''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 XI No 7

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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Friday April 3, 2015 -Good Friday in the Christian calendar - a day Jesus was crucified and all because he stood for justice, truth and the integrity of the human creation. And today in the corridors of power, greed and moral decadence, men and women led by the rat would be doing their utmost to show just how religious they are quite oblivious of the fact that more than a month after audit report reveals massive corruption by the rat and his band of thieves, the culprits have yet to be brought to book.

It's more than a month and half now since the report of the Auditor General "Report on the Audit of the Management of the Ebola Funds" into the massive theft of funds meant for the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease was presented to Parliament and made public. This woman weeps as the body of a friend is taken away by the burial team.

It was a report that revealed the depths to which the thieving sewer rats brigade was willing to sink in their ever-desperate bid to make money from whatever source that came through their bloody maws and paws.

It was a report that put the spotlight on the band of uncaring, heartless, low-life and thieving operatives in a system that pats the backs of thieves and by extension murderers who would watch people die needlessly while siphoning funds meant for their treatment and comfort into private bank accounts, filthy pockets and hiding places in homes, offices and wherever would be convenient for concealing such stolen funds.

Part of the report clearly showed a tendency and trail of money laundering as accounts in foreign banks get oiled even though such accounts were never a part of the even more illegal and criminal contracts signed - as witnessed in the Dubai ambulance scandal. Funds and resources that could have been used to save the lives of the afflicted get diverted into the private coffers of those with the right connection to the lair of the rat.

More than a month and half, despite the initial noise and fury from Parliament and the Anti Corruption Commission, we have been proved right again. Both bodies remain compromised and determined to protect the rat and his band of heartless, uncaring and unrepentant nation wreckers with no one taken before the courts to answer for their role in the massive plundering of resources.Poor Mohammed. He never got the care needed because of a lack of an ambulance and a bed. RIP.

This is the story of evil, pure evil unmasked.

While thousands struck by the Ebola Virus Disease cannot be taken for treatment because of a lack of ambulances and the needed health delivery interventions, those in authority led by the rat at State House were busy dishing out contracts to their favoured partners in crime under very dubious circumstances enriching friends and associates at the expense of the lives of those hit by the scourge.

Allow us, if you will to bring you a part of a February 24, 2015 article in the Sierra Express Media online on the issue as expressed by Abdulai Mansaray in which he also touches on the smoke and mirrors antics of the compromised Parliament and the Anti Corruption Commission whose head one Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara appears to have lost account of his legal weight among his peers and has, it would seem, sacrificed all on the altar of an effigy representing his god, the rat at State House.

"....President Koroma has called “on all Sierra Leoneans to wait for the law to take its course: (and) vows he will not shield any official or institution found culpable in the alleged Ebola money embezzlement saga” (SEM, 17/02/15 ). The president further stated that “it was the procedure that the report be sent to parliament”. He appears to re-assure the public that “neither he, nor his government will interfere with Parliament’s work”.

“If we were not going to give Parliament the authority it requires to get to the bottom of the case, we would not have empowered the Auditor-General to conduct the audit in the first place” (SEM, 17/02/15). These proclamations may sound like good music to the ears of well-meaning Sierra Leoneans. But as if on cue, and like Eunuch in “Things Fall Apart”, Honourable Ibrahim Bundu has gone a step further and publically advised the invited persons not to honour the invitation of the ACC. His argument is that, the intervention of the ACC in this matter and at this stage does not conform to procedure. We know that in the past, the ACC has barked louder than it could bite.

In view of our record on corruption, to ask our Parliamentarians as our representatives, to investigate allegations of corruption will be like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas. We know that when they call the roll in parliament, some parliamentarians do not know whether to answer “present” or “not guilty”.

The allegations are about $40 million that were meant to provide ambulances, treatment centres, burial Lorries, cater for hazard payments etc. have been misappropriated or simply vanished.

It is about money that was generously and humanely donated but criminally subjected to some kind of illegal osmosis that we are talking about here.

Even before these allegations are proven or otherwise, the catastrophic consequences cannot be over-emphasised. However, it is logical to conclude that the lack of adequate ambulances, treatment centres, and many other shortcomings contributed directly to the loss of lives. For example, there were some instances whereby families were quarantined for well-meaning medical reasons. But because someone siphoned the food supply they were entitled to use during that period, some family members were forced to break the quarantine conditions in search of food; and by so doing endanger the lives of others by cross infection. Midwife nurse Fonnie - She survived Lassa Fever but was taken to the great beyond by the Ebola Virus Disease

I can still painfully recall the images of one Ibrahim on Channel 4 news (UK) as he lay outside his house, waiting for 2 days to be transported to a treatment centre after he had been infected with the virus.

The call centre knew about him but the lack of a bed meant that he could not be saved. Viewers were left to painfully witness Ibrahim wriggling on the cold concrete as his life ebbed away.

Imagine how many people died NEEDLESSLY because of these corrupt people. Imagine how many people would have survived today if only some people had shown a little bit more humanity?

The last time I checked, this should be a criminal investigation. The “separation of powers” was a favourable topic for exams in my “government” class at school; even though I hated the subject because of my allergy to politics. We were taught that the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary were the main branches of a government, and were supposed to be SEPARATE to ensure good governance. The idea that any criminal investigations into this matter will require parliamentary blessing is in itself suspect of political gymnastics.

The President and the people of Sierra Leone owe it to all those who lost their lives in the fight against Ebola. Doctors like Martin Salia, who left the relative safety and comfort of his home and family in USA to help his people only to lose his life.

We owe it people like William Poole, the British Nurse who survived the disease, only to return again to help our people. Over 100 doctors including Sahr Rodgers, Willoughby, Aiah Solomon Konoyima, Sheik Umar Khan, and many other health care workers and ordinary citizens have perished. If these people perished because some evil people had a different interpretation of humanity, then it is up to us all to see that justice is done and that THEY DID NOT DIE IN VAIN. For evil to prosper, it takes the good to do nothing. A child ebola victim

Kindly recall this account of a doctor serving in Port Loko and the fate of little Kati.

It is a story that should cause the rat's Information Minister Khanu to hang his head in shame at a time when his publicists were writing about his ALFAKA Foundation - a body we would kindly ask the Auditor General to investigate in terms of funds received and how disbursed by what is clearly a fake outlet for the diversion of funds aimed at the fight against the scourge.

But back to the story in the words of Dr Martin Deahl of the NGO GOAL.

"My colleague reviewed Kati, the little girl that I had admitted on my first shift, who had left such an emotional impression on me. She was worse, less responsive, no more hand squeezing, and in pain with every attempt to move or sit her up.

She had become even more dehydrated, and five agonisingly painful attempts the previous day to put up a “drip” and give her fluids intravenously had all ended in failure. She was so unresponsive, we thought she might die on at least a couple of occasions in the middle of the ward round. Secretly relieved that I didn’t have to assess her.

I was still very upset. Before leaving the zone I went over to see her, held her hand and stroked her hair. No response.

Katiada is known to practically nobody but God, but she deserves to be known to the world.

A little girl who humbled me, showed courage and tenacity of spirit that I, and I suspect many of us, could never match.

Katiada is dead, she “passed” (the local euphemism for death) on Sunday afternoon. I admitted her a week ago, frail and unable to lift a bottle of water to her lips or to sit up without help. Afraid, dehydrated with sunken eyes, barely alive and pathetically vulnerable. She had just lost her mother.

I cried at the time, tears of sadness for her, guilt for me (I should be able to do more), and indignation and anger about the unfairness of it all. In the short time that I knew her, I became very attached. Doctors aren’t supposed to have favourites. Well, I did (as did many of my colleagues, I suspect). I had thought non-verbal communication would be impossible in personal protective equipment (PPE) but was surprised and heartened to find that a hug was a hug despite the PPE. And that two layers of gloves didn’t diminish the emotional impact of the squeeze of a hand.

Over subsequent days she deteriorated, becoming less responsive.

No more hand squeezing, and in pain with every attempt to move her or sit her up. Her dehydration worsened, and five agonisingly painful attempts to give her fluids intravenously all ended in failure.

We thought she might have died on at least a couple of occasions in the middle of ward rounds. Outside the Red Zone, Katiada was the frequent subject of clinical debate. Ethical issues of life and death. The life and fate of a frightened little girl debated in a team discussion.

Did we leave little Katiada to her fate or make one last attempt to intravenously hydrate her?

Katadia battled on, defying predictions that each day would be her last. At times she appeared to rally: sit up, take oral fluids and show some awareness of the world around her.

At others she was flat, almost lifeless.

While all this was going on, Rugi Conteh, head of our psychosocial team, had located Katadia’s father (a seemingly miraculous development) to try to enable contact between him and his daughter. It became clear that geography and her father’s own health would make a visit impossible, but a phone call might be possible. Another Ebola Virus Disease in Port Loko left to die while Information minister Khanu brags about his foundation for the afflicted.

Standard procedure was to hold a phone up to the wire fence separating Red Zone from the outside world, loudspeaker on, and allow the patient to come to the fence and talk through it into the phone.

Rugi arranged for Katadia’s father to phone at a time when she would be in the zone to facilitate and hold the phone to the ear of his frail little daughter. He spoke to Katadia at length, she was barely able to speak but I gather managed a few whispered words.

The call ended, and shortly afterwards little Katadia passed, and was finally at peace.

I am not given to superstition, but the timing, the sheer coincidence, appeared extraordinary.

It was as if little Katadia had been clinging to life waiting for her father. She had suffered terribly and could, should have died on several occasions.

Katadia was an extraordinary little girl, one of thousands stricken by this terrible disease.

She deserves to be remembered, not just by us but by the wider world.

She symbolised vulnerability, innocence, suffering, and the sheer randomness of life and death. The life that so many of us take for granted.


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©Sierra Herald 2002