''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 8 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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Sunday February 6, 2011 - Hold the front page - This is US Super Bowl Day of the US NFL and its a battle to the finish between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Cowboys Stadium in Texas. This is not about the corrupt beasts of no nation robbing the people of the mother country to the bone....this is about a worthy Sierra Leonean.Madieu Williams - Showing just how you can make Sierra Leone proud

Madieu Williams has just won the prestigious Walter Peyton Man of the Year Award for the year 2010.

Madieu was not physically present at the stadium where the announcement was made, but he followed events and sent a message from Iraq where he'd gone to visit US troops. He was one of three finalists. This is what is expected of Sierra Leoneans, real people who care, who hold lofty ideals, who love the land called Sierra Leone a land that once bred truly honest and selfless men. A land that is still been ripped apart by evil - men and women in positions of trust and authority who use their offices - not to enhance the lives of the underprivileged and unconnected, but to feather what they believe are cosy nests built on the  sweat and blood of the poor.

The Washington Post's Cindy Boren carried this news flash reminding readers of his Sierra Leonean root.

Well done Madieu. Thanks for keeping the country's flag high.

Update: The Green Bay Packers beat "the men of steel" - the Pittsburgh Steelers with the scores - 31-25 - FOX NEWS

Sunday January 16, 2011 -Ivory Coast - Fools rush in where angels fear to tread The learned Prof Mills knew about the complexity of the Ivory Coast situation and refused to go the ECOWAS way calling for force

This is an adage that fittingly applies to Sierra Leone's delegation sent by ECOWAS to deliver a message to the somewhat embattled President Gbagbo of Ivory Coast. Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma was one of three Heads of State from the ECOWAS region specially appointed to let Mr Gbagbo see reason and leave quietly or face the prospect of his forceful removal from power. Ernest Bai Koroma was not appointed the leader of that delegation nor was he made spokesman. His Information Minister Ibrahim Ben Kargbo was heard all over the place threatening fire and brimstone, telling international media outlets that Gbagbo would be removed by force if he fails to leave quietly. And this from a man who spat venom on anyone who dared suggest/hint that his masters in the AFRC/RUF coalition of evil be removed by force during those terrible days after the May 29, 1997 bloody and violent coup. This from a man who had eyed the Foreign Ministry as his next rung in his ladder of ambition even before the removal of the hapless Zainab Bangura. Ghana's John Evans Atta Mills was bold enough to make it known to all and sundry that his government would not contribute any of his troops to such an action. He knew all to well that the Ivory Coast situation is not as simple as it looks from the surface. This pin prick in the balloon of the ECOWAS should send a clear message.


Sunday January 2, 2011 - A New Year message from one of the aspirants in the race for the SLPP Presidential symbol - the one and only Usman Boie Kamara (USU)SLPP Presidential hopeful Usman Boie Kamara - USU for you

As the race for who would be the flag bearer for the SLPP in time for the 2012 General Elections in Sierra Leone gets into higher and higher gear, the campaign for the leadership symbol continues unabated with candidates traversing the length and breadth of the country, selling their ideas to party voters. It is a field of 23 candidates with each having the dream that at the end of the day, he/she would be the flag bearer with enough support nationally to defeat incumbent President Ernest Bai Koroma whose gbatolites claim has turned Sierra Leone into a paradise on earth for everyone - and all within just three years!!! It is to be recalled that during one of his campaign tours, the police actually prevented him, Usman Boie Kamara that is, from entering Kono District with the police insisting that they were carrying out orders "from above" (read State House) - thus going by the same script Siaka Stevens used against perceived political opponents.

Sunday January 2, 2011 - Irony of ironies - AFRC supporters now calling for the removal by force of one Mr Gbagbo. Remember how they were sore displeased and vexed to high heavens when the people asked that their AFRC masters be removed by force?Incumbent President Gbagbo - digging in his heelsPresident Jammeh - he disagrees with the ECOWAS decision

Strange things do happen when the boot is on the other foot or the whip hand changes. Remember during those horrible days after the 1997 coup when the beasts made it a duty to torment Sierra Leoneans held hostage in their own country? Remember when the people with one voice cried for a military intervention to free them from the daily acts of murder, rape, arson and plunder? It was widely condemned by pro-AFRC/RUF gbatolites and outlets...and now in the case of Gbagbo with one voice they are now calling for a military intervention to remove him. How times and things change!!! And among those threatening the use of force is an ECOWAS delegation which includes - Ernest Bai Koroma head of AFRC Mk2. It would appear that Gbagbo is now an isolated man shunned by all or nearly all of Africa's leaders or so we are made to believe until you ask Angola or the Gambia whose President the man who clobbered Ernest Bai Koroma in the race for awards. On his website he notes

The Gambia Government has issued a Statement expressing strong reservations about the decision by a recent ECOWAS Heads of State Meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, to assume all means necessary, including the use of military force, to compel the Government headed by incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo of Cote D'Ivoire, to relinquish power.

Saturday January 1, 2011 - All eyes on M Gbagbo...it's just a matter of time but why is he so defiant? Has Ernest Bai Koroma been handed a poisoned chalice?

The whipping boy in the political landscape of Ivory Coast, the man widely believed to have lost the vote in the crisis-laden country, incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo must now be asking himself in his quiet moments just how he came to find himself in his present situation. Loathed and condemned by all true democrats but still adored by a circle of friends who rely on his favours for their continued enjoyment of what they believe is the good life that comes with having an umbilical cord kept alive by resources from the Gbagbo-controlled purse. These would be the selfish and sometimes faceless ones who would be urging Monsieur Gbagbo not to give up power just like a similar group from the APC party threw their lot behind the rights-abusing AFRC/RUF coalition of evil in Sierra Leone. It was a good if not cynical idea to have one Ernest Bai Koroma as a member of the ECOWAS team sent to Gbagbo - a team which only succeeded in coming out with nothing, zilch - an exercise in futility. For a party (APC) with a philosophy that only a fool would allow his ruling party to lose power at the polls, that Ivory Coast assignment could well be a poisoned chalice - a trap that awaits Ernest Bai Koroma come elections 2012 and after in his own country Sierra Leone.

Sunday December 26, 2010 - The great cocaine deal and how the government manipulates the judiciary as Justice Minister Serry Kamal goes for his pound of fleshThe shark - former Justice Minister Serry KamalPresident Koroma - why is this man going against the oath he took?

Wikileaks, oh wikileaks - many thanks for revealing just how the Ernest Bai Koroma government operates - interfering in the country's judicial process (a crime against the constitution) while trying to keep his magician's face. The New York Times has published a couple of cables relating to drug trafficking in Guinea involving the son of that country's former President as well as cables from the US embassy in Freetown which clearly shows just how the President interferes with and in the administration of justice - deviating from his oath when he was sworn in as President. One of the cables paints a worrying picture of buccaneering shark former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General Serry Kamal who would stop at nothing to squeeze money out of suspects held by the police as well as throwing light on why justice is denied to the poor and unconnected in Sierra Leone. How much rotten wealth and unfair and unethical advantage did Serry Kamal accumulate while abusing his position as Attorney-General and Minister of Justice?

An independent judicial inquiry consisting of international and national legal minds is called for here and we would urge the government to do just that.


***UPDATE - Please take a look at the other Wikileaks document also published by the New York Times. Both documents clearly show President Ernest Bai Koroma illegally manipulating the judiciary and the judicial process for his gains. This runs counter to the constitution which separates the three arms of governance. Impeachment bells are ringing here we think.

Monday December 20, 2010 - Kenyan journalist caught in the ICC net....a warning to Sierra Leone's overenthusiastic praise singers preaching hatred and intolerance?

Kenya's former police chief Ali - to face the ICCHead of Sierra Leone Police Francis Munu - is he reading the warnings?

On Wednesday December 15, 2010 the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, the ICC finally made public the names of six people it would like to face justice in the court. All of those accused, except one were known politicians and government operatives the apparent odd man out was a radio journalist Joshua Arap Sang, station manager and popular broadcaster of the KASS radio station. KASS broadcast mainly in the Kalenjin language, one of the principal languages spoken and understood by people living in Kenya's Rift Valley Province. The six, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kirimi Muthaura, former Head of the Police Mohammed Hussein Ali, Minister for Industrialisation Henry Kogsey, sacked Education minister William Ruto and radio executive Joshua Arap Sang have all denied they ever played a leading role in the post-election violence in Kenya of 2007 that left more than a thousand dead. The Sierra Herald has noted that the various internet outlets of the demi-god in Freetown (read Ernest Bai Koroma) have so far refused to comment what this means to their kind of writings. One more point - that the former Police Chief could have been charged for such a serious crime should be a warning sign to Brima Acha Kamara and the present police chief Francis Munu.


Tuesday December 14, 2010 - The Ivory Coast debacle. How to forget the lessons of history....and the real winner is the notorious gunrunner next door Blaise Campaore of Burkina Faso.Government troops at the start of the crisis

So much has been written about the Ivory Coast, President Gbagbo, President-elect Ouattara and recent events that one may be forgiven for thinking that the villain in the whole set-up is none other than the man who has refused to go - Monsieur Laurent Gbagbo. President-elect Alasane Ouattara is now holed up in a hotel where he's guarded by UN troops and....yes elements of the former rebels who occupied the north of the country - half of the country!!! This means that despite reports by the UN and other interested parties that the rebels had been disarmed and incorporated into the national army the incident between the army and elements of the rebels outside the hotel where Ouattara is holed up shoots a hole in this premise. The rebels are still armed and are a force to be reckoned with. One elections observer with experience in Africa and other parts of the world has told the Sierra Herald that elections are "rigged" long before the observers move in and that what happens on election day are just mere dress rehearsals. How come the guarantors of the peace in the country did not look at the conflicting constitutional provisions between what the National Elections Office says and what the constitution states?


Saturday December 11, 2010 - Kono local bye election for District Chairman and the international community is in town to observe the conduct of the polls. Could this community have sensed the desperation of the ruling party to use all means necessary, unfair mainly, to win elections?How desperate is this smoke and mirrors President for a second term?

Representatives from the United Nations, the international military observer team, the United States as well as the United Kingdom were in Kono today to observe the conduct of the local council election that should usher in a new District Council Chairman after that post became vacant when the holder was rewarded with an ambassador's job in Russia. A member of the observer mission team did not shy away from stating things very bluntly when he told the BBC that they were in Kono because of ugly developments that had been reported in the recent past against the opposition and did not bother to use any diplomacy when he stated that in the last explosion of violence against the main SLPP opposition party which he described as despicable, human excrement was used as an attack weapon against the SLPP. One news outlet, the New People published a statement from the SLPP on this. But kindly do not state this within earshot of the former Press Secretary to the President who is now Deputy Information Minister, the one and only Sheka Tarawallie alias Shekito alias xxxx who wrote in his various outlets that it was the SLPP team who travelled all the way from Freetown to Kono with barrels and barrels as well as tankers and tankers of human excrement used in daubing their offices in Kono in order to give his clean APC party (AFRC Mk2) a bad name!!!!! The candidates for the various political parties according to reports are - APC Diana Finda Konormani, SLPP Matturi Safoa Lee, PMDC Unisa Emmanuel Samba and NDA Rachael Yongai.

Friday December 10, 2010 - Human Rights Day. As Sierra Leone joins the world community in observing Human Rights Day, it's time to take a look at how far the country has come since the days of "careless talk", torture at interrogations and  the "buff case" concept and improve upon our record.President Koroma - how much is he doing to respect and protect the rights of all?

Today Friday December 10 should be a time of reflection for those in government as well as the governed and to see how best all sides can respect the rights of each other - first and foremost as human beings desirous of enjoying all the conventions on human and other basic rights Sierra Leone has put a pen to. And this year's theme and action is dedicated to all those who are defenders of human rights - those who despite dangers to themselves point out the evils in society as perpetrated/encouraged by governments. As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon notes

"Human rights defenders play a vital role in the fight against discrimination. They investigate violations and help victims gain justice and support. Far too often, their work entails tremendous risk. Defenders are harassed, stripped of their jobs and wrongfully imprisoned. In many countries, they are tortured, beaten and murdered. Their friends and family members are also subjected to harassment and intimidation. This Human Rights Day is an occasion to salute the courage and achievements of human rights defenders everywhere – and to pledge to do more to safeguard their work. States bear the primary responsibility to protect human rights advocates. I call on all States to ensure the freedom of expression and the freedom of assembly that make their work possible.

It is a dangerous job, but a job that must be done and the Sierra Herald salutes all those who have the courage to challenge whatever authority in condemning violations of the rights of individuals as was particularly witnessed during the one-party era and that of the rule of the AFRC/RUF coalition of evil otherwise known as the beasts.


Wednesday December 8, 2010 - The mystery deepens. Jailbreak in Freetown and "dangerous" prisoners are let loose. Who gave VP Sam Sumana the authority to sack the Director of Prisons?Vice President Sam Sumana - does he understand good governance principles?

Mystery still surrounds the circumstances under which some 39 or so people held at the maximum security prison at Pademba Road escaped from custody in broad daylight, in the full view of some bewildered onlookers who had to rub their eyes twice, even thrice or more to ensure they were fully awake. This dramatic jailbreak was reported to have occurred on a Sunday (December 5, 2010) at a time when security around the prison area was thought to have been stepped up a notch or two and when no one was thinking of a jailbreak as all the junta operatives of AFRC Mk1 of Johnny Paul Koroma were now a part of the government of Ernest Bai Koroma. Two questions need to be answered. On what constitutional provision did VP Sam Sumana fire the Prison Director - a top civil servant...and how many of the escaped prisoners have links with drug trafficking and money laundering operations in Sierra Leone? The "swift" action of the VP to sack Director Showers raises many other questions. Remember what the APC operatives said then when the Waterloo Street shooting area was visited by APC top guns which included then Vice President Francis Mischek Minah before his arrest and eventual execution? We shall remind you - oh you of a selective amnesia syndrome.


Wednesday December 8, 2010 - State House denies the Wikileaks cables over the cocaine deal and the President's man Kemoh Sesay but events on the ground seem to agree with the Wikileaks.Head of Police Francis Munu - was he rewarded for not charging Kemoh Sesay?

State House in Freetown has denied the content of a Wikileaks cable over the cocaine plane arrest and the role of APC operatives, among them Kemoh Sesay and his brother. A spokesman for President Ernest Bai Koroma, Director of Information Unisa Sesay told the BBC in a report by Umaru Fofanah from Freetown that suggestions that President Koroma somehow protected his Transport and Communication minister Kemoh Sesay were not true. It will be recalled that that in June 2008, the authorities in Sierra Leone found themselves caught in the glare of international publicity as a Cessna plane loaded with some seven hundred kilograms of cocaine, firearms and fuel made was at first reported to have been a forced landing. It later emerged that this was part of a grand plan by South American drug smugglers to use corrupt and sometimes fragile West African states and officials as staging posts for the smuggling of drugs into Western Europe and the United States. The recent unfolding of events after the Wikileaks and last evening's denial has now raised more questions more so after statements attributed to the Presiding Judge at the trial of those arrested. One report noted the judges anger at the failure of the police to charge the then Transport and Communication minister Kemoh Sesay.

'I must express my strong disapproval of the prosecution's failure to charge Sesay (Kemoh Sesay - Ed) In my view, the [state] prosecution was holding back vital evidence and was prepared to jeopardise their case in order to save perhaps one person from perdition.'

And so despite the denial, what's happening on the ground in Sierra Leone clearly points to State House protection of Kemoh Sesay and the usurping of judicial powers during the investigations into the cocaine plane seizure trial in Freetown contrary to the constitution


Monday December 6, 2010 - The Wikileaks brouhaha and Sierra Leone's smoke and mirrors President Koroma gets mentioned. Is there a link between the Koroma election campaign fund and drug trafficking?President Ernest Bai Koroma violating sections of the constitution

The Guardian has published Wikileak cable messages from the US embassy in Freetown to the US authorities over that cocaine plane seizure at the Lungi international airport in the north of the country. According to the leak, doubts were being expressed over the sincerity of President Koroma more so in his much-trumpeted mantra about not having sacred cows and more especially his pronouncement that all involved in the cocaine scandal would face the law. Read how the Executive (President Koroma) interferes with the Judiciary even though the constitution clearly separates the three arms of governance.

"Sesay was questioned by the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) August 5, but the SLP had orders from the President to neither charge nor detain him. This runs counter to Koroma's public and private statements which have said he will hold anyone connected to the cocaine bust accountable, regardless of their connections. Also, following an Embassy offer August 1, the GoSL has accepted and offer for DEA to assistance in the investigation, and possible help with the deportation of the accused."

The "Sesay", Kemoh Sesay that is, mentioned in the above quote is the same who has just been included in the President's recent antics of a "Cabinet Reshuffle" as a Special Adviser. A smoke and mirrors move that still sees one man holding the post of Attorney-General and Justice Minister!!!

Yearning for the mother country?

The right choice is Kevin McPhilips Travel

©Sierra Herald 2002