23, 2016 - The nation-wreckers led by the smoke and
mirrors rat at State House represent state lawlessness
and disregard for law and order never before seen in
Sierra Leone's history. The economic measures announced
is just that - an announcement.
When from the lair of the rat came that announcement of
cutting down on "wasteful expenses" and certain rules
that would not be in place, we stated that we were not
impressed and that it would be business as usual with
the rat pulling the strings as the great puppet master
A number of measures were announced which
in our opinion was for the pleasure of the the reading
eyes of the international financial institutions and not
a commitment to economic measures that would limit the
damage done by a corrupt and self-serving gang of
lawless and anti-people operatives belonging to a joint
criminal enterprise aimed at taking the country to the
On the website of State House relating
to this could be found a number of measures relating to
travel, per diem and other wasteful expenses. True to
form, the rat only announced these measures after using
the peoples' money to take along a bunch of sycophants
including the so-called Majority Leader of Parliament
and the street urchin calling himself an Information
minister of our great country to shamelessly dance on
the streets of New York in praise of the rat for his
gross disrespect for the rule of law and the essential
elements of good governance.
Kindly take a look at the last item
tucked below all those smoke and mirrors measures and
you will find this -
"Minimize discretionary duty waivers and rationalize
statutory duty waivers".
Duty waivers represent one of
the most corrupt and money-generating machinery that has
been used and abused by governments of all sorts but
which has been elevated to a policy issue by the thing
which passes for a government in Sierra Leone.
It is this system that has seen a
number of "businesses" springing up all over the country
with the owners using their links to State House to
evade due taxes while making a killing in profits -
profits that are not properly accounted for to the tax
authorities who could have been instructed by the
"Executive President" to turn their eyes the other way.
Remember the India rice saga? This was rice from India
that should have been sold on the market in Sierra Leone
with proceeds used in development projects. His (the
was given the contract and despite having to pay more
than a million dollars in duty fees, this huge amount
was allegedly waived contrary to the financial rules and
regulations in force. How much money the country has
been losing and still continues to lose is best left to
And on this topic of duty waivers, let
us take you back to the pages of a certain publication
entitled - "Waiver of Customs Duties and Fees - Report
of the Beccles Davies Commission of Inquiry Volume
Under The 1986/87 Budget we find this.
in delivering the 1986/87 Budget Speech and Economic
Policy said at Page 7 Paragraphs 32 and 33:-
"32...my Ministry carried out a review
of Customs duty exemptions granted several individuals
and commercial establishments. It has been decided that
except where granted by treaties which are not subject
to renegotiation, duty exemption cannot be justified in
several cases. This practice amounts to Government
subsidising commercial houses and has cost the
Government dearly in lost revenue....
Take a look at this from the pages of
the Inquiry - "We have so far in the course of this
Inquiry discovered that duty payable on good imported
into Sierra Leone were wholly or partly waived by some
Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Ministers of State in
the Ministry of Finance.
We make particular reference in
the report to Mr Taylor-Morgan, Mr Leonard S. Fofanah
and Mrs Emma Claye-Simbo.
The reckless abandon with
which Mrs Claye-Simbo waived the payment of Customs duty
is yet to be surpassed in the course of this
Inquiry...It cannot be gainsaid that this country in the
recent past had been in dire need of funds collected
from revenue to run its daily affairs yet a substantial
amount of that revenue was given away in the form of
waivers to the detriment of its well-being by those to
whom its financial affairs were entrusted..."
Let us leave you with this from those
pages of the amount of duty that was waived by some key
operators in the Ministry of Finance.
Mr Hassan Gbessay
Kanu - Le50, 565, 223.33.
Mrs Emma Claye-Simbo -
Mr Tommy Taylor-Morgan - Le18, 498,
Mr Leonard Fofanah - Le6,924,182.26.
This gave a
Grand Total of Le195,901,315.53.
To appreciate the volume of funds lost
as all kinds of deals were made with businesses that got
away with the payment of customs dues, kindly take a
look at the exchange rate as it was at the time of the
And still on the topic of lawlessness
and the lack of accountability and the tenets of good
governance, kindly consider the case of the buses that
were imported into Sierra Leone from a deal with China -
a deal that was never approved by Parliament as laid
down by law in the Constitution.
The rat's arm-in-gloves
criminal accomplice, one Leonard Balogun Koroma is
reported to have gone to China with a delegation to seal
a deal that has left a bad taste in the mouths of all
those concerned about the way financial lawlessness has
almost brought the country to its knees.
Here's a part of the
Auditor General's report
on the acquisition of the those 100 buses and the
preparedness of the Sierra Leone Road Transport
Corporation to deliver the essential services needed for
the efficient running of those buses.
conclusions - The Sierra Leone Road Transport
Corporation had been unable to efficiently and
effectively manage public bus services and had limited
facilities and expertise to operate a passenger bus
service throughout the country.
The contract to purchase
100 new buses was signed by the Ministry of Transport
and Aviation in May 2014, but there was no coordinated
comprehensive plan for the introduction of the new buses
As such, the Corporation was not properly
prepared to operate and maintain the new buses when they
entered into service in July 2015. The arrangements for
managing the country’s passenger transport service are
The respective roles of the Ministry of
Transport and Aviation and the National Commission for Privatisation are not clear.
The Project Steering
Committee set up by the Ministry of Finance and Economic
Development, in conjunction with the Ministry of
Transport and Aviation, to oversee the operation of the
100 new buses appears to be in conflict with the
statutory role of SLRTC’s Board of Directors."
Everywhere you turn, there's corruption
and this gives rise to the fears of people who love the
country that we are in for more woes on the financial
front as all key areas that can generate revenue for the
monstrous thieving cabal have been filled by special
appointees of the rat. From the Financial Secretary,
through the ogre at NASSIT to the Minerals and Fisheries
"grateful appointees" have made it a duty to surrender
all or nearly all stolen funds to their master, the rat
at State House.
We hear that the
rat has been making a loud squeak over criticisms
levelled at his uncaring and corrupt government after it
was forced to admit in public that the economy was in
We had said it before. The thieving cabal
don't like to be criticised as they want each and every
Sierra Leonean within and without the borders of Sierra
Leone to sing praises to his uncaring and lawless cabal.
Something that is best left to the shameless band of "writers" who
feed fat on the droppings of the rat and who never tire
of calling him "The Father of the Nation" as if all
Sierra Leoneans are rats.
some sections of the independent press who had some kind
of sympathy were not amused by comments the rat is
reported to have made while at a ceremony at the Quay in
the east of the capital where pictures showed him
sitting by his chief of staff in all things corrupt one
Balogun Logus Koroma of the 100 buses fame and the third
term ploy who still owes the country an explanation over
the Kono Road Development Fund and the
Sierra Leone airline venture
that never took off.
Calm Down, Mr. President, Calm Down!
advises the Global Times newspaper which added - "It is rare for some print media Journalists to openly
criticize President Koroma in the pages of their
newspapers. Afterall, they still consider him as a
friend of the Press.
President Koroma’s open criticism of the media, last
Friday, came as a shock to many media practitioners.
That was least expected of a man who has enjoyed a cozy
relationship with the local media since he came to power
What has the media got to do with the collapse of the
What has the media got to do with Koroma’s diminishing popularity in the country?
the media got to do with the severe suffering of the
average Sierra Leonean today?
What has the media got to
do with the rampant corruption and lawlessness that has
spread throughout the country today?
Our friend should not look for scapegoats in his failure
to address the bread and butter issues in the country.
Our media friend should admit that he has run out of
ideas to govern the country.
He should not blame the
media for his failure to implement hard-hitting measures
in order to curb rampant corruption and
institutionalized leakages in his government.
What does the President mean by “incoherent newspaper
So, newspaper articles that do not support
the government’s austerity measures are incoherent?
A good leader should always maintain a calm and
controlled demeanor in public. You don’t lose your cool
Having served as President for eight years, President
Koroma should have gotten used to public criticisms.
his credit, President Koroma has been a very tolerant
man. But his recent ill-advised outburst at the Queen
Elizabeth II Quay at Cline Town leaves much to be
One-time SLPP Minister
of Information, one Julius Spencer, one of Sierra Leone's
chief exponents of the film and theatre had this on his Facebook page -
"Since President Koroma came to power, he has seemed
determined to bring about real change and development
because, as they say, he seems to “be making the right
noises.” Some of his actions too speak of someone who
wants to move things forward and create an impact. To do
this successfully, however, he and all those in
government need to do what most people in government
find extremely difficult to do, which is to listen to
the critical voices.
Knowing this, I wasn’t surprised at the President’s
outburst while speaking at the launching of the Freetown
Containers Terminal Extension Project, as reported by
the State House Communication Unit. I was, however a bit
surprised that after eight years in office, he would be
used to criticism by now and be able to take it in his
I was also a bit taken aback by his characterisation of the criticisms. “incoherent
newspaper articles and radio talk shops,” he is quoted
as having described the criticisms. He also spoke about
“layback theoretical prescriptions and half-hearted
political grandstanding.” Strong words, but in my view
not entirely justified...
It is usually difficult for a
leader in this part of the world to listen to critical
voices because the critical voices tend to be drowned
out by the sycophants and praise singers. These
sycophants will tell you what they think you want to
hear, they will flatter you, they will be more than
willing to do your every bidding, but behind your back
they will crucify you.
They are usually consistent in
one thing, which is getting close to those in power, and
you will see them hobnobbing with any government in
power, seeking favours...
Many leaders have made the mistake of ignoring the
critical voices. Some have even gone out of their way to
silence them, but at the end of the day have discovered
that by doing so they did themselves a disservice."
Ben Cambayma, writing in the AWOKO
newspaper had this headline to an article - "The
growing sycophancy and Fanaticism" which
among other things noted -
"When fanatics and sycophants
infiltrate governance, it becomes really very difficult
to realize the effective roll out of the very tenets of
democracy, the Rule of Law and human rights.
constitution gives sweeping powers to the Executive
presidency and anybody succeeding to play the fanatic
and sycophant within this setting also end up thinking
he or she can exercise some of the powers of the
Kenya had to review their constitution in
order to avoid concentrating power into one person’s
Of course we are all privy to the many years of
abuse of powers in some distant past. We might do well
to avoid a repeat of that lost era in our lives.
times Fanatics and sycophants are the ones that practice
political intolerance. It is the fanatics and sycophants
that attack opponents and create a godlike awe around
One thing we need to do as a nation is
to stop all the things that make some people appear far
above others. We cannot afford to have some of our
compatriots to be so unpatriotic and unnationalistic as
to think they should have all the goodies when the rest
of the country lives in gross depravity.
constitution stipulates that citizens should cultivate a
sense of nationalism and patriotism so that the loyalty
to the state shall override sectional, ethnic, tribal or
other loyalties. In other words, in all what we do the
state remains our number one focus?
We should be above
political trappings that blind our collective resolve to
uphold our territorial integrity and seek to promote
good governance, development and harmony.
Those who play
the sycophantic and fanatic games ironically end up as
mere nonentities when their patrons are no more in
power. For these, working conscientiously in a lawful
and chosen occupation and abstaining from any activity
that is detrimental to the general wellbeing of others
is not part of their doctrine. They will never
participate in the defence of democratic processes and
practices as their kind will not survive in this
They are the real cankerworms of state