''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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President Kabbah's 2007 Handing-over Speech to Ernest Bai Koroma
Headlines 1 Headlines 2 Headlines 3 Headlines 4 Headlines 5 ...Also this

Remembering January 6, 1999 and how hell was let loose on Sierra Leone


...Africa's history over the last fifty years has been blighted by two areas of weakness. These have been capacity - the ability to design and deliver policies; and accountability - how well a state answers to its people. Improvements in both are first and foremost the responsibility of African countries and people.....Africa Report
"Students are armed with AK-47. We have proof and I'll assure you that pistols were taken away from them. Where they got these equipments we don't know" - Alieu Kamara, AFRC junta spokesman (now front man for President Koroma's Attitudinal Change programme) during August 18, 1997 junta crackdown on students and others.

Just a reminder of life under AFRC junta rule. Criticise the junta then and you are tagged an enemy to be a target of the armed killers; do that again even now under the Koroma-led AFRC Mk2 and you become not only anti-government and "unpatriotic", but a full-fledged and paid-up member of the opposition SLPP shadow cabinet!!!!

Merchant of Death now in US custody. This thing called justice - the wheels may seem to move slowly, too slowly, frustratingly slowly, but eventually, they do get there. Welcome to justice Victor Bout.Viktor Bout - the merchant of death

The Sierra Herald welcomes the BBC news item informing all and sundry, especially those interested in human rights, justice and such issues that the "man" dubbed the Merchant of Death by a UK politician is now in the custody of the US justice system. He had fought long and hard to have his extradition to the United States from a Thailand prison declared void. In the end, the patient arm of the law won and Viktor Bout will now be given his day in court - to show that all what had been written about his arms trafficking to conflict areas including Sierra Leone had been a figment of the imagination of his enemies. The US Justice Department in an indictment against him has stated among others, that

"BOUT, an international weapons trafficker since the1990s, has carried out a massive weapons-trafficking business by assembling a fleet of cargo airplanes capable of transporting weapons and military equipment to various parts of the world, including Africa, South America, and the Middle East. The arms that BOUT has sold or brokered have fueled conflicts and supported regimes in Afghanistan, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Sudan".

Saturday November 13, 2010 - Victory for Democracy - Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu KyiThe truth and democracy triumph again as Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is freed from more than seven year house arrest by the military.

It was the UK "Guardian" newspaper that could have best described it with the opening lines - "Children danced, monks meditated and after sustained applause Aung San Suu Kyi spoke to supporters for the first time in years"...as media houses the world over reported today on the release of a woman who has been steadfast in her fight for democracy in Burma. A fight that has seen her losing her freedom of movement for the best part of two decades....but she and her supporters battle on knowing that even as she walked free there are more than two thousand more pro-democrats Burmese who are being held under horrendous conditions by the military. US President Obama called her "a hero of mine" while the UK's David Cameron stated "Aung San Suu Kyi is an inspiration for all of us who believe in freedom of speech, democracy and human rights." Are you listening, are you watching ye praise singers of the human rights-abusing AFRC of Johnny Paul Koroma and his band of killers and rapists during junta rule from May 1997 to February 1998?

Monday November 8, 2010 - Those 12,000 promised life jackets for passengers - Where are they?The uncertainty of sea travel - passengers on a boat - Photo: BBC story

25th February 2010 at 12 noon - this was the day and time the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA) publicly stated it would be opening tenders for the supply of some twelve thousand (12,000) life jackets that are to be used in preventing the tragedy that often hits travellers on our waters in overloaded river crafts. And this after a tragedy at sea in September 2009 that left at least two hundred (200) dead with victims that included school children, traders and other Sierra Leoneans on errands to make something out of life for the living dead. One news source stated "At least 241 passengers were on board the vessel when it sank on Tuesday night southeast of the capital Freetown, but the overall number could be more than 300, said deputy transport minister Osmond Hanciles" And so the  announcement and action by SLMA was received with joy and appreciation even before the jackets hit the waters of Sierra Leone and the Sierra Herald would want to know if the jackets have landed, who won the contract and how much this has cost the tax payer. If the life jackets have landed, we would need to know about the distribution patterns. In simple terms who got what quantity and why?

Thursday November 4, 2010 - President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf dismisses entire but one cabinet ministers as she assesses the performance of members of his executive team. Is neighbouring AFRC Mk2 led by smoke and mirrors Ernest Bai Koroma listening?Liberia's Chief Executive President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf - Photo: Executive MansionWho are these women? From the mother country, Sierra Leone? Find out please

Cabinet ministers in Liberia wake up this morning with the sweat still creating a fine mist on their brows after President Johnson-Sirleaf issued a statement last evening that they had all lost their jobs, even if temporarily as she assesses their performance in their various ministries. Deputies will now take over the running of the ministries. Those ministers who performed as deemed of their offices will be given another opportunity and those who performed below standard will be shown the door. Insiders at the Executive Mansion say the move was to allow the President to have a clean slate on which she can now name a more productive and professional team that would take the country forward in what she describes a "critical phase". The move comes just days after the President celebrated her 72nd birthday on Friday 29th October. Is the President next door in Sierra Leone listening - since his own brand of Goebbels (read Information Minister Ibrahim Ben Kargbo) and his many Der Sturmer outlets have been claiming that he has been assessing the performance of his ministers? So for how long and what happened after those assessments?

Sunday October 31, 2010 - Opposition Challenger in Tanzania - Seif Sharif Hamad of Civic United Front (CUF)The BBC, like other news outlets has described today as Super Sunday - not for lovers of the leather, but for those who know that before the beautiful game can be truly enjoyed, democracy and the rule of law is a must in any country.. and so today, on this Super Sunday for Democracy in some African countries, voters go to the polls to exercise their rights in choosing a government of their choice hoping that at the end of the day all those promises would be respected and implemented for the good of the people. The Sierra Herald is with the people of Cote d'Ivoire where much-delayed elections take off today, with the peoples of Niger where some 2.7 million voters decide on a referendum that would see the military giving way to a democratically-elected civilian administration. According to the news source Bloomberg - "If passed, the charter will re-establish a limit of two five-year presidential terms, which was scrapped by Tandja in August 2009, and give the prime minister the power to appoint government members. Polls opened at 8 a.m. local time and will close at 7 p.m. Meanwhile in Tanzania where President Kikwete goes for his final term in office the ruling Chama Cha Mapunduzi (CCM) will know by the end of the exercise if they still are in the good books of voters.
Saturday October 30 2010 - Indonesia -Through death, deprivation and dispossession, stories of hope as two babies are rescued alive after harrowing experiences.Two-month old baby survivor - Photo: Christian Science Monitor

First on Thursday 28th October came the news that an 18-month-old baby has been found alive in a clump of trees days after a devastating tsunami that killed at least 400 people. Both his parents were reported dead. The baby was discovered on Wednesday, by a 10 year-old child, in a clump of trees on one of the Pagai Selatan islands. Relief coordinator Hermansyah says the little boy is recovering in a health centre. Then two days later on Friday came more good news. This time of a two-month old baby who had survived even after he had been swept away and was found in a storm drain. The Christian Science Monitor reported that he too was now an orphan as both parents were believed to have been killed in the deluge and gale forces that hit the remote Mentawi Islands of Indonesia. The BBC reported that the weather had been hampering relief efforts with heavy rain and high tides making it hard for boats to deliver supplies to the isolated Mentawai islands off the west coast of Sumatra.

John Benjamin - the gadfly of the APC stings again... Chairman of the opposition SLPP John Benjaminand the flying toilets go whizzing all over double time throwing every putrid stuff equally putrid minds could muster. The smoke and mirrors President Ernest Bai Koroma - ...and all because the leader of the opposition SLPP dared to question the shenanigans of the smoke and mirrors President. And when he called the press to express his concerns about how the government appeared to have been engaged in massive corruption as well as interfering with the judiciary, they practically flew off the handle accusing John Benjamin of every crime they could think of, practically begging the government to have the man hanged , drawn and quartered without the benefit of a typical APC kangaroo court. You would think that the Executive controlling the judiciary is an anathema to the APC!!! Indeed ask those who were around when those treason trials were being conducted and then shall you know something which was an open secret those times. Or do we need to remind the gbatolites of how jury members were selected? If Ernest Bai Koroma is really serious about tackling the ills of Sierra Leone society including corruption, let him abide by the APC manifesto and his own words when he stated that if he became President he would separate the Office of the Attorney-General from that of the Justice Minister. And better still, let President Koroma make public his statutory declaration of his assets - the one he purportedly lodged with the Anti Corruption Commission.
Africa's battle against the scourge of corruption. Kenya's Foreign Minister  is shown the door as is the Mayor of the capital NairobiThe sacked Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula.Sierra Leone's Foreign Minister Zainab Bangura - still hanging on In Sierra Leone Zainab Bangura hangs on...

The real action was masked by a choice of a carefully-crafted sentence. Instead of saying that the Foreign Minister had been relieved of his duties or better still sacked, the Mwai Kibaki government coated the bitter pill with "has stepped aside" to allow investigations into the minister and his ministry in the wake of a heated Parliamentary debate over the purchase of property overseas. According to a BBC report a rather dejected and disappointed minister Moses Wetangula told reporters in the capital Nairobi that he felt he was being hounded from office. He said " I have made a personal decision to step aside as minister of foreign affairs to give room and pleasure to those who have been haunting and tormenting me, and to give room for the investigation." And added with this self-assurance "I can assure you I will be back to the cabinet once the investigations are completed because I know I am innocent" According to a Parliamentary Committee report, Kenya lost some 14 million US dollars in a land deal in Japan. Meanwhile the Nairobi mayor Geophrey Majiwa also stepped aside after he was accused of corruption over the fraudulent purchase of land to serve as a new cemetry for Nairobi. According to the Daily Nation  Geophrey Majiwa had pleaded not guilty and vowed to stay on despite the charges, saying he was not a public servant. Meanwhile in Sierra Leone the people wait to see just when the country's Anti Corruption Commission and President Koroma would ask Foreign Minister Zainab Bangura to step aside as the probe into the India rice deal remains eagerly awaited.

Wednesday October 13, 2010 - VICTORY, VICTORY, VICTORY - BBC Breaking News 06:26bst (05:26gmt) - The first miner to reach the surface Florencio Avalos3 miners rescued as operations get under way at Camp Hope to bring out and on to the surface of the earth 33 miners who had been trapped for more than two months underground. This is indeed a dramatic, never before experienced history-making day for the world. For the first time in the history of mine tragedies, co-operation on a worldwide basis involving all from the world of technology, the sciences, the medical field have all been deployed to create history. The BBC addsThe BBC breaking news picture

Three of the 33 miners trapped deep underground for more than two months in northern Chile have been rescued. The first, Florencio Avalos, reached the surface to cheers at 0010 local time (0310 GMT), after being winched up a 624m (2,047ft) shaft in a capsule. Mr Avalos was greeted on the surface by his family, and was hugged by President Sebastian Pinera. Next to emerge were Mario Sepulveda and Juan Illanes. In an address at the mine, Mr Pinera declared the rescue a miracle.

The Sierra Herald joins everybody in congratulating all those involved in the rescue operations and more especially the miners trapped below ground for more than two months who have shown so much courage, so much fortitude and of course family members and relations who had prayed and hoped that they would be able to see their loved ones again. Bravo. Welcome and cheers all round!!!!!

Monday October 11, 2010 - War crimes suspect finally nailed - War crimes suspect Callixte Mbarushimana - is the game up for him?Arrest in France of Rwandan official allegedly directing atrocities in the DRC including whole-scale murder and rape - It's a date with the International Criminal Court (ICC) for 47 year-old Callixte Mbarushimana a war crimes suspect wanted by the government of Rwanda and the International Criminal Court. He thought he was the smartest of operators as he used every means at his disposal to prevent him having his day in court before the ICC. The Rwanda government had issued an international arrest warrant for him and efforts to get him to face his accusers had always failed, with France giving the impression that those within her borders are safe, very safe from prosecution for past wrongs....well until on Monday October 11th when French law enforcement agencies pounced and arrested Callixte Mbarushimana. He now awaits transfer to the ICC cells in the Hague where he is likely to face five counts of crimes against humanity (murder, torture, rape, inhumane acts and persecution) and six counts of war crimes (attacks against the civilian population, destruction of property, murder, torture, rape and inhuman treatment).  Oh this thing called justice...the wheels may move slowly, sometimes annoyingly but be assured that they do get there in the end nailing the evil

It is refreshing to note that despite all the garbage and threats ruling APC operatives and gbatolites could throw at them, the opposition top woman, the wife of former President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah Former President Kabbah - why was he not allowed to read his prepared textheld a reception for key SLPP members who had an eye on the top political seat as Presidential hopefuls on the SLPP ticket. Refreshing because the main opposition party was "allowed" to go about its business without the usual hordes of praise singers and mischief makers who would, without batting an eyelid, have called on the government to arrest, hang, quarter and draw these SLPP members who could be planning a coup!!!!Refreshing to note that no editor has provided a tape recording of the meeting of the SLPP top guns where plans "to create a situation of chaos and mayhem would have seen the army step in and hand over power to the SLPP." Refreshing to note that from their bases in the US, somewhere in Maryland, fingers are no longer pointed at Sierra Leoneans  in the diaspora as well as within Sierra Leone as being a part of the movement to overthrow the government of the APC under the guidance of "the indefatigable, charismatic and.....leader Sierra Leone had been blessed with and who cannot be "unblessed." And now to something interesting. Very interesting. Ever wondered why the APC never allowed former President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah to read his prepared statement when he was handing over the reins of government to Ernest Bai Koroma? Kindly read the statement as was prepared by outgoing President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah to give you a taste of the lie and deceit Ernest Bai Koroma willingly wears with a smile. Update - And up to this time, no one, yeah none of the outlets, the internet flying toilets of the Ernest Bai Koroma praise singers dared deny the claims in that handover statement.


President Ernest Bai Koroma - DCL, D.D., D.Sc, Emeritus Professor in all fields, etc etc - what next as he joins the Yahya Jammeh bandwagon?The Gambian President

It was the BBC's Network Africa programme that first alerted the Sierra Herald to something quite interesting. Friday's (October 1, 2010) programme carried an item on awards given to Gambia's curer of HIV/AIDS and other ailments and which had been vigorously opposed by two colleagues on the international rights body, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). President Jammeh even arranged for a lavish presentation ceremony at his State House with pictures pasted on the website of that office as he gloated over the receipt of 4 (four) awards. The bootlicking Gambian version of Newstime Africa and Cocorioko, known in the Gambia as the Daily Observer duly carried the story with praises to high heavens for their benefactor insisting that President Barack Obama of the United States of America had indeed recognised the good deeds of President Yahya Jammeh!!! The Daily Observer wrote

"Two of the awards with an accompanying letter came from the president of the United States of America, Barrack Obama, who congratulated the Gambian leader for the accolade, and also commended him "for helping to address the most pressing needs" in his community"

And this was what got CPJ on the investigating trail, uncovering the greatest lie, hoax, smoke and mirrors event that ever was laid bare in Banjul. Not to be outdone Sierra Leone's Ernest Bai Koroma has been having his share too. Apart from the recent two carried in the pages of His Excellency's Mouthpieces, we have a couple cooked up by the London branch of "Award Manufacturers Association of the Gbatolites" - AMAG for short - for that is the label we have for them.


Friday October 1, 2010 - Nigeria is 50 today, fifty years after shedding the yoke of colonialism.The blasts are reported to have claimed at least eight livesPresident Goodluck Jonathan

The Sierra Herald joins all well-wishers in congratulating the people of Nigeria as they observe, today Friday October 1, fifty years of post-colonial history. And to mark this the BBC has been running special programmes leading up to the day with a special one designed for this great day. Today's BBC special programmes started off this morning with special features and items relating to the continent's most populous country, a country that loves to call itself, thanks to its own people, the Giant of Africa. But the road to today has not been an easy one with great challenges to democracy and good governance as the military every now and again stepped in to wrest power from civilians or simply fought among themselves to replace one set of khaki doctrine with another. Sierra Leoneans, those pre-disposed to democratic principles will join Nigerians today to celebrate and to thank Nigeria for being a backbone in the defence of democracy and the civilian population when the AFRC/RUF coalition of evil otherwise known as the beasts threatened to annihilate all those who opposed their coup and their stay in power from May 29, 1997 until their ouster in February 1998. Recall the attacks on Nigerians when AFRC Mk2 won the 2007 elections? Floreat Nigeria, Floreat our Nigerian brothers and sisters. Many thanks for your stance in Sierra Leone's dark days. Congratulations!!!!

The Ugly Face of Today's Celebrations as car bombs are set off

The Joy of the release of kidnapped children

September 28, 2010 - A "lucky" protester gets the bootThe grief of the women...as bodies are releasedOne year ago today, in Conakry, neighbouring Guinea, all hell was released on earth as a peaceful march by protesters against what they saw as attempts by the junta to prolong its stay in power was violently smashed by the Dadis Camara junta. Hundreds were killed as troops opened fire on the unarmed civilians, with true figures still unknown. The junta, in a bid to deceive the nation and the international community raided hospitals and mortuaries where bodies had been lying awaiting burial, taking away the dead. Where the bodies were dumped in mass graves still remains a mystery while tens of thousands remain traumatised by events of this day, a year ago, on September 28. The rape of women in broad daylight was witnessed all over the world as news clips were posted on the internet. One year on, the world awaits justice for the victims. The Sierra Herald joins mourning families in praying for the sweet repose of the murdered while asking that the Good Lord in His mercy comforts the relations of the departed as well as the traumatised. Amen.
Saturday September 25th, 2010 - So what was all that noise all about - a noise full of the fury of the damned, full of the fury of lies, untruths and yet more deception signifying nothing, sweet nothing?The visionless and selfish smoke and mirrors Ernest Bai KoromaHis Defence Minister who has re-introduced rice trading in the armed forces. UPDATE ON MONDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER

Sierra Leone's smoke and mirrors President has been at it again. Not satisfied with the badly crafted speech of deception to bewildered Sierra Leoneans in-country, he went on to the international community to talk yet more of what he's good at - making it a must for all those who care to listen to him to have bags of salt standing by. (You need more than a pinch of salt to absorb his glaring untruths) And his gbatolites? Have pity on the poor things. No fault of theirs really for they have come to realise that the more lies and deception they engage in on behalf of their bosses the more they get from state coffers using all manner of routes. And they have also realised that the more their outlets, especially on the internet become the flying toilets of AFRC Mk2, a reminder of that story from Kenya the more they drink deep from the putrid well of deceit. 36 months? Who authorised the smoke and mirrors President that it is he who decides when he should be judged?


Thursday 23rd September 2010 - US President Obama United States President Obama addresses the UN Assemblyaddresses the United Nations and outlines his vision for a fairer and just world praising civil societies for their role in holding governments to account.

The United States President, Mr Barack Obama has used the United Nations forum to tell the world of his vision for world peace and justice urging all countries to play a positive role in the quest for a free, fairer and just world where human dignity would be upheld and protected. Part of the speech that should be noted and must be a warning to many a corrupt government (including that of the cabal in Freetown) was this on one of the pathways to good governance

...letting entrepreneurs start a business without paying a bribe and governments that support opportunity instead of stealing from their people.  And that means rewarding hard work, instead of reckless risk-taking.

President Obama was quite clear in his support for civil society groups - groups are that to be found in Sierra Leone who stand up for the rights of the voiceless despite the chorus of praise singers with selfish interests as the mining minefield in Sierra Leone has shown in recent times.President Koroma's Chief Governance messenger - Photo: Sierra Express Media

Civil society is the conscience of our communities and America will always extend our engagement abroad with citizens beyond the halls of government.  And we will call out those who suppress ideas and serve as a voice for those who are voiceless.....experience shows us that history is on the side of liberty; that the strongest foundation for human progress lies in open economies, open societies, and open governments.

Among those who heard, but probably did not understand or chose to ignore the US President was Sierra Leone's Ernest Bai Koroma and his praise-singing and selfish "delegation" of sorts which included one Khadija Sesay his Director of Open Governance. A body that is meant to be apolitical and all-embracing regardless of party or other affiliations. Indeed!!!!

August 04, 2010 - Central Bank is 46. The travails of the government's banker of bankers. Corruption and yet more corrupt practices.This was the one cent coin which could give kids two diamints or 2 toffees

Forty six years ago today on August 4, 1964 Sierra Leoneans were out in their numbers in the streets of the capital and all over the country to catch a glimpse of the country's new and first national currency - the leone. Much advanced publicity had been given to the launch of the new Bank of Sierra Leone, the country's central bank and so when the new notes and coins hit the streets they were expected. Those around at the time could still recall the smaller-sized 5-cents coin that was to replace the six pence of the West African Currency Board, WACB, as well as the new two leone note that was equivalent to the Pound used by the WACB. It was to be noted that the changes were merely in name as the leone remained pegged to the British pound at 2leones=Br£1. However, over the years, the mismanagement of the economy, sweeping and pervasive corruption encouraged by government functionaries more interested in self than the nation has now seen the leone devalued to unimaginable levels. Ask the re-branded and re-scented Vouchergate exposed and nation-wrecker Victor Foh, EBK's buddy how the Central Bank, the Bank of Sierra Leone, the banker of bankers in the country became a part of the corruption that made nonsense of accountability and good economic management.


That SIM Turay article - an insight into the terror machine of the "democratic" governments of Siaka Stevens and Joseph Saidu Momoh.Celebrating children after the overthrow of SIM Turay's government

The internet has had a fair share of comments ever since the "academic" rant of one SIM Turay who was given protection by the UK government after the April 1992 coup that ousted his masters/benefactors. Some have criticised the one and only Philip Neville for publishing such an item in his online edition of the Standard Times insisting such publications are in the line with the Kangura of Rwanda inciting hatred. (At least it is good to see Philip Neville move away from "providing taped evidence of the SLPP holding a meeting to overthrow the Ernest Bai Koroma cabal" and for those who did not live through it, had it been the APC of yore that evidence provided by Philip Neville would have been used to hang, incarcerate and punish all those believed to oppose the government.) It was good that the publication was made available worldwide as this opens the door to what obtained under the APC that had SIM Turay as head of military intelligence (MIB) as well the other horror who now passes himself off as Defence minister who was head of the military police. Under the watch of their political masters, a new crime - careless talk was used by the police and the security forces to muzzle any form of criticism. Many thanks for the article Philip and with the hope that you will kindly stop your assumed role as another point-man for the government. Remember governments may come, governments may go, but the independent journalist with integrity always stays.



Flagrant abuse of the constitution on the rise again as President Ernest Bai KoromaPresident Ernest Bai Koroma violating sections of the constitution ignores provisions needed in a country trying to recover from the ravages of the decade-long war. The first armed resistance to a post-April 27, 1991 government in Sierra Leone need not have happened had the governments led by Siaka Stevens and Joseph Saidu Momoh adhered to the provisions of the constitutions in force then, the 1978 One Party horror and the watered-down 1991 document. It is to be noted that the preamble to these vital documents clearly states that

"...sovereignty belongs to the people of Sierra Leone from whom Government through this Constitution derives all its powers, authority and legitimacy;...the State shall promote national integration and unity and discourage discrimination on the grounds of place of origin, circumstance of birth, sex, religion, status, ethnic or linguistic association or ties..."

This is a wake-up call to the international community and guarantors of peace and stability. Sierra Leoneans have had enough of the terrible past and just want to enjoy what little they can within the borders of their own God-given piece of Planet Earth. They also want to be given their piece of the national cake as defined in the constitution. They do not want to be reminded of what they had been put through by uncaring and reckless governments and would want all those who worked and died for the peace to bring this evil monster to heel.

Thursday August 27, 2010 - Sierra Leone in mourning - The Grand Old Man of national politics has gone to the great beyond. Dr John Albert Musselman Karefa-Smart is no more.Sierra Leone's First Foreign Minister - Dr John Karefa-Smart

The living lexicon of the politics of Sierra Leone, the one and only Dr John Karefa-Smart is no more having succumbed to an illness that had left him weak and feeble in the last days of his sojourn on earth. This first Foreign Affairs (then known as External Affairs) minister of the country is a man of many disciplines a true symbol of what can be achieved if one sets one's mind to achieving set goals and objectives. He was not only a trained and distinguished medico, but scan through the world of Theology and you will find the name Rev John Karefa-Smart, sift through the records of the United Nations and there will you see a true son of the soil giving off his best in debates at this world body meetings as a representative of a newly-independent Sierra Leone. Observers are only too ready to recall that it was his stance, uncompromising at that, on certain issues that could have made him become Sierra Leone's political Moses as he never became the de jure President of a country he loved so dearly.

May the Good Lord have mercy on his faithful servant, Dr John Karefa-Smart. The Sierra Herald is with grieving relations and acquaintances in beseeching the Good Lord to grant them the strength and courage to bear this great and monumental loss.


Friday August 27, 2010 - A big and historic day for Kenya as new constitution becomes the instrument of governance paving the way for increased power for the people while curbing the powers of the Presidency. The Kenya flag - a new constitution is now readyPresident Kibaki and now Prime Minister Raila Odinga in historic handshakeAccording to the Daily Nation, at 10am this morning (7am GMT) President Mwai Kibaki will initiate the necessary official ritual that will mark a new phase in constitutional change in this East African country had taken some twenty years to accomplish. Observers say the move could well have been hastened by the unsavoury and unwholesome events which erupted after the 2007 controversial elections which put Kenyans at each other's throat leaving more than a thousand dead and thousands if not millions displaced and traumatised. Regional leaders, at least eight, are expected to grace the occasion with controversy already brewing over the invitation extended to Sudan's President Bashir. Human rights groups including the Kenya branch of the International Commission of Jurists are calling on the Kenyan government to arrest him should he touch foot on Kenyan soil. It is not known if the man wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on war crimes charges will attend, but given his fear of the court, no one will be surprised if he fails to turn up. Uganda invited him to the recent African Union summit in Kampala but declined fearing that President Museveni could just deliver him to the ICC.

Thirteen years ago today and on a Thursday too all hell was let loose on innocent civilians of Mabaylla in eastern Freetown as junta operatives slaughtered many in a calculated murderous operation Fugitive AFRC/RUF junta boss Johnny Paul Koromathat was meant to put pressure on the Nigerian ECOMOG peace keeping mission. The junta "Trojan Horse" was meant to get the troops out of Sierra Leone so that the killersw and rapists could "really go to town" and teach a lesson to a civilian population that refused to recognise the murderous human rights abusing AFRC/RUF outfit. Cracks began to appear even before the blame was put on ECOMOG Nigerians as victims shown on junta-controlled TV clearly had bullet wounds!!! Those who visited the scene patrolled by wild-eyed junta gunmen advised themselves not to question the tell-tale marks left by bullets and Rocket Propelled Grenade explosions. And it was on this day, thirteen years ago that one Victor Sylver reporting for the BBC from Freetown became the subject of a massive manhunt...and his crime? Well dare to ask Gibril Gbanabome Koroma and Ibrahim Seaga Shaw, the junta apologists who even today continue to deny junta abuses despite them enjoying the benefits of good governance and the rule of law in Western countries. Remember the junta-organised forced march on Sunday September 7, 1997 that never got off the ground despite the threats of summary executions as civilians were herded into marching lines to shout "We want peace" as they were used as a human shield in the planned assault on ECOMOG positions at Jui?


August 18 - Remembering the victims of AFRC/RUF brutality - Winston Ojukutu-Macauley's scar - as it was in 2007 after 1997 brutalityOn this day 13 years ago under the AFRC Mk 1 (AFRC/RUF) students, pro-democrats and the peoples' freedom were put to the sword as junta journalists kept sealed lips, nodding their approval and passing information to the beasts in human form. This day witnessed armed and drugged soldiers abducting, murdering and raping hundreds of students and pro-democrats who had turned out to protest against the excesses of the Johnny Koroma-led junta - an organisation that had vowed to kill all those who opposed their illegal stay in power. None was spared and as this operative explained in a testimony to the Special Court, it was a time of massive human rights violations ordered from the top seat of the junta. Barely a week after this, the junta-supporting Expo Times came out with this editorial giving legitimacy to the beasts. The "OAU villas" at Hill Station was one of the many sites where female students of the University of Sierra Leone as well as other educational institutions were held against their will. They were routinely raped at gunpoint as threats were shouted in their ears that they would end up dying anyway and should not resist their tormentors. One of the the surviving victims still shudders as she recalls a very drunken SAJ Musa threatening her with a pistol one night after visiting the site to see the state of their victims. And on this day, kindly go through the websites of the AFRC Mk 2-supporting journalists - and you will find no article to the memory of those who died and suffered at the hands of the beasts on August 18, 1997. We salute you great freedom fighters still alive and pay tribute to the memory of those who fell.
August  09, 2010 - As Rwandans go to the polls today - Lessons in how to manage a government's image? Foreign Minister Mushikiwabo on offensive. Rwanda Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo - did her aggresive media onslaught work?Opposition party leader Victoire Ingabire - why was she prevented from registering her party?

Some 5 million Rwandans vote today in an exercise that is largely seen as giving legitimacy to an increasingly intolerant Kagame government intent on giving the "Great Leader" another 7-year term. Opposition parties and individuals critical of Kagame and his Rwanda Patriotic Front party, the RPF say the government had not created the necessary level playing field needed for true democracy in a country still trying to recover from the ravages of genocide with pundits questioning why an opposition candidate Victoire Ingabire was not allowed to register her party. And this even though watchers of the political scene knew that she could not create any meaningful dent in the RPF's grip on power. Amid accusations of repression of critics including the murder of a well-known journalist as well as the near decapitation of one murdered opposition party leader, the Kagame government, just before the polls launched what could be seen as an aggressive international campaign aimed at making nonsense of the claims of critics. And the government official heading this campaign was none other than the country's Foreign Minister herself Louise Mushikiwabo. Any lessons for the desperate AFRC Mk2 of Ernest Bail Koroma? Yes!!!


September 11, 2010 - A victim is escorted to safety after the explosionsNine years ago today. Terrorists attack the United States, exposing the flaws in a system that believed in giving everybody an opportunity to do good to self and others. Exposing just how good can be exploited by evil if good men do nothing. The lessons - any? Remembering those who perished, those who survived and still going through trauma and all those affected by the action of killers in our midst. May the Good Lord in His Mercy be with the departed. May He comfort those who live showing them compassion and mercy in their pain and grief.


August 04, 2010 - Kenyans go to the polls today to determine the fate of a new constitution - a referendum in governance language.President Mwai Kibaki called for a massive turn-out

More than 12 million Kenyans go to voting centres today to decide, in a referendum, whether a new constitution should now rule the politics of this key East African country. There had been fears that the exercise would spark off the kind of violence that erupted after the country's ill-fated 2007 general elections with some communities leaving their normal area of abode to what they believe would be safer areas, thereby affecting the demographic pictures in these parts. President Mwai Kibaki, in a broadcast to the nation last evening and which was reported on global news outlets, appealed to his compatriots to go out and express themselves without fear or favour reminding them of the importance of today's exercise. Security forces are said to be on the alert with thousands deployed to sectors likely to be flashpoints. In the run-up to today's polls, Kenya's electoral body, the IIEC slammed the government for its attempt to use senior civil servants to campaign for the "YES" vote. Electoral Commission chairman Issack Hassan said it is wrong for permanent secretaries and other senior government officials to participate in the campaigns. According to the BBC, both the President and Prime Minister Raila Odinga are backing the "YES" vote.

The rottenness of it all - a self-serving and anti-people government that ignores commonsense. Foreign Minister Zainab Bangura admits there are rotten eggs in our missions. Talk about re-branding.Sacked ambassador Abdul Karim Koroma - Photo: Sierra Express MediaChristian Kargbo - the AFRC Bank Governor

When it comes to picking characters to represent Sierra Leone as envoys, AFRC Mk2, the government of Ernest Bai Koroma knows how to pick the rotten ones in contempt of good advice from the past and from the Sierra Herald. Take the matter of one Abdul Karim Koroma, a former Foreign Minister whose thieving, deceit and outright corruption were brought out by the Beccles-Davies Commission of Inquiry. Part of the report showed how he changed his name from Abdul to Abdel on signed official documents and how aid meant for the country became a part of his personal treasure trove. It was against this report published by the Sierra Herald that AFRC Mk2 went ahead and made him our ambassador to Russia. Well in an interview with the BBC, Foreign Minister Zainab Bangura has now admitted the presence of rotten eggs in our missions abroad and has revealed some token measures taken by the government. She still has not commented on that rice from India deal, nor has she stated a thing about the illegal employment of party stalwarts including, according to some reports, her son, nor the scholarships manipulated by her ministry instead of the Education ministry, nor about gifts she had received on behalf of the country. And she still keeps one-time AFRC Bank Governor Christian Kargbo under whose direction that institution was ransacked, as our representative to the European Union.

How can this be? Ernest Bai Koroma government mortgages Sierra Leone to African Minerals and not a whimper from journalists nor lawmakers.The feeding game in Sierra Leone - betrayal at the highest level

It was the considered view of resource management experts that given Sierra Leone's past in making unwholesome deals that have never been in the interests of the people, war-weary and impoverished Sierra Leone would think twice, even three times before mortgaging the country's mineral and natural resources to the devil again. Not so it seems as Parliament, acting like the proverbial sacrificial lamb allowed itself to be led to the slaughter, allowing one company to exploit the country's iron ore for ninety-nine (99) years and not a whimper of protest either from these bleating goats in the law-making body nor from journalists. Not one - be they from the government side, nor the independent press dared to come out with a critique of this kind of agreement in 21st century Sierra Leone raising suspicions of just how much African Minerals could have splashed out to muzzle them - the parliamentarians and journalists. And the Western governments are there, uncomplaining, without lifting a finger and waiting until Sierra Leone is again plunged into the doldrums of massive and unbridled corruption and the accompanying strife.


The Nazis have done it again - The newly-formed and supposedly independent and apolitical national broadcaster, the SLBC is shamelessly politicised and hijacked by the APC.UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon supported the new national broadcaster

The Nazis at State House have done it again. The visionless and selfish smoke and mirrors Ernest Bai KoromaLike the evil ogres of old, the APC of Stevens and Momoh who boasted that the only thing they could not do was convert a woman to a man, AFRC Mk2 has indeed shown its disrespect for all things decent, all things transparent and has once more shown what it truly represents - an uncaring good for nothing unrepentant cabal of the desperate and spoilers to the core. Just when they were being praised for daring to make the very first and bold move to make the former SLBS an independent body free from government control, there they go again, spoiling everything and making a mockery of the profession. This is what was contained in the advertisement for the post of Director-General and his deputy, the Deputy Director General of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation. The Sierra Herald is now bringing the said appointments to the attention of the United Nations in Sierra Leone as well as representatives of Western backers resident in the country. The United Nations because Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in throwing his support behind the new national broadcaster was convinced like many professionals that it would be good for the country. It would seem the APC has not learnt the lessons of the past, the alienation of certain sections of the community because of political, patronage and the dangers inherent in such moves. More so in a country still described as fragile and trying to come to terms with the horrible past. The two top posts are now occupied by people with no experience in broadcast journalism and management nor are they qualified in terms of the advertisements. Such appointments are not only demoralising to staff, but again brings into the spotlight, the insincerity of the Ernest Bai Koroma set-up. And there are other posts, two, still to be filled that had been advertised in a similar manner. Time to end this smoke and mirrors charade for the good of the country. Please.

July 23, 2010 - The One-Party hangover - APC directs Accountant General to deduct from salaries of diplomats - and this in a multi-party state!!!!Victor Foh - an embodiment of the Ernest Bai Koroma thieving cabal

Update - It was while covering the African Union summit hosted by Sierra Leone in 1980 that one international news magazine TIME wrote that corruption was so ingrained in Siaka Stevens that he found it difficult to differentiate the national treasury from his own pocket. Of course copies of that magazine were all bought off and never hit the streets of Freetown. The 1978 One Party Constitution brought in by Siaka Stevens to ensure that no other party exists legally in Sierra Leone was to provide the Stevens and Momoh administrations an atmosphere where party functionaries played god, made a mockery of law and order and the tenets of basic human rights and created so oppressive an atmosphere that it took an armed insurrection for them to realise that the people had had enough. And just as the mother country is beginning to enjoy the fruits of pluralism, in step the ogres of the past threatening to take the country backwards.


July 18, 2010 - 2nd United Nations Mandela Day is observed as the grand old man of world politics, Nelson Mandela is 92 today - Congratulations Madiba - Congratulations!!!The great Madiba with World Cup 2010 - The event was hosted by South Africa

The Sierra Herald joins well-wishers in congratulating a man who was put through the crucibles of hate and torture, legal shenanigans and all what the apartheid regime could conjure up to break his will. He and his colleagues of the African National Congress withstood it, with a good number succumbing to the physical pain and torture unleashed on all those, black, white and coloured who wanted freedom for everyone in South Africa. In the end, the freedom fighters of all descriptions won and Nelson Mandela became the first African President of a truly independent South Africa. What makes Madiba outstanding, what makes him tall among leaders, past and present on the world stage is that this icon, this example to what governance is all about, refused to make himself a President for Life. One term of the Presidency and he was willing and ready to move on leaving the stage for the young to follow his example and live in harmony with all within the borders of South Africa. On your 92nd birthday Madiba, on the 2nd anniversary of Mandela Day, we say Congratulations and long may you continue to enjoy God's favour!!!!!!!

At last a member of the Bar Association stands up to Serry Kamal, the nolle prosequi exponent of the government.

Some sections of the pressNazi judge Franz Schlegelberger (Sierra Express Media included) Serry Kamal - the neo-Nazi of Sierra Leone's legal system?within and without the borders of the mother country, have in the recent past carried a story of the frustration of a member of the Bar Association at the dispensation of justice by the Ernest Bai Koroma set-up. Legal practitioner Blyden Jenkins-Johnston's letter to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Serry Kamal who in all proportions now behaves like a judge of the Nazi regime, should be seen as a wake-up signal to the government that all is not well and given what led to the mother country's ugly past, behoves the President and his team to immediately put in place structures that would see justice being seen to be done rather than to see justice trampled underfoot by a government which ignores the basics of the rule of law as enshrined in the Constitution as well as in the Manifesto of the ruling APC party. The Office of the Attorney General still continues to be combined with that of the Minister of Justice despite Ernest Bai Koroma's promises thus allowing political considerations that make the nolle prosequi the favourite card of Serry Kamal. Did we hear apologists cry "But we do have such in the United Kingdom too"? Here's something for you.

July 15, 2010 - Death sentence passed on eight alleged coup plotters in the Gambia.The Jammeh government sentences eight to death for alleged treasonGambia's Yahyah Jammeh - claims he can cure AIDS

Eight people have been sentenced to death by a court in the Gambia after they were found guilty of charges relating to treason. According to a BBC report, the men were accused of procuring arms, ammunitions, equipment and mercenaries from Guinea (Bissau) to stage a coup. "After going through the evidence of the prosecution and the defence, I find all the persons guilty and accordingly sentence them to death on all three counts,"  Those sentenced to death include former army chief Langtombong Tamba, former intelligence chief Lamin Bo Badjie and former deputy chief of police Modou Gaye. So what happens now to plans by the ruling APC to arrest and try some SLPP functionaries after those incidents following the Mayor's clock fiasco when government outlets were coming out with reports such as

"SLPP operatives said to be planning to stir up chaos, using Kailahun as launching pad"

"Defiant SLPP thugs planning more attacks on Mayor arrested at SLPP Headquarters",

"SLPP mavericks should not mistake President Koroma's tolerance for timidity"

"SLPP Provoked chaos in Freetown...eyewitness says in report to Cocorioko"

and so on with the Standard Times Philip Neville even claiming he had a recording of a meeting held where the SLPP solicited funds for overthrowing the APC...and by a party that stepped aside after the Electoral Commission ruled it had lost control of government!!!! Whatever happened to the APC plan to try key SLPP functionaries for treason with targeted NPRC members hooked in for good measure?

July 15, 2010 - Rwandan opposition party Vice President found dead. Has this become the calling card of Kagame's Rwanda?The murdered man Andre Kagwa Rwisereka is seen seated at a Green Party meeting.

The Vice President of an opposition party in Rwanda, the Democratic Green Party has been murdered. Reports say Andre Kagwa Rwisereka was found dead with his head almost completely severed from his body close to the Makula River in Butare. One report says that "...the President, Vice Treasurer, Communications Secretary and Secretary-general of the Democratic Green Party travelled to Butare yesterday in response to reports that Rwisereka had disappeared and that his car had been found abandoned. Today the party issued a release announcing that Rwisereka had been assassinated and that his brother, Antoine Haguma, had confirmed seeing his body, with his head almost completely severed. The Rwanda Greens also reported that Rwisereka’s national ID, driver’s license, house keys and car keys were found inside the car, now parked at police headquarters in Huye-Butare town and that his passport had been found in his house in TABA-Butare. He was 61 years old and is survived by four children.

The Guardian

On government property, allocation, rent and abuse.

A couple of news outlets Inspection of SALHOC properties - Photo - AWOKO newspaperhave been reporting on the misuse of government property by government officials with the Cotton Tree News, CTN, reporting that "The Chairman of the National Assets and Government Property Commission Alhaji Unisa Alim Sesay had said that the misuse of government property in the country is very much alarming...that the act was more common among middle level and senior civil servants in the country." The Standard Times did not mince words in naming and hopefully shaming those involved - " The data collected showed that the government of Sierra Leone including staff of the Ministry of Defense, State House, Office of the Vice President and the House of Parliament of Sierra Leone owed a huge amount of Le1, 136,862,059.35 (One Billion, One Hundred and Thirty Six Million, Eighty Hundred and Sixty Two Thousand and Fifty Nine Leones) to the Sierra Leone Housing Corporation.  The Sierra Herald can authoritatively state abuse of privileges by government and party officials is not new. After the APC was kicked out in 1992, the gadfly of the APC, the National Provisional Revolutionary Council, the NPRC (not to be confused with the APC-backed AFRC) set up three Commissions of Inquiry to look into how the APC administrations had been handling things. This is a part of the findings in relation to the Sierra Leone Housing Corporation, SALHOC.





July 13, 2010 - Russian lady spy Anna Chapman stripped of British citizenship.

The woman described by many news outlets Russian spy Anna Chapman - stripped of UK citizenshipas the youngest and most glamorous of Russia's 10 spies (self-confessed) has been stripped of UK citizenship. According to the BBC, Ms Anna Chapman is expected to be "formally excluded" within the next few hours meaning she cannot travel to the UK. She was among 10 Russians arrested in the US who admitted to being agents for a foreign country. Last week her lawyer said she would like to come to the UK as she has a UK passport through a previous marriage. Russia agreed to exchange four US spies for the 10 Russian agents and the swap was carried out in Vienna on 9 July. Ms Chapman, who is also known as Anya Kushchenko, is the daughter of a Russian diplomat. One news source stated - "A red-headed former Barclays Bank employee who holds British citizenship, Chapman became suspicious when an FBI officer, posing as a Russian consular officer named "Roman", summoned her to a meeting on 26 June in New York, gave her a fake passport and asked her to pass it on to another purported spy. Until the Home Office's decision, she had dual Russian-UK nationality.

July 12, 2010 - Evil stalks Uganda - Terrorists target civilians watching World Cup Final between Spain and Holland - At least 60 killed, scores wounded

The hand of evil has struck again. This survivor is believed to be a US citizen. Photo: Various internet sourcesThe target - ordinary and innocent civilians whose only crime was to have gathered at centres yesterday evening where they could watch the concluding match to the month-long competition to find the world's best country when it came to the beautiful game. And this beauty was turned ugly for spectators in Kampala who had converged at the Ethiopia Village and the Kyaddondo rugby grounds to ease their minds and enjoy the beautiful game. At the time of writing this report, the BBC's Joshua Mmali on Network Africa this morning told presenter Audrey Brown that 64 people had been confirmed dead as security forces launched investigations into the attacks. Uganda's President Museveni has visited both sites and vowed that the "cowards would be hunted down wherever they may be". Reports say at least one US citizens were killed. President Obama has described the attacks as "deplorable and cowardly". It is believed that Somalia militants with links to Al-Queda could have been behind it. They are reported to have threatened Uganda for sending troops to Mogadishu to maintain some semblance of law and order for the Transitional Federal Government, the TFG.

New York Times report

Daily Nation of Kenya

Daily Telegraph of Australia

UK supermodel, the one and only Naomi Campbell agrees to testify in Charles Taylor trial at the Hague

UK supermodel Ms Naomi Campbell UK supermodel Naomi Campbell has a date with the Special Court on 29th July.has expressed her readiness to testify at the on-going trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor at the Special Court of Sierra Leone sitting in the Hague. According to the BBC Ms Campbell's public relations company, Outside Organisation, announced late on Friday that she would attend. A spokeswoman said: "She is a witness who has been asked to help clarify events in 1997. Miss Campbell has made it clear that she is willing to help the due process of law. For avoidance of doubt, she is not being accused of any wrongdoing and is not on trial." Prosecutors want to know whether Ms Campbell received diamonds from Mr Taylor at a reception hosted by Nelson Mandela in South Africa in 1997. She is scheduled to appear on July 29 and this announcement comes in the wake of recent legal moves that she could be in contempt of the court if she continues to ignore requests by the court to appear as a material witness in the ongoing trial. Prosecutors had complained that they had tried unsuccessfully to contact Ms Campbell several times since June 2009, when they first heard of the gift. They cited public statements in which she said she "does not want to be involved".

State House creates a new and powerful position of Chief of Staff.
What are the challenges for the first man to occupy such a post?Chief of Staff at State House - Dr Kaifala MarahUS White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has the ear of President Obama

State House in Freetown now has a new office - that of the Chief of Staff and the first person to hold what has been seen as a vital arm of the Ernest Bai Koroma set-up is Dr Kaifala Marah believed to have been seconded from the Commonwealth Office in London. It is not yet public knowledge just what his duties would be and how this would fit in with that of other offices at State House where there is a Secretary to the President as well as other top management and civil service employees. Whatever the case, the Sierra Herald hopes that the man would be given a free hand to give State House some degree of respectability, accountability and financial probity given the awful mess going on behind the scenes as hustlers manoeuvre themselves into "blessed" and "unblessed" positions. How he fits in with the President's hand-picked human rights abusing and criminally-inclined security detail headed by the notorious Idrissa Kamara aka Leatherboot remains to be seen. He would no doubt also have to move mountains in regulating the flow of visitors/hustlers to the seat of political power. Is his role going to be in the template of the United States White House Chief of Staff?


July 7, 2010 - Five years ago today, 52 killed and many wounded and traumatised as evil hit the transport system of London. Death and destruction delivered by home-grown terroristsHelping a victim - the picture that said it all - London unbowed

Five years ago today, on July 7, 2005 the forces of evil struck unsuspecting and innocent commuters using London's transport system - a system that facilitates the movements of millions who make the capital tick, who make the capital London the vibrant and all-embracing and all-welcoming metropolis that is the pride of residents as well as visitors. And when the smoke cleared, the debris removed, bodies patched and those beyond repair buried, it was discovered that horror upon horrors, the four perpetrators of this act were not from an invading army, but from beasts born within the borders of the United Kingdom whose parents had worked hard to make a new home in a country they were proud to call their home. They were not to know that their offspring would bring such shame and disgrace, such lack of appreciation. such lack of respect for humanity. The Sierra Herald is with all those affected, relations of the dead, the survivors, the traumatised and pray that the Good Lord will comfort the living and  grant the dead sweet repose. Amen

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