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

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Vol XI No 4

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

....AND HOW THE "INDEPENDENT JOURNALISTS" WERE FORCED OUT INTO THE OPEN...

THE APC MANIFESTO PRESENTED TO THE PEOPLE IN 2007
"
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


"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." - Sierra Leone Constitution

PREVIOUS HEADLINES

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power - Abraham Lincoln

 
Sunday August 24, 2014 - UK nurse with Ebola arrives on special RAF aircraft and escorted to hospital equipped with top of the line isolation ward and facilities. Health officials say he does not present a risk to UK residents. The recent knee-jerk law passed by Sierra Leone Parliament on Ebola is counterproductive. You do not legislate trust and respect.29 year-old male nurse William Pooley is now back in the UK. He was flown from Sierra Leone to the UK on Sunday August 24, 2014. We wish him a speedy recovery.A victim receiving care. What about the boy in the picture - no doubt her son. How safe is he?

A UK male nurse working with Ebola-infected patients in Kenema and who got infected with the deadly virus is back in the United Kingdom after being flown on board a specially-equipped Royal Air Force (RAF) C-17 plane. The plane carrying him is reported to have touched down at about 8pm gmt at an RAF facility from where, escorted by police cars and motor bikes for ease of movement on the road was taken to a special isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead Heath in London. According to the UK-based Daily Mail, 29 year-old male nurse William Pooley, though not attached to any recognised charity took upon himself the task of getting to Sierra Leone to help out after he'd seen and heard reports of just how bad the situation was in Sierra Leone where the health delivery system appeared to be overwhelmed by the vicious and treacherous attacks of the disease.

The BBC reports that - "The healthcare worker landed at London's RAF Northolt in a specially-equipped C-17 aircraft and has been transported to an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in north London. The man is "not currently seriously unwell", a Department of Health spokesman said. Health officials have stressed the risk to the UK remains "very low". The DoH (Department of Health) said the decision to return the patient to the UK was taken following "clinical advice". This again highlights the need to be realistic in this fight and as we suggested, there's a dire need for proper isolation and treatment centres to be set up in key parts of the country manned by trained and dedicated staff. We do not want to hear of rogue health workers declaring people free of the virus for a fee as this helps to give a false sense of well-being with the resultant consequences of having the disease entering into areas that were hitherto free of it.

We have been getting reports that the compromised Parliament and Judiciary have passed a law that should become effective should it be signed by the rat himself. The purpose of the hastily-passed bill on Friday of last week was, according to the Attorney-General and Justice Minister Frank Kargbo, to do away with some ancient laws as well as making it possible for those who "hide Ebola inflicted people" to face a jail term of up to 2 years. How do you determine who has been hiding someone with Ebola? In a country where fevers could be a symptom of many ailments, how can relations - mothers, spouses, siblings know that it it Ebola? We again insist that Parliament and the rat cannot legislate respect and trust in the fight against the killer disease. Instil a sense of trust in the common man - that their concerns would be addressed and there would be no need for a threat of jailing people, the majority of whom do not even understand how best to confront the disease not to talk about being able to know that a relation with a fever could well be suffering from Ebola.

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Saturday August 23, 2014 - Need for transparency and accountability lest the fundraising exercise on behalf of the Ebola campaign becomes another money-spinner for the rat and his fellow rodents of corruption and chicanery. We condemn the pressure on quasi-government and other institutions to contribute. This is not our version of London's Black Death - we know what must be done.

As we continue to pray that the ravages of the deadly Ebola disease be reduced, if not completely eliminated, we have not lost sight of the fact that prayer alone is not the answer but that the Good Lord, looking at us from above would also want to see what we as humans are doing to help ourselves so that He can lend us His all-powerful healing hand. In short the government of the rat, the smoke and mirrors occupant of State House must be seen to be leading on strategies, practical ones at that, that would reflect just how serious we are, as a country thus afflicted, in tackling the scourge that has made the lives of our people so terrible, so unpredictable these days.

We shall continue to raise concerns on the manner in which raising funds for the fight against the deadly disease is being handled. Given the number of reports carried in a number of the rat-sponsored outlets on the internet one can clearly see a lack of coordination in this direction with various entities raising the flag that calls for donations. We have stated it before and will do so again. Pictures of the rat smiling from ear to ear as his paws get stretched out to receive donations are just not right. There should be an account in one of the banks, made public where these donations could be deposited with the committee in charge of the fight informing the public of donations so far received on a regular basis. That committee should also make it a duty to report on what the money received is being spent on so that there's a clear picture of transparency and accountability. This is what will encourage external donors to lift the foot on the brake and allow funds to flow in after convincing their citizens and members of various organisations that there's transparency and accountability.

For those government agencies that have been making a beeline for State House and making grandiose announcements of donating to the government coffers in the fight against the Ebola scourge, we would want to remind them of something in the past and for which there would be a time of reckoning. We now have to ask the question that could be on the lips of many. Given the desperation of the rat and his fellow rodents to garner money from any and all sources, to the point of him flailing the international community - what has he and his band of thieves contributed from their ill-gotten wealth stashed in banks and properties abroad?

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Thursday August 21, 2014 - The "crimes" of being a journalist is violently thrust into our faces again as US journalist is beheaded by masked murderer believed to have a "British" accent. US reveals that attempts to rescue hostages held by the extremely violent and cruel band of killers failed.Executed journalist James Foley. His crime? He was a journalist hence seen as a soft target by his murderers. RIP James.James Foley. He had been to other troubled spots before. RIP

The world's TV screens and other media outlets, social media especially have been full of the disgusting and gut-wrenching picture - the beheading of US journalist James Foley whose only crime, it would seem, was to be around recording events around him and reporting on them - as a true journalist. He was a non-combatant, unarmed and his only "weapons" were the instruments of a journalist, of his trade, wanting to show the world the true face of the war that he had gone to report on so that viewers can make their own decisions based on what they could have seen in James Foley's reports as well as other outlets. This is the basis of true journalism but not so for his killers. James was targeted because he was seen as a soft touch, a hostage that could be killed like any farm animal when it suited his captors and what is so cruel about it all is that his killers, including the beast who allowed himself to be on video, even though masked, was there to tell the world that more such executions would follow if the United States military continued the military operation, mainly air strikes, in Iraq against "Islamic State" forces.

International broadcaster the BBC has this - "A grim-looking Mr Obama said IS militants had "no place in the 21st Century". "No just god would stand for what they did yesterday or what they do every single day," he added. He said the future would be won by those such as James Foley, who "built rather than destroyed". In the IS video, titled A Message to America, a man identified as James Foley is dressed in an orange jumpsuit, kneeling in desert-like terrain beside an armed man dressed in black. The BBC's Mark Doyle knows the risks involved in trying to tell the world the stories of a conflict - "The murder of James Foley by Islamist militants after his kidnap in Syria in 2012 has focused attention on the dangers of reporting from the country."

This brutal murder takes us back to our troubles in our very own Sierra Leone where rampaging AFRC and RUF forces singly or combined wreaked havoc on the unarmed and unprotected civilian population using murder, torture, rape, amputations, slavery and arson as their calling card as they terrorised all those who stood in their way. Journalists were also targeted as was so vividly depicted when both forces overthrew the democratically-elected Tejan Kabbah government in May 1997. Our thoughts and prayers are with the parents and relations of James Foley and other journalists that are in the grip of the vicious murderers of ISIS and other similarly-minded beasts. We pray for the soul of James Foley.

Update: A Special Church Service - Mass of Remembrance - in memory of the murdered journalist, James Foley was held today Sunday August 24, 2014.

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Sunday August 17, 2014 - International broadcaster, the BBC joins national media in Sierra Leone to spread awareness on the deadly Ebola. A bold and innovative move and would want to see more broadcasters getting involved. Is the rat at State House losing the plot?The Director of BBC Global News, Peter Horrocks. He says he wants to see the BBC in action giving crucial information on the Ebola disease in languages the people understand.Dr Modupeh Cole...died while trying to win the battle against the Ebola scourge. RIP. We say - take the pressure off Kailahun and ask for help in setting up isolation and treatment wards in other parts of the country.

We are indeed happy to note the effort of a number of key journalists in the country to raise awareness on the deadly Ebola - a scourge that had never before hit our country, nor others in the neighbourhood like Guinea and Liberia and now Nigeria. We have been informed that the smoke and mirrors rat of a President had called in members of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, SLAJ, to brief them on what his outfit intends to do to stem the ravaging tide of the deadly Ebola. The latest that we have is that SLAJ has also initiated a fund that encourages members to chip in ensuring that all contributions are properly recorded and accounted for so that the organisation cannot be seen as just one of the many mushrooming fund-raising outfits. Some of these outfits while pretending to raise funds for the victims and the fight against the scourge have one and only one aim - to make money out of the misery of the suffering masses.

We are pleased to receive this note from the BBC headlined - BBC World Service Joins The Fight Against Ebola - "The BBC World Service is to broadcast special Ebola updates which will air across BBC Africa language services on Wednesday and Fridays, its Director Peter Horrocks has announced. The broadcasts will begin today (Wednesday 13 August). The broadcasts will be produced by the BBC World Service in association with the BBC’s international development charity BBC Media Action. They will be broadcast in the countries worst affected by the disease: Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria – on the BBC’s English, French and Hausa services. Other BBC Africa services Swahili, Somali and Kinyarwanda/Kirundi will also carry the broadcasts The BBC is also working with its FM radio partners to broadcast information about Ebola in other widely spoken local dialects: Liberian English in Liberia, Soussou in Guinea and Pidgin in Nigeria. These updates will cover the basics of how the virus is contracted, the symptoms and what to do if people suspect they or someone close to them is affected. They will cover the latest expert advice and new developments, as well as debunking myths and rumours, and combating misinformation. “As a trusted source of news in the affected regions, with millions of listeners, the World Service is ideally placed to bring the latest life-saving information to its audience" We wish the BBC and its arm Media Action in Sierra Leone well. We are indeed saddened like many concerned Sierra Leoneans and friends of our great country to hear of the passing away of another top frontline doctor Dr Modupeh Cole in the fight against the Ebola scourge.

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Sunday August 10, 2014 - As the sensitisation campaign intensifies with the key districts of Kenema and Kailahun in lockdown, we pay tribute to all those who gave and continue to make selfless contributions in the battle against the deadly Ebola. We look at the work of the United Methodist Church in Sierra Leone as well as the broader community...and we ask - what is being done to contain the disease in the massively overpopulated slum called Freetown?An ambulance at the Kenema Government Hospital - its condition reflects the country's health delivery system. The once flashing lights at the top shows it could have been bought for such a purpose and could have been part of a package of a deal for police vehicles.The faces tell the story. It is not an easy and comforting task tackling Ebola but these brave people soldier on nevertheless. We salute all of them.

We have so far, quite rightly we believe, paid tribute to those healthcare workers - doctors, nurses, porters, cleaners etc who, despite knowing now about the threats to their lives in the battle against the ogre called Ebola, continue to give of their best to those afflicted as well as to the community. Many news outlets have reported on the number of these brave health delivery officials who have died but what has remained lacking, is to try and put a face to the statistics as well as others who died battling similar deadly infections.

Take the case of one Dr Aniru Conteh - Dr. Conteh dedicated his life to treating patients with Lassa Fever and became known as the world's leading specialist on the disease. Through ten years of war, thousands of patients including United Nations peacekeepers and rebel fighters were treated at KGH. The Lassa Isolation Ward remained open despite instability and it is perhaps the notoriety of the killer disease that ensured its safety. In March 2004, Dr. Conteh sustained a needlestick injury while treating a patient and became infected with the Lassa virus. Tragically, he died 18 days later from the disease he had dedicated his life to eradicate."

Now here's another story that is as sad as it is intriguing. It is the story of two women Mballu Fonnie and Veronica Koroma who have been involved in providing much-needed care for Ebola patients. Both have had experience working with people contracting Lassa fever and both had contracted Lassa fever, but as the Good Lord would have it, both survived and continued their work, the very vital work of providing the much-needed support for Lassa fever patients. The older of the two women, Mballu Fonnie specialized in the delivery of babies whose mothers are Lassa fever positive. And so for them it was but natural, given their dedication and experience that when Ebola reared its ugly head, they were there to help a people who knew nothing about Ebola fever and the ravage it can inflict on families, communities, villages and towns. Soon after that June interview, both women also became Ebola patients. Fonnie died. Karoma is surviving. Since the outbreak which started in late May, about 16 nurses at the Kenema hospital have died, including all of the nurses at the Ebola epicenter. The title of the article - "Nurses, doctors save lives but lose their own" (We have taken the liberty of correcting nurse Veronica Koroma's name, not Karoma as in the article).

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Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power - Abraham Lincoln

 
Saturday August 9, 2014 - The WHO has said the apparent - that the Ebola outbreak is now an international threat, but as one aid agency noted, words alone are not enough. Action on the ground is what is sorely needed in the battle to contain the beast. Danger warnings - the aftermath of trying to quarantine the two districts of Kailahun and Kenema.The face of terror? This soldier in Liberia enforcing movement restrictions in the country. Can they be trusted not to abuse the rights of civilians in Liberia?

The World Health Organization on Friday August 8, 2014 declared the Ebola epidemic ravaging Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea an international health emergency and appealed for global aid to help afflicted countries. One report says the WHO stopped short of calling for global travel restrictions, urging airlines to take strict precautions but to continue flying to the west African countries hit by the outbreak. WHO Director-General Margaret Chan has also called on countries around the globe to be prepared to "detect, investigate and manage" Ebola cases if they should arise while appealing for greater help for those worst hit by the "largest, most severe and most complex outbreak in the nearly four-decade history of this disease."

However before delving into the ramifications of this WHO pronouncement, we have to get to grips with the decision of the government of the rat to quarantine two districts - Kailahun and Kenema. According to the pro-government New Citizen news outlet - "Minister of Defense, retired Major Alfred Paolo Conteh yesterday disclosed to journalists at the usual Government press briefing organized by the Ministry of Information and Communications that 1,501 military and 2,000 police personnel have been deployed nationwide to fight against the Ebola outbreak in the country. This raises a number of questions that have to be addressed. Getting the troops deployed requires quite a lot of planning and the accompanying logistics. Having deployed all these troops in an area that has the contagion, what protective gear do we have for the security forces so deployed and what about their feeding and bunkering/housing? Are they going to terrorise residents from their usual places of abode so that they can behave as they did during the war years - as occupation forces? How were the troops/security forces for this operation selected? What part of the country are they from? Who is leading them and what part of the country is the security forces commander from who would ensure that the local inhabitants of the districts of Kailahun and Kenema are treated with the respect and cultural sensitivity they truly deserve?

Now back to the WHO decision. The BBC's Health Editor Helen Briggs has commented on the WHO decision stating - "The decision by the WHO to declare Ebola a public health emergency is, by its own definition, an "extraordinary event" which marks "a public health risk to other states through the international spread of disease".  Medical aid groups applauded the designation but said that it alone won't reduce fatalities. "Declaring Ebola an international public health emergency shows how seriously WHO is taking the current outbreak, but statements won't save lives," said Dr. Bart Janssens, director of operations for Doctors Without Borders, a humanitarian organization. In the latest press statement from the rat, we are reminded of the formation of a Presidential Task Force but what we still have to know is just who are the members of this body. We do know that it is called a Presidential Task Force which, in effect means that the rat is the head, but we know differently and that the man who has been given this responsibility is one of the rat's so-called "advisers" who has no expertise when it comes to such matters. But we'll watch, wait and see.

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Wednesday August 6, 2014 - Time to stop the rhetoric and concentrate minds and action on tackling the ravages of the deadly Ebola disease. Communities in Sierra Leone on the verge of getting wiped out, if not already. Time to ask the international community for help in setting up treatment and testing centres.Dr Khan - the national hero who was at the centre of the fight against the vicious and deadly Ebola virus disease. He became infected himself and died. Rest In Peace our true national hero.

The World Health Organisation has begun a two-day emergency meeting in Geneva to decide, among others, whether the Ebola scourge has spread wide and far enough to be declared an international emergency requiring international response. What further evidence the world body is looking for we do not know given the fact that the number of deaths in the three main affected countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has gone over the eight hundred mark with airlines like British Airways, BA, and Emirates suspending operations to and from the affected countries. Even though BA says its a temporary suspension that is to last until the end of this month, it is not lost on us that having taken out all its international staff from the countries concerned, this is a warning sign to the various governments that the outbreak could well be getting out of control. One CNN report quotes a health worker in Sierra Leone as saying that - 'Sierra Leone is not able to deal with this outbreak', adding - "Anja Wolz, emergency coordinator for Doctors Without Borders, spoke to CNN on Tuesday from an Ebola facility in Kailahun, Sierra Leone. "I think that the government and the ministry of health here in Sierra Leone is not able to deal with this outbreak. We need much more help from international organizations -- as WHO, as CDC, as other organizations -- to come to support the government," Wolz said. "Still we have unsafe burials; people who are doing the burial without disinfection of the body; still we have patients who are hiding themselves; still we have patients or contacts of patients who are running away because they are afraid."

The Nigeria-based This Day has this story - "A former government minister in Sierra Leone said on Tuesday that he has lost nine members of his family to the Ebola epidemic raging in West Africa. Lansana Nyallah told state television the dead included his brothers and sisters in the eastern village of Daru, at the epicentre of the outbreak. "To those who still believe that Ebola does not exist, please take heed," the former youth and education minister told the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation. "Nine members of my family including my brothers and sisters are now dead from the virus," said Nyallah, who was replaced in a cabinet reshuffle last year after several years in President Ernest Bai Koroma's government. "One of them was an imam who was also a radio journalist working for a community radio station in Daru," he said. "Our house is now empty as no one lives there," he added." However all is not lost, according to the report - "This is the biggest and most complex Ebola outbreak in history," Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a statement. "It will take many months, and it won't be easy, but Ebola can be stopped," he said. "We know what needs to be done." The United States is planning to send 50 health experts to West Africa to help contain the outbreak, which President Barack Obama addressed in remarks Tuesday, saying the citizens of the affected countries are in Americans' thoughts and prayers. Frieden said the 50 experts from the CDC will work to combat the outbreak and help implement stronger systems to fight the disease." A Reuters news agency report from Liberia paints a very disturbing picture - of relations dumping in the streets, the bodies of those who had succumbed to the Ebola web of death. "Relatives of Ebola victims in Liberia defied government orders and dumped infected bodies in the streets as West African governments struggled to enforce tough measures to curb an outbreak of the virus that has killed 887 people. In Liberia's ramshackle ocean-front capital Monrovia, still scarred by a 1989-2003 civil war, relatives of Ebola victims were dragging bodies onto the dirt streets rather than face quarantine, officials said. Now Nigeria's Health minister Onyebuchi Chukwu has declared a state of national health emergency in the face of the disease beginning to spread its tentacles in the country with a start in the commercial capital Lagos. The WHO's latest update states the number of persons dying from the outbreak has gone above the 900 mark.

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Monday August 4, 2014 - As first White House meeting between the US administration and African Heads of State, a very reluctant rat of a President is forced to stay at home to attend to pressing issues of national importance - the Ebola outbreak that is killing Sierra Leoneans in an atmosphere of panic, distrust and exhibitions of incompetence in the health delivery system.Liberia's Head of State Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf - has her priorities in the fight against the Ebola invasion.

In a rare moment of exhibition of care for the people of Sierra Leone, the smoke and mirrors occupant of State House in Freetown (read the rat) has with a heavy heart we suspect, decided to forego a planned jamboree to the United States, ostensibly to honour the invitation of US President Barack Obama, but in reality to create an opportunity for further draining the coffers of state in what would definitely have been an over-sized delegation. It took quite a good whipping from the independent press and like-minded true Sierra Leoneans to get the rat to change his mind. We can state a claim that the rat finally decided to succumb to common sense and his constitutional mandate to stay at home and grapple with the Ebola problem after President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf announced to the Liberian people, her people, that she would not be attending the meeting and would stay in Liberia to oversee the epidemic that is destroying lives and the country's way of life. One news outlet had a report that included this bit -

A local Non-Governmental Organisation in Sierra Leone, Health for All Coalition, has called on President Ernest Bai Koroma “to waste no more time in declaring the Ebola outbreak a public health emergency”. The organisation’s director, Charles Mambu said at a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone that within one month, over 10 nurses had died of Ebola and that the transmission rate in Kenema was due in part to the interaction between health workers and unsuspecting Ebola patients. He said the situating of the Ebola wards at the Kenema Government hospital where non-Ebola patients were also admitted was risking the latter patients. He briefed the commission on the closure of schools and banks in Kailahun district. Mambu said that when the outbreak was first announced in Sierra Leone in May, the country was ill-prepared because “it was completely strange even to some health workers”. He backed the request of the health workers for the Ebola treatment centre in Kenema to be relocated outside the hospital.

In his address to the nation on this on July 30, 2014, the rat stated, among others the new moves that would be adopted. "Consequently, and in line with the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act Number 6 of 1991, I hereby proclaim a State of Public Emergency to enable us take a more robust approach to deal with the Ebola outbreak. He could have been hanging on, wanting to sweat it out so that he would not be deprived of another opportunity to ride on the gravy train to the US and back, accompanied of course by his cohort of state and non-state officials given a free ride not only on his orders, but with a few chucked into the wagons by State House officials who are often seen as using such an opportunity to have the names of persons that would only serve the personal needs of the rat, but would disappear in the US of A with a view to seeking the protection of the United States government in requesting a stay in that country. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, on the other hand, being a more result-oriented and serious about her plans put these practical measures into place when she declared -

"Friday, August 1, is declared a non-working day and is to be used for the disinfection and chlorination of all public facilities. All borders that are to remain opened are to be directly supervised and controlled by the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization whose duties it shall be, working with the assigned health authorities, to ensure strict adherence to announced preventive measures including preliminary testing for fever. Without exceptions, all schools are ordered closed pending further directive from the Ministry of Education. The Ministry of Commerce is directed to enforce this order. All such commodities including chlorine, soap, sanitizers, fliers and buckets are to be imported duty free."

Among the stringent measures, the Liberian leader announced that though she was expected to have attended the ensuing U.S. - Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D. C., U.S.A. next week, the Vice President instead will lead the delegation that will include a few cabinet ministers whose presence are absolutely necessary.

 

She also announced that henceforth, Government travels will be seriously restricted and limited to only those that are determined to be absolutely necessary and critical.

 

The Liberian leader also directed that all non-essential staff, to be determined by the Minister or Head of Agency are to be placed on a 30-day compulsory leave and that Friday, August 1, is declared a non-working day and is to be used for the disinfection and chlorination of all public facilities.

 

“All borders that are to remain opened are to be directly supervised and controlled by the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization whose duties it shall be, working with the assigned health authorities, to ensure strict adherence to announced preventive measures including preliminary testing for fever,” President Sirleaf directed.

 

Other measures without exceptions are that “all schools are ordered closed pending further directive from the Ministry of Education.

 

“All markets at border areas including Foya, Bo Waterside, and Ganta are hereby ordered closed until further notice.

 

“As previously directed, video clubs and entertainment centers must have improved sanitation including facilities for the washing of hands prior to entering and exiting as well as to restrict opening hours, and the number of individuals permitted to enter those facilities,” she emphasized, adding that “all citizens are seriously advised to avoid public amusement and entertainment centers.”

- See more at: http://www.emansion.gov.lr/2press.php?news_id=3045&related=7&pg=sp#sthash.YR3p6iPp.dpuf

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Monday August 4, 2014 - Fifty years ago today in 1964, Sierra Leone launched the first Central Bank - the banker of all banks in the country - the Bank of Sierra Leone. Fifty years on, the ideals of the bank remain largely unattained with political machinations making a mockery of the dream of the founding fathers.This five-leone note was rare among ordinary people under Gordon HallFormer Central Bank Governor Samadeen - did he step out of line?

Without any fanfare, without any of the usual state media haw-hawing, Central Bank Governor Sheku Sambadeen Sesay was shown the red card by the government of the rat with some in the know insisting that he was not given the sack, but that his five-year contract had ended and that the government was not in the mood to renew it. Not so surprising was the fact that not a squeak was heard from the rat on why he thought it prudent and wise to have the man replaced and one news outlet told us that the former head of the central bank was becoming quite an embarrassment -implementing policies that were inimical to the free market as well as not consulting enough with his handlers at State House.

We believe that the former bank governor's attempt to control what he sees as the extraordinary and bizarre use of foreign currency in transactions within the borders of Sierra Leone must have touched a very raw nerve - causing unease in the corridors of State House and other institutions. It is no secret that rents for certain buildings, be they for accommodation or business are set in foreign currency taking such areas out of reach of the ordinary Sierra Leonean who depends on the country's national legal tender, the leone. Indeed feathers at State House must have been ruffled a bit with the open secret that the rat has quite a handsome cache of foreign currency that he uses to bribe political opponents as well as to satisfy his unquenchable thirst for more and more acquisitions. In an address to Parliament the former Governor made a speech in which he did his best to justify just why foreign currencies must not hold sway above the leone in transactions within the country's borders. The address to the law makers could be found on the bank's website - part of which reads in part - The main purpose of my address is to explain the rationale for the Bank of Sierra Leone’s intervention in the foreign exchange market. In order to make the policy more effective, BSL will undertake further measures such as:  Enforce the regulation requiring the use of the Leone as the Legal tender for all domestic transactions. This requires collaboration of the legal and law enforcement agencies; ....It does not require the brains of a genius to know that implementing this regimen would have greatly and negatively affected the foreign exchange accounts of the rich and corrupt and would have put the dollar boys out of business, not to talk of the legal and constitutional implications of having a rat at State House who relies on the use of foreign currency within Sierra Leone to carry out his many nebulous activities. It is a good move and something we had always advocated to be implemented in the country of the leone.

Now you know why former Central Bank Governor Sheku Sambadeen Sesay was given the red card - the colour of the party that employed him in the first place. Kindly recall that four years ago we brought you this insight into the chequered history of the central bank - this should give an indication of just how rotten the system has become and why politicians who are also businessmen and women would want things to remain unchanged.

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Tuesday July 29, 2014 - A sad day...a sad, very sad story as we announce the passing away of a true hero - a man who gave his all that others may survive. Dr Sheikh Omar Khan is no more. He succumbed to the ravages of Ebola today at the MSF health clinic where he had been receiving treatment after he contracted the disease while attending to Ebola cases in the government-run Kenema Hospital.Dr Khan - the national hero who was at the centre of the fight against the vicious and deadly Ebola virus disease. He became infected himself and died. Rest In Peace our true national hero.Dr Khan - the selfless lead doctor in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus. Rest in peace our national hero, rest in peace.

The reports have been flooding the world's media outlets - with this from the pages of the UK-based Guardian newspaper - The doctor leading Sierra Leone's fight against the worst Ebola outbreak on record has died from the virus, the country's chief medical officer said. The death of Sheik Umar Khan, who was credited with treating more than 100 patients, follows the deaths of dozens of local health workers and the infection of two US medics in neighbouring Liberia. Another outlet, the Daily Mail has this opening - "Sierra Leone's top Ebola doctor dies after contracting the virus while fighting the outbreak as Nigeria admits precise number of people U.S. victim Patrick Sawyer could have infected is unknown."

International broadcaster Al Jazeera also reported the passing away of Dr Khan - SSheik Umar Khan was infected earlier this month and died on Tuesday at a ward run by medical charity Doctors Without Borders in the far north of the country. Miatta Kargbo, Sierra Leone's health minister, called Khan a "national hero" and praised his "tremendous sacrifice" in working to save the lives of others. His death comes days after Samuel Brisbane, a senior doctor at Liberia's largest hospital, died on Saturday at an Ebola treatment centre on the outskirts of Monrovia.

The Independent newspaper states -  Ebola virus: Top Sierra Leone doctor, Sheik Umar Khan, dies of disease aged 39 - The top doctor treating patients infected with the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone has died from the disease, officials have confirmed. Reuters reporters who visited Kenema in June heard the doctor was “always meticulous with protection, wearing overalls, mask, gloves and special footwear”. Before his diagnosis, Dr Khan told reporters: "I am afraid for my life, I must say, because I cherish my life." "Health workers are prone to the disease because we are the first port of call for somebody who is sickened by disease. Even with the full protective clothing you put on, you are at risk," he added.

We pray that the Good Lord/Allah or whatever you perceive Him to be grants him the rest which only He can grant.

RIP Dr Khan - you have fought the good fight and Sierra Leone would be grateful and always remember your supreme sacrifice for the common good. RIP

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Saturday July 26, 2014 - The Ebola outbreak spreads death, chaos and confusion exposing the chaotic and rudderless ship that is Sierra Leone's health delivery system. Lead doctor in the fight against the scourge succumbs to the ravages of the pestilence as beasts of no nation try to make politics out of a terrible situation.

Reports from Nigeria that a man from Liberia had died from a disease that is largely suspected to be the deadly ebola has got alarm bells ringing, not only in Lagos where the man died but in the whole of Nigeria and indeed the sub-region. It is a stark reminder about the warning from the World Health Organisation that until and unless the proper emergency health procedures are in place and quickly too, we are in for great trouble - a trouble that strikes even the most careful if our guard is down in the fight against the deadly ebola disease. On the same day that the death of the Liberian was reported from Liberia, we also heard that the relations, community members and friends of one affected woman stormed a health facility in the capital Freetown and have had the suspected victim removed from the care of the health personnel who had been taking the necessary measures at isolating the suspected case.

The BBC's Tomi Oladipo has this report, part of which reads - "A hunt has been launched in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, for a woman with Ebola who was forcibly removed from hospital by her relatives. Radio stations around the country are appealing for help to find the 32-year-old who is being described as a "risk to all". She is the first Freetown resident to have tested positive for the virus. Meanwhile, Nigeria's health minister has confirmed that a Liberian man has died of Ebola in Lagos. According to the Reuters news agency, he collapsed on arrival in Lagos on Sunday and was taken from the airport and put in quarantine at a hospital in the Nigerian city. In the centre of all this confusion and lack of direction has been the news that the lead doctor in this fight Dr Shek Umar Kahn has also been laid low after he contracted ebola while caring for the hundreds of our unfortunate colleagues. Latest reports say he appears to be pulling through as he would no doubt be trying to work out where he could have got it wrong. Reports that he was infected while working at the government-equipped and run Kenema hospital has not come as a surprise to many who have been watching the unfolding deadly drama in the country. Indeed health workers engaged in the fight went on strike at the Kenema hospital when at least three of their colleagues died from ebola and the fact that Dr Kahn was removed from the Kenema centre to the MSF-run Kailahun centre speaks volumes of the government health delivery system.

Our thoughts are with the relations of those who have died not knowing what ebola is all about as well as those battling the symptoms in the hope that they will be among the lucky ones to recover from the incurable affliction. We salute the frontline health workers who put their lives at risk every day, every hour, every minute, every second and every moment. They mourn colleagues who have died but still continue their work in the hope that they would be able to contain the contagion.

We salute you all and wish you well.

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Tuesday July 2, 2014 - As Ebola threatens to get out of control, crisis talks begin in Ghanaian capital Accra. The World Health Organisation believes the West African sub-region is now under dire threat and that there's a need for real coordination if the death and infection tolls are to be reduced, if not halted completely.This woman is a nurse, a health care worker and she got infected, no doubt while trying to help. Our prayers for recovery are wth her.The faces say it all - grief at the loss of a loved one clutched away by the cold hands of the deadly ebola virus.

Health ministers and administrators are now assembled in the Ghanaian capital Accra to find ways of tackling the region's first outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease which has so far claimed at least four hundred lives in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The first reported outbreak of the disease was in Guinea where it took a number of deaths before it was actually confirmed that it was as a result of the Ebola virus. The Guinean health authorities were so baffled by the outbreak that among the first set of victims were medical personnel who had gone to the areas affected with a view to helping victims. These medical personnel died after being infected by the highly contagious disease that was making its first appearance in this part of Africa.

Ebola spreads so much fear and trepidation that two countries - Sierra Leone and Liberia had to dust their law books to warn residents that it would be a criminal offence for anyone to hide suspected Ebola infections as well as the secret burial of those who had succumbed to the disease. Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf told the BBC Focus on Africa programme that her government was committed to providing for the healthcare needs of every Liberian and that the practice of taking the sick to prayer meetings in churches and other areas must stop. She urged everyone in Liberia to report such cases to the authorities so that health officials can make the necessary intervention to not only help the victims and relations, but the community. She said that Liberia now has a massive education campaign in place that should ease the fear and worries of many who do not know about the disease and the risks involved.

In Sierra Leone not a squeak from the rat. For him and his gang of looters of state resources, including timber even when a ban is in force, it's business as usual as more Sierra Leoneans succumb to the ravages of Ebola.

UPDATE We have just been informed that the rat has finally squeaked - using an address to wish all believers at the beginning of Ramadan well. However we cannot help notice what looks like an order - "We commend the volunteer nurses and health workers in Kailahun who are making the personal and professional sacrifice to identify, diagnose and treat Ebola patients. I hereby instruct the immediate absorption of these brave volunteer nurses and health workers in Kailahun and Kenema into the civil service." Brave words but we're just wondering when this will be effected and how soon these brave volunteers will receive their first salary and at what grade.

We wish the Accra meeting on Ebola well.

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Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power - Abraham Lincoln

Monday February 3, 2014 - Accounting for the country's resources - an anathema for the government of the rat where simple arithmetic becomes a complex equation aimed at covering the tracks of charlatans bent on taking the country down the road to infamy - never mind the "re-branding" mantra.Ernest Bai Koroma - the puppet master at State House bent on engulfing Sierra Leone into another round of extreme violence and disorder using all means necessary.Anti Corruption Commission boss Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara - has he put his reputation on the line because of that salary increase from Ernest Bai Koroma?

We have waited, we have watched, we have tried to figure out why since the audit of government accounts for 2012 was made public, none of the sewer rats extolling the virtues of the King Rat and who see no wrong in his manipulation of Parliament and the Judiciary, have commented on the massive thieving going on in the affairs of state. We can only come to the very painful conclusion that since they are all beneficiaries of the thieving machine, they dare not make a squeak in that direction lest they lose their part of the loot. Rather than tell their overlords that the thieving would in the end lead the country to the same state that the country would never want to tread again, the pay-as-you-go writers, refuse to acknowledge that the massive thieving now going on could lead to one and only one thing - the disintegration of community, region and state with dire consequences for all innocent Sierra Leoneans who continue to suffer in silence and are not a part of the state resources plundering machine oiled and kept running from the heart of State House itself. You would think it is the God-given right of King Rat and his caboodle to steal, steal and steal. That they are not accountable to anyone not even their conscience, assuming there's any left in the pool of moral bankruptcy in which they swim exposing their ill-gotten wealth. The reckless spending of the peoples' resources and wealth highlighted in audit reports, like this AUDITOR GENERAL’S REPORT ON THE ACTIVITIES OF OVERSEAS MISSIONS AND HIGH COMMISSIONS FOR THE PERIOD 1ST JANUARY 2003 TO 31ST DECEMBER 2010 and the failure to hold those responsible to account shows all too clearly that the smoke and mirrors State House occupant does not care about such reports and so it was with quite some interest when we heard that he was trying to make good on Sierra Leone's suspension from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. Why the suspension? Again the government and the various functionaries simply cannot figure out their basic arithmetic and this from a rat who once headed an insurance body that did simple and somehow complex sums that determined just how much the insured should pay on a monthly or yearly basis or whatever time reference in question. In the EITI all that is being asked for is transparency and some honesty in reporting what is paid into government coffers by the various industries - and this is not confined to mining alone as oil blocks sales and allied fields appear to be yielding more money into the coffers (read thieving paws of the rat of a President). On the website of EITI there's an interesting report for Wednesday January 22 with the headline - "Big jump in revenues from Sierra Leone's extractives sector" with the sweetener that "revenues are up by almost four times but remain a small part of the economy".

SMOKE AND MIRRORS OCCUPANT OF STATE HOUSE GOES BERSERK - SEES MORE THAN RED IN JOURNALISTS WHO REFUSE TO BOW DOWN AND WORSHIP AT HIS ALTAR OF UNBRIDLED CORRUPTION, FALSEHOOD, CHICANERY AND SHEER INCOMPETENCE.

The intriguing story of journalists detained, harassed, arrested and molested - and all because a self-styled monarch in a republic called Sierra Leone Republic alleges he is compared to a rat. If it squeaks like a rat, sniffs the air for deals of any nature and smells of massive corruption, then its a rat - rattus rattus. Photo: Ariogbo

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Wednesday October 12, 2011 - The truth is finally out. Now we know why the high priest at the altar of falsehood, profanities and indecency dedicated to the smoke and mirrors President expunged those articles from his web site reaffirming once more that for a few dollars more he would be willing to lie on oath in order to earn his supper. And this from a so-called man of the cloth who has been caught out more often than not - lying to his face and feeling good about it.The shameless ernest bai koroma worshippers - Photo: Sierra Express Media

We now know why those articles were expunged from the web site of the high priest who thinks nothing of lying through his teeth to please his masters at State House in Freetown. Remember what he wrote about the Bo incident in which one man was reported killed by the police, some structures belonging to the APC ruling party torched and the flag bearer of the main opposition SLPP Brigadier (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio got hurt? The pro-APC, pro_Ernest Bai Koroma publications had a field day with each tabloid trying to outdo the other in presenting a feel-good article that would be pleasing to their paymaster/s at State House. It was a time to write articles pleasing to their handlers at State House. And please recall too that when the President ordered an investigation, we pleaded that no comment be made that would somehow appear to blame anyone? This piece of advice given in good faith was ignored and just to please his master, his mammon at State House the high priest at the altar of lies, falsehood and profanities dedicated to his god ernest bai koroma published articles blaming people left, right and centre as well as here, there and everywhere and even going as far as to suggest that there was no one at the APC party office in Bo on that day? Well we now have a copy of that report and we can state here that the reason why those articles were expunged was because the report showed that what had been published, as usual was a big and deliberate lie aimed at keeping his master happy. And pleasing his master we doubt very much because we know that there are good and honest people at State House, real professional journalists and civil servants who would always frown on anyone who on one hand gloats about a diplomatic appointment while on the other becoming the chief fabricator and purveyor of lies, more lies and damned lies.

Below are some of the headlines, the articles of which were expunged and for which action we demanded an explanation. None was forthcoming, none was expected. That is what happens when you, as we say "broke congosah" on the gossiping liar's head.

Reports : SLPP rally in Bo was unlawful and unauthorized and was recipe for chaos orchestrated by Maada Bio, John Benjamin and Abbass Bundu

Journalist says the chaos in Bo was well-planned by the SLPP

Where is the blood ? The biggest hoax since ‘Janet Bundle’ ?

Exclusive : How Maada Bio got hurt in Bo

EXCLUSIVE : More ringleaders of the Bo disturbances named, as SLPP forms clandestine organization to drive out all APC supporters

Among the key findings of the report after investigating the Bo incident was

1. The SLPP thank you rally was legal.

2. That Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio was indeed wounded during the attack.

3. That the APC Office was occupied by APC supporters on the day of the attack and that even before then preparations had been made to attack the Maada Bio march in Bo with instructions given to women allied to the APC to collect stones.

4. Stoning was started by APC supporters from their party office.

5. The SLPP supporters attacked and torched structures of the APC.

6. One bike rider was shot and killed by a named policeman who still remains free.

We will now bring you most of the expunged articles so that you can see further proof of the devious methods of a compulsive liar and we daresay the typical "kongosah bench" carrier.

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Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power - Abraham Lincoln

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