Is Sierra Leone’s development being crippled by a lack of political vision?
Along with the snowballing fiscal problems that some in the media have cited, I would also add the very discouraging rise of ‘state nannyism’ introduced by both SLPP and APC.
For example: Kabbah was famous for his “no one will go to bed hungry by 2007”, whilst President Bai Koroma responded that “this is a new APC that has come to alleviate the sufferings, but you have to judge me after 36 months”. The PMDC leader Charles Margai trumpeted his “positive change” mantra.
Although both promises from the former and present governments offered hope to the people in 1996 and 2007 respectively, their lack of long term vision and their patronizing attitude toward the voters, are responsible for the state of the nation today.
Political movements need a vision. SLPP in 1997 accused APC of destroying the fabric of the country during their 24 year rule and for lacking vision. Today, there is little evidence of president Koroma’s government being any different to the APC of old.
Equally, the 11 year reign of SLPP did usher in major improvement, especially with respect to public and civil institutional building after the war, and the building of democratic governance structures. But this was not enough for the people of Sierra Leone, hence they voted for change.
In this present dispensation, it is now clear that government is not the solution to our problem. The government is the problem.
With the abject poverty destroying the lives of people in the provinces, Sierra Leoneans ought to be reminded that the government did not create the provinces; the provinces created the government. So why should these areas be subjected to such gross underdevelopment and impoverishment?
The provincial towns and cities are largely responsible for deciding winners and losers at general elections. But what have the politicians done in return to alleviate the sufferings of those people?
Is it not remarkable that the vision of parliamentarians was to award themselves a $4,000 monthly salary and a Le45 million jeep – along with luxurious homes in Freetown, rather than residing in their provincial constituencies?