Sierra Herald - your reliable outlet on Sierra Leone - truly independent

''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 XII No 3

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

"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


BBC's Special Programmes on the English Premier League in some key African languages

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


Sunday October 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.This is a service station for buses in Sierra Leone. Beat that?

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 of corruption. 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 to praise the rat for his 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 -  "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.

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.


Sunday October 16, 2016 - Even as the continuing rape of the country's resources gets exposed by the hour and Sierra Leoneans get increasingly weary of the future, the rat and his gang have shown no remorse, no apologetic move, nothing to indicate they are listening to the people rather than their own voices.The rat - he would don any gear to attract funds into his ever-widening corruption channels

It is another day when Sierra Leoneans of the Christian faith go to places of worship to give thanks to the Good Lord for His mercies and to seek divine direction in a country where life for the vast majority is becoming unbearable by the hour - gripped in the claws of an uncaring and thieving cabal headed by the rat and his gang of uncaring and reckless nation wreckers. Among those who would be spoiling the picture of a serene scene of devotion, supplication and repentance would be the dirty rats, hobos to the core who would be displaying their ill-gotten so-called wealth in the faces of real and true Christians who know that there is, within the pages of the Holy Bible instructions that forbid stealing, violence and dishonesty in general.

As soon as the government statement was published admitting that the economy was in shambles, there arose from the putrid gutter of dishonesty, lies and licentiousness, a number of articles written by those who feed from the droppings of the rat that all will be well - that very soon, a new paradise will emerge from the wreckage of the deliberate and systematic plunder of the peoples' wealth. You only have to take a good look at all his close associates that he has put in places where there's money to be made and you would realise, much to the horror of those who care about Sierra Leone that the rat and his kitchen cabinet are interested in one and only one thing - stealing from the coffers of state.

The reports of the three main Commission of Inquiry set up by the National Provisional Ruling Council, the NPRC led by one Captain Valentine Strasser and his deputy who ousted him one Julius Maada Bio are worth reading to grasp the extent to which nation wreckers are willing to go in the exploitation and looting of state resources. They are the Mrs Justice Laura Marcus-Jones Commission of Inquiry, the Justice Lynton Nylander Commission of Inquiry and the Beccles Davies Commission of Inquiry. If the government of the rat can still continue to vigorously pursue the same ills exposed in these reports, then Sierra Leoneans are in for a rough ride.

The APC of those years as painted in these reports is the same hardened and unrepentant beasts of no nation that now occupy seats of governance in a rich but extremely poor Sierra Leone. This is no new APC. It is an APC in the incarnation of the AFRC/RUF coalition of evil otherwise known as the beasts of 1997-98.


Monday 10th October 2016 - A week after the rat's government was forced to publicly admit that the economy was in shambles, it is all business as usual as the peoples' money gets dished out to his cronies and family members in the criminal empire over which he presides.The Auditor General - her reports are routinely ignored by the rat and his cohort.The rat and one of his benefactors, Timis.

Last Monday's announcement that the government would be cutting its wasteful spending could only have been triggered by international financial institutions reading the riot act to all the thieves parading as servants of the people. Why did he wait until after his bloated delegation of praise singers and party activists taken on the great jamboree to the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 71) have been compensated for their disgraceful performance? There was the so-called Majority Leader of the ruling APC, the RASSin Bundu man and the street dancer who the rat calls his Information minister as well as his Tourism minister Sidi Yayah Tunis gyrating, twisting and contorting their bodies in rhythm as they tried to please their master the rat about just how loyal they were to him.

Now people can understand why the probe into the mismanagement of the Ebola fund was resisted by this same RASSin Bundu who had no business impeding the work of the Anti Corruption Commission - an action for which he should have been prosecuted as outlined under laws found on the pages of the Anti Corruption Act.

Recall this in one of the Auditor General's report - "During the Financial year 2008, the Office of the Secretary to the President received US$57,161 for the 63rd UN General Assembly Meeting; for the same period an amount of US$43,800 was also remitted to the Mission for the same purpose. In the 2009 Financial Year, the MOFED paid US$46,691.00 in respect of the 64th UN  General Assembly Meeting and remitted US$36,596 to the Sierra Leone Permanent Mission for the same purpose.

Driven out of power after more than 24 years (1968-1992) of state looting and a breakdown of the rule of law, it would appear that the APC government still smarting under the fact that they were kicked out of office by the self-same people they recruited into the army, are now hell-bent, not only on perpetuating itself in power by all means possible but also looting state coffers on an unprecedented free for all criminal enterprise headed by the smoke and mirrors rat at State House. His hand is in every bogus contract, every enterprise that he sees as increasing his portfolio of assets - bank accounts and property within and without Sierra Leone.


Friday September 30. 2016 - The earthly remains of a great colleague were interred today in Freetown. Samuel John, Junior as he was fondly called heeded the Lord's call on 12th September 2016.The late journalist Samuel John at a function for journalists in Sierra Leone. RIPAWOKO editor Kelvin Lewis signs the book of condolence for journalist Samuel John

How do you begin to write the sad news of a fallen colleague, brother, family man and someone who would go the ends of the earth to help you out? How do you begin to write such when you still shake with incredulity when the news was first made public that Samuel John, Mr Junior, Junior John was no more? It has been difficult, almost impossible as we fought the tears and the shaking body to take in the sad fact that our great brother, father and family man has left us with our earthly suffering, without giving us due notice as to when he would depart. As one stupefied colleague stated - "How can he? And without any warning?"

And so as we mourn the passing away of the great man, let us bring you the many tributes paid to a man who would easily give up an arm if that was needed to make you stay alive. This reaction on the Facebook page of a colleague and brother sums things up we think. It's from the one and only Babatunde Roland May former top gun at the SLBS - "Finally, I can bring myself to fully accept a fact that I am absolutely powerless to overturn. For the past week I've been saying to myself that it can't be true, willfully ignoring enquiries as to whether I've heard.

Yes Aroun Rashid Deen, yes Kwame Streeter I heard alright. Only I did not want to believe, or better yet accept, that my friend, brother and colleague Samuel Junior John had really passed on. The truth is it's not easy to accept that someone who's been with you in the trenches since school days through adult life can just go away like that, forever.

Another colleague Joseph Musa, like the rest of us was taken by surprise - "This world is full of surprises; we live with them and of course we die with things slapping you in the face that are the least expected.


Monday August 16, 2016 - Sierra Leone Parliament in corruption net as poisoned javelins and threats are hurled against anti-corruption body that refuses to buckle under pressure. Time for the law makers to come clean.Allieu Kanu the partisan head of the media watch dog. He has threatened the media outlets.RASSin Bundu - he believes Parliament is above the law.

The recent days have seen a clearly rattled Sierra Leone Parliament looking for any weapon it can hurl against an anti-corruption activist that has dared to shine the spotlight on the finances of Parliamentarians who are accused of collecting huge amounts from the peoples' kitty without properly accounting to the public on how these funds are utilised.

It all started after the Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI) issued a press statement in which it accused Parliamentarians of failing to account for funds they had received over the years as monies to be used in developing their various constituencies.

This statement got Parliament and MPs rattled and desperate measures could be clearly discerned as the MPs, both from the ruling APC party, the main opposition SLPP and others suddenly realised that someone was now calling them to face the court of the people and account for all the funds they have been receiving from the purse of the people.

And this brought quite a lot of questions - among them - do you have to be a registered and recognised body to ask MPs or indeed any other body to account to the people?

Also read this to see that the PAC recommendations not heeded with those asked to account treating the PAC report with contempt if not derision - Auditor-General's second report


Wednesday May 25, 2016 - 19 years ago, the awful horror called the AFRC/RUF Coalition of Evil otherwise known as the beasts was unleashed upon the people of Sierra Leone - and this on a day commemorated as Africa Liberation Day.The symbols of the beasts. The bandama head wrap, the dark glasses to shield drug-infused eyes and the plaster to keep the cocaine shots in place.

It is another May 25 - a day that should be dedicated to Africa's Freedom - Africa Day and it was on this day, nineteen years ago in 1997, that evil forces inspired by anti-democratic behind the scenes manipulators decided to enslave the people of Sierra Leone. The action by soldiers to oust the barely year-old democratically-elected government of President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and replace it with a murderous and human rights-abusing junta has been described as the bloodiest coup in Sierra Leone's history. Rogue soldiers, known as sobels for being soldiers in the country's colours in the day and rebels as soon as darkness falls upon the land, had long been reported by civilians who, thinking that men in military uniforms were there to protect them hardly survived to tell their story as they were ruthlessly mowed down by weapons bought through their sweat. It was a period of lawlessness where the laws of the jungle reigned supreme and anyone with a weapon became a law unto him/herself to loot, murder, rape and abduct at the slightest whim.

One news source had this account of what happened in the aftermath of a coup that was so unpopular even within the military that the main operatives decided that it would serve their best interest to have the RUF, the Foday Sankoh human rights abusers to join them in what they termed a government of the AFRC. This was to serve two key purposes. 1. To increase the number of killers on the streets of the capital and other parts of the country and 2. To intimidate and cow the civilian population into submission. They failed in the second as the resistance of the civilian populations quite clearly showed with them refusing to go to work, schools and colleges no longer safe places with the smell of death, destruction and chaos all around.

At least one person was killed and another injured in Bo on May 27 when AFRC soldiers shot at a crowd of about 5,000 persons demonstrating against the coup. The demonstration started when large quantities of looted goods were discovered in the army's possession. At least 80 people, including 30 civilians, were killed during fighting in Kenema between RSLMF troops and Kamajohs during the first weekend in May. Fighting started when soldiers shot at a truck of Kamajohs, killing three, as they drove past the army base at Kpetema. At least 22 people, including at least 6 civilians, were killed in fighting that started that weekend between RSLMF troops and Kapras at Camp Charlie near Matotoka. During an attack on the town of Moyamba at the end of June, RUF troops tortured student leader Sheku Kabbah in public before killing him; they gouged out his eyes and cut off his ears before cutting his throat. On July 8, a young woman was summarily executed by uniformed soldiers in Freetown for publicly supporting President Kabbah. Junta military officers executed three soldiers in July in Kenema for looting.

The rat at State House, the leader of AFRC MKII has been rewarding the killers, dishing out appointments right, left and centre quite believing that he would not be made to account. The guilty verdicts and sentences of the Special Court for Sierra Leone is a reminder of the horrors visited upon peaceful Sierra Leoneans.

Friday April 29, 2016 - Another year and another day to remind us of what happens when law and order becomes clay in the hands of rogue politicians. Twenty four years ago today, an uncaring and despotic APC regime was kicked out of power by its own khaki boys.New Head of State Captain Valentine Strasser rides in triumph after successful April 29, 1992 coup.

Twenty four years ago today on the Wednesday morning of April 29, 1992 a section of the war front moved to the gates of State House in Freetown as soldiers who had been battling rebels in the east of the country decided that enough was enough and demanded to meet their Commander-in-Chief, President Joseph Saidu Momoh. By the time the day was over, a radio announcement by a breathless Captain Valentine Strasser on the only functional radio station in the capital, the Aberdeen-based private FM 94 made it known to the world that the twenty four year despotic reign of the APC was over. Thus was formed the National Provisional Ruling Council, the NPRC which held the reigns of government until 1996 when largely free and fair elections ushered in a new civilian administration led by the SLPP's Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.

Back in power in 2007 after elections held that year, fifteen years after being booted out of power, the APC has learnt nothing from those lessons as it engages in what is now seen as a ravenous rape of the country's resources using every means at hand and throwing law and order regulations under the bus. Key functionaries of the APC who had been singing praises of President Momoh to hide their personal thieving ventures are back in Freetown making observers wonder just what they had been up to in those fifteen years.

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan made these observations at a recent symposium on security in Africa. "Elections should be the vehicle for popular choice in which the winner does not take all and the losers do not lose all. Those who win must recognize that they do not have a licence to rule without restraint or remain in office in perpetuity. Let us not confuse legality with legitimacy. Elections that meet legal form but fail the test of integrity are only pyrrhic victories that usually store up trouble for the future. 'I think Africa has done well, by and large the coups have more or less ended, generals are remaining in their barracks, but we are creating situations, which may bring them back"

Kindly refresh your memory on the governance issue in Sierra Leone by taking a look at this article written in 2012, twenty years after the historic and successful coup against the despotic and uncaring APC regime.


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

Sunday April 10, 2016 - Lessons from South Africa for Sierra Leone - Accountability, the rule of law and the supremacy of the Constitution sees President Zuma and Parliament slammed over corporate deception and fraud.The head of the Constitutional Court of South Africa Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

Recent events in South Africa have clearly demonstrated just what can be achieved when the tenets of democracy, the rule of law and the separation of powers are adhered to as enshrined in the Constitution. On Thursday March 31, 2016 the Constitutional Court of South Africa gave its ruling over a simmering brew of corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma with a hard-hitting judgement which clearly highlighted the efficacy and supremacy of the country's Constitution.

It all started off with the opposition and the press wanting to know just how much of the peoples' money had been spent in a massive refurbishment of the residence of the President. All those who were in the camp of the President including Parliament investigated and did not find any wrong-doing on the part of President Zuma as he and his cronies insisted that the works carried out at his private residence was a security upgrade needed to keep him safe and happy and that included a swimming pool, additional ranches and a few expensive additions all carried by the tax payer, the people of South Africa. The BBC carried this bit when judgement day broke on Thursday last week -

"The highest court in South Africa has ruled that President Jacob Zuma violated the constitution when he failed to repay government money spent on his private home. It gave the treasury 60 days to determine how much he should repay. The ruling is a victory for the opposition, who said they would push for Mr Zuma's impeachment. They accuse him of using "ill-gotten wealth" to upgrade his home with a swimming pool and amphitheatre." It is to be recalled that even before this ruling by the highest court of South Africa, a body that acts as the overall Ombudsman, the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, had ruled that the President should pay back a part of the money that was used for the upgrade of his private residence as some of the expenses were not security-related. President Zuma dismissed the orders of this Constitutionally-authorised body tagging its role as merely advisory and that its orders had no legal weight.

In Sierra Leone, findings of the Auditor General are treated with levity by both the Judiciary and Parliament and even though quite clearly public documents, are not acted upon by the Anti Corruption Commission, a Constitutional body.


Wednesday March 23, 2016 - 25 five years ago today on March 23, 1991, the first shots were fired in Bomaru, eastern Sierra Leone as the first armed rebellion in independent Sierra Leone was initiated. 25 years on the same conditions which germinated the war are being nourished by the present set-up with reckless abandon.It was the Supreme Court that took upon itself to turn the Constitution upside down to please the rat. A threat to democracy.President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah declared the war over in 2002. (Updated)

The war was officially declared over in 2002 by the then Head of State, President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah after many twists and turns, some definitely unpalatable to the wishes of surviving victims and the memory of the many killed, traumatised and having to live a life without limbs while wallowing in poverty and despair. It was a war that brought out the beasts in two-footed creatures parading as human beings. Beasts of terror who sought to create a fiefdom of terror and deprivation in a once peaceful and beautiful land called Sierra Leone.

At the end of the day, the government, on the advice of civil society, the international community and all those interested in the welfare of the country thought it would be in the best interest of the country, then, now and forever to take a forensic look at what led to the armed rebellion initiated by those March 23, 1991 shots in Bomaru. Thus was the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the TRC, established and this body patiently heard evidence from victims, perpetrators, those who lived through it all as well as key entities and functionaries during the period that was reviewed. It later came out with a report that should guide all Sierra Leoneans and friends of Sierra Leone on what lessons are there to be gleaned that would never see us go down the road of national perfidy and destruction.

We are reminded in that report on the causes of the conflict which are many are varied, but among the chief causes are, according to the TRC report - "While there were many factors, both internal and external, that explain the cause of the civil war, the Commission came to the conclusion that it was years of bad governance, endemic corruption and the denial of basic human rights that created the deplorable conditions that made conflict inevitable."

For all who wish Sierra Leone well, there's the need to heed the warnings of institutional collapse that led to the destruction of democracy and the rule of law and as anyone who knows the ups and downs of this beautiful country lest we go down the path that led to a conflict that should have been prevented had due diligence been paid to the rule of law, accountability and democracy.


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

Thursday December 17, 2015 - The Auditor Generals report for the management of government resources for the year 2014 is out and save for a few areas of improvement, the picture of a deliberate lack of financial control and gross impropriety remains in government ministries, departments and missions abroad.Sierra Leone's Auditor General Lara Taylor-Pearce

The Auditor General Mrs Lara Taylor-Pearce has again published the body's findings with regards to the reporting and the use of government assets and resources in the care of officials in charge of safe-guarding these resources. The picture for 2014 tells the story of a band of hardened and unrepentant criminals who flout laid down rules with impunity, divert the people's money into the pockets of co-conspirators - giving a message out to all - that as long as they enjoy the protection of the smoke and mirrors rat at State House, they can get away with anything. Perhaps the frustration of dedicated officials at the Auditor General's office could best be summed up in this observation contained in the report. These are in the main -

"A slow response by those charged with governance to our message of embracing their responsibility to guide and direct the development and performance of a strong system of internal controls in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs). This includes improving their oversight function, demonstrating effective and ethical leadership, strengthening the audit committees and insisting on credible and regular reports on the finances and activities of MDAs.

A lack of consequences for poor performance and transgressions in general government. This is evident from the inadequate response to the high levels of unauthorised, irregular as well as fruitless and wasteful expenditure, as detailed in the audit report in other paragraphs indirectly supporting the opinion; and the weaknesses in performance management, which include a lack of credible and effective performance management systems across MDAs.

The action of the executive arm of Government towards the implementation of the recommendations in the report of the Auditor-General, a report debated and approved by Parliament, has not been very effective in achieving the goals of improving public financial management reforms in Sierra Leone. Therefore the incidences of financial indiscipline continue with even reckless abandon.