Dr Doma: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 03 September 2023:
Excruciating rising cost of living has brought the people of Sierra Leone on their knees, not just in prayer but also from the sheer weight of skyrocketing basic commodity prices.
In a broader perspective, Locally grown commodities tend to be more expensive than imported rice, and even the fish from our seas or eel is pricier than imported chicken.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Arthur E. Pearce, a distinguished member of the APC Communication team, who took it upon himself to release a “hardship newsletter.” This newsletter, backed by data from various markets, showcased the truly artistic manner in which our locally grown commodities have managed to outshine imported goods in the race to be the most expensive.
Pearce’s intention? To bring the government’s attention to the issue of hardship. But isn’t it obvious? Our government has become so good at excuses that they should consider hosting a masterclass.
Responding to Pearce’s market survey, Joe Sesay, Head of Strategic Communications for the government, had a revelation. Apparently, the survey doesn’t reflect reality, and most of the issues in the report are a result of global happenings, like the Ukraine-Russia war.
Coincidentally, this was the same excuse Pearce mentioned weeks ago on Radio Democracy. How truly remarkable it is that global crises have such a localized effect, making us wonder if our neighbourhood store will soon start blaming cosmic rays for their price hikes.
But wait, the circus doesn’t end there. In a surprising twist, the pump prices increased shortly after Pearce’s report surfaced, while the opposition has decided that they’d rather stay in the audience than participate in the government show until their demands are met.
Additionally, the International Criminal Court (ICC) sent a letter requesting a meeting with the President, and the United States imposed a visa ban on those believed to have played a role in undermining democracy during the June 24th Elections.
In the end, as Sierra Leoneans stand on the precipice of uncertainty, it’s clear that what we truly need is a grand dialogue – one that can bring some much-needed comic relief to a nation that’s been watching a tragicomedy play out for far too long.
So, let’s all gather around the national table, have a hearty laugh at the absurdity of it all, and pray for a brighter future where reality is stranger than fiction.