30 August 2012
In the latest issue of Africa Confidential – the world’s leading fortnightly bulletin on African politics, the Vice President’s shameful act continues to make headlines.
An excerpt from the Africa Confidential reads: “An American businessman has accused the Vice-President of not repaying a loan, but President Koroma remains untouched. So far claims of illegal foreign political donations could force President Ernest Koroma to drop his running mate in November’s elections.
“United States businessmen are accusing Vice-President Samuel Sam-Sumana of diverting commercial investments worth hundreds of thousands of dollars into campaign funds for the All People’s Congress (APC) in the 2007 elections.
“If the businessmen are proved right, Vice-President Sam-Sumana’s conduct would be a clear breach of Sierra Leone’s electoral law, which explicitly bans foreign political donations…”
President Koroma’s unceasing silence suggests that he is supporting VP Sumana, who is being accused of hoodwinking American investors.
This is in direct conflict with the president’s attitudinal change mantra. The attitude of the second most powerful man in Sierra Leone may indeed be contributing to the failure of the government’s attitudinal change program.
Meaningful change must begin at the top and not the reverse.
Yet president Koroma remains defiantly silent.
Another US based company – Taakor Tropical Hardwoods Inc. is seeking redress in court for breach of contract by the Sierra Leone government.
This could lead to the spending of taxpayers’ money in order to settle the case, as was the case in the 2007 Wanza gun boat affair, when president Koroma paid out over $20 million in an out of court settlement.
President Koroma must stop tarnishing the good name and international image of Sierra Leone. He needs to come clean about those allegations of fraud being made against his vice president, as questions remain about his own culpability.