''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 9 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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Saturday December 3, 2011 - The arrogance of corruption as exhibited by Corruption Incorporated headquartered at State House in Freetown and led by the smoke and mirrors President, the one and only Ernest Bai Koroma...oops Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, PhD (everything), DSc (all things)...and Division Three (BA- Fourah Bay College?)

We have been watching, with rising unease and indeed great alarm the unprecedented display of arrogance as well as the tendency to make enemies of critics, the operatives of the thing in Sierra Leone which passes for a government. Dare criticise the government and the entire brigade of the internet flying toilets will come at you, using any barb they can fashion, as any and all bucketful of putrefaction is hurled in your direction with many a concoction only the imagination of the "authors" could best analyse. We have seen this before during the 24-year stranglehold of that awful horror known as APC rule under the great Bandele, Pass Ar Die fame and under his hand-picked heir, Joseph Saidu Momoh who was betrayed by the very men and women he had relied on to maintain his popularity when he first took over in 1985. Kindly recall that he promised then that for the first time Sierra Leoneans would no longer pick the crumbs that fell from the table, but would all be equal partakers at the table sitting as respected equals in the enjoyment of the national cake.Shaking hands over a done deal - President Koroma and his pal Frank Timis...who benefits from this?

During those 24 years of the awful horror, Sierra Leoneans noticed the attitude of those put in positions of trust and how they cared less and less about the cries of ordinary Sierra Leoneans and just to ensure they hear what they wanted to hear, "Careless Talk" though not on the statute books became a crime - an unwritten piece of legislation that allowed perceived critics of the government to be picked up and locked away. It was an exercise that was carried out with an amount of zeal never seen in the annals of law enforcement in the country - thus creating an atmosphere of silence, an awesome silence that exploded in March 1991 when the first shots were fired across the border with Liberia as the Foday Sankoh invaders backed by elements of Liberia's NPFL forces as well as regular troops from Burkina Faso entered Sierra Leone territory.

It is the same policy of intolerance which led to our troubles and which we would be advised to steer clear of...but alas the new "conquerors" and their associates would have none of it quite believing that their corruption and disregard for law and order would remain a secret - that no one would know about what level of backhanders they could be receiving from "investors" including those from mining concerns now operating in the country. Allow us to quote a small section of the submission of President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Sierra Leone

  1. "Government and all opinion formers should lead in the promotion of reconciliation and national reintegration. The effort in this regard should be real and practical....

  2. Governments should maintain zero tolerance for corruption. Above all, Governments should avoid the use of public funds to promote political causes and in order to ensure its stay in power. I have given in this Statement a glaring example of how the APC Party was intent on using public funds to prevent the holding of elections which it was sure to lose. This was an instance of blatant abuse of office and it was bound to provoke the resentment of the people.....the use of hired thugs to advance any political objective should be proscribed as a threat to the security of the state....I am aware of the cynical attitude of the people generally against politicians. We need to demonstrate this in a practical way. It is for this reason that I have often described myself as the Chief Servant of the people and required all other public officers to regard themselves as servants of the people."

We had in the past, pointed to the operations of one Frank Timis who appeared to have been granted some large, very large concessions in our country and we hear that he is not only involved in the Tonkolili iron ore projects, but does have his phalanges in nearly all "good pies" Sierra Leone can offer to be exploited including oil. We also brought you our observation that the press in Sierra Leone appears to see no evil, no wrong in Mr Timis fuelling our suspicions that all is not well in a country where the once-vibrant press knew no sacred cows.

Please be reminded that Sierra Leone is a signatory to the Extractive reporting process and apart from that when the time is ripe for an investigation into the activities of mining concerns like those operated by Frank Timis, nothing will be hidden, all will be exposed including bank accounts, who operates these accounts and whatever funding that goes into the pockets of government and Ernest Bai Koroma operatives.

We yet have to see a section of the press investigating the activities of Mr Frank Timis and his gang within and outside Sierra Leone.

Remember this - oh yes we raised concern over mining in Sierra Leone even before this present crop of nation destroyers came into office.

But back to our observation and in this respect we would advise the new defenders of the government, yes that thing which passes for a government and headed by the smoke and mirrors Ernest Bai Koroma to learn from the lesson of the past and heed the lessons therefrom. We would urge them to read and re-read so that they can comprehend the messages that are to be found in certain documents that should be available at the Government Bookshop. Let them read and learn just how the arrogant APC operatives were exposed for what they truly were and how they took our country to the cleaners.

Let them read for a third, if not a fourth time, so that they will understand how corruption generates arrogance to unbelievable levels of comprehension. Only then will they understand how secure in their assumption that they will never be exposed, the myth exploded in their face with the historic event of Wednesday April 29, 1992 when their own party-wielding khaki boys booted them out of power. One would have thought that after 15 years in the political wilderness, the anti-people APC would now have been "educated" to know all about good governance, the rule of law and the rights of citizens.

So we would urge the new corrupt and dishonest "arrogantissimos", the brigade of the corrupt and arrogant to read for the 5th time, the NPRC Commissions and the "Government White Paper thereon" - so that they may learn from the lessons of history.

We therefore recommend, without reservation all the reports on the Justice Beccles Davies, the Mrs Justice Laura Marcus-Jones and the Justice Lynton Nylander Commissions of Inquiry.

There is no way you can escape accountability and justice. It may take a while, but in the end, there will be a penalty/price to pay.

Yearning for the mother country?

The right choice is Kevin McPhilips Travel

©Sierra Herald 2002