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


S I E R R A  H E R A L D

Vol 9 No 1

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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archive 6



Thursday August 4, 2011



Thursday August 4, 2011 - How a sound post-independence economy was left in tatters after the kleptos took over in 1968 laying the foundation for Sierra Leone's economic woes as financial and monetary lawlessness became the norm and the national currency was left in a devastating freefallThis was the one cent coin which could give kids two diamints or 2 toffeesPart of the treasured 5-leone note

47 years ago on August 4, 1964 a newly-independent Sierra Leone launched its own national currency, the leone (notes) and the cent (coins) to replace the West African Currency Board denominations that was in use before then. Sierra Leoneans largely welcomed the new currency which, at the time, was seen as a symbol of nationhood and economic strength. It was no longer pounds, shillings and pence but our very own leones and cents with two leones equivalent to one British pound while the US dollar was a mere, yes mere 75 cents of our money. However, over the years, the mismanagement of the economy, sweeping and pervasive corruption encouraged by government functionaries more interested in self than the nation has now seen the leone devalued to unimaginable levels. Ask the re-branded and re-scented Vouchergate exposed and nation-wrecker Victor Foh, EBK's buddy how the Central Bank, the Bank of Sierra Leone, the banker of bankers in the country became a part of the corruption that made nonsense of accountability and good economic management. Those who took the country for a ride into the economic doldrums acquiring any and all assets that came their way will never tell their sons, grandsons and great grandsons of the origins of their "wealth" as they hide their true nature living in far-off countries to see Sierra Leone wilt under the devastating economic tsunami left by their thieving and greed. It was a period that saw political appointees filling strategic positions at the Bank of Sierra Leone and any who dared disobey Siaka Stevens and his gang paid the price as the still unsolved murder of Bank Governor Sam Bangura clearly showed. He was killed in 1979 as the Siaka Stevens government prepared to host the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) meeting. The Bank Governor was reportedly opposed to the idea.


Wednesday August 3, 2011 - History in the making. Former authoritarian ruler of Egypt appears in court to answer to charges relating to among others the murder of demonstrators and corruption.Judge Ahmed Refaat A warning to those who would just love to cling on to power using any means?

This was a historic scene, a scene never dreamt of in the Arab world where iron-fisted rulers reigned like demi-gods over their own people. Here was a former close ally of the West enjoying the benefits of laws made to suit him and his cronies and who at one stage was grooming one of his own sons to take over the reins of government after some thirty years in power. Hosni Mubarak appeared in court a bed-ridden man and as one news outlet reported looking sickly. Another report stated "In a chaotic scene outside the Cairo police academy where the court has been set up, hundreds of policemen in gleaming white uniforms and riot police with shields and helmets separated demonstrators hurling stones and bottles at each other. It was a sign of the profound emotions stirred by the unprecedented prosecution of the man who ruled Egypt with unquestioned power for 29 years until he was toppled in February by an 18-day uprising. For many Egyptians, the trial is a chance at retribution for decades of oppressive rule in which opponents were tortured, corruption was rife, poverty spread and political life was stifled. But for others, he was a symbol of stability. The BBC adds

"His sons Alaa and Gamal, ex-Interior Minister Habib al-Adly and six other former officials also face charges. Some 3,000 soldiers and police have been drafted in to maintain order at the police academy for the trial. It was originally going to be held in a Cairo convention centre but the authorities moved the venue to a temporary courtroom set up inside the academy because of security concerns. Mr Mubarak was flown to Cairo from hospital in the coastal resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he had been detained and receiving treatment since April for a heart condition. The former Egyptian leader resigned on 11 February, after 18 days of protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square, in which some 850 people were killed."
Thursday July 28, 2011 - BBC reporter killed in Afghanistan - The very real deadly hazards of reporting in an unstable and war situation. Ahmed Omed Khpulwak is no moreThe late Ahmed Omed Khpulwak

Another BBC reporter is dead. Killed while carrying out his duty of informing the public on what was going on in his part of the globe, going into areas where few in the profession would dare and doing his best to present a picture of what was happening as seen through his eyes and those of the people he met. Ahmed Omed Khpulwak was only 25 when he was killed. His relations say his body contained eleven bullets. The website of the international news organisation, the BBC states and we quote -

"Ahmed Omed Khpulwak, who has been killed in a militant attack in the Afghan province of Uruzgan, worked as a reporter for the BBC Pashto service. His colleague, former BBC World Service Kabul bureau editor Dawood Azami, knew him for almost three years and remembers a man who was full of life. On the morning he was killed, Omed filed a news report for the BBC in Pashto. It would turn out to be his last. Omed saw death every day - I was amazed he somehow always managed to keep happy despite living in such a volatile environment."

Sunday July 24, 2011 - Outrage - Nearly one hundred feared dead, many wounded and still others unaccounted for as Norway enters period of national mourning. Main suspect says he will reveal all as to why he went on murder rampage when he appears in court tomorrow, Monday July 25.Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg comforts a survivor. Norway is in national mourning

The people of Norway are in a state of shock and are in national mourning triggered by the killing of at close to a hundred people in first, a bomb blast in the capital Oslo and then a shooting rampage at a youth camp some forty five minutes drive away. The main suspect, one Anders Behring Breivik, 32, is reported to have described his actions as "gruesome but necessary", and said he would explain himself at a court hearing tomorrow Monday July 25, 2011. First news reports on Friday concentrated on a bomb explosion in an area housing government ministries as well as one of the country's top newspapers. Initial reports spoke of two dead and then as the day wore on watchers of the unfolding events were horrified to learn that earlier reports of a shooting incident which had not grabbed the headlines was in fact the scene of a massacre by a man dressed in a police uniform, a neo-Nazi who has told his lawyer that what he had done was "necessary". 32 year old Anders Behring Breivik when approached by armed officers willingly surrendered himself lest he be killed sparking fears that he could well have planned his move. First a diversion with the bomb blast that engaged the rescue and security services and then a journey to an island forty five minutes drive away where he presented himself as a police officer sent there to reassure the youths who were camping on Utoeya island. The BBC website states that

"Police have not speculated on motives for the attack but the bomb in Oslo targeted buildings connected to Norway's governing Labour Party, and the youth camp on Utoeya island was also run by the party.

The US-based Christian Post had this headline - Norway Bombing: Tragedy Turns Citizen to God.

Wednesday July 20, 2011 - The United Nations declares two regions of Somalia as in a famine situation. Calls for aid, logistics...anything that would help alleviate the situation as former Ghanaian Jerry Rawlings, the African Union Special Envoy to the country sobs on television recalling scenes of suffering and anguish. What is President Ernest Bai Koroma doing about this human suffering in Africa? The AU Special Representative for Somalia Jerry Rawlings on Channel Four televisionA Somali woman and child

Two regions of southern Somalia - Bakool and Lower Shabelle - have today been officially pronounced by the United Nations as areas that have been hit by famine - a word that is never used lightly by the world body and which in effect means that unless something is done NOW, there's bound to be a catastrophe of proportions that conjures images of the affliction that hit Ethiopia in the 80's. The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Mark Bowden is quoted as saying that

"Every day of delay in assistance is literally a matter of life and death for children and their families in the areas affected."

In his appeal to the international community in an interview shown on the UK Channel Four television, Jerry Rawlings, the African Union Special Representative to Somalia made a passionate plea to the international community, practically begging member countries to put aside whatever perceptions they may have of Somalia and help the people who now face the prospect of having a huge percentage of its population starving to death.

The Sierra Herald recalls that after the devastating Haiti earthquake, Sierra Leone's President chipped in with one hundred thousand US dollars and we would like to see what this ["jewel in Africa's crown", this man who has single-handedly reformed the African Union and the UN Security Council (so say his paid praise singers] will now do to help an African country in dire need. We would want to remind our readers what one of the President's hirelings wrote - in this article.

Sunday July 17, 2011 - Another holy day for Christians all over the world to pray for the good of mankind, for Sierra Leoneans to pray that one day, the mother country will have true patriots who would put country first and pockets lastPresident Ernest Bai Koroma - has he abandoned his own manifesto?

Yes, it is another Sunday and as usual the Sierra Herald would expect all Christians who can make it to places of worship, churches, to fellowship with others of the same faith as well as interacting and praying for those of other faiths with whom they interact with in family, community and the wider congregation of good people - men, women and children. And for true men of the cloth - note - we state here - true men of the cloth and not charlatans - to pray that the evil will turn away from their ways and that those in authority will keep the promises they made to the people. Here again we shall provide this link to the manifesto of the APC as championed by Ernest Bai Koroma so that he can see just how much he has deviated from his sugar-coated promises to voters as Sierra Leone prepared for those crucial and epoch-making 2007 General Elections. If one was to rely on the internet flying toilets who see no wrong in their "god" of an Ernest Bai Koroma, you would be excused for thinking that the APC won "hands down", that there was no run-off after the first round!!!!! Think about this ye shameless gbatolites and look at this as you prepare your "sermon" on the altar of deceit. And oh - by the way did you know that the man hailed as the new jewel in the crown of Africa, yea the United Nations for "reforming the UN Security Council" only had 4, we repeat - four African Heads of State who honoured his invitation to attend ceremonies of our 50th independence anniversary celebrations?

Thursday July 7, 2011 - Breaking news....Breaking news....Breaking news...After more than a century and half in the news industry News of the World is to close down amid scandalous revelations on the way it obtained news materials - hacking into mobile phonesRebekah Brookes - the embattled News of the World Chief Editor - has been accused of lying

The UK tabloid at the centre of allegations of phone hacking criminal activity is to close down with the last edition of the paper scheduled for Sunday 10th July. The news of the closure announced today Thursday 7th July by the tabloid's Chairman James Murdoch, son of mogul Rupert and whose portfolio includes overseeing the operations of the tabloid came as quite a surprise and shock as pundits never thought of this move by the owners. News watchers say closing down the newspaper is not the answer as they regarded the newspaper as a British institution that has been with readers for 168 years and that rather than the closure of the tabloid, the top guns in the editorial sections who knew about the alleged phone hacking and denied it should be properly investigated and made to answer for their deeds. Closing the newspaper somewhat summarily is to punish journalists and other workers who had no role in the rotten and criminal scheme and who would now lose their source of livelihood, they point out. More fingers are now pointing towards Rebekah Brookes, the tabloid's Chief Executive who is been seen as enjoying the protection of Rupert Murdoch himself from his US lair. Former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott who believes he was a victim insists, on hearing news of the closure of the newspaper, that the police should continue with their investigations into the matter, followed by a judicial inquiry that would get to the bottom of unwholesome practices by not only the News of the World journalists but by some three hundred or more others thought to have been using illegal methods to get items for their pages.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) of the United Kingdom has just put out a statement condemning the decision by the Murdoch empire to close the newspaper. 

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ General Secretary said: “This shows the depths to which Rupert Murdoch and his lieutenants at News International are prepared to stoop. The announcement James Murdoch should be making today is the dismissal of Rebekah Brookes as chief executive of News International. The shocking revelations this week show beyond doubt the systemic abuse and corruption at the top of the operation ran by both Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson. Yet News International has persistently lied about the extent of this scandal and tried to pass it off as a problem created by a couple of rogue reporters.

Thursday July 7, 2011 - Six years ago today in 2005, London was attacked by home-grown terrorists in suicide attacks that killed 52 people, injured hundreds and left thousands traumatised as the capital's transport system was attacked during the rush hours of that fateful Thursday July 7, 2005 morningLondon commuters at Waterloo early this morning - London still moves and breathes despite the atrocities of 2005Six years ago - the state of things inside a train coach after cowardly attack

72 months ago an outrage was visited upon commuters in London as the city's transport system was attacked by home-grown suicide bombers leaving 52 people dead and many more injured and traumatised. UK security officials and operatives were taken aback if not caught on the wrong foot as they realised that the murderers did not come from outside but were men carrying British passports - yes British citizens who believed they owed a duty to terror than to the country that has provided them with refuge, education, a way of life, education and all the good things to be expected in a not so perfect world. Today will always be remembered by all those who respect the rights of others and all those who believe that despite this outrage London will still live and that Londoners stand ready to defy and oppose the perpetrators and their secret supporters waiting to strike - the spineless cowards that they are and always will be. On a day like this we remember all those who perished, all those who survived but have to live with the scars of their injuries and all those traumatised by the cowardly and beastly attacks of July 7, 2005. Long live London. Long live democracy and the rule of law. Long live the ideals of human rights, good governance and the rule of law - for without these ideals, then to the jungle should we all return as beasts of that habitat. And now...woe upon woes, the relations of victims have been contacted by the police...that their phones could have been hacked into by operatives acting on behalf of the News of the World tabloid!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday July 6, 2011 - Hold the front page...Huffington Post, the AOL internet news and blog site is launched in the UK even as the Parliament debates a move to have a public inquiry into the activities of the News of the World tabloid.Toby Young...believes today's launch could have been ill-timedHuffington Post Chief Executive Arianna Huffington

It's a day to the 6th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on London's transport system which saw more than fifty killed and hundreds if not thousands injured or traumatised in what is now known as the 7/7 outrage against the people of London - the first such to hit modern London with home-grown terrorists as perpetrators. Arianna Huffington the president and editor-in-chief of the AOL Huffington Post could not have stated it better when she noted in her introduction of HuffPost UK that

We are arriving here in the midst of a rich and thriving media culture marked by great innovation. We look forward to adding HuffPost UK to the mix, and to our real-time 'digital water cooler' -- which embraces the best of the new (immediacy, transparency, interactivity) and the best of the old (fact-checking, accuracy, fairness, and an emphasis on storytelling) -- becoming the spark for many interesting conversations.

The launch of HuffPost UK today could not have come at a better time (though Toby Young, writing in the online version of the Telegraph appears to be unimpressed with a UK-version of the US outlet) what with the general outrage on the lips of many now on how the tabloid News of the World allegedly hacked into the mobile phones of people they were interested in - ranging from celebrities, politicians, victims of crime and even colleague journalists. Even as we bring you this news, the House of Commons (Parliament for you) is at the moment debating just how to go about setting up an inquiry that would look into the activities of the tabloid as it allegedly violated the privacy of individuals including the victims of crime and surviving relations of those killed in the 7/7 outrage.

Monday July 4, 2011 - The Butcher of Bosnia, after a whole month to decide on plea refuses to listen to the judge reading out the charges, becomes deliberately obstructive and is taken out of court by guardsThe Butcher removes the translation headphones during hearing on 4th July 2011

A month ago today on 4th June 2011, the Butcher of Bosnia made his initial appearance before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague and was given a month to consider just how he would plead to the eleven counts he faces. Ratko Mladic came back to court this morning only to embark on what could best be described as a deliberate plan to delay the court by refusing to enter any plea. He was so disruptive that Presiding judge Alphons Orie warned him several times not to interrupt him as the defendant argued he should be allowed to choose his own lawyers. "No, no, I'm not going to listen to this without my lawyer," the Butcher of Bosnia shouted as he removed his translation headphones when the judge began reading out the charges. Shortly before guards escorted Mladic from court, he shouted at judge Orie: "You want to impose my defence. What kind of a court are you?" But that was not to stop today's plea as the judge calmly read out the charges even though Ratko was no longer in the court and duly entered on behalf of the court a "not guilty" plea on each of the charges. The charges include genocide and crimes related to the more than three and half year siege of Sarajevo as well as the murder of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica. The court will now have to examine the two new judges Ratko wants as a part of his privileges, having discarded with the services of the court-appointed lawyer. That is justice as has to be played out in court, never mind the fact that the Butcher never gave such an opportunity to his many victims who died not knowing why they were selected for the guns and bullets of their tormentors. The BBC reporter who covered today's event  Lauren Comiteau noted that

"From the moment he walked in, Mr Mladic was absolutely defiant...adding that she had never seen anything quite like it in 15 years of covering the court."

Friday July 1, 2011 - New UK law on bribery comes into force today. Will this law help to nail the blatant corruption of "investors" in Sierra Leone?UK Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke

It has taken almost a year or thereabouts to get it ready for use, but today a new law (of 2010) that targets bribery within and outside the borders of the United Kingdom is now in force and should help put a stop to unwholesome acts by persons and companies operating anywhere in the world with links to the UK. Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has noted

"The Act creates new offences of offering or receiving a bribe, bribery of foreign public officials and of a failure to prevent a bribe being paid on an organisation’s behalf.  It also provides a defence to the last of these where an organisation can show that it has ‘adequate procedures’ in place.  These are quite tough rules.  But what the guidance I am also publishing today underlines – after helpful consultation with businesses, and NGOs – is that combating bribery is about common sense, not bureaucracy."

The new law makes it illegal to offer and receive bribes as well as failing to prevent bribes. Individuals convicted under the new law can be jailed for up to ten years and face unlimited fines. The UK government claims that the coming into force of this law should underpin the country's position as a global leader in fighting corruption. With the passing of this law, it has now become necessary to put the spotlight on one Vasile Frank Timis President Koroma's alleged chief financier as well as investigating monies and favours he could have showered on President Koroma and his operatives...and Vasile is not the only one to watch.

Friday July 1, 2011 - Good news for the rule of law in the fight against corruption as Anti Corruption boss is left stunned by court decision absolving Alieu Sesay of 57 counts prepared by the commissionACC boss Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara (left)...protecting his integrity

The Sierra Herald had always been of the considered view that Anti Corruption Commissioner Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, never mind his roots and affiliations to key functionaries of the Nazis (read AFRC MK2) is his own man and could have noticed the huge outcry emanating from the lips of Sierra Leoneans after a Freetown court ruled that Alieu Sesay, a man who is alleged to have abused his office to award contracts to his wife was a clean man in the eyes of the law. It is heartening to note, given reports from sections of the press, that the Anti Corruption Commission boss himself has openly expressed disbelief at the court's decision and so when we saw this story in the AWOKO online newspaper, there was a collective sigh of relief on all desks at the Sierra Herald both overseas and in the mother country, reaffirming our belief in the Anti Corruption boss that he would not allow his image in the legal field to be dirtied, sullied by the politics of the moment. We are heartened to read these comments in the news outlet attributed to the ACC boss

“To look at the 57 counts of indictment and you let the accused go free in all of those counts. We do not see that it is right when we have seasoned prosecutors including me. We want to see the legal application of that to see that all 57 counts are let out without any conviction passed on any one.”

The Sierra Herald would urge the anti corruption body to appeal against the court's decision.

We would also urge Parliament to take a good and hard look at the judge who passed this judgement with a recommendation that he be put through a judicial inquiry as to how he came to such a decision given the fact that quite a lot of the allegations stemmed from the audit report of an internationally-recognised firm which highlighted the failings of the NRA boss. We are calling for Justice Emmanuel Eku Roberts to be investigated and how he came to this rather "historic" decision.

Wednesday June 29, 2011 - Shock and disbelief as Freetown court rules that another Sesay slapped with 57 charges has been absolved, paving the way for him to go back to his job.Lady Justice....is this way the symbol is interpreted by the Ernest Bai Koroma cabal?Anti Corruption Commission head Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara

The Sierra Herald was taken aback - not because of the court's decision, we knew all along that this would happen under AFRC MK2, but because God-fearing Sierra Leoneans and believers in the cause of justice were left speechless. No way for us, because we knew and have known the tactics of the APC ever since the formation of that ogre passing off as a political party. Why do you think that in the past Sierra Leoneans have been heard to comment during the hey days of Stevens, the curse of the nation, that the only thing the APC cannot do is "change a woman into a man" and even now given the advances in science, do not be surprised if you are told that yes, they have done just that. The court has spoken and by Jove, so be it...unless and until there's an appeal by the Anti Corruption Commission against the decision of the court. The great Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara's handling of the matter is something that would for a long time be the topic on the lips of many. With some of his critics accusing him of being a part of the Ernest Bai Koroma cabal and with a reward of a new fat salary, we sincerely hope that this fine upward-looking young man would protect his future and do things his conscience demands. As one outlet observed after the case - that justice is not the blindfolded lady but a lady with two eyes open to see who gets punished, all the Sierra Herald can do is to wish Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara well and to kindly ask him to read about legal shenanigans of the past...and how the perpetrators ended up long after their actions. Lest you forget Joseph, did you notice your initials are identical to the great US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy? Could the family have admired the assassinated US President to a point of actually making sure that you, the J F K of Sierra Leone would become as great as the US man? It's a long and difficult road Joseph and you do not start off under clouds of suspicion and political patronage. All this will pass away and you will be left alone. Take care and be very judicious in all you do.

Monday June 27, 2011 - Sierra Leone's very own MP is now a war crimes suspect. Ernest Bai Koroma and Abel Stronge please say something, do something. It is times like these that determine who real friends arePresident Ernest Bai Koroma - has he abandoned his own citizen?Sierra Leonean MP Khaddafi - abandoned by Ernest Bai Koroma and Abel Stronge

Sierra Leonean MP Libyan leader Khaddafi is in hotter waters as the International Criminal Court, the ICC, today endorsed the findings of the ICC's Prosecutor Ocampo that he has indeed waged war and committed human rights abuses against his own people. The MP, together with his son Saif al-Islam and the head of his intelligence unit and a key controller of the armed forces Abdullah al-Sanussi are now war crimes suspect and face a date with the Hague court even as NATO aircraft continue to degrade the military capability of the Khaddafi regime. The BBC news site has noted

The statement, read out by presiding judge Sanji Monageng, said there were "reasonable grounds to believe" that the three men were "criminally responsible" for the murder and persecution of civilians. As the "recognised and undisputed leader of Libya", said the court, Col Gaddafi had "absolute, ultimate and unquestioned control" over the state.

The Sierra Herald hopes that the overlords in Sierra Leone, the civilian version of the AFRC/RUF junta aka AFRC MK2 are aware of this and that Ernest Bai Koroma and his chief operatives who believe that they will always get away with violence including rape will not be held to account.. Their politics of intolerance, divisiveness and lack of accountability and transparency are the foundations for trial as an anti-people cabal bent on taking the country down the road that led to our troubles and a rebel war ignited by the creation of a system that brooked no opposition. For more than two decades, the anti-people APC used the security forces to  keep itself in power until, thankfully, the very boys they had approved of as fit in the eyes of the APC party to join the national army kicked them out of power on that April 29, 1992 historic day.

Monday June 27, 2011 - The Nazis are at it again - condemning all those not deemed to be APC party card bearers as AFRC Mk2 mouthpiece refers to fellow Sierra Leoneans as infestations.The dung beetles of lies, lies and more lies - the Ernest Bai Koroma machinery of deception The politics of intolerance on the increase.

Sierra Leone's Nazi (read AFRC MK2) envoy to Brussels and accredited to a number of Western countries, one Christian Kargbo has been in the news again displaying once more the same AFRC intolerance for any Sierra Leonean deemed to be singing from another hymn sheet not authorised by State House in Freetown. Christian Kargbo, for those with a penchant for selective amnesia, was the same AFRC functionary who took upon himself the role of governor of the country's central bank during which all monies, more especially foreign exchange earnings they could lay hands on, were handed out to his masters in the AFRC/RUF coalition of evil, otherwise known as the beasts. It was during his tenure that he, one Victor Foh, a well-known state thief and vouchergate exponent and other like-minded junta operatives hatched a plan that would have seen huge swathes of Sierra Leone territory mortgaged to dubious set-ups in a desperate bid to make as much money as they could to fund the killing, rape and looting machinery of the junta. True to form, he too has been rewarded by a President who believes that the AFRC/RUF junta was the best thing that could have happened to Sierra Leone. Probably acting on orders from his master/handler in Freetown, the former junta banker has now thought it fit to weed out people he refers to as "moles". What is even more worrying is the press statement issued from the mission which in effect was making it known that he was acting on "complaints" from Information minister I B Goebbels Kargbo in Freetown and OGI Director, one Khadija Sesay whose fingers appear to be in every rotten pie. This statement was taken up by the Kangura version of the AFRC gbatolite brigade which as the Hutus did in Rwanda calling Tutsis cockroaches, has been busy describing fellow Sierra Leoneans as infestations.

Thursday June 9, 2011 - Selling the country for peanuts - a desperate cabal headed by a desperate get rich quick President forces ordinary Sierra Leoneans off ancestral lands in shady anti-people deals.Sierra Leone's home-grown GoebbelsPresident Ernest Bai Koroma - how low can he sink in the mad rush for personal wealth?

A think tank group, the Oakland Institute has come out with a report highlighting just how institutions and businesses in the West have been stealing land from poor and uneducated communities in Africa. The recent report names a number of African countries where murky and crooked land deals orchestrated by equally crooked and anti-people governments have connived with these industrial concerns to steal land from the people for the propagation of bio-fuel plantations. Among the countries mentioned in the report is our very own Sierra Leone - a beautiful land being ripped apart by a band of savage and unprincipled rogues who would go to all lengths to enrich self and associates at the expense of the masses. Thanks to the BBC report by Umaru Fofana on Thursday morning (Network Africa) and the institute, we now know that a company known as Addax has been busy reaping where they never sowed, dispossessing people of their lands in deals manipulated by a desperate government trying to fill up a yawning chasm of unbridled lust for money, money and more money. State robbers unleashed upon an unsuspecting population, we would add. Freedom of Information Act for Sierra Leone? Forget about that as there's so much dirty water flowing under the rotten bridges of the Ernest Bai Koroma tiff-tiffdom that IB Goebbels and his President would be exposed for what they truly represent if all is revealed. Fifteen years out of power, its payback time for the beasts that almost brought the country to her knees - and not ashamed about it!!!!


Wednesday May 25, 2011 - Lest we forget - 14 years ago today in 1997...the beasts were unleashed upon an unsuspecting, unarmed and defenceless civilian population...today, 14 years on...the perpetrators and their supporters get rewarded by Ernest Bai KoromaThe original AFRC/RUF Mk 1 leader Johnny Paul Koroma

14 years ago even as Saturday night tuned into Sunday morning, mayhem and murder were unleashed upon Sierra Leoneans as a band of disgruntled sobels (soldiers masquerading as rebel forces when it suited them) spurred on by certain elements within the APC party overthrew the barely one year old democratically-elected government of President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Even as Sierra Leoneans clearly demonstrated at the polls and in the Bintumani 1 and 2 talks that they no longer wanted to be ruled by the army, after the NPRC experience, these soldiers, goaded on by their masters in the APC unleashed untold suffering, murder, rape, arson and waves of unprecedented looting forages on the bewildered people. And for the first time, unarmed civilians defied the gun-toting and machete-wielding beasts of no nation damning the AFRC of Johnny Paul Koroma and refusing to go to work, school, college or indeed any place of learning. Confused and bewildered at the determination of civilians the AFRC called in the brutal and human rights abusing RUF of Foday Sankoh to swell its ranks - not only to make the country ungovernable, but to lend a hand in an atmosphere of extreme violence and terror tactics aimed at subduing a hostage population. The unarmed civilians were unimpressed and even more determined to resist their new enslavers as many fled the country. Their newly-formed People's Army led by Johnny Paul Koroma and Sam Bockarie (maskita), both war criminals, in a desperate bid to further enslave the people turned on the ECOMOG peace keepers led by Nigeria - for they were convinced that if they succeeded in removing ECOMOG from their bases in Freetown and the Lungi airport, the defiant civilians would be at their mercy and thus punished - to be murdered, maimed, raped and tortured at will. Thus was the Maballya massacre executed and when that failed January 6, 1999 became a reality as more than six thousand unarmed and innocent civilians were slaughtered. And today, the key elements in the human rights-abusing AFRC/RUF enjoy the protection of Ernest Bai Koroma as he dishes out to the supporters of the AFRC/RUF coalition of evil otherwise known as the beasts key positions in his administration as ministers, "diplomats" and "press attaches". The Sierra Herald mourns with and remembers those who perished, their surviving relations and all those so affected, praying that the Good Lord in His mercy will one day deliver the justice only He knows best how to deliver.


Friday May 20, 2011 - The Newton Fruit Factory...are we getting it right?

There has been quite a flurry of praise-singing sheets on another "achievement" of the Ernest Bai Koroma government aka as AFRC Mk2 about a new fruit factory situated in the Newton area just outside the capital Freetown. According to promoters, this is the first such endeavour in Sierra Leone and has been welcomed, according to reports, President Koroma shown the works at the fruit factoryby the US ambassador based in Freetown. In fact one AFP report has noted

The United States launched its first Special Economic Zone in Africa on Thursday, with the opening of a mango and pineapple juice concentrate factory in Sierra Leone. The US has invested $5 million in the 50-acre zone -- a special area with more liberal economic laws than in the rest of the country set up to attract foreign direct investment.

All well and good for Africa Felix Juice the company at the heart of the operations and we hope for the people of Sierra Leone. The big questions we have, among others, are why Newton because once those machines are switched on do we have enough raw materials (fruits) to keep it running for at least six months in the year and who stands to benefit from it all? We have to raise these questions because in the past and under another APC regime, the Mabole fruit factory was situated in an area not well known for fruit production, and sadly, that venture collapsed. And then there was the clay factory at Wellington with the raw clay material having to be transported by road from somewhere in the north to Freetown. Those on the ground then saw the the damage caused by the lorries breaking down, over-turning and all the hazards of unplanned factory location. In a country noted for rain-fed and seasonal fruit availability, do we have the resources to provide a constant supply of raw materials?

Thursday May 19, 2011 - IMF chief falls on his sword over rape allegationsFormer IMF Managing Director Strauss-Kahn in courtSierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma - why does he treat allegations of rape with levity?

The embattled Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn has resigned in the wake of allegations of rape and other sexual impropriety against him involving a 32-year old New York hotel chamber maid. Reports say that in his letter of resignation, Straus-Khan while maintaining his innocence stated that he was quitting with "infinite" sadness and said that this will also give him time to devote his time to the allegations against him adding "To all, I want to say I deny with the greatest possible firmness all the allegations that have been made against me" The IMF chief's resignation comes in the wake of mounting pressure that he should go with US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitner reportedly saying that he was not in a position to run the IMF and that an interim replacement should be named. That could have sealed his fate and triggered his resignation. The 62-year-old French citizen, a strong contender for France's Presidency is reported to have stated that he would devote "all my strength, all my time, and all my energy" to proving his innocence. Meanwhile one of the IMF client/member countries, Sierra Leone continues to treat allegations of rape with contempt even after a Commission set up by the Ernest Bai Koroma government had made recommendations in the wake of rape allegations against supporters of the ruling APC after they attacked the headquarters of the opposition SLPP. His then Press Officer, and now Deputy Information Minister gained further notoriety when he came out with an official statement from State House with the headline - SLPP rape claims were a big hoax, says Bankole Thompson Commission ....a far cry from what the legal mind of Justice Bankole Thompson had stated in his findings.

Sunday August 7, 2011 - Yet another Sunday for true Christians and real and ordained men of the cloth to lead them, continue to give thanks and praises to the Almighty for His mercies.President Ernest Bai Koroma - has he abandoned his own manifesto? Why has one of the high priest's "sermons" gone missing?

Yes indeed with another holy day upon the Christian community and with our brothers and sisters of the Muslim faith in fasting one would think and believe that this day should be spent by true Christians in repentance and prayers. Prayers that the Good Lord in His mercy will grant us that which is good and repentance for not doing that which we ought to have done. Even as we pray that all will be well for each and every one of us and as a nation, we have just noticed that one of the "sermons" from the high priest at the altar of the shrine to Ernest Bai Koroma has gone missing. We hope that by the end of the day that sermon on "violently grabbing" that which is not yours will be back where it rightly belongs so that the high priest can be further exposed for what he really is as he muddies the waters of medical terms and terminology. Some good Samaritan must have advised the high priest that he had gone overboard and so removed the "sermon" which we demand that he puts back. After all the high priest has not yet published, among his many "qualifications" that he is a cardiologist even though we have noticed that among his numerous papers are postgraduate degrees obtained in London to wit (i) London School of Journalism - School year 1980, (ii) postgraduate University of London - Education - school year 1984 and of course not forgetting the (iii) University of London Law degree in 1997. Have we forgotten the Masters Special Education from the University of Phoenix? No - we dare not. We would humbly suggest a theme for the next "sermon" - "Gluttony is a sin" and waiting to see how this would be woven to fit into the praise-singing mantra at the altar of the demi-god, giver of jobs and appointments, controller of the nation's purse and contributor to the Haiti Appeal of a hundred thousand US dollars even as Sierra Leoneans in the mother country try to survive the challenges of daily living.

Update - We have noticed today 8th August 2011 that the "disappeared sermon" appears to be back. We shall now remove the link to that as we are not a part of the Ernest Bai Koroma altar choir. However we shall link to what we saw on that page before we raised the alarm. So here goes - this was the page when it disappeared on Friday August 5, 2011 - "» 404 Error Apologies, but the page you requested could not be found."

Sunday July 31, 2011 - Another Sunday, another day for true Christians to worship the true God, the Living and Almighty God and not mortals, creations of the Most High. The Sierra Herald hopes that by the time this is published the high priest of the tin god would not have put up another of his "sermons". President Ernest Bai Koroma - has he well as glorify him for keeping them in their job November 28, at the shrine of Ernest Bai Koroma

We were hoping that we could suggest a theme for the high priest at the shrine of Ernest Bai Koroma, giver of jobs, money, awards and appointments to those who unceasingly, sing his praises as well as glorify him for keeping them in their jobs - never mind the "jobs" not having any of the usual job descriptions you find in serious government institutions. Going through some so-called "sermons" dedicated to Ernest Bai Koroma the god that does no wrong, we came across a rather interesting piece that goes to demonstrate the level of prostration before the idol carved out in the image of Ernest Bai Koroma. On November 28, 2010 - the high priest at the shrine of Ernest Bai Koroma came out with this "sermon". I know it is quite a bitter pill, but please take your time to read it. On that same day, this "sermon" was "modified" because, we presume the first did not contain the name of Ernest Bai Koroma. And true to form, the modified version did contain the name of the god Ernest Bai Koroma. We tried to put the new additions in red. Maybe there could be more. Such is the enterprise of the high priest. We found the topic quite interesting, very interesting more so when it came to the postgraduate qualifications of the high priest to wit the University of Phoenix from where he claims to have obtained a Masters Special Education degree in 2006....but that is another story, never mind the postgraduate Law degree from - yes - the University of London. He claims to have got this Law degree in 1997. We did not invent this. The high priest himself published this piece of information!!!

Sunday July 31, 2011 - Creating rice merchants in the armed forces. Why would the Ernest Bai Koroma government spend more than a quarter of the military's budget allocation on rice knowing the havoc rice in the army caused in the past. Is this a part of a ploy to have the armed forces on the side of government so that we can get another "bald-headed man scenario?Finance minister Kamara

The government of Ernest Bai Koroma appears to have forgotten the lessons of the past - or has it? The Sierra Herald would like to remind Dr etc etc Ernest Bai Koroma that having studied the implications for the economy and the effectiveness of the armed forces, the previous government of Ahmad Tejan Kabbah acting on advice from many a quarter including, we suspect, the donor community decided that allocating bags of rice to soldiers was a huge economic burden that could not be sustained and that it made sense to increase the wages of soldiers so that they could be in a position to buy rice, the staple. It was left with them to decide how to balance their own budget to take care of their needs - this in the face of overwhelming evidence that rice in the army created rice merchants with the commodity finding its way into the warehouses and sales outlets with strong connections. Of the total allocated to the Ministry of Defence, (56.7 billion leones) more than a quarter (25.57 percent) (Le14.5 billion leones) is to be spent on rice. Yes rice for the military. And you can guess who gets the contract for the supply of such rice and given the lessons of the past, the scene is set for military officers with the right political connections to become rice merchants once again in peace-time Sierra Leone. Here's an excerpt from an interview former UK High Commissioner Peter Penfold gave to a UK broadcaster on the May 1997 coup of Johnny Paul Koroma et al.

"There was clearly signs of unrest within the army partly led by the corruption that was going on in the army. Indeed one of the projects in which the British government was involved when I arrived was the training of a new army. It was through that project we discovered that instead of the fifteen thousand strong army which is what the army claimed it had and therefore was drawing fifteen thousand salaries and rice rations, it effectively only had eight thousand people and therefore the rice ration ended up with senior officers being rice traders and only part time soldiers".

Friday July 22, 2011 - 18 officially confirmed dead as Malawians wake up to review the action of an intolerant government that sends the army and police to kill unarmed protesters. President Bingu bans news outlets reporting events as they unfold...going down the road to perdition?Malawi - a bloodied survivor

Malawians will today bury at least eighteen unarmed civilians killed by security forces (police and army) during protests against the government of President Bingu wa Mutharika. The figure of eighteen was released by the Malawian Health ministry with speculations that more could have been killed with at least scores of other protesters nursing wounds, some of a life-threatening nature. Health ministry spokesman Henry Chimbali is quoted by the international news agency Reuters as saying

"These figures are based on those casualties that are coming through to the hospitals. Some died in hospital while some were brought by police already dead," Chimbali told Reuters. A further 41 people were injured, six critically, he added.

The BBC reports that last week, the UK government cut aid to Malawi after accusing the government of handling the economy badly. Other donors have also reduced aid even as a defiant President Bingu brushed aside suggestions that he patches things up with the British government or risks facing economic slap down by that country and other donor countries. President Bingu wa Mutharika has rejected calls that he steps down.

Thursday July 21, 2011 - Counting the human toll in Malawi as protesters against President Bingu wa Mutharika come under live fire from the state. Seven reported dead this morning...and mounting while many are left with wounds fired from bullets and guns paid for by the Malawi tax payer. A warning to the Ernest Bai Koroma government that when a people are forced into the corner, they will always come out to demand their rights.

Malawians from all walks of life were out in the streets and alleys yesterday to protest against the high cost of living even though a late night Tuesday government statement had described the Wednesday action as illegal. This attempt at preventing the protests going ahead was later withdrawn paving the way for the protests to go ahead. Thugs of the ruling APC partyThe clearly desperate government machinery got party supporters out in the streets armed with machetes and other weapons threatening those who had dared to protest. Machete-wielding ruling party supportersThis did not work as protesters determined to press on their message went ahead with their action. Police fired volleys of tear gas into civilian protesters before opening up with live rounds on unarmed civilian protesters. An eyewitness on the BBC's Network Africa programme this morning reported that at least seven people have been confirmed dead and many are suffering from bullet wounds. The government banned all live coverage of the protests on radio and television leaving Malawians to settle for the government version of events on state broadcasters. The Sierra Herald hopes that the authorities in Sierra Leone are studying events in Malawi and that there's a limit to the patience of the suffering masses. President Ernest Bai Koroma is particularly reminded that politicising the armed forces and surrounding himself with key operatives of the human rights-abusing junta of Johnny Paul Koroma just cannot intimidate Sierra Leoneans. He is also reminded to reflect on what happened after the May 1997 coup when the population brought the murderous and rapist junta to its knees.

Saturday July 16, 2011 - Amnesty International Annual Report 2011 - A time for reflection for those who have put Sierra Leoneans under the yoke of massive and unbridled corruption while the thing which passes for a government operates in secrecy to pervert the rights of "unconnected" Sierra LeoneansThe original AFRC/RUF Mk 1 leader Johnny Paul Koroma

The Sierra Herald has been watching with keen interest attempts being made by the internet flying toilets of Ernest Bai Koroma that all is well under the guidance and instructions of their paymaster, the smoke and mirrors President of an Ernest Bai Koroma. We have observed and noted all the facade to give the impression that the mother country had never had it so good with Ernest Bai Koroma at the helm - never mind the corruption aimed at dispossessing Sierra Leoneans of their lands and resources. We are sure, quite sure that the purveyors of lies, more lies and damned lies could have seen the rights group Amnesty International's 2011 report - a report which has this preface -

"Amnesty International's 2011 report reveals a world in which people continue to challenge oppression despite the powerful array of repressive measures used against them. It shows that the communities most affected by human rights abuses are the real driving force behind the human rights struggle. "

No - we are not surprised that they would have feigned ignorance of such a report for it highlights the failings of a government that has got itself all wrapped up in massive corruption, violations of human rights and whose head has never publicly apologised when allegations of rape are made against his operatives which include his buddies of the human rights abusing AFRC junta. We are not surprised because when Amnesty International raised concerns about human rights abuses during junta rule in October 1997, one of the defenders of the junta, the Expo Times newspaper published an editorial condemning Amnesty International as well as calling for extra judicial executions of all those perceived as opponents of the AFRC/RUF junta - a part of which stated

"Now that Amnesty has designed its own warfare on the AFRC, it is good for the AFRC to give Steve Cathy Bio and others a speedy trial, and verdict passed on their treason case. Those found guilty must be executed and those sued for misprison of treason given their various jail terms."

Saturday July 9, 2011 - A new nation is born. Welcome to the African continent South Sudan and to the community of nations of the world.The flag of South Sudan. We wish the new nation all the bestSouth Sudan's first President Salva Kiir takes the oath

Africa has a new nation, the newest in the world - thanks to South Sudan becoming an independent nation today July 9, 2011. It took millions of lives in a war which lasted for more than twenty years before today's celebrations could become a reality and the rather uneasy peace that led to the cessation of hostilities between the mainly Muslim north and the animist and Christian south in that historic Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the CPA. The President of the north of the country Omar Bashir attended to witness the signing-in of South Sudan's first President Salva Kiir. The BBC reports that South Sudan was born at midnight local South Sudanese time (9pm GMT Friday) and that ceremonies were held at the mausoleum of the late rebel leader John Garang. The Nairobi-based Daily Nation of Kenya reported that the independence declaration was read out in front of dozens of Heads of State adding

"South Sudan's national flag was then raised, to wild applause, tears and song.
"We shall never, never surrender," the crowd chanted, as people whistled and wiped tears from their eyes.
"I should cry for the recognition of this flag among the flags of the world," shouted one tearful man.
"We have been denied our rights. Today, no more shall that happen," he added.
Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki, the first foreign dignitary to speak, declared that his country "fully recognises" South Sudan. Egypt, another key regional power, also officially recognised the Republic of South Sudan, Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Oraby said on his arrival in Juba for the celebrations, the official MENA news agency reported"

The Sierra Herald joins all good wishers in praying for the best for the new country.

Floreat South Sudan!!!!!

March 17, 2011 - OGI - The Open Government Initiative - what's going on as Director Khadija Sesay keeps dodging questions? How open is OGI?OGI Director Khadija Sesay - Is she in charge of slush funds?

The Sierra Herald has spent quite a few weeks if not a month or so trying to understand just what the OGI, a sub-station at State House has been doing since Director Khadija Sesay was appointed by no less a person than His Excellency Dr (etc etc) Ernest Bai Koroma. The website of this all-important organisation leaves much to be desired because of the lack of information on the activities of OGI save for the spurious reports from the flying toilets about Khadija Sesay holding "Town Hall" meetings with Sierra Leoneans here, there and everywhere outside Sierra Leone...and coincidentally whenever the President plans to go abroad. As soon as President Koroma announces that he will be visiting the United States or Europe, the internet flying toilets will tell those who care to read that Director Khadija Sesay will be/is/was there well before the President for her meetings leaving befuddled and bewildered Sierra Leoneans more confused as to what the role of this non-political body is in reality, all about. Several emails to Khadija Sesay and her deputy as stated on that wretched website of an OGI (RI?) have failed to elicit any response. Director Khadija Sesay - the Sierra Herald awaits accounting from you on how state resources are being spent by the OGI. The Sierra Herald is even more puzzled that the internet flying toilets could report on the travels of OGI Director Khadija Sesay, yet not use their web editor WordPress (Ahmed Kamara should know what we are stating here) to make the OGI website more respectable as well as user-friendly where questions asked would be answered. The Sierra Herald would still want to know what the OGI budget is, how much of this is spent on the travels of Khadija Sesay, who authorises her travels and how that office is run with details of monies spent. Or do we have to ask the Anti Corruption Commission to investigate? Over to you Mr Joseph Kamara.

Yearning for the mother country?

The right choice is Kevin McPhilips Travel

©Sierra Herald 2002