the Minister of Lands, Dr. Dennis Sandy to clarify whether the piece of land at the Saint Moses Orthodox Mission in Waterloo belongs to them or not. This decision was reached last Monday when Father Themistocles of the Orthodox Mission in Sierra Leone visited the Community to donate about fifty bags of rice, twenty gallons of cooking oil and five cartoons of tomato paste.
According to the Chairman of the Disable persons in the Community, Moses F. Boima, he said that since their evacuation from Walpole Street by Father Themi, they were informed that the land they are currently occupying belongs to them. “We were informed that the land belongs to us and that nobody has the right to evict us forever. The government has also confirmed that the land was provided to the Orthodox Mission for us,” he said, and added that the Minister of Lands should step in immediately to clarify the issue before its too late. The Chairman informed the meeting that their fear is not for today but when Father Themi would have left, his successor or the Mission might evict them from the land. “We have been with Father Themi for a very long time and don’t want any confusion to separate us,” said Mr. Boima.
The Disable Persons have accused the Sierra Leone Union of Disability Issues, whose President, they alleged has embezzled Millions of Leones sent for them by the government and the Orthodox Priest, Father Themi. The President of SLUDI, Kabba Franklyn Bangura was booed at and asked to put his house in order before taking up the venture to advocate for them.
Responding, Father Themi said that the Land was provided by the Orthodox Mission for the Mission in Sierra Leone. “Fighting is not necessary because the land belongs to the Mission and we must embrace peace and stop the problem of ownership.” Father Themi recalled during the visit of the three Cabinet Ministers, including the Minister of Social Welfare, Lands and Internal Affairs. The trio, he said categorically stated that the land belongs to the Orthodox Mission and dismissed allegations that the Mission gave Le2m to the President of SLUDI for the Disability group at Waterloo.
Father Themi expressed concern over the fact that the Mission initially took about fifty-five Persons with Disability from Walpole Street to Waterloo, but the number has increased to about 120 persons. He appealed to the Disable Persons to be thankful to God for the support they have been receiving from the Mission. The Persons with Disability in turn thanked Father Themi and the Orthodox Mission for their relentless support and hoped that peace will prevail at all times.