Mahmud Tim Kargbo: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 6th October 2020:
Again, Ernest Bai Koroma and his fellow All People’s Congress have cast a shadow on the Sierra Leonean project, reminding us just how fragile – some might say flawed – our institutions and constitutional order is. We are a country of laws, but it is the political norms that make the system work. Norms are flexible, but they are also fragile.
In the past ten years, Koroma and his fellow APC have taken norm-shattering to a new level, disgracing themselves and undermining the institutions they are supposed to defend.
As a candidate in 2007, Koroma refused to recognise the good work of his predecessor, and labelled his government as very corrupt; he fired professionals for doing their jobs; repeatedly ignored conflicts of interest, and profited from his office; he undermined independent institutions and other critical agencies.
For good reason, we Sierra Leoneans are now wondering if our democracy can survive. One of the greatest worries of the founders, after all, was that a demagogue emerged and destroyed the system he inherited from his predecessor.
There is a daunting task ahead for the Bio administration. In addition to addressing an out-of-control global pandemic, rising inequality, there is also an urgent need to rescue Sierra Leone’s democracy.
With APC having long since neglected their oath of office, democratic norms will have to be replaced with laws. But this will not be easy. When they are observed, norms are often preferable to laws, because they can be more easily adapted to future circumstances. Especially in Sierra Leone’s litigious society, there will always be those willing to circumvent laws by honouring their letter while violating their spirit.
But when one side no longer plays by the rules, stronger guardrails must be introduced. The good news is that we already have a constitutional roadmap which was adopted by the Houses of Parliament, setting out an agenda to expand voting rights, limit partisan gerrymandering, strengthen ethics rules, promote inclusiveness in governance and limit the influence of gathering unexplained wealth in politics at the expense of the always suffering majority.
The bad news is that the ruling SLPP know they are increasingly in the minority on most of the critical issues in today’s politics.
Sierra Leoneans want our laws to be effected in a none selective manner, a higher minimum wage to address the issue of bread and butter for the suffering majority, sensible environmental and financial regulations, affordable health and housing facilities, expanded funding for our educational system, and greater limitations on rogue money in our politics.
The clearly expressed will of the majority in addressing corruption puts the APC in an impossible position: The party cannot simultaneously pursue its unpopular negative agenda and also endorse honest, transparent, democratic governance as the main opposition party in the contraption. That is why it is now openly waging war on Sierra Leonean democracy, doubling down on efforts to destabilise the nation, politicise the efforts to fight corruption and the national bureaucracy, and lock in minority rule permanently through tactics like partisan gerrymandering.
Since the APC has already made its deal with the devil, there is no reason to expect its members to support any effort to renew and protect Sierra Leone’s democracy. The only option left for President Bio’s SLPP is to deliver an overwhelming victory in the fight against corruption and the bread and butter issue for Sierra Leoneans at all levels.
Sierra Leone’s democracy hangs in the balance. If it falls, democracy’s enemies around the country and the sub-region will win.
It’s rather unfortunate that some disoriented and corrupt APC supporters who are still receiving brown envelopes from their lifetime leader, are accusing Mr. Mahmud Tim Kargbo who I will describe as a political genius for revealing the truth about the ARIOGBO People’s Congress (APC) party that they have “Made a deal with the devil”, is also receiving brown envelope from nowhere. This gentleman is just trying to give us credible and insightful information..
Just in case any forumite has any doubt, please click the link below to prove his point of the current ongoing event in Makeni in less than 48 hours after his article was published by this CREDIBLE NEWSPAPER:
Mokonzi M, the theme of my commentary was centred on the negative, anti-democratic and corruptive activities of the current SLPP Government during their two and half years in office, as depicted by the people in the Afrobarometer perception survey. Asking a series of unweighted and frivolous questions is just a cunning attempt to DENY the truth. If you think there are instances in EBK’s administration (2007-2018) that can be equated to the present madness in the country’s political dispensation, then by all means try to highlight those incidents. This idea of knowingly trying to counterbalance the truth for partisan lineage is done at the expense of the country and its people. When people start to think in a responsible and mature way, irrespective of their political association, then things will start to get better.
This article is SPOT ON because it seems to touch the raw nerves of some corrupt and destructive APC supporters and are now putting up temper tantrum and falsely accusing the messenger. It was rather unfortunate that after the 11 years civil war which resulted in loss of lives and properties under the one party dictatorship of the 25 years APC misrule, the voters gave them another opportunity to correct their past mistakes by electing former President Koroma twice. Sadly, as stated in this article , he spent his first 5 years under his “Agenda for Change” program to destroy most of the credible institutions that late President Kabba strenuously rebuilt after the massive destruction by the APC sponsored AFRC/ RUF regime.
Koroma started with the firing of qualified people that built and ran those institutions for 10 years and also introduced TRIBALISM AND REGIONALISM in our country. The then SLPP purposely elected late President Tejan Kabba who is a northerner to help transform the political tribal divisions by electing public officials based on their qualifications. The 2nd term of the APC government under the “Agenda for Prosperity” was based on purposely ENRICHING themselves by massive looting after they realized that the price of Iron Ore was at an all time high. Sierra Leone had one of the fastest growing economy and instead of using the proceeds from the sales of our natural resources to transform the lives of our citizens, they embarked on building mansions and buying fancy car.
Saving for rainy days was not part of their agenda and when the price of iron ore went south, Ebola crisis, theft of donor monies and massive corruption, former President Ernest Koroma decided to crown himself as the lifetime leader and chairman of the APC, unconstitutionally sacked his Vice President, declared Austerity and finally threatened APC party members who will oppose his handpicked stooge Dr. Samura Kamara who was overwhelmingly rejected by the Voters. Finally, the visible constant presence of the ARIOGBO Devil at the statehouse was a clear evidence that the ARIOGBO PEOPLES CONGRESS (APC) party already made a deal with the devil which resulted in continuous EVIL activities in our country.
One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.
The APC followers believed that no matter how corrupt, greedy, and heartless the past government was for them the music will still be wonderful.
The writer is suggesting the APC party made a pact with the devil. Overall all parties that have ruled Sierra Leone since independence, both military and civilian administration had a pact figuratively speaking with the devil. The only exception was under Colonel Andrew Joxon-Smith military administration in 1968. Perhaps the only time tribal and regional differences were placed in the ice cooler. Indeed in taking over power he lamented at what he saw as the creeping destructive nature of tribal and regional differences taking shape in our newly minted country. Back then he warned our warring political parties both SLPP and APC, to abandon such antics and place our country’s interest above everything else they work for. I wish they’d listened back then, maybe our country would have been in better shape than what it is today. Its not too late. But you need bold leadership and unfettered access to justice and respect for the rule of law.
Back in those years, the suspicion was and rightly so, some high ranking elements of the Republic of Sierra Leone armed forces including their commander Brigadier David Lansana, took the lead in sowing the seeds of tribal and regional differences . This was more pronounced after the SLPP under the leadership of Sir Albert Margai lost the election of 1967 to Siaka Stevens . The military under the command of Brigadier David Lansana decided to annul the election and took over the reigns of power to stop Stevens from assuming office. I think that experience helped shape the thinking of Stevens and his subsequent exile in Guinea, all be it temporary which led us to where we are today. Just like Nigeria, the military have always played a one sided role in the politics of our country.
No one understands this better than president Bio and his political advisers that are steeped in history. Real democracy will never happen in Sierra Leone until the military stay in their barracks and stop interfering in the politics of Sierra-Leone. Bio has a free reign now, and is confident he can do anything he wants because the security services is now highly political. I hope he use this mandate to fight for the right cause. We are sick to the teeth of wallowing in abject poverty due to corruption. May God bless Sierra Leone.
I am still struggling to learn the word kakistocracy or what you have!…I am afraid this group of ART’s contributors and commentators are (seemingly) largely disgruntled politicians, brimming with hate, vengeance and venom. Unless ART himself wants to help them waste cyber space: unfortunately most simple folks have stopped to enjoy reading this nice paper with contributions from notably supreme minds, for reasons of their own.
Mr Kamara – we respect your right to free speech!
Bottom line, the Queen’s language is very simple, but sometimes hard for people to understand. Why put yourself in a struggling position to learn the word “kakistocracy” Mr Dauda Mu Kamara? Make Google your best friend and you will overcome all the struggles with the word “kakistocracy”. Am I right to say that Mr Dauda Mu Kamara is sort of grumpy, because he seems to have gone berserk because of the word “kakistocracy”, which is of course is the right description of his favourite Bio SLPP? God help Mr Dauda Mu Kamara to get on with the word “kakistocracy”.
Thanks Mr Dauda Mu Kamara. Apart from brimming from hate, and disgruntlement, as ordinary Sierra-Leoneans we are sick to the teeth to see a country that is blessed with human and natural resources, but due to lack of leadership, and love for the only place that we call home, turned to a giant hell hole for majority of your fellow Sierra Leoneans. We can’t sit back and allow Bio or any other government take us back to the dark ages. Yes we have many reasons to be angry.
We have one of the highest infant mortality rate, lack of good roads, taking public transport from one part of the country to the other is like you are on a suicide mission, rampant corruption, the justice system is against the poor, our country depends on the good will of international donors to balance the books, security forces that are accountable to no one but to the president is killing unemployed youths with no one held accountable, the only country in Africa that went to civil war because of greedy politicians, the hospitals are under resourced, government workers not appreciated enough for the work they do, African countries in the desert are doing better than our tiny country that has one of the highest tropical rain fall. What else can go wrong?
Even the Governor of OYO state in Nigeria, is doing better by delivering more of his promises to his people with less budget than president Bio is getting from the largess of international donor communities. Mr Kamara if you don’t feel the pain to see the unemployed youth in the streets of Freetown or Lumley beach, or young Sierra Leonean men and women being abused in foreign lands like the Middle East or locked up by people smugglers in containers in war torn Libya, because their government have failed them, you will do us all a massive favour – instead of criticising the Telegraph that gives voice to the voiceless, to stop reading it. Or if you can’t help it which I suspect, read it and shake your head and say: those that contribute in this forum want good things to happen to our country. To that end we will hold any government to account. But you don’t want to play your part. Good luck on that endeavour. May God bless Sierra Leone.
I hope that Dr. Sylvia Blyden is listening carefully, she’s the one standing strongly for now at the moment, to bring
“DEMOCRACY” in the APC party. I hope she will. If Ernest Bai Koroma is the greatest and best Commander in chief in the land ever, in fact this writer receives a dime or penny for compensation, for delivering this comprehensive message to Sierra Leoneans. Also my special thanks for Mr. Abdul Rashid Thomas for creating this noble platform. My brother this forum is very essential. May God reward you abundantly.
This writer has brought many stuff to our attention. First of all the APC party never recognized the late President Alhaji Ahmed Tejan Kabba as a legitimate Sierra Leonean. Some of these folks even compared him to the former President Of Zambia
“Kenneth Kaunda”. At the time when this president (Bio) was sacrificing – putting his whole life in the line of duty for this country, nobody accused him of possessing a Ghanaian national ID or Citizenship. Myself Brima Sesay, I am one of the least minority tribes in Sierra Leone.
Brother Mahmoud Tim Kargbo all what you’ve said, after the fact checking – you’re quite right and do not back down at all for saying the truth. We Sierra Leoneans were disappointed at EBK. He never fulfilled his promises to the nation. Will he be held accountable for that by the mighty God? Yes of course. EBK did not apologize to the people of this country in any of his gatherings, conferences or meetings for his mistakes, but always apologizing to the APC party and it’s supporters. Is that what we call leadership? APC and EBK have hurt and betrayed this country badly. “I will run this country as a business concern” he said. Really? God bless and protect Sa/Lone.
Hi Mr Brima Sesay, have you fact checked this part of the article? – “In the past ten years, Koroma and his fellow APC have taken norm-shattering to a new level, disgracing themselves and undermining the institutions they are supposed to defend.” Please reply with examples. Can the writer tell us honestly, which of the governments, the former APC and the present Bio SLPP kakistocracy have recklessly Bastardised our constitution and institutions? Finally, what is the writer talking about “APC made a deal with the devil”. I keep scratching my head wondering what that means. God bless the APC.
Now this:” Since the APC has already made its deal with the devil, there is no reason to expect its members to support any effort to renew and protect Sierra Leone’s Democracy.” TOTALLY WRONG!! Without any doubt, Members of the legendary APC are the most savvy, quick-witted patriotic individuals you can find anywhere in our beloved Sierra Leone, but they are not naive and gullible as little children to buy into any ill-advised, shady superficial scheme disguised in the robes of Democracy that an inept, criminal tribalistic SLPP government is trying to sell them. You said it so, Answer – how is this inept President going to achieve overwhelming victory against corruption when those closest to him, criminals surrounding his government like miles and miles of prickly barbed-wire fencing made of steel, are the most corrupt people presently in our country holding positions of influence and power?
I expected the writer to ask some credible and thought-provoking questions concerning the reasons for the lack in transparency and accountability at the Ministry of Finance where JJ “The Hangman” Saffa that is strangling our people, overspent his ministry’s budget by billions of juicy Leones, but he didn’t; And Stargazer the bribery scandal involving 1.5 million dollars was not mentioned also, ignored and left out like an important page ripped out of an enjoyable, interesting book. (lol) Again, let the writer tell us if he has been duly informed on how a Professor that can boast of only two years in a public office managed to obtain finance for his massive 400 acres rice farm.
You still wanna know who made a deal with the devil huh? (lol) I think its a big mistake for anyone to insinuate or conclude that the entire APC is a totally corrupt political party. Folks, nothing could be further from the truth. There are future leaders on the way that will put all of you haters to shame – men and women with spotlessly clean reputations, brimming with confidence, patriotism, integrity, and honour.
How much was the writer paid to write such a disgusting and deceitful article? This was the first question that came to mind when reading this baseless and unfounded piece of propaganda that was meticulously prepared with an attempt to flip the coin of reality. No wonder it was short and lacking in momentum, because as the author transgressed from heaven towards hell, he found himself lost in limbo – with no energy and ammunition left to continue his destructive journey against the APC. It was reminiscent of the SATANIC VERSES written by a minion whose sole purpose was to gain recognition in the kingdom of the devil.
The APC ruled for about a decade (2007 – 2018) and during this period the words ‘tensions’, ‘barbarity’ and ‘hopelessness’ never featured in people’s minds. The economy was one of the fastest growing in the world, and the country was rated as the third most peaceful in Africa. Sierra Leone had always got weak institutions and this situation was overtly magnified during the NPRC junta (1992 – 1996); an era of lawlessness ushered in by an inexperienced, semi-literate and riff-raff soldiers of fortune that terrorised the populace through the barrel of a gun. This period cultivated the land for economic backwardness; and the overlapping 10-year civil war (1992 – 2002) created the imprints in which the seeds of continual destruction were sown.
From 2002 – 2007, there was virtually a vacuum in the development of the country even though billions of dollars poured into the country from the international community. Today, the country is experiencing the overtures of a recycled NPRC era: people are massacred with impunity; civil liberties are muzzled up; human rights and the rule of law are non-existent; economic progression is at a standstill, as an atmosphere of ineptitude and false accusations have culminated into a state of tensions everywhere. It is not surprising that the Afrobarometer perception survey has labelled all arms of government – the Legislature, the Executive, and the Judiciary – as the second, third, and fourth most corrupt institutions in the country respectively.
And here comes the sharpest “SWORD OF TRUTH” in our beloved Sierra Leone slashing and slaughtering to pieces devils that moan and roam in the darkness intent on promoting
lies,deceptions and madness in a land of peace.Absolutely well said,brother!And thanks
for reminding me of Salman Rusdie a paid agent sold a million times over to the forces
of evil…Larga Vida APC!( LONG LIVE THE APC)
Hemoh, pray please enlighten us which of the three branches of government from 2007 – 2018 that you perceived as corrupt-free? What would you call the ACC Commissioners under the APC who are now defending the folks they investigated for corruption? Or the Sesay guy who was caught with cocaine plane, fired and rehired? Can you honestly say no barbarity, nepotism, injustice or other malfeasance took place under the watchful or sleeping eyes of EBK?
“It is a fight we must fight, and a fight we must win” (Julius Maada Bio) I wish all Sierra Leoneans and their commander in chief all the best in the coming days and weeks, because corruption always has the tendency of fighting back.
Yeah. Look at the “Peoples Commander”, the former Commander in Chief of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces and Leader of the all-time indomitable APC, with his victory salute in that picture. “Obey Oh people, it’s the Peoples’ Commander, Obey Oh people”. A picture tells me a thousand words. Who on earth will mess around with the “Peoples Commander”? It is time for the “Peoples Commander” and the APC, help Sierra Leone take the presidency home, for massive infrastructural development, meritocracy, peace, unity, safe keeping of the presidential staff for the APC forever, etc.
There is only one option for the Bio SLPP kakistocracy in 2023, which is to kick their political butts out of power. Period. That will not harm our democracy, but will strengthen our democracy, democratic institutions and send dictatorship and tyranny to the grave yards of history forever. Did they hear that? I hope they do. God bless the “Peoples Commander”, the greatest former Commander in Chief of the Republic of Sierra Leone’s Armed Forces ever, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma. Amen and Amen.