''All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing'' - Edmund Burke


S I E R R A  H E R A L D

Vol 10 No 2

The tendency sometimes to protect perpetrators for the sake of peace...doesn't help society. Impunity should not be allowed to stand. - Kofi Annan on Waki report

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Monday May 27, 2013 - The African Union accuses the International Criminal Court of "race hunting" - meaning that only African leaders are targeted as desperate attempts are made to protect new Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta from justice. Oh the wheels of justice. They sometimes appear to move too slowly in addressing the grievances of surviving victims but as sure as daylight they always get there and Uhuru Kenyatta will have his day in court. This is not a matter of African politics. It is a matter of international justice when impunity is encouraged in African countries by African governments.The ICC stands firm against impunity by African leaders/dictators Photo: Daily Nation of KenyaEthiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn - put his foot right there - in his mouth

The AU chair and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn believed he was speaking on behalf of Africa when in his closing statement at the end of the 21st session of the summit of the African Union accused the International Criminal Court, the ICC, of what he would like to call "race hunting" (simply put racist) citing his observation that some 99 percent of the cases pursued by the international court involved Africans. And this statement was supposed to have been from the hearts of African leaders who after fifty years of the founding of the pan-African body still cannot define what they should be doing to respect the rights of their own citizens as defined and laid out in the Charter of the African Union.

Prime Minister Desalegn's statement, we believe buttresses our suspicion all along that despite indicted ICC suspect Uhuru Kenyatta commitment and assurances that he would co-operate with the ICC to clear his family name (his father Jomo Kenyatta was the first leader of an independent Kenya in 1963), he was all along in actual fact plotting, together with his type at the African Union to defeat justice by raising the race card. We however note that in his closing remarks published on the African Union website, there is no such stance taken by the Ethiopian Prime Minister which has raised a number of worrying questions over the sincerity of the man who now takes over as Chairman for a whole year of the body, not the governing body, but the club of African "leaders"

We have also noted that Sierra Leone's smoke and mirrors occupier of State House kept well away from the corridors of the 50th anniversary celebrations in Addis Ababa. Was he in fear of repercussions over his support of those who tried to enslave Sierra Leoneans by staging a very bloody and unpopular coup on 25th May 1997 - Africa Liberation Day?

Update - Wednesday May 29, 2013 - The International Criminal Court issues a press statement in which it reminds the African Union, (read autocratic and rights-abusing African leaders) that - "The ICC operates strictly within the mandate and legal framework created by the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the Court, and cannot take political factors into account. Decisions are taken independently on the basis of the law and the available evidence and are not based on regional or ethnic considerations."


Saturday May 25, 2013 - The Organisation of African Unity, (OAU) now the African Union (AU) is fifty today. Fifty years since African leaders on May 25, 1963 made a historic decision to unite the continent in all spheres of human endeavour - political, economic and all things good for the people of Africa. Fifty years on Africans still need visas to move between countries as wars rage between and within countries.The Organisation of African Unity's first host and President, Emperor Haille SelassieSierra Leone's first Prime Minister Sir Milton Margai was one of the founding fathers of the Organisation of African Unity, the OAU in 1963.

Today is celebrated as Africa Liberation Day and indeed it should be - for fifty years ago in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the continent's leaders of emerging "independent" states met to cement their ideals that would give us a united and strong Africa, united in prosperity, peace and development with founding fathers from all over the continent beating their breasts in proclaiming their vision for Africa. Fifty years on - was it all talk, more talk and sheer hypocrisy as so-called independent states mortgage people and resources to the same countries and their principles Africa battled to free the people of the continent from? The website of the African Union informs that the 21st AU summit is from the 19th to 27th May which should conveniently take in today the 50th anniversary of the founding of this pan-African body.

The anniversary is expected to facilitate and celebrate African narratives of past, present and future that will enthuse and energize the African population and use their constructive energy to accelerate a forward looking agenda of Pan-Africanism and renaissance in the 21st century. It provides a unique opportunity, and comes at a moment when Africa is on the rise, and must therefore build its confidence in its future. The 50th Anniversary commemorations will be anchored by the Theme Pan Africanism and the African Renaissance. The website has quite a gem for anyone interested in speeches and whether the ideals expressed in those speeches have been translated into action. Here's an excerpt from what was delivered by Emperor Haile Selassie of the host country, Ethiopia. His speech was entitled "The Making of Africa will not wait"

Sierra Leone's Head of State at that 1963 historic meeting was the country's first Prime Minister the one and only Sir Milton Margai and in a very short speech entitled There is only One Africa, and this One Africa, we are all brothersmade this point - "I am prepared to enter into our discussions with a spirit of understanding of sympathy with views which may be different from my own views, and with a willingness to reach agreement through honourable compromise. The whole world is watching us, and eagerly listening for the good news from Addis Ababa, that a united Africa is ready to lead in the path towards world peace and security."

It is also not lost on Sierra Leoneans and true and sincere friends of Sierra Leone that on this day 16 years ago, an awful horror was unleashed on the people of Sierra Leone. The May 25, 1997 coup by Johnny Paul Koroma and his gang of rapists, murderers and kodnappers. Among those who would be attending this 50th anniversary would no doubt be Sierra Leone's present Head of State, the smoke and mirrors trick artist, the one and only Ernest Bai Koroma whose close associates are the same elements that unleashed murder, rape, abduction and sheer terror on unarmed citizens.


Monday April 29, 2013 - Twenty one years ago today, a historic, earth-shaking and well nigh impossible event occurred in Sierra Leone. On April 29, 1992, the corrupt, murderous and intolerant APC cabal was overthrown by the same men who could only get into the national army after rigorous vetting by APC party top brass, concubines and all those in positions of APC trust.The man who announced the overthrow of the intolerant and undemocratic APC ending 24 years of autocratic rule, the one and only Captain Valentine Strasser.Celebrations after the 1992 overthrow of the APC in power for 24 years.

Today April 29 will always be remembered by those who suffered under and survived the jackboots of the APC as well as by those APC minority who knew that what was going on was undemocratic, unconstitutional and anti people but dare not make their voices heard lest they face the same fate as those who dared. Dr Mohamed Sorie Forna, Bank Governor Samuel Lansana Bangura and former Force Commander David Lansana as well as the main threat to the APC in the Freetown East three constituency one Mr Thompson. Then are are others in the "military division" that included the likes of Brigadier John Amadu Bangura, Conrad Iniss, Captain Jawara, Kolugbonda and the Kaikais including police officer Gabriel Tennyson Kaikai...the list goes on and on.

And so when on the evening of that historic Wednesday April 29, 1992 residents of the capital heard the voice of one Captain Valentine Strasser finally announcing the end of 24 years of APC rule, it was a time of wild celebrations first in the capital Freetown and then throughout the country as word spread that the ogre called the APC had been finally overthrown. Overthrown, kicked out of office in a move that was applauded by many freedom-loving Sierra Leoneans who praised the young men from the war front for their bold and patriotic move knowing that had they failed their mutilated and acid-drenched bodies would never have been given to their relations for burial.


Monday April 15, 2013 - Kelvin Lewis, Editor of AWOKO newspaper is the new President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, SLAJ.Kelvin Lewis - the new President of SLAJLosing contender Williette fought a good battle. We wish her well in the battle to give SLAJ more relevance. Picture@ AWOKO

Kelvin Lewis, the Editor of one of the few credible and independent news outlets of Sierra Leone has been elected the new President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists during elections held by the body over the weekend. According to a report carried on the online edition of the newspaper today Kelvin harvested one hundred and twenty seven (127) votes as against the next highest score of seventy (70) garnered by Williete James. Other positions vied for included that of the Secretary General as well as the Financial Secretary. Kelvin now takes the chair in the wake of another professional and principled journalist, the one and only Umaru Fofanah.

It is worth noting part of the contents of what others would refer to as a victory speech, but if we know Kelvin well, he would rather call it a call on all to give their backing to the strength and advancement of SLAJ as well as a speech of appreciation as he extended a hand of friendship and reconciliation to all those who found themselves in polarised camps as preparations were made for Saturday's votes. Just as we pleaded with another colleague Philip Neville to co-operate with the winner Umaru in their contest for the Presidency, so do we appeal to everyone to work with the elected officials to raise the SLAJ flag even higher. Part of that AWOKO report states...


Saturday March 30, 2013 - The Kenya Supreme Court upholds decision of electoral body. Rules that Uhuru Kenyatta won the Presidential vote and should be the next President of Kenya. His main rival Raila Odinga agrees with the decision and wishes Uhuru well in running government.Kenya's Chief Justice Willy Mutunga - his 6-person panel has decided today that Uhuru Kenyatta won the recent Presidential race.Uhuru Kenyatta is declared the winner of controversial Kenya polls. He faces trial at the ICC.

Kenya's Supreme Court has today ruled that Uhuru Kenyatta won the race for Kenya's State House. This means that Uhuru Kenyatta was validly elected as the country's fourth President since independence after his father Mze Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki. Reports the authoritative Daily Nation newspaper of Kenya -

"The Supreme Court has upheld the election of Uhuru Kenyatta as Kenya's fourth president. Chief Justice Willy Mutunga said Mr Kenyatta and William Ruto were validly elected as President and Deputy President respectively. It is the decision that the third and fourth respondents were validly elected," Dr Mutunga said. The judgement paves way for the swearing in ceremony of Mr Kenyatta set for April 9 at the Kasarani Gymnasium in Nairobi.The Head of Public Service Francis Kimemia said the government will gazette Tuesday, April 9 as a public holiday when Mr Kenyatta will be sworn in as president.ll begin on Monday. We have adopted the programme we had earlier on,” said Mr Kimemia Saturday. Prime Minister Raila Odinga has conceded defeat following the Supreme Court judgement that upheld Uhuru Kenyatta's election as president. Mr Odinga wished Mr Kenyatta well in running the affairs of government. "I wish Mr Kenyatta and his team well," he said during a news conference in his office Saturday Mr Odinga said though the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) did not agree with the findings of the court, he said the coalition would abide by it."

What has been played out in Kenya demonstrates what democracy should be about. An election is concluded in which one person is declared winner by the electoral body. The main challenger felt cheated and uses his constitutional rights to appeal the decision of the electoral body in the courts - this time the Supreme court as provided by Kenya's laws. Both sides, winner and loser say to all and sundry that they would abide by the decision of the Supreme Court.


Wednesday January 23, 2013 - The Auditor General's report on the 2011 Public Accounts of Sierra Leone is out and it is a catalogue of dishonesty, thieving, deception and a complete lack of respect for financial discipline as enshrined in the Constitution and other relevant documents. The defaulters - from State House through NRA to Schools and Hospitals. It is a disgrace.Sierra Leone's Auditor General Mrs Laura Taylor-Pierce

The Auditor General's Annual Report 2011 and how the country's finances were managed (read mismanaged) for the year ended 31st December 2011 is out and readily available on the website of the Auditor General. It is a report which highlights what we had been expressing our fears about all along - that this EBK-led cabal is no different from that of Stevens or Momoh. In fact observers within his own party now say that the smoke and mirrors present occupant of State House is the worst - showing no respect for established rules and norms of governance. The accounting books of government and associated agencies when presented are so full of worms that for the first time the Auditor General Mrs Lara Taylor-Pierce had to comment - "The most significant outcome from my audit work for 2011 has been my professional judgment that a Disclaimer of Opinion on the Financial Statements of the Government of Sierra Leone was appropriate in the circumstances". And she gave the reasons for what she called "the pervasive reasons running through the financial statements as a whole that gave rise to this Opinion.

"I was not able to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence that the External Public Debt disclosed in the Public Accounts is free from material misstatement.
I was not able to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence that Domestic Revenue disclosed in the Public Accounts was free from material misstatement.
I was unable to ascertain that Government bank balances disclosed in the Public Accounts were free from material misstatement.

Issuing a Disclaimer of Opinion is not a matter I considered lightly. It is based on the facts revealed in the Public Accounts audit and other audits undertaken throughout the audit year 2011."

The previous year's report (2010) which highlighted the barefaced thieving by government functionaries with State House connections, the encouraged lawlessness and stealing of public funds rampant in our embassies and missions abroad appear to continue unabated with State House, it would seem either giving the nod or ignoring the Auditor General's reports and more especially the warning in that report. This could have given rise to the even more messier state of government accounts during 2011. Again just as was noticed in the last report the same thieving and deceitful practices have now become the norm rather than the exception and these are - Payments without any or inadequate supporting documents. Withholding tax not deducted. Monthly bank reconciliations not prepared. Fixed Asset registers not maintained or up to date. No or ineffective Internal Audit units.

It is worth noting this attempt by the Secretary to the President when he was asked to explain why State House had not provided documents that would account for the excess use of fuel. Instead of presenting the necessary documents explaining how millions of leones worth of excess fuel was utilised, the Secretary to the President tried to browbeat the Auditor General's office by stating, among other things - "It was important to note that the office provided support to His Excellency the President who held the highest office in the land and as Head of State, the Supreme Executive Authority of the Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, his multifarious official duties and functions required logistic support on a timely basis.., it was their considered view that the office should be granted special dispensation to allow some degree of flexibility in fuel usage, he concluded."

The Auditor General was unimpressed and still required the needed documentation for accounting purposes no matter the multifarious duties and functions. State House has yet to account for expenses within and outside the country for which the necessary documentation is needed as a part of Sierra Leone's financial obligations to be carried out to the letter by all state and related functionaries. Links to some excerpts from the new report -

Executive Summary State House The Vice President The Police


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