''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 2

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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Monday January 2, 2012 - The Audit Report for 2010 is out - a litany of unbridled, uncaring, deeply-seated corruption permeating every level, nook and cranny of government activity. A wake-up call for all Sierra Leoneans, the donor community and all who mean well for Sierra Leone - that this shameless and well-designed pillage must stop, must be stopped before things get out of control.Ernest Bai Koroma - the king of the lootersSierra Leone's Financial Secretary Edmond Koroma - propelled into this position after his financial flaws over the purchase of ferries. This should have sent a message to donors

We did not want to spoil what little happy moments you managed to have over the holiday period and so waited until now to bring you details of what has been in the public domain but which the government and paid praise singers refused to report on - the massive and reckless theft of the people's money by a government led by the "clean" smoke and mirrors occupant of State House - Ernest Bai Koroma. What a man!!!!

He trumpeted that as far as he was concerned, he would be different from the SLPP government the people ousted by their votes in 2007. He promised all what disappointed Sierra Leoneans wanted to hear - he would put in place what he called zero-tolerance for corruption.

The latest audit report reviewing government management of the country's finances for 2010 showed that the only zero that Ernest Bai Koroma put in place was more of them at the end of monies stolen from the people and as the audit report shows, no institution was spared this reckless and uncontrolled stealing and bare-faced raping of the country's resources by a band that has shown it does not care.

The report reminds the government and the various personnel including the President that the bare-faced robbery and thieving being carried out by them is inimical to good governance and democratic values. Whilst reminding the government of what such reckless thieving did to Sierra Leoneans and that entity called Sierra Leone in the 24-year misrule of the APC, let us again remind the nation wreckers of the constitutional duty of each and every Sierra Leonean as well as the media in relation to holding the government to account.

"The press, radio and television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this Constitution and highlight the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people."

We would also urge the government which, to all intent and purpose, appears bent on a campaign of a lack of accountability and transparency what the 2010 audit report has noted

"Law and order and good government sit at the very core of a well-functioning State. Sound public financial management is a key component of good government. The whole works together to form an environment to attract direct investment, foreign and domestic, and permits the State, should it so wish, to raise long and short term funding from the international financial markets. It is also crucial to creating a context that facilitates the assessment and orderly collection of tax revenue and other levies from all sources; as well as shaping a civil society that recognizes and values the legal obligation and civic duty to pay to the State that which it is due."

The audit report of 2010 clearly shows a government determined to steal the peoples' money using every and all devious means it can hatch from the supply of government fuel to non-government functionaries to refusing to submit documents for scrutiny. What is even more frightening is that despite the massive thieving unearthed by the previous audit report of 2009 and promises by those found wanting to correct the numerous anomalies and financial impropriety exposed, this latest audit report clearly shows a government and its functionaries hell-bent on continuing corruption and thieving not only on a more than unimaginable scale, but is clearly set on ignoring the audit reports. This brief from the report says it all -

We found significant numbers of receipt books were not accounted for or available for examination. There were unidentified cash balances held in transit accounts and not transferred to the CRF at year end in a timely manner. We also noted a significant discrepancy between NRA reported revenue and that disclosed in the Public Accounts.

No breakdown on donor revenue was made available for audit and we encountered a lack of supporting documentation in a worrisome number of instances. Also, for 99% of bank balances we were unable to obtain direct confirmation of balances held in commercial banks.

Many of our recommendations from previous years have not been implemented and this continues to be of considerable concern.

We are alarmed and very worried that this rampant thieving is bound to continue, given the fact that instead of making do the financial lapses discovered in previous audit reports, there is a deliberate campaign to ignore all laid down and constitutional financial rules and regulations.

The recent audit report of how our missions have been stealing the people's money is a clear indication that perpetrators of this heinous crime against the people would be unperturbed and would continue stealing on an even more massive scale, secure in the knowledge that they enjoy the protection of the the President himself.

It is for this reason that we call on the donor community to step up its scrutiny of how the monies from their tax payers are spent by thieving officials in receiving countries as is to be found in Sierra Leone.

We would again like to remind the thieving cabal led by Ernest Bai Koroma that funds from the donor countries do come from the high and lowly paid and that a part of the money which is being stolen and misused come from the sweat of street cleaners, toilet attendants, morgue attendants, care workers who have to put up with all manner of inconveniences just to earn an honest living and also contribute to the tax base of the donor countries. We call on all honest workers, those who earn their keep from the sweat of their brows to ask their various governments in their new countries of origin to press for a true account of how their monies are spent by the thieving and shameless cabal which passes for a government in Sierra Leone.

The people have had enough. Time to bring these thieves to account and in this respect, we urge the international community including banks and other financial institutions to help the people recover all stolen funds.

The monies stolen so far, if paid back into the coffers of the people would not only see a healthy bank balance for the people, but would reduce, quite significantly dependence on donor countries for aid.

After fifteen years deprived of the nation's purse strings, President Koroma and the APC (administration?) now seems set on "compensating" for all those years by engaging in unprecedented levels of thieving, dishonesty and outright criminality.

We still have to see the details of figures from audit of State House itself including the various "departments" created for the "benefit" of party activists, friends and relations.

The Open Government Initiative, the OGI's figures are eagerly awaited.


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The right choice is Kevin McPhilips Travel

©Sierra Herald 2002