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Vol XII 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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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

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

 

 
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.

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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 April 11, 2016 - Al Shaabab sympathiser and journalist is executed after court finds him guilty of the murder of at least one journalist. Implicated in the deaths of five others.

A man who has been described as a respected broadcaster and journalist in Somalia for many years has been executed by a firing squad in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. The execution was carried out after he was sentenced to death for his alleged role in supporting the terrorist organisation Al-Shaabab. Hassan Hanafi is alleged to have used his affinity to and connections with Al-Shaabab to finger colleague journalists - threatening them with death should they fail to fall in line with the edict of Al-Shaabab.

Haji acted as al-Shabab's liaison officer to the media and pressured journalists to report according to the group's media rules, which included avoiding stories related to military setbacks. He was known to threaten journalists and radio stations if they did not comply. He later worked for Radio Andalus, al-Shabab’s official media outlet.

Also reported was news that a few days before Hassan Hanafi's execution, two other Al-Shaabab operatives were also shot by a firing squad after they were found guilty of the murder of Somalia female journalist Hindiyo Haji Mohamed by a car bomb. She never stood a chance as she succumbed to the horrendous wounds inflicted by the assassin's bomb.

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Monday April 11, 2016 - Corruption Incorporated in another smoke and mirrors move to cover tracks of criminals in the fishing sector. What next after that Public Service Commission report?

State House media reported on Friday February 12, 2016 that a report on the failed WARFP-SL Project in the Ministry of Fisheries and Mineral Resources (MFMR), had been presented to their overlord at State House - "Speaking after receiving the report, President Koroma assured that the report will be looked at closely and recommendations thereof will be implemented to the fullest. (A catchphrase when the rat intends to do nothing as witnessed in the Kelvin Lewis report on the Bo disturbances).

He said the report will help to create awareness among civil servants to be looking into their activities as well as send a clear message that no one is untouchable. The president reiterated government's commitment in restructuring the Civil Service by giving it the relevant professionalism in the execution of its mandate. He pointed out that the Secretary to the President in consultation with the Chief of Staff and the Anti-Corruption Commission will work closely on the recommendations."

Kindly note that for 2 years, the Joint Monitoring Centre, the JMC that had been monitoring illegal fishing had not been operational due to a lack of due diligence by the government of the rat who could have used this period to encourage the massive illegal fishing that went on within Sierra Leone's territorial waters. As the AWOKO newspaper reported in a headline - "Increase in illegal fishing…World Bank frowns at JMC closure"  So what is the PSC report all about? In a nutshell, the PSC report unearthed a rotten and crooked system that was encouraged by the government and in which a sibling of the rat was named as one of the rotten fishes.  

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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.

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Sunday March 27, 2016 - It's Easter Day - a celebration of the very basis and foundation of Christian belief - the victory of the Lord Jesus Christ over persecution, crucifixion and death on the cross. As the Lord conquered death, so too do we pray that the yoke will be lifted from the people of Sierra Leone. Amen.

As we mark this very foundation of Christianity, we pray that the Good Lord will grant you victory over your personal fears, your personal worries and all the negative things that may cast doubt on your faith.

Be strong in the Lord and take courage in the fact that as He arose from the grave, baffling those who had set watch over His tomb lest "his body be stolen by his followers" so would He enable you to have victory over your personal fears and worries.

As we celebrate this day, our prayers are with the poor, oppressed and voiceless people of Sierra Leone - that one fine day they will be free of the yoke that has seen lawlessness, injustice, greed and massive looting of the peoples' wealth taking centre stage against the wishes of the vast majority of the people.

Even as one Rev Reinhard Willi Gottfried Bonnke once told the people of Sierra Leone that the suppressive yoke of the then APC regime will be lifted, so too do we pray for the true freedom, liberty and democratic rights of all who live within the borders of Sierra Leone irrespective of party, regional or ethnic affiliation. We pray that that the Lord will hear the cries of the suppressed and lift the yoke from the shoulders of the people.

We wish you all very happy Easter celebrations.

Long live democracy.

Long live the rule of law and justice.

Long live the people of Sierra Leone.

Amen


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.

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Monday March 21, 2016 - Landmark ruling at ICC as DRC warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo is found guilty of crimes against humanity including the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. Guilty verdict welcomed by rights groups as well as Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda welcomed today's decisionThe former war lord and DRC Vice President in court. He's now a convicted war criminal.

The International Criminal Court sitting in the Hague has today unanimously found a former DRC warlord and former Vice President of the DRC Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo guilty of crimes relating to the action of his forces in the Central African Republic.

The Chamber found that Mr Bemba, a Congolese citizen, was the MLC President and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armée de Libération du Congo ("ALC"), the organization's figurehead, and source of its funding, goals, and aims. An MLC contingent of three battalions totalling around 1,500 men was deployed by Mr Bemba to CAR in 2002 at the request and in support of former CAR President Ange-Félix Patassé to counter forces loyal to former Chief of Staff of the Forces armées centrafricaines ("FACA"), General François Bozizé. 

The Chamber found that acts of murder, rape, and pillaging were committed consistent with evidence of a modus operandi apparent from the earliest days and employed throughout the 2002-2003 CAR Operation: after General Bozizé's rebels had departed an area, MLC soldiers searched "house-to-house" for remaining rebels, raping civilians, pillaging their belongings, and, on some occasions, killing those who resisted.

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda welcomed the trial court's decision vowing to bring to book all those accused of human rights violations as she pursues justice for victims. In a video message on the ICC website, she made these observations part of which we reproduce here.

"Today's conviction of Mr Jean-Pierre Bemba for his failure to prevent and punish troops under his authority and control for their rapes, murders, and pillaging marks a crucial moment in the long search for justice for the victims of the 2002-2003 events in the Central African Republic ("CAR"). Justice for the victims of the CAR has been our primary and sole objective in this case. This case is also noteworthy in that it has highlighted the critical need to eradicate sexual and gender-based crimes as weapons of war in conflict by holding accountable those who fail to exercise their duties and responsibilities that their status as commanders and leaders entail."

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Sunday March 20, 2016 - The corruption mafia exposed again as the World Bank bars the Dutch company that reportedly sold that marine patrol vessel and Fly Salone airlines is no more.The much-hyped patrol vessel cost us far more that its real value. Who was the agent that got the money?The logo of the short-lived Fly Salone airline - what's the true story?

It was not so long ago that some sections of the government-controlled media tried to sell the usual mantra to the people of Sierra Leone of having a head who cares about them. Quite a lot of smoke and noise was made of what was described as a new patrol vessel, named after the late Sorie Ibrahim Koroma which would be used in the battle against illegal fishing within our coastal waters.

On the website of the State House website, we found this -

"President Ernest Bai Koroma Wednesday 11 November commissioned the newly acquired Fisheries Patrol Vessel FPV Sorie Ibrahim Koroma surveillance and research boat at the Queen Elizabeth 11 Quay, Berth One, Cline Town in Freetown. The surveillance and patrol boat is a multipurpose state of the art vessel that will monitor, research fishing vessels and poacher in the territorial waters of Sierra Leone.

It would appear, that given the size of the boat and all the specifications as it was commissioned on that day, that the amount of nearly six million US dollars was way above the real cost of such a boat for which we would urge the Anti Corruption Commission to trail the money and loss to the people of Sierra Leone. Indeed, the World Bank has now issued a statement which clearly indicates that another massive corruption enterprise is at work at the centre of which is one of the money spinners of the rat at State House, one Captain Pat Sowe who has now been transferred to another ministry.

Meanwhile Sierra Leoneans are still reeling from news that the much-hyped Fly Salone airlines has folded up after its equally much-hyped launch late last year. However despite this publicity, McPhilips Travel, an entity that is often associated with all things relating to passenger and freight services among others had this message on its website -a message that was also found on the website of the airline Fly Salone

"To all the Fly Salone passengers who have flying arrangements. We regret to inform you that Fly Salone has ceased trading. All passengers will therefore be unable to fly with this airline as the Company will shortly be entering into Liquidation."

What's going on?

We would urge law enforcement agencies including the Anti Corruption Commission to investigate these two incidents that have tarnished the image of the country, State House and the Presidency with a view to bringing to light the true story of the failure of Fly Salone airlines and the nearly six million dollars reportedly paid for a patrol vessel, the transaction of which has led to the barring of the Dutch company involved.

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Saturday March 12, 2016 - As the world observed the international day dedicated to focus on the needs of women and girls, it is all hot air from the smoke and mirrors rat at State House who has never publicly condemned sexual and other violence against women in Sierra Leone.Sierra Leonean woman and rape witness says it all. Sierra Leone urgently needs forensic kits to nail the perpetrators.

Tuesday of this week, 8th March was observed by all responsible and caring governments to focus on the plight of women and girls. This year's theme - parity - is a message to all governments to increase the participation of women in all spheres of life - from government, through Parliamentary representations to a determined effort to have qualified women standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts as a sign of appreciation and respect for the contribution of our women folk in the long march to 50-50 parity in gender.

We visited the State House website to see just how much weight the thing which passes for a government gave to the affairs of women and girls and we were not that surprised to note that what they had was the rat responding to issues raised by women at a symposium at which the lead address was delivered by one Sia Nyama Koroma, the country's First Lady.

We have, in the past, heard the speeches by government officials when March 8 is upon us and so far we have not seen any follow-up to what had been pledged in previous years but are heartened by this line in the official State House report -

"President Koroma encouraged women to stand up for their rights and follow up on any acts of abuse or rape against them..." which leads to questions relating to the government's policy of addressing sexual violence against women and girls."

We have, time and again shone the spotlight on rape and other acts of sexual violence on women and girls within the borders of Sierra Leone urging the government and law enforcement officials to bring to book all those accused of these crimes. Time and again, it's all hot air and nothing is being done to bring perpetrators to justice. We would again call for a proper forensic kit that would link the DNA of perpetrators to their victims and this is where the international community should step in to help. Now here's a reminder for the government, ruling party, the ineffective, dormant and compromised opposition parties and all the good people of Sierra Leone - please take heed of this message. "A rape is not a romp – It is time to end the titillating portrayal of sexual violence"

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Friday March 11, 2016 - Al Shaabab sympathiser and journalist is sentenced to death by a court in Somalia. Echoes of what happened in Sierra Leone during junta rule in 1997/98.Rogue journalist Hassan Hanafi. He used his profession to commit atrocities against colleagues.

A man who has been described as a respected broadcaster and journalist in Somalia for many years has been sentenced to death by firing squad for his alleged role in supporting the terrorist organisation Al-Shaabab. Hassan Hanafi, it is alleged, used his connection with Al-Shaabab to finger colleague journalists - threatening them with death should they fail to fall in line with the edict of Al-Shaabab.

In a profile of Hassan Hanafi on the BBC website Abdinoor Aden had this -

"Hassan Hanafi was a respected reporter and broadcaster in Somalia for many years. Now, he has been sentenced to death by firing squad for colluding with Islamist militant group al-Shabab in the murder of five fellow journalists between 2007 and 2011.

Hanafi was born in the central Hiran region of Somalia in the early 1980s. When his family moved to Europe in the 1990s, he was the only one who stayed behind. From 2003, he became a household name to many radio listeners in Somalia after joining popular Quran FM station in the capital Mogadishu. He left in 2006 to become an online reporter for a leading Somali website. A few years later, signs of his affiliation to al-Shabab emerged as he became the major source of all breaking news or reaction from the militant group.

He ran a secret bureau, monitoring news and threatening any reporter who spoke out against al-Shabab or portrayed the group in a bad light. He would summon the offending journalists to meet him at his car. Some were killed on the spot while others wisely declined and went on to flee the country. Nearly all the murders had a similar pattern. The victims were shot from close range in the streets or at a hotel. Others had explosive devices planted on their cars. Often when a journalist was killed, Hanafi would be among the first to arrive at the scene or to confirm the person's death.

The likes of Hassan Hanafi were also to be found in Sierra Leone during those terrible days of junta occupation led by one Johnny Paul Koroma. There were journalists who did not only drink from the bloody cup of the murderous junta but kept their supply of fuel and looted vehicles by fingering journalists perceived to be against the junta. Fuel chits were supplied that ensured that the looted vehicles gifted to them were ready to be used in the service of the junta as one David Tam Baryoh witnessed when he was arrested.

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Sunday February 28, 2016 - As UK nurse is admitted in hospital for the third time, a call for more to be done to address the trauma and medical conditions of Ebola Virus Disease survivors in Sierra Leone.UK nurse and Ebola Virus Disease survivor Pauline Cafferkey back in hospital. We wish her a speedy recovery. (Update - Good news. She's back home. Discharged from hospital on February 28, 2016.)
 

News that brave UK nurse and Ebola Virus Disease survivor Pauline Cafferkey has again been admitted into hospital has got the medical and health care community into an overdrive on how much is really known about the devastating disease and its effects even after it fails to squeeze the life out of those infected. One recent report on the effects of the disease on survivors states -

"One of the patients, a 25-year-old man, died 1 month after recovering from EVD. He developed deteriorating respiratory symptoms and fluid buildup around one lung about 3 weeks after being discharged. The authors conclude, "We can expect some survivors to have long-term clinical needs. The epidemic is waning but the effects of the disease it caused will remain."

The UK-based Guardian news outlet in a headline "Ebola nurse Pauline Cafferkey transferred to Royal Free Hospital" noted - "Pauline Cafferkey, the British nurse who contracted Ebola in west Africa in 2014 , is being transferred to the specialist unit at the Royal Free hospital in London for the third time since her return to the UK. Cafferkey, 39, who is said to be in a stable condition, was initially admitted to Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University hospital and on Tuesday afternoon an RAF aircraft landed at Glasgow airport to transport her to London. A spokesman for the Royal Free said: “We can confirm that Pauline Cafferkey is being transferred to the Royal Free hospital due to a late complication from her previous infection by the Ebola virus. She will now be treated by the hospital’s infectious diseases team under nationally agreed guidelines.

Another UK-based news outlet, the Independent has this report which should be of great concern to all those health care delivery systems in Sierra Leone. It is the continuing story of a treacherous and vicious disease that will do all it can to stay in the tissues of the affected. That even while health officials celebrate and declare victims free of the disease, the roaring deceitful and evil beast still thrives in hidden pockets that the victim's immune system cannot reach. "Ebola can stay buried in survivors’ tissue meaning that its effects could continue long after people have apparently recovered, experts have said."

We note that other voices are now been raised over the thieving of funds meant for the battle against the Ebola Virus Disease after the Auditor General published a second report on the rampant thieving that saw beasts in human form rejoicing over the spread of the disease as funds were allocated to the gang of looters of state and other funds directed from the bowels of State House. The report is titled "Phase 2 Report on the Audit of the Management of the Ebola Funds" and makes sad reading.

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Thursday February 25, 2016 - The continuing story of State House-endorsed corruption. Who benefited from the collapse of the 28 million dollar World Bank-funded West Africa Regional Fisheries Project? Why was this kept under wraps until the World Bank representative blew the cover off?

It was a press statement on the State House website titled "President receives Report on Fisheries Project" that could well have alerted many to a part of the goings-on at the country's ministry that is responsible for marine resources. The report delivered by one Dr Max Amadu Sesay revealed that indeed investigations had been going on into a failed project and this after one Parminder Brar, World Bank Country Manager in Sierra Leone told the press that for the past two years, a key component in the fight against illegal fishing had been rendered non-operational.

"Before we started supporting the sector, there were 80 trawlers doing fishing [in the country’s waters]. When we started that number was reduced to 30 because of the Joint Management Centre (JMC) that we set up to monitor illegal fishing,” said Brar, adding however that currently, the number of foreign trawlers has increased again to 80 and that there is 60% illegal fishing going on in the country’s territorial waters."

Another factor was the collapse of the Joint Monitoring Centre, which used to monitor illegal fishing activities in the waters of Sierra Leone, he added and disclosed that the JMC was destroyed by lightning some two years ago. “Currently there is no satellite and internet connection at the JMC in Murray Town, and there are only three staff there at the moment,” Brar told newsmen."

The State House press statement makes interesting reading - "Dr Sesay however noted that due to lack of real evidence to corroborate most of the allegations of corruption, it was difficult for the committee to recommend more severe disciplinary action. The preponderance of the evidence submitted instead points in the direction of weak financial base of the contractor, poor financial management by the contractor and poor contractor performance and delivery." If the Public Service Chairman would want Sierra Leoneans to believe that there were no paper trails, no money trails that could have highlighted and thrown the spotlight on individuals responsible for the massive corruption that was going on with regards to this project, what was he then reporting about? What was his mandate? Protection of people who should have been in court charged with thieving?

(All pictures are from the Al Jazeera films)

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Thursday February 18, 2016 - Six Sierra Leoneans crucified by the courts. Their crime - daring to protest against perceived terrible living and working conditions that have destroyed their way of life...thanks to an anti-people thing passing for a government in Sierra Leone.The heroes of the struggle against neo-colonialism in Sierra LeoneThe children for whom a new heaven on earth is being created by a rogue government.

Two weeks ago today, State House controlled judiciary in Sierra Leone caused six activists protesting against the government-assisted land grab vultures to be slammed with heavy fines and from all accounts prison sentences because they dared to protest in a country where Sierra Leoneans are not allowed to raise their voices in anger should they perceive they had been robbed of their lands and natural resources.

What makes this court decision even more anti people is that, according to reports, the protesters dared destroy forty palm plants/trees belonging to a perceived land grab French company, Socfin.

Forty palm trees in a country where the palm tree grows in many areas and from which Sierra Leoneans, even before the arrival of Socfin had devised ways and means of getting dividends from - brooms to sweep and clean their homes and surroundings, palm oil that is used in cooking many a delicious dish and as animal scientists would tell you, the leftovers can be a component of animal feeds.

Who in Sierra Leone would not know about, if not tasted the refreshing taste of the palm wine dubbed by many who ply the villages and hamlets as "from God to man"? Who would not know about the oil that is derived from the roasted "nuts" derived from within the hard kernel of the "banga" that is roasted and forced to yield the oil therein known as "natai"? A visit to the website of the company at the centre of all this, Socfin, gave us this as a part of its commitments. It was signed by one Luc Boedt as CEO. Kindly recall that the BBC had a special Africa Debate programme on Friday February 24, 2012 in which the land grabbing issue was discussed and in which representatives of the government and civil society groups participated. This was the report we carried after that successful and very interesting debate.

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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

Friday January 1, 2016 - As Sierra Leone's commitment to human rights comes under scrutiny, rights group says the government of the rat has failed to bring perpetrators of violations to book. Condemns the public examination of humiliation of school girls alleged to be pregnant.

This month sees the spotlight focused on Sierra Leone's human rights record under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and the rights group Amnesty International (AI) has, in a report, evaluated the implementation of recommendations accepted by Sierra Leone in a previous UPR. AI says it remains concerned about continuing complaints of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees, arbitrary arrests, and excessive use of force by police. It says it is also concerned about the use of criminal defamation charges against journalists which undermine the right to freedom of expression and the ban on pregnant girls attending mainstream school and sitting exams.

Amnesty International has also documented increased restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly during the state of emergency imposed in July 2014 to combat the Ebola outbreak. There has been an increase in arrests of opposition members, bans on peaceful protests and an unwillingness to tolerate dissent following the removal of former Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana on 18 March 2015. On Sierra Leone’s Independence Day on 27 April 2015, 15 members of the main opposition party, Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and a Senior Officer from the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone, were arrested in Kenema following a protest at the SLPP office. They are currently on trial. There are concerns about excessive use of force during arrest by the police with several people injured.

The examples highlighted are the tip of the iceberg of human rights violation by state actors and others enjoying the protection of the state. It would be recalled that a number of reports on these violations have been reported on and in some instances, the rat himself had authorised investigations but alas, nothing has been done giving the impression that impunity would always be encouraged as long as it serves the agenda of the government and its operatives.

Impunity should not be allowed.

Update: If the deputy minister was cleared of rape - what about the other charges relating to alleged violent conduct against the victim?

What message is this sending to others who use their position - be it in the party or government or connections thereof to take advantage of their victims?

Is the Joseph Kamara ACC aware that this could well have been the case of an official using/abusing his office for an advantage and that he should have taken the appropriate action?

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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 to persist. The challenge we face is that when our report is sent to Parliament our elected representatives, meeting in committee, do not always demand a full accounting from officials for the issues raised. Parliamentary promotion of transparency in public administration and good governance is perhaps not as effective as it might be. This has forced us to consider why we are not having sufficient impact when it comes to audit findings and recommendations."

(See some excerpts from the report)

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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

 
Wednesday August 5, 2015 - As the bookkeeper of Auschwitz is sentenced we plead with the international community to bring to justice all those who deliberately slaughtered, raped and made sexual slaves of Sierra Leoneans in a deliberate policy that had the hallmarks of genocide.Titi Kamara was murdered by junta operatives as they were forced out of the capital.Morris Kallon - one of the RUF leaders tried by the Special Court.

On one of our pages we brought you the story of a 93-year-old former member of a team that processed the victims of Nazi terror at the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp. He did not personally take part in the executions, but he was a part of a system that started off with the processing of new inmates brought in at the concentration camp. Oskar Groening did not take part in the gassing to death of prisoners nor did he take part in the many execution squads dotted all over the place but the law found that he was complicit in a process of extermination of human beings thought to be walking the wrong path as prescribed by the evil overlords of the Nazi regime. The bookkeeper of Auschwitz was found guilty by a court and sentenced to four years in prison for his part in the activities at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Leon Schwarzbaum was 22 when he was transported to Auschwitz. He told me he is now 94 - the same age as Groening. He pointed to the tattooed numbers on his arm. "When they punched this on my arm they told me no-one lasts long in Auschwitz." After the verdict, I saw him again; four years is the right sentence, he said, after all he's an old man. Can he forgive Oskar Groening, I asked? "No," he replied. "I lost 30 members of my family in Auschwitz."

The Special Court for Sierra Leone has now almost wrapped up its operations but we are reminded of the formation of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone whose duties and other documents could be retrieved from its pages. The Residual Court would, say if Johnny Paul Koroma pop up suddenly swing into action and try the knave, killer and rapist whose band of like-minded individuals enslaved and visited awful horror upon horror on the people of Sierra Leone. These are some accounts of atrocities as found on the pages of the Sierra Leone Peace Museum.

We need justice for the thousands murdered, even more numbers raped and abducted and the millions traumatised.

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Saturday February 28, 2014 - Panic stations in the thieving and uncaring domain of the rat after the first exposure...and this is just the tip of the massive corruption and stealing of funds meant to combat the deadly Ebola Virus disease. Time to start thinking about referring the rat and his cabal to a tribunal for crimes against the people.

The corridors of State House in Freetown have been the scene of panic, confusion and consternation as a part of the massive corruption over the use of funds to combat the deadly Ebola Virus Disease is laid bare in the recent report of the Auditor General - "Report on the Audit of the Management of the Ebola Funds". In the process of trying to smother the fallout of this disgraceful, shameful and inhuman episode, apologists of the thieving band of murderers and uncaring plunderers of resources meant to combat the disease have been falling over each other in trying to distract public attention from the thieving exploits and banditry of the uncaring cabal. First there was the war of words and authority over who should comment and take action on the report. One repugnant character terming himself as leader of the House of Representatives went as far as to publicly challenge the authority of the head of the Anti Corruption Commission telling all those who had been summoned to appear before the Commission not to heed the call. After what can only be seen as a pantomime of cover orchestrated by the rat at State House, both shameless individuals issued a rather inane statement insisting that they were now working together to bring the culprits to justice. We are not impressed because we see both the Anti Corruption Commission headed by Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara and that apology for all things honourable singing from the same sheet - protecting the rat at State House.

If the past is anything to go by, we would not be surprised to have startling revelations as to how funds were raised by various government officials within and outside the country and we would urge the Auditor General and the Anti Corruption Commission to look into the activities of our missions abroad with a view to ascertaining the funds and resources raised and how these were disbursed. We would continue to ask about the fate of those workers who were dismissed because they went on strike for their pay which had not been forthcoming. Have they been paid their just dues - we mean their monies? Now we know why genuine workers who risked their lives were not paid as the recent audit report shows that the Ebola funds were plundered by uncaring and shameless officials with close links to State House from where orders were issued as to who should have those fraudulent contracts.

Monday March 2, 2015 -Update: We've just heard the Vice President of Sierra Leone Sam Sumana on the BBC saying he has put himself into quarantine.

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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.The anti corruption head who cannot raise a finger against the rat's corruption den

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.

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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