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


S I E R R A  H E R A L D

Vol 9 No 5

The tendency sometimes to protect perpetrators for the sake of peace...doesn't help society. Impunity should not be allowed to stand. - Kofi Annan on Waki report

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Thursday March 1, 2012 - Dr Christiana Thorpe - please tread very warily and very carefully lest it be upon your head that you created the field for chaos, and anarchy in Sierra Leone. Kindly abide by the constitution and the spirit of the National Electoral Commission rules and regulations. Do not be another Samuel KivuituFormer Head of Kenya's Electoral Commission Mr Samuel KivuituDr Christiana Thorpe - beware, please beware lest you be blamed.

The 2007 elections in Kenya would and should have been like any other - with the government of President Mwai Kibaki having ensured that he had key elements at the National Electoral Commission well under his thumb to ensure him victory. As it turned out, despite the tremendous gains made by the opposition, Kenyans saw incumbent Mwai Kibaki hurriedly sworn in for another term. This created the chaos, destruction and the death of more than a thousand Kenyans of all ethnic groups, ages and sexes as supporters of the opposition ran riot accusing the electoral body of stealing the elections in favour of the incumbent.

In heat of the rising tension and surprise at how incumbent Mwai Kibaki was so hastily sworn in with results yet to be ratified, the head of the electoral body of Kenya, one Samuel Kivuiti is reported to have told reporters that he did not know who really won the 2007 polls. Four years later, last year Mze Samuel Kivuiti made it clear that he never stated that he did not know who won the polls. He told a TV programme that he was asked if Mr Kibaki had won the 2007 elections fairly. He said that the description "fairly" kicked his legal training as a lawyer into gear and admitted that he did not know if Mr Kibaki had won fairly.

He went on to paint a scenario of pressures on him both from the government and the opposition but he put the blame squarely for the failure of his electoral commission on the senior officers he had as a part of his team. "I had no say in how they were chosen...even though I had suggested that all such appointments were to be made in conjunction with the opposition. The government ignored this", he told one news outlet.

Another news outlet noted

"In the run up to the 2007 elections, President Kibaki ignored calls by the Opposition -- then led by Mr Raila Odinga -- to involve them in the filling of positions in the now defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya. And for the first time since the election, Mr Kivuitu revealed that he was not in "full control" of the commission. "Commissioners were appointed in a way that I disapproved. President Kibaki should have consulted the Opposition. I was not in full control of the commission because I was working with people who were uncomfortable with me," he said. He said had he been given opportunity to give evidence in case of a court petition, he would have testified against President Kibaki -- especially on the appointments. "The appointments should have been transparent and fair. I did not enjoy the kind of control I would have preferred," he said. "Those who were appointing members to the electoral commission did not play their part well. Our credibility went down. There was no magic wand to wave."

We have taken the time to recall certain events in Kenya which plunged that country into chaos and which has now seen some key players in that unfortunate but easily avoidable incident facing the ICC in the Hague. This is the reason why we have had to issue this piece of advice to Dr Christiana Thorpe and members of her commission - that they abide by the provisions of the constitution as well as the spirit of the rules and regulations governing the registration of voters for the November 2012 polls.

Sierra Leone cannot afford to go through the Kenya example. We had had polls in 2002 and 2007 that were conducted by the then ruling SLPP and we never heard of this mass ferrying of people into areas from neighbouring countries into parts of Sierra Leone where they are unknown, not ordinarily resident.

We would urge that should she be in doubt over the meaning of "ordinarily resident" that she consults with colleagues of the sub-region as well as others on the continent so she can envisage and see the bigger picture of what ordinarily resident/residency is all about.

The main opposition SLPP's Chairman John Benjamin and the Presidential flag bearer Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio had raised concerns over the ferrying of alleged APC supporters to register in areas where they are not normally resident with such "residents" brought in by hired trucks and other means of transportation paid for and facilitated by APC and government functionaries in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

The recent influx of a band of shameless so-called APC stalwarts from the UK - a band of the corrupt who are ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, should be a cause for concern as their action violates the meaning of "ordinarily resident".

These opportunistic vermin, corrupt to the core, unprincipled and praying at the altar of their party should not be registered as legal voters in the run-up to the November polls. Their action clearly demonstrates that despite seeing the benefits of good governance, the rule of law and the principles of accountability and transparency in the United Kingdom, these shameless bunch are the type that give good Sierra Leoneans a bad name.

They should not be encouraged in this blatant attempt to steal the people's mandate.

Again we repeat - they themselves know that they are not ordinarily resident in any part of Sierra Leone.

These shameless and deceitful band of voting brigands belong to the same set that has run out of options in their invention of "awards" for President Koroma and the great First Lady, the one and only Sia Koroma, hoping that this illegal action of theirs would swell the vote for their desperate man at State House, the smoke and mirrors President Ernest Bai Koroma (PhDx4, BDGT, SSQ, HOUND (Zogoda Division), BA-USL (Division - Let My People Go).

As far as Sierra Leone's Gestapo Chief is concerned, we would continue to monitor his "public notices" protecting such illegality while trying to suppress the opposition and its supporters. We wish him well as he tries to rig the votes for his master - the man who kicked him upstairs into his present position while bypassing far more experienced and educated officers in the force.

We would like to remind Francis Munu that what he is doing is nothing new as APC governments in the past used the security forces as tools in the stealing of the votes of the people. We would also like to remind him of the "antics" of a notorious former head of the police who did more evil acts against perceived opponents within and outside the APC party itself, not to talk of the opposition whose members were picked up and incarcerated at a whim by the all-powerful police chief then.

We would also like to remind Francis Munu to read and re-read the history of our troubles and for him to try to figure out why the police was targeted in the RUF's murderous campaigns against all what represented the oppressive ogre of intolerance known as the APC.

Let Francis Munu figure out why there was so much resentment among the people against the police forces of Siaka Stevens and Joseph Saidu Momoh as well as the mounting resentment harvested by an APC beneficiary so desperate to get "a second term".


Yearning for the mother country?

The right choice is Kevin McPhilips Travel

©Sierra Herald 2002