''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 XII No 4

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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Wednesday November 9, 2016 - The US voters have decided. Business tycoon and property magnate, one Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States after a campaign that was as nasty and dirty as could be with personal insults flowing freely.

In the end after what looked like a hard fought and nasty campaign in which no holds were barred, US voters early this morning made it clear that the new person they wanted to see at the White House is the Republican candidate Donald Trump, a man who has never held elected office nor been in governance.

Former Secretary of State and one-time First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was rejected by voters who are thought to be white middle class and who felt let down by Washington. And true to form as the results rang out and the Democrats lost out in crucial states, it became obvious that the Hillary Clinton campaign team would have a task of asking the obvious question - what went wrong as she is reported to have phoned Donald Trump conceding defeat. Chris Matthews, a host on MSNBC, said in September: ďA lot of this support for Trump, with all his flaws which he displays regularly, is about the country Ė patriotic feelings people have, they feel like the country has been let down. Our elite leaders on issues like immigration, they donít regulate any immigration it seems. They donít regulate trade to our advantage, to the working man or working womanís advantage. They take us into stupid wars. Their kids donít fight but our kids do. ďItís patriotic. They believe in their country. .... [There is a] deep sense that the country is being taken away and betrayed. I think that is so deep with people that theyíre looking at a guy whoís flawed as hell like Trump and at least itís a way of saying I am really angry about the way the elite has treated my country. And itís so deep that it overwhelms all the bad stuff from Trump. Itís that strong. Itís a strong force wind.Ē

On the Clinton loss this is what the BBC's Nick Bryant wrote - "This election, surely the most extraordinary in American history, was a revolt against the political establishment. And few people personify the political establishment more than Hillary Clinton. During this campaign, for millions of angry voters, she became the face of America's broken politics. Donald Trump managed to persuade enough voters in enough states that he offered a fix. The billionaire cast himself successfully as the ultimate outsider against the ultimate insider. He was the protest candidate. She represented the status quo. Congratulations United States of America. Congratulations to the loser who would have become the US' first female President and congratulations to Donald Trump who started off with no chance at all but ended occupying the top seat in the United States of America.

This is democracy at work.


Monday November 7, 2016 - One year ago today, the World Health Organisation, the WHO, officially declared Sierra Leone Ebola Virus Disease-free -  a scourge that left nearly four thousand dead and many thousands affected by its ravages.

Mention Ebola Virus Disease and many will recall the horrors of what was visited upon the people of Sierra Leone - a horror that the country was not prepared for even though Liberia and Guinea were experiencing what was initially thought to be "a strange killer disease".

It was indeed strange in Sierra Leone for never before had the country experienced the Ebola Virus Disease in its known history and it was this ignorance of the scourge and its ravages that saw many health workers and other Sierra Leoneans hit by the disease at their wits end. It was a horror that caught many by surprise - a horror that fed on the immune system of its victims reducing them to unprepared wrecks as the disease readied them for death.

Those concerned relations who offered comfort, wiping away body fluids caught the disease too and so were families, communities and whole settlements wiped out in an orgy of confusion, death and destruction the likes of which had never been experienced any time in Sierra Leone.

Initial reports by some concerned journalists that the disease was in Sierra Leone, having crossed through our porous borders were dismissed by a hapless government and its mouth pieces that such reports were not only unpatriotic, but that the authors were working in collusion with enemies of the state. At least ten more doctors succumbed to the ravages of the disease among them Dr Olivette Buck and Dr Victor Willoughby. Other Sierra Leoneans who died, including health workers and associated support staff were close to the four thousand mark. On a day like this, those who enriched themselves at the expense of the dead and survivors of the scourge should be made to pay amounts owed as revealed in the reports of the Auditor General.


Thursday November 3, 2016 - Where the rule of law reigns, democracy flourishes as UK government loses case in court over triggering moves to start the process of leaving the European Union.PM Theresa May loses battle over MPs debate on Brexit

In what has been seen as a landmark ruling, the High Court has ruled that Parliament needed to have a say before the government of Prime Minister Theresa May can trigger the process of leaving the European Union as voted by UK citizens during the historic referendum on whether the UK should stay in or leave the EU.

The results across the UK showed an overall vote in favour of leaving (52% for leaving and 48% for staying) but before starting the formal process of leaving negotiations have to be made between the government and the European Union before the formal separation process begins with the triggering of the much talked about Article 50.

The Theresa May government had resisted a Commons debate on the issue insisting that the people, in their vote, had decided that the UK should leave and that Brexit (Britain exiting the European Union) should be just that - leaving the European Union without the benefit of Parliamentary debate and input that would help guide the government in moves to start the formal process of leaving the European Union. (On this page - you will find today's judgement and summary)

The BBC reported today's ruling thus - "Investment manager Gina Miller, who brought the case, said outside the High Court that the government should make the "wise decision of not appealing". She said: "The result today is about all of us. It's not about me or my team. It's about our United Kingdom and all our futures." Government lawyers had argued that prerogative powers were a legitimate way to give effect "to the will of the people". But the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, declared: "The government does not have power under the Crown's prerogative to give notice pursuant to Article 50 for the UK to withdraw from the European Union." Lessons for the Judiciary and Parliament in Sierra Leone.


Update - Reactions to the ruling have been swift and caustic for those who believe that the High Court was going against the wishes of the people, quite forgetting that the Court had stated it was not interested in the politics of Brexit but the law. One newspaper, the Daily Mail, known for its anti-immigration stance even labelled the three judges who sat on the bench as "enemies of the people" - a favourite phrase of the scum and sewer rats who feed off the droppings of the wretched and thieving rat, their god and master who must be obeyed. This was on the BBC webpage - "Daily Mail columnist Stephen Glover defended the newspaper's stance, saying he did not believe the judges would "feel frightened or worried" about the criticism. "They've made a really decisive intervention in the political process, and they must expect some comeback - and that's what they got," he said. 'Utterly disgraceful'. But Bob Neill, Conservative chairman of the justice select committee, said criticism of the High Court ruling by some politicians was "utterly disgraceful". He told the Times newspaper: "All ministers from the prime minister down must now make clear that the independence of the judiciary is fundamental to our democracy."

Sunday October 23, 2016 - The nation-wreckers led by the smoke and mirrors rat at State House represent state lawlessness and disregard for law and order never before seen in Sierra Leone's history. The economic measures announced is just that - an announcement.This is a service station for buses in Sierra Leone. Beat that?

When from the lair of the rat came that announcement of cutting down on "wasteful expenses" and certain rules that would not be in place, we stated that we were not impressed and that it would be business as usual with the rat pulling the strings as the great puppet master of corruption. On the website of State House relating to this could be found a number of measures relating to travel, per diem and other wasteful expenses. True to form, the rat only announced these measures after using the peoples' money to take along a bunch of sycophants including the so-called Majority Leader of Parliament and the street urchin calling himself an Information minister of our great country to shamelessly dance on the streets of New York to praise the rat for his disrespect for the rule of law and the essential elements of good governance.

Kindly take a look at the last item tucked below all those smoke and mirrors measures -  "Minimize discretionary duty waivers and rationalize statutory duty waivers". Duty waivers represent one of the most corrupt and money-generating machinery that has been used and abused by governments of all sorts but which has been elevated to a policy issue by the thing which passes for a government in Sierra Leone. It is this system that has seen a number of "businesses" springing up all over the country with the owners using their links to State House to evade due taxes while making a killing in profits - profits that are not properly accounted for to the tax authorities.

And still on the topic of lawlessness and the lack of accountability and the tenets of good governance, kindly consider the case of the buses that were imported into Sierra Leone from a deal with China - a deal that was never approved by Parliament as laid down by law in the Constitution. The rat's arm-in-gloves criminal accomplice, one Leonard Balogun Koroma is reported to have gone to China with a delegation to seal a deal that has left a bad taste in the mouths of all those concerned about the way financial lawlessness has almost brought the country to its knees.


Monday 10th October 2016 - A week after the rat's government was forced to publicly admit that the economy was in shambles, it is all business as usual as the peoples' money gets dished out to his cronies and family members in the criminal empire over which he presides.The Auditor General - her reports are routinely ignored by the rat and his cohort.The rat and one of his benefactors, Timis.

Last Monday's announcement that the government would be cutting its wasteful spending could only have been triggered by international financial institutions reading the riot act to all the thieves parading as servants of the people. Why did he wait until after his bloated delegation of praise singers and party activists taken on the great jamboree to the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 71) have been compensated for their disgraceful performance? There was the so-called Majority Leader of the ruling APC, the RASSin Bundu man and the street dancer who the rat calls his Information minister as well as his Tourism minister Sidi Yayah Tunis gyrating, twisting and contorting their bodies in rhythm as they tried to please their master the rat about just how loyal they were to him.

Now people can understand why the probe into the mismanagement of the Ebola fund was resisted by this same RASSin Bundu who had no business impeding the work of the Anti Corruption Commission - an action for which he should have been prosecuted as outlined under laws found on the pages of the Anti Corruption Act.

Recall this in one of the Auditor General's report - "During the Financial year 2008, the Office of the Secretary to the President received US$57,161 for the 63rd UN General Assembly Meeting; for the same period an amount of US$43,800 was also remitted to the Mission for the same purpose. In the 2009 Financial Year, the MOFED paid US$46,691.00 in respect of the 64th UN  General Assembly Meeting and remitted US$36,596 to the Sierra Leone Permanent Mission for the same purpose.

Driven out of power after more than 24 years (1968-1992) of state looting and a breakdown of the rule of law, it would appear that the APC government still smarting under the fact that they were kicked out of office by the self-same people they recruited into the army, are now hell-bent, not only on perpetuating itself in power by all means possible but also looting state coffers on an unprecedented free for all criminal enterprise headed by the smoke and mirrors rat at State House. His hand is in every bogus contract, every enterprise that he sees as increasing his portfolio of assets - bank accounts and property within and without Sierra Leone.


Monday August 16, 2016 - Sierra Leone Parliament in corruption net as poisoned javelins and threats are hurled against anti-corruption body that refuses to buckle under pressure. Time for the law makers to come clean.Allieu Kanu the partisan head of the media watch dog. He has threatened the media outlets.RASSin Bundu - he believes Parliament is above the law.

The recent days have seen a clearly rattled Sierra Leone Parliament looking for any weapon it can hurl against an anti-corruption activist that has dared to shine the spotlight on the finances of Parliamentarians who are accused of collecting huge amounts from the peoples' kitty without properly accounting to the public on how these funds are utilised.

It all started after the Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI) issued a press statement in which it accused Parliamentarians of failing to account for funds they had received over the years as monies to be used in developing their various constituencies.

This statement got Parliament and MPs rattled and desperate measures could be clearly discerned as the MPs, both from the ruling APC party, the main opposition SLPP and others suddenly realised that someone was now calling them to face the court of the people and account for all the funds they have been receiving from the purse of the people.

And this brought quite a lot of questions - among them - do you have to be a registered and recognised body to ask MPs or indeed any other body to account to the people?

Also read this to see that the PAC recommendations not heeded with those asked to account treating the PAC report with contempt if not derision - Auditor-General's second report


Wednesday May 25, 2016 - 19 years ago, the awful horror called the AFRC/RUF Coalition of Evil otherwise known as the beasts was unleashed upon the people of Sierra Leone - and this on a day commemorated as Africa Liberation Day.The symbols of the beasts. The bandama head wrap, the dark glasses to shield drug-infused eyes and the plaster to keep the cocaine shots in place.

It is another May 25 - a day that should be dedicated to Africa's Freedom - Africa Day and it was on this day, nineteen years ago in 1997, that evil forces inspired by anti-democratic behind the scenes manipulators decided to enslave the people of Sierra Leone. The action by soldiers to oust the barely year-old democratically-elected government of President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and replace it with a murderous and human rights-abusing junta has been described as the bloodiest coup in Sierra Leone's history. Rogue soldiers, known as sobels for being soldiers in the country's colours in the day and rebels as soon as darkness falls upon the land, had long been reported by civilians who, thinking that men in military uniforms were there to protect them hardly survived to tell their story as they were ruthlessly mowed down by weapons bought through their sweat. It was a period of lawlessness where the laws of the jungle reigned supreme and anyone with a weapon became a law unto him/herself to loot, murder, rape and abduct at the slightest whim.

One news source had this account of what happened in the aftermath of a coup that was so unpopular even within the military that the main operatives decided that it would serve their best interest to have the RUF, the Foday Sankoh human rights abusers to join them in what they termed a government of the AFRC. This was to serve two key purposes. 1. To increase the number of killers on the streets of the capital and other parts of the country and 2. To intimidate and cow the civilian population into submission. They failed in the second as the resistance of the civilian populations quite clearly showed with them refusing to go to work, schools and colleges no longer safe places with the smell of death, destruction and chaos all around.

At least one person was killed and another injured in Bo on May 27 when AFRC soldiers shot at a crowd of about 5,000 persons demonstrating against the coup. The demonstration started when large quantities of looted goods were discovered in the army's possession. At least 80 people, including 30 civilians, were killed during fighting in Kenema between RSLMF troops and Kamajohs during the first weekend in May. Fighting started when soldiers shot at a truck of Kamajohs, killing three, as they drove past the army base at Kpetema. At least 22 people, including at least 6 civilians, were killed in fighting that started that weekend between RSLMF troops and Kapras at Camp Charlie near Matotoka. During an attack on the town of Moyamba at the end of June, RUF troops tortured student leader Sheku Kabbah in public before killing him; they gouged out his eyes and cut off his ears before cutting his throat. On July 8, a young woman was summarily executed by uniformed soldiers in Freetown for publicly supporting President Kabbah. Junta military officers executed three soldiers in July in Kenema for looting.

The rat at State House, the leader of AFRC MKII has been rewarding the killers, dishing out appointments right, left and centre quite believing that he would not be made to account. The guilty verdicts and sentences of the Special Court for Sierra Leone is a reminder of the horrors visited upon peaceful Sierra Leoneans.

Friday April 29, 2016 - Another year and another day to remind us of what happens when law and order becomes clay in the hands of rogue politicians. Twenty four years ago today, an uncaring and despotic APC regime was kicked out of power by its own khaki boys.New Head of State Captain Valentine Strasser rides in triumph after successful April 29, 1992 coup.

Twenty four years ago today on the Wednesday morning of April 29, 1992 a section of the war front moved to the gates of State House in Freetown as soldiers who had been battling rebels in the east of the country decided that enough was enough and demanded to meet their Commander-in-Chief, President Joseph Saidu Momoh. By the time the day was over, a radio announcement by a breathless Captain Valentine Strasser on the only functional radio station in the capital, the Aberdeen-based private FM 94 made it known to the world that the twenty four year despotic reign of the APC was over. Thus was formed the National Provisional Ruling Council, the NPRC which held the reigns of government until 1996 when largely free and fair elections ushered in a new civilian administration led by the SLPP's Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.

Back in power in 2007 after elections held that year, fifteen years after being booted out of power, the APC has learnt nothing from those lessons as it engages in what is now seen as a ravenous rape of the country's resources using every means at hand and throwing law and order regulations under the bus. Key functionaries of the APC who had been singing praises of President Momoh to hide their personal thieving ventures are back in Freetown making observers wonder just what they had been up to in those fifteen years.

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan made these observations at a recent symposium on security in Africa. "Elections should be the vehicle for popular choice in which the winner does not take all and the losers do not lose all. Those who win must recognize that they do not have a licence to rule without restraint or remain in office in perpetuity. Let us not confuse legality with legitimacy. Elections that meet legal form but fail the test of integrity are only pyrrhic victories that usually store up trouble for the future. 'I think Africa has done well, by and large the coups have more or less ended, generals are remaining in their barracks, but we are creating situations, which may bring them back"

Kindly refresh your memory on the governance issue in Sierra Leone by taking a look at this article written in 2012, twenty years after the historic and successful coup against the despotic and uncaring APC regime.


Wednesday March 23, 2016 - 25 five years ago today on March 23, 1991, the first shots were fired in Bomaru, eastern Sierra Leone as the first armed rebellion in independent Sierra Leone was initiated. 25 years on the same conditions which germinated the war are being nourished by the present set-up with reckless abandon.It was the Supreme Court that took upon itself to turn the Constitution upside down to please the rat. A threat to democracy.President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah declared the war over in 2002. (Updated)

The war was officially declared over in 2002 by the then Head of State, President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah after many twists and turns, some definitely unpalatable to the wishes of surviving victims and the memory of the many killed, traumatised and having to live a life without limbs while wallowing in poverty and despair. It was a war that brought out the beasts in two-footed creatures parading as human beings. Beasts of terror who sought to create a fiefdom of terror and deprivation in a once peaceful and beautiful land called Sierra Leone.

At the end of the day, the government, on the advice of civil society, the international community and all those interested in the welfare of the country thought it would be in the best interest of the country, then, now and forever to take a forensic look at what led to the armed rebellion initiated by those March 23, 1991 shots in Bomaru. Thus was the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the TRC, established and this body patiently heard evidence from victims, perpetrators, those who lived through it all as well as key entities and functionaries during the period that was reviewed. It later came out with a report that should guide all Sierra Leoneans and friends of Sierra Leone on what lessons are there to be gleaned that would never see us go down the road of national perfidy and destruction.

We are reminded in that report on the causes of the conflict which are many are varied, but among the chief causes are, according to the TRC report - "While there were many factors, both internal and external, that explain the cause of the civil war, the Commission came to the conclusion that it was years of bad governance, endemic corruption and the denial of basic human rights that created the deplorable conditions that made conflict inevitable."

For all who wish Sierra Leone well, there's the need to heed the warnings of institutional collapse that led to the destruction of democracy and the rule of law and as anyone who knows the ups and downs of this beautiful country lest we go down the path that led to a conflict that should have been prevented had due diligence been paid to the rule of law, accountability and democracy.


Thursday December 17, 2015 - The Auditor Generals report for the management of government resources for the year 2014 is out and save for a few areas of improvement, the picture of a deliberate lack of financial control and gross impropriety remains in government ministries, departments and missions abroad.Sierra Leone's Auditor General Lara Taylor-Pearce

The Auditor General Mrs Lara Taylor-Pearce has again published the body's findings with regards to the reporting and the use of government assets and resources in the care of officials in charge of safe-guarding these resources. The picture for 2014 tells the story of a band of hardened and unrepentant criminals who flout laid down rules with impunity, divert the people's money into the pockets of co-conspirators - giving a message out to all - that as long as they enjoy the protection of the smoke and mirrors rat at State House, they can get away with anything. Perhaps the frustration of dedicated officials at the Auditor General's office could best be summed up in this observation contained in the report. These are in the main -

"A slow response by those charged with governance to our message of embracing their responsibility to guide and direct the development and performance of a strong system of internal controls in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs). This includes improving their oversight function, demonstrating effective and ethical leadership, strengthening the audit committees and insisting on credible and regular reports on the finances and activities of MDAs.

A lack of consequences for poor performance and transgressions in general government. This is evident from the inadequate response to the high levels of unauthorised, irregular as well as fruitless and wasteful expenditure, as detailed in the audit report in other paragraphs indirectly supporting the opinion; and the weaknesses in performance management, which include a lack of credible and effective performance management systems across MDAs.

The action of the executive arm of Government towards the implementation of the recommendations in the report of the Auditor-General, a report debated and approved by Parliament, has not been very effective in achieving the goals of improving public financial management reforms in Sierra Leone. Therefore the incidences of financial indiscipline continue with even reckless abandon.

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