Alpha Kargbo: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 1 May 2012
China is a fantastic country, where astronomical socio-economic developments have outpaced every other country in the world. And the APC government in Freetown, under the leadership of Ernest Bai Koroma, has incredibly had three Ambassadors and one Deputy Ambassador of Sierra Leone sent to China in the space of just four years.
One has to wonder as to why President Koroma has had cause to recall his own trusted Ambassadors to China once in every year.
The primary reasons lie in the fact that the APC leadership has established a notoriously corrupt syndicate, which is now using China as a lucrative fishpond for netting huge personal wealth from the sale of the country’s fish in Chinese markets.
Is the Sierra Leone Embassy in China for sale to the highest bidder?
The first lieutenant of president Koroma to arrive in China was Ambassador Abdul Karim Koroma (AKK), followed by his Deputy – Idrissa Mohamed Funna. Next, Ambassador Joseph Mono Koroma followed in replacement of Ambassador A. K. Koroma.
Then Ambassadors A. K. Koroma and J. M. Koroma were recalled, under ‘fishy’ circumstances, along with Deputy Ambassador I. M. Funna, as major diplomatic misdemeanours unfolded; ranging from sexual harassments to massive financial extortions.
The latest appointed Ambassador that has arrived in China – His Excellency Mr. Abu Bakarr Multi-Kamara, is another member of the President’s tribal corruption syndicate sent to China to consolidate the unlawful fishing trade network established with the Chinese.
Reading the names of those appointed diplomats instantly speak volumes about a new tribal northern corruption syndicate – led and chaired by the president himself.
Questions are being asked as to how in just under five years, president Koroma could have become the third richest president in Africa.
President Koroma has systematically mortgaged Sierra Leone’s natural resources to his clique of rouge foreign investors, for his personal gain and to line the pockets of senior APC party stewards.
So much have we heard praise songs from the Press Attaché to Sierra Leone Embassy in China, but so little have we seen any realistic change for the better; be it either at home or in the Sierra Leone Embassy in China.
Ambassador J. M. Koroma and his Deputy – I. M. Funna, were recalled back to Freetown, simply because they were unable to cover up their tracks in a corruption scandal involving a massive extortion of a Chinese businessman called Li Jijin.
In the events leading to their recall, Ex-ambassador J. M. Koroma left China in the company of Harry Liu – a Chinese national appointed as Commercial Attaché by the Sierra Leone Government to the Embassy of Sierra Leone in Beijing.
Liu is working hard for his elevation to the role of Deputy Ambassador of Sierra Leone to China.
But this unholy alliance took a nasty twist, when I. M. Funna fell out with J. M. Koroma. Koroma was scheming to replace Funna with Harry Liu – a Chinese national holding Sierra Leone Service Passport.
The grand scheme was that Harry Liu was to have brokered lucrative commercial deals between J. M. Koroma and Chinese entrepreneurs. Given the porosity of governance in Sierra Leone, that was a deal J. M. Koroma could not have resisted.
But as God may stand in the shoes of the poor masses of Sierra Leone and the inability of the rogue Ambassadors to cover their corruption tracks, both Koroma and Funna were dismissed and Harry Liu’s passport was withdrawn.
According to our sources back in Freetown, Harry Liu is now trying to bribe his way through the corrupt APC government – right up to the president, in order to reinstate his role at the Embassy in China.
Harry Liu is said to have a finger-tip understanding of Sierra Leone’s culture, especially the overtly corrupt Koroma-led APC government.
Harry Liu has lost his staunch APC ‘presidential insider’ – J. M. Koroma, but is now using his wealth amassed at the Sierra Leone Embassy in China to establish a symbiotic relationship with Thomas Koroma ― President Koroma’s younger brother and personal assistant at State House in Freetown.
In just a few months, Harry Liu has been able to meet President Koroma in person and has agreed mutually rewarding commercial deals with the president, so as to get back his Sierra Leone Service Passport and Commercial Attaché post at the Embassy in China.
Indeed, Harry Liu has since returned to Beijing and officially resumed work as Commercial Attaché.
The former Deputy Ambassador to China – I. M. Funna also duped a Chinese tycoon – Li Jijin, a hefty sum of dollars, in return for his appointment as Commercial Attaché in the Sierra Leone Embassy in Beijing and Consul General in other countries, such as; Hong Kong, India and Vietnam, under the diplomatic purview of the Sierra Leone Mission in China.
Funna promised Li Jijin a diplomatic package – complete with diplomatic passports and diplomatic vehicle licence plates for himself and all the staff he would engage to execute his job.
But Funna’s diplomatic extortion scam flopped and he was eventually dismissed from his job.
However, the Chinese businessman Li Jijin persisted at the Embassy in what was an apparent follow-up to get the deal sealed. Shamelessly, the Koroma-led APC government moved quickly to spare the diplomatic ties with China, by recalling Funna back to Freetown.
Yet, Ambassador I. M. Funna has gone scot-free and now enjoying his loot in Freetown, after dragging the image and credibility of his office and that of the people of Sierra Leone into the gutter.
Although the Chinese Government is likely to rebuff any future moves by president Ernest Bai Koroma to appoint Li Jijin as Consul General to Hong Kong, he has for now been given an office in the Embassy of Sierra Leone in Beijing as Commercial Consul.
Harry Liu is also serving in the Embassy of Sierra Leone in Beijing as Commercial Attaché.
Only the Koroma-led APC government can tell us the difference between Commercial Attaché – as headed by Harry Liu and Commercial Consul – headed by Li Jijin at the Embassy of Sierra Leone in Beijing.
In the meantime, both Li Jijin and Harry Liu each now head a group of Chinese staff for the fraternal posts they run in the Embassy of Sierra Leone.
Is the Embassy of Sierra Leone in China being sold to the highest Chinese bidder?
Li Jijin and Harry Liu have each been accorded an office in the basement of the Embassy for the inseparably identical posts.
This odd situation has created an uneasy state of stand-off between the two Chinese bosses, each enjoying the privilege of their Sierra Leonean Service Passports and diplomatic vehicle licence plates.
There is now a greater number of Chinese staff working at the Sierra Leone Embassy in Beijing today than indigenous Sierra Leoneans.
In other words, the Sierra Leone Embassy in Beijing is gradually being sold out to the Chinese for cash that enriches the APC government leadership.
It is believed that if Ernest Bai Koroma wins re-election to the presidency of Sierra Leone in November 2012, the Sierra Leone Embassy will be completely sold out to the corrupt Chinese syndicate, by the end of his second term in office in 2017.
It is fair to say that the Koroma-led APC government never mixes up matters when it comes to corruption and personal greed.
President Koroma and his cohorts are desperate for one thing and one thing alone; and that is to make as much wealth as possible, even if it meant selling Sierra Leone and putting her people back into slavery.
In most countries across the world, foreign nationals are not employed by a national government to work in the position of Commercial Attaché or Consul. Foreign Embassies around the world appoint their own nationals to carry out such important and diplomatically sensitive posts.
This shows how desperate the Koroma-led APC leadership has become, in its relentless effort to sell the resources of Sierra Leone for the personal gain of those at the top of the ruling party and government.
The government has officially identified China as a lucrative fishpond to establish a network of corrupt trade syndicates of colossal magnitude. And the stage is now set for mega-extortions, conducted by both operatives of State House and the APC Party Office in Freetown.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Freetown, too, is keeping a blind-eye on the ‘fishy’ activities of State House in this newly found Chinese fishpond, to make certain that its own fair share of the loot is not missed.
Will Mr. Abu Bakarr Multi-Kamara – the newly appointed Ambassador to China, work patriotically to dismantle this million dollar crime syndicate at the Embassy, or is he under the command of the president to work diligently in order to secure and foster its continuation?