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


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Vol XI 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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Saturday August 23, 2014 - Need for transparency and accountability lest the fundraising exercise on behalf of the Ebola campaign becomes another money-spinner for the rat and his fellow rodents of corruption and chicanery. We condemn the pressure on quasi-government and other institutions to contribute. This is not our version of London's Black Death - we know what must be done.

As we continue to pray that the ravages of the deadly Ebola disease be reduced, if not completely eliminated, we have not lost sight of the fact that prayer alone is not the answer but that the Good Lord, looking at us from above would also want to see what we as humans are doing to help ourselves so that He can lend us His all-powerful healing hand. In short the government of the rat, the smoke and mirrors occupant of State House must be seen to be leading on strategies, practical ones at that, that would reflect just how serious we are, as a country thus afflicted, in tackling the scourge that has made the lives of our people so terrible, so unpredictable these days.

We shall continue to raise concerns on the manner in which raising funds for the fight against the deadly disease is being handled. Given the number of reports carried in a number of the rat-sponsored outlets on the internet one can clearly see a lack of coordination in this direction with various entities raising the flag that calls for donations.

We have stated it before and will do so again. Pictures of the rat smiling from ear to ear as his paws get stretched out to receive donations are just not right. There should be an account in one of the banks, made public where these donations could be deposited with the committee in charge of the fight informing the public of donations so far received on a regular basis. That committee should also make it a duty to report on what the money received is being spent on so that there's a clear picture of transparency and accountability. This is what will encourage external donors to lift the foot on the brake and allow funds to flow in after convincing their citizens and members of various organisations that there's transparency and accountability.

And just as we opposed government-owned institutions and subsidiaries making their way to State House to be photographed with the rat as they handed over cheques purported to be profit from their operations, so too do we condemn any such move when it comes to donations to the fund to help in the fight against the scourge. This is no time for such photo opportunities with the rat.

The one main obstacle that could well be hampering the fight against Ebola is the lack of leadership - something that is deeply and lacking in the rat and it is no wonder therefore to read a quote from the medical charity MSF that -

"Efforts to curb the deadly Ebola epidemic that swept across four West African states are being undermined by a lack of leadership and emergency management skills, the international head of Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) said on Thursday."

We know how awful and heartless the rat and his cronies are when it comes to accounting to the people about their wealth quite believing that whatever falls in their greedy paws are for their personal use and comfort while the true beneficiaries remain neglected. It is indeed a lack of leadership and trust in government operatives that would see a whole nation getting up one morning at some unholy hour to wash their bodies in warm salt water because they heard from somewhere that this would protect them and cure any Ebola infestation!!!!

Here we must take a look back in history and learn - about what happened during the Great Plague/Black Death of 1665-66 that hit a London that was as unprepared for it as it was ignorant about the real cause of the disease that took the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners. It was a situation that saw the then reigning King abandoning London for what he believed would be areas that would be untouched by the plague.

"Some people started to blame the cats and dogs that roamed the streets for the rapid spread of the disease. The Mayor thought they could be right, and so issued the order to destroy all of them. 40,000 dogs, and 200,000 cats were put down. So now there were no predators left to keep the number of rats down and the speed of the spreading of germs was increased even more! By August there were 6,000 deaths each week. By the beginning of 1666 the winter temperatures had dramatically reduced the number of new cases, but the terrifying death toll had reached over 100,000. The King decided it was time to return to the Tower of London. Although the weather was cooler, the epidemic was still not over. The rats were still thriving on the litter and unsanitary conditions, but mercifully infection had slowed down.

"At the first sign of a person having contracted the disease, their whole family were sealed into their home, and prevented from leaving. A cross was painted on the door, and guards were set to ensure there was no escape. Many of the guards were murdered by the people inside by lowering a rope around their necks from the top windows and strangling them in their bid for freedom. All medical personnel, or helpers, attending to the victims, had to identify themselves with bright coloured canes to help prevent others coming into contact with them."

Kindly read this excerpt, especially that relating to the increase in the cost of food more than six hundred years ago when the plague hit Londoners. "Written evidence from the time indicates that nearly all the victims died within three days though a small number did last for four days.

Why did the plague spread so quickly? In towns and cities people lived very close together and they knew nothing about contagious diseases. If they did, they would have avoided close contact with others (staying at least a metre apart) if they themselves were ill or if others around them were ill. They would also have been careful to cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

Additionally, the disposal of bodies was very crude and helped to spread the disease still further as those who handled the dead bodies did not protect themselves in any way. Lack of medical knowledge meant that people tried anything to help them escape the disease. One of the more extreme was the flagellants. These people wanted to show their love of God by whipping themselves, hoping that God would forgive them their sins and that they would be spared the Black Death.

The Black Death had a huge impact on society. Fields went unploughed as the men who usually did this were victims of the disease. Harvests would not have been brought in as the manpower did not exist. Animals would have been lost as the people in a village would not have been around to tend them. Therefore whole villages would have faced starvation. Towns and cities would have faced food shortages as the villages that surrounded them could not provide them with enough food. Those lords who lost their manpower to the disease, turned to sheep farming as this required less people to work on the land. Grain farming became less popular – this, again, kept towns and cities short of such basics as bread. One consequence of the Black Death was inflation – the price of food went up creating more hardship for the poor. In some parts of England, food prices went up by four times." Something worth thinking about as we try to contain the deadly Ebola Virus Disease...and thank God we know what causes it and how we can avoid it spreading. Therefore let us use the vast knowledge in our hands and do the right thing and stop groping in the dark as did those concerned Londoners of yore.

For those government agencies that have been making a beeline for State House and making grandiose announcements of donating to the government coffers in the fight against the Ebola scourge, we would want to remind them of something in the past and for which there would be a time of reckoning. This scourge is no respecter of age. We wish this child well and hope she recovers fully we pray.

Kindly take a look at the final report of the Justice Lynton Nylander Commission of Inquiry under the NPRC - Volume Four that dealt with, among others, the Sierra Leone Produce Marketing Board, the SLPMB headed by one Delordson Moinina Kallon. This man was appointed Managing Director on 15th August 1990 and laid off 30th June 1992, the day the Board ceased operations. We refer you to page 60 of that report and paragraph 29:-

"A donation of one million leones was made to Ekutay. Why was that, asked Counsel. Mr Kallon said under the conditions prevailing at the time everyone who attended the meeting was bound to make a pledge. So the Marketing Board gave a pledge as a gesture towards the APC Party, which was supported by Ekutay and also the ruling party of the former President J. S. Momoh. That was the only reason why the payment was made. The Board was under political influence and pressure.

30. Mr Kallon said that the APC government caused the collapse of the Marketing Board. The government owed the Board six hundred million leones. Then they privatised the produce trade. Mr Kallon was asked about the 1,000 bags of cement he also donated to the APC in Kenema. He said he had to make this gesture in order to be in the good books of the then government. The Minister, Mr J B Dauda instructed him to donate the 1,000 bags of cement. The directive  was sent  on his complimentary slip."

We now have to ask the question that could be on the lips of many.

Given the desperation of the rat and his fellow rodents to garner money from any and all sources, to the point of him flailing the international community - what has he and his band of thieves contributed from their ill-gotten wealth stashed in banks and properties abroad?

What have we seen coming from the safes of the rat from where he would dish out foreign currency to those who praise him as well as bribes to lure political opponents to his side?

How much money from his foreign bank accounts has he transferred to Sierra Leone to help the national effort?

How much has he used to purchase the much-needed protection equipment and specialised vehicles that would be needed to take those afflicted to isolation and treatment centres?

How much has his Finance Minister, his Information Minister, his Foreign Minister, his siblings who have become overnight millionaires contributed to the national effort?


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