''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 5

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 April 14, 2012 - Worrying, frighteningly worrying as anarchy and lawlessness given free rein in Sierra Leone as Ernest Bai Koroma and his government continue to ignore the worries and fears of a population living in a state of terror. The Fundamental Principles of State policy thrown to the dogs as rapists, arsonists, murderers and perpetrators of all things abominable given license. A retired police officer and his wife are brutally murdered and Ernest Bai Koroma and his Gestapo Chief Francis Munu fail to publicly express any concern. Where are we heading?Murder most foul was committed here....where is Sierra Leone heading?Smoke and mirrors President Koroma - why has he failed to comment on heinous crimes committed against ordinary Sierra Leoneans?

It was with great sadness mixed liberal portions of trepidation and raw terror when we heard that once again the lives of Sierra Leoneans have been laid to waste - this time the lives of Mr and Mrs Conteh who had been living in the United States for the past three years or so, went to the mother country to await the judgement of a court case involving land and were put to death in the most horrendous and savage of manners. Their crime? They put their trust in the laws of the land hoping that justice would be done and that with a government in place that should protect the lives and property of all those within the borders of Sierra Leone would be safe to go about any lawful activity they so wished to pursue.

But it was not to be, according to messengers of Satan. These satanic operatives, according to reports from Freetown, attacked the couple in their own home, brutally murdered them using an assortment of weapons and as they both lay bleeding to death set their house alight.

And this is all taking place in a country where apologists for an inept, violence-prone and not fit for purpose government revisit some sections of the constitution that allows the government to import weapons of war for the police quite ignoring that section of the same document which makes it the duty of the government to wit

5b... the security, peace and welfare of the people of Sierra Leone shall be the primary purpose and responsibility of Government, and to this end it shall be the duty of the Armed Forces, the Police, Public Officers and all security agents to protect and safeguard the people of Sierra Leone;....

8b... the State shall recognise, maintain and enhance the sanctity of the human person and human dignity.

It is therefore the duty of the government of Ernest Bai Koroma to maintain and enhance the sanctity and human dignity of all Sierra Leoneans within the borders of Sierra Leone including Mr and Mrs Conteh - a duty the government has woefully failed to maintain and to respect.

It is to be recalled that a similar incident occurred involving one Abdul Mustapha and his female companion in the dead of night right under the noses of the security forces. The man in charge of that police investigation into those murders and arson attack was - yes the present Gestapo Chief Francis Munu and up to the time of writing the matter was never reported on fuelling speculations that rumours that the murders had the blessings of top guns in the government and ruling party could well be implicated in the murders of Abdul Mustapha and his female companion could be true.

With many incidents of selective justice doing the rounds in Sierra Leone - that government and party operatives could get away with murder - this has open the floodgates for any and all acts of lawlessness including arson, rape and murder. The perpetrators know that under the protection of Ernest Bai Koroma and his operatives they rule the waves as they did during the time of the awful horror known as the AFRC.

Here is a government that tries to lie its way through why it landed millions of dollars worth of war weapons for the police, yet cannot protect the lives of ordinary and unarmed civilians within the borders of the country. It is like inching our way back to the days of the awful horror of the Johnny Paul Koroma era when looting, arson, rape and murder were allowed free rein with no one held to account.

The Grand Architect of Sierra Leone's Misery Siaka Stevens knew only too well the need to clamp down on such unbridled threats to citizens in their own God-given country and ensured, using his type of method, some of which we do not approve of, of bringing the culprits to justice.

Those around at that time would recall how in the seventies one Pa King of Wellington Street was found dead, strangled by unknown assailants whom he could have surprised when those assailants raided the Travellers Inn establishment that he was in charge of at the time of his murder. Journalists around then could recall President Siaka Stevens' address to the press at State House in which he expressed great fear and alarm at the circumstances surrounding the murder. A visibly shaken and very worried Siaka Stevens promised that his government would ensure that the matter was thoroughly investigated and perpetrators brought to justice.

To cut a long story short, the alleged perpetrators were brought to justice before the courts and the death sentence handed down to the most culpable including one Mr Grant who was the driver of the Road Transport Mercedes Benz car that was spotted parked within the vicinity of the crime scene. Another well-known burglar known as "Cat" of the Brookfields area also suffered the same fate.

Siaka Sevens really believed at the time that after a well-publicised trial followed by the execution of those involved at the Pademba Road maximum security prison, the message could have gone out to the evil - that his government will not allow such people to have free rein in the country. He was proven wrong or so it seemed.

What came up next that got the police on the move - moving heaven and earth to secure justice - was the murder of a man who served at a bar at the junction of Mammy Yoko Street and Bombay Street just across Mammy Yoko street facing the great Bombay Street market.

This was the Mammy Yoko Street murder case.

The first time residents around the area knew that something was wrong was the police sealing off the area to traffic and it was then that the story broke - of what looked like the deliberate murder of the bar attendant to send a message to the government that hanging or no hanging - evil must reign unimpeded.

Again to cut a long story short - the courts and legal systems in place then including the prerogative of mercy thing, decided that six young men - all from the area were to be hanged. This sentence was duly carried out. This time the bodies of the hanged, in their coffins, were displayed outside the prison for all to see. This was meant to send a message to the "unbelievers" that the Wellington Street murder perpetrators were never executed as claimed by the government.

We do not approve of the hanging of those involved given the fact that in some cases the law could have been perverted with the police planting evidence or presenting "confessions" and other pieces of evidence that could have been used to rope in the innocent.

In Sierra Leone where the government is made up of operatives of the awful horror of the AFRC/RUF coalition of evil it is indeed sad, frightening and very worrying to see such murders not facing the scrutiny of the law.

We would therefore urge the President and his Gestapo Chief to come out with a statement on this latest arson and murder attacks so that Sierra Leoneans would be reassured that they have a government that is in place to protect the lives and property of all within the borders of Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leoneans cannot afford to continue to live in fear. Time to do something.

Yearning for the mother country?

The right choice is Kevin McPhilips Travel

©Sierra Herald 2002