Mahmud Tim Kargbo: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 14 February 2018
One political party that seems ever willing to acquiesce to anything for corruption and gross inefficiency, is the All People’s Congress (APC). This is not unexpected, considering their presence in every facet of public life and the highly visible profile of President Koroma in the country’s polity as the party’s Leader and Chairman – presiding over the injustices inherent in our country.
Time and again, when faced with evidence of corruption, the All People’s Congress has remarkably acted with dispatch and briskness, as exhibited in their dismissal of evidence of their Chinese personnel caught on camera openly infiltrating in our national politics.
When Chinese men directly get involved in Sierra Leone politics, realising that the game is up, shows their desperation to exploit the country’s mineral resources. (Photo: Official vehicles of the chinese government being used for APC election campaigning).
The same can be said of other segments of our polity under President Koroma’s Presidency, Chairman and Leader of the All People’s Congress – Lawyers, Medical personnel, politicians and our ‘almighty’ civil/public servants (or more appropriately ‘masters’).
When they are caught red-handed with their hands deep in the public till or intermeshed in acts of corruption, impunity reigns – no one is held to account.
Not only do public officials go scot-free, but the rest of society is forced to undergo worthless charade trying to pursue justice, in an unending legal process which gradually fades away when public attention is diverted by yet another large-scale crime by another ‘high-brow’ thief.
Rather than accepting responsibility for their misconduct when the Deputy Chinese Ambassador in Sierra Leone claimed they are building the new APC office in Freetown, senior APC officials threw tantrums, accusing everyone, including genuine whistle blowers of the State that they are liars.
Criminals who openly violated the laws they are to respect as national stakeholders, engaged the country’s Political Parties Registration Commission in an endless hide-and-seek game.
Today, rather than go out in peace to rally in accordance with the law, public servants who have converted their agencies’ pension funds and politicians who have looted public treasury are resorting to age-old ethnic sloganeering to maintain a strangle hold on our collective psyche. And in one sickening instance, they have brought Chinese rogues into our politics and electioneering.
The willingness of the generality of the populace to accommodate, and often glamorise corrupt public office holders, will be our undoing as a society.
By refusing to look upon corrupt persons with the disdain and scorn they deserve, we only, wittingly or unwittingly, encourage corruption.
We become accomplices to the crimes of corruption when we condone corrupt persons in our midst.
We do not have to look far to see the dire consequences of our complicity in corruption in our lives, our environment, our polity.
But we have a choice. We can continue to condone and thereby participate in corruption and continue to wallow in poverty, or simply say ‘No’, individually resolving not to be an accomplice to corruption.
This is what one concerned Sierra Leonean said yesterday about the Chinese direct involvement in the elections in Sierra Leone:
“Oh, I have grave fears for the forthcoming elections. The Chinese are bent on influencing the elections. They are the ones who designed and setup the voter registration using their technology. The enumerating machines are manufactured in China.
“The computers being used to conduct the elections are made in China. Now it seems like the people rallying for APC Tolongbo are also from China – all because of their vested interest in our mineral wealth The Chinese are doing everything to see that the APC government retains power.
“This is very scary. The opposition parties must protest against the Chinese influence on our national affairs.”