Sierra Leone Telegraph: 2 September 2020:
Last Friday, 28th August 2020, the Krio Descendants Yunion in collaboration with the Krio Community organisation – representing millions of people of Krio ancestry and heritage – both in Sierra Leone and overseas, filed a lawsuit at the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone, challenging the country’s discriminatory Provinces Lands Act of 1960, which deliberately and systematically excludes people of Krio origin from owning land and property outside of Freetown. (Photo above – Ptesident Bio meets representatives of Krio Descendants Union in 2019 at State House).
According to the plaintiffs, who also include one of the Krio families in Freetown – the Renner family that have suffered such discrimination, the Provinces Lands Act, Cap. 122 along with other specific definitional statutes, are inconsistent with the country’s 1991 Constitution.
The Provinces Lands Act of 1960 they say is a discriminatory colonial law inherited from the British, to which successive governments of Sierra Leone have turned a blind eye and resisted calls for an end to inter-generational discrimination – specifically against the Krios, whose place of origin is in the Western Area of Sierra Leone since 1787 when their ancestors – freed slaves, arrived in what became known as Freetown. (Photo: President Bio meeting the leadership of the Krio Descendants Union in 2019).
This discriminatory law precludes Krios from acquiring any customary land rights or freehold title in the Provinces, restricting them to acquiring only leasehold interest of a specific duration.
The plaintiffs contend that this is in violation of Section 27 (1) of the Sierra Leone Constitution which prohibits discrimination on the basis of tribe or place of origin.
The Krios are classified by the Provinces Lands Act as “non-natives” which includes those persons of European or Asiatic origin. No other tribes in Sierra Leone are subject to such statutory restrictions.
The Supreme Court suit also argues that Cap. 122 violates the right of ciitizens of Krio orign to freedom of movement guaranteed by Section 18 (1) of the Constitution, as they cannot reside or settle freely in the Provinces unless the consent of a tribal chief is secured.
It contends that the law unduly impacts on the freedom of Krios to assemble and associate in violation of Section 26 (1) of the constitution, as the Plaintiffs’ ability to live with, associate or spend time with their brothers and sisters from the Provinces is constrained.
The Plaintiffs are seeking a declaration from the Supreme Court that those portions of the Provinces Lands Act that impact upon Krios be declared unconstitutional, stricken, and rendered null and void.
They also seek substantial damages against the Government of Sierra Leone for failing to repeal this statute since independence and retaining those blatantly offending laws of Sierra Leone for the last 59 years, despite their patently discriminatory effect on Krios.
Alternatively, the Plaintiffs seek reparations from the Government and an allocation of 100 hectares of land in each of the 12 Districts in the Provinces as compensation.
The Supreme Court case was filed by the law firms of Garber & Co and Campbell & Co based in Freetown, on behalf of the Krio Descendants Yunion in collaboration with the Krio Community, and the Renner family.
Why don’t you tell us which other ethnic group in Sierra Leone has contributed more to our culture and national identity if not the Creoles?? Go on, we’re waiting.
…But in Creoldom in the 60’s one would hardly land a government job at the national Secretariat, unless you were Christian or Krio or carry names laced with high sounding English names, you know it! Even a tailor in my district’s Government hospital was Cole. The cooks were Spenser, Cici Jorgor, etc. It was and still unacceptable to freely marry outside Creoldom.
I know Krios who had returned to Sierra Leone for good, but their experiences there coerced them to return to The Diaspora because of the lawlessness, public filth, unreliability of electricity supply, official disdain of national audit functions, politicised and constrained Sierra Leone ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION by both past APC and current SLPP political, tribal governments, poor and low standards of transparent and accountability pertinent to national finances. There is also lack of maintenance management of public assets, tribal organisations parading as political parties, irresponsible politicisations and bloating of national institutions, continuing depreciation of the international purchasing power of The Leone.
Also, excessive misappropriations of budgeted public funds, illicit exports of unearned and untaxed incomes lubricated and facilitated by banks. These people do not hide such monies under their mattresses; bloated criminal invoicings in the purchasing and supply of national needs, uncontrolled greed by the so-called political powers-that-be who in reality are not political but are substantive looters of national and private assets of citizens – particularly KRIOS and lack of equal opportunities for all Sierra Leoneans. Some foreign Ethical Investors list Sierra Leone as HIGH+BAD RISK based on their INTELLIGENCE ANALYSES.
Seton During – UK Diasporan, Member of The UK Institute of Directors, Member of The Bruges Group of Piccadilly, etc.
Patricia, Hatred is not part of my DNA, but my above comment is based on my personal opinion and observations. As you stated, the Krio people are one of the most GENEROUS and INTELLIGENT people not only in Sierra Leone but the entire Africa. I sometimes refer to the Krio as the “ Jews of West Africa”. I have vast experience about the Krio because I have been traveling from Freetown to the whole of the peninsula starting from Waterloo to Kent Village and even to the Banana Island as far back as the late 60’s.
When I visited Sierra Leone lately, I had the opportunity to drive around this same route , I even took the route from Juba through Sussex and York villages and all I noticed was infrastructural decay and deterioration. Most of the affluent and Educated Krios living in the diaspora and Freetown in my personal opinion are COMPLACENT with their lives and are reluctant to improve their villages through investment like Agriculture, Hotels or Tourist resorts which will create jobs for their families back home.
I hope and pray that they will follow the example of the “ Jews from Israel” because regardless where they live, there primary focus is always the development of their homeland starting from their villages.
Adewale John, Please stop spreading your false narrative in this glorious forum of “Tribal rebel War” in Sierra Leone. The war in Sierra Leone was based on diamond because majority of our citizens are not interested in religious or tribal conflict which explains why intermarriages are common around all regions. The Mendes and Creoles have always been living amicably, but unfortunately the destructive APC party under the leadership of “architect of stealing and violence” in our country (late President Siaka Stevens) orchestrated the “Decline of the Creoles”.
The institutions that were dominated by the Creoles was the Treasury, Judiciary and the University ( Fourahbay College). Stevens decided to embark on a policy of “divide and rule” by replacing the Creoles head of these institutions with Mendes namely Mr. Joe Amara Bangali in treasury, Chief Justice M.F. Kutubu of judiciary and Professor F.P Foray of F.B.C. The Creoles became disgruntled and started leaving the country. But thankfully, the New Direction government has once again appointed a Krio Chief Justice Babatunde Edwards to boost your morals, which you should be thankful for rather than confrontation.
Also give Mr. Sandy an opportunity to finish the Job of your Krio brother late Mr. Moore who was murdered in broad daylight for doing his job, which will eventually reduce the possibility of another mudslide. I wish you good luck in the “Ekutay / Tolongbo” APC Party, because when “Push comes to Shove”, they will surely “ Throw you under the bus” because you are not from Bombali as in the case of your Krio brother Cornelius Deveaux and your Krio Sister Dr. Sylvia O.Blyden.
Personally, I am suspicious about the timing of this lawsuit against the government. Is it because of the current activities of the Minister of Lands within the western area that has triggered this even? I believe that the average Krio has always frowned at the idea of living amongst “countryman” or so-called “ Primitive people” who were considered as inferior when it comes to western civilization. The reasons why the Creoles used to travel to the provinces (upline or upland” ) was to perform administrative duties for the government or business transactions.
Most of the affluent and educated Creoles still consider London and USA as their original home because they used to own British commonwealth passports before independence and that idea was solidified during the civil war. They even auctioned some of their lands in Freetown just to relocate to the Western World. Some even claimed that their grandparents are from Abeokuta and Banjul, rather than 100% loyalty to Sierra Leone. Fortunately even the Saros of Nigeria and Aku of The Gambia always boast of their Sierra Leonean origins.
Most of the Creoles from the peninsula (starting from Waterloo to Dublin Banana and Ricketts Islands) have abandoned their vast lands that they inherited from their grandparents to settle in Freetown. Some even sold those fertile lands to foreigners and strangers instead of developing their villages through Agriculture, Fishing and Tourism. Due to the abandonment, the government has probably decided to reclaim those lands for tourism development and potential private investors. Finally, if the current Creoles generation just focused on what they currently have in their hands (the Peninsula lands), through cooperation, they can transform the whole peninsula to the “Caribbean of West Africa” instead of picking a fight against the New Direction government and the “Countryman”.
Here comes another misguided and misinformed GREENGO – Lol!! Fallay, you seem to be suffering from serious inferiority complex my dear man!! What you dont know is that some Krio family had to sell up and upsticks because they were targeted by rebels during the war. Many of those who stayed were brutally murdered and their properties burned down as was done to them in Mendeland for allegedly supporting the northerners and the whiteman against the mendes. Your unrepentantly tribalistic Minister of Lands Sandy, is picking fight with the Krios because he wants to dispossess them of the little they have left that they call home. Trust me old boy, his ethnic cleansing strategy will not work. Lol.
SLPP will soon be booted out of office by the grace of God. The ethnic division that your people are trying to incite in Salone in order to declare a state of emergency that will last till after 2023 will not come to fruition. Yes it is a fact that the Krios of Salone are related to the Krios/Akus of The Gambia, Ghana, and Nigeria but that does not make them any less patriotic to Sierra Leone. In fact they are more patriotic than many of your ilk. You misguidedly say that some Krios claim to have descended from the Yorubas in Abeokuta. This is fact – not a fantasy. Many freed slaves came from Nigeria, especially from Yorubaland.
Look at this that you wrote on this glorious forum: “Most of the Creoles from the peninsula (starting from Waterloo to Dublin Banana and Ricketts Islands) have abandoned their vast lands that they inherited from their grandparents to settle in Freetown”. Please dont make me laugh!! You dont even know your geography of Sierra Leone – Lol. Why not ask your GREENGO Sidekick – Senesie to lend you his history and geography books on Salone when he finish reading them to enlighten yourself my dear man!!
Wow. You do hate the Krios don’t you? What did they do to you? Nothing. You just hate them because they are successful, they are not jostling to get political positions so that they can steal to become rich beyond their wildest dreams? Bo duya lef we ya. You know what, your forefathers would turn in their graves if they could hear you now. In the not so distant past, I remember people coming from the provinces, walking in the streets of Freetown with their children and then knock on any Krio gate, asking for work and ‘duya mama, take me pikin for men'(please care for my child). My grandmother always used to feel sorry for them and always had little children to take care off. She would make sure they went to school. Some of these children were 10 or even 12 years old and had never darkened the walls of a classroom. Krios made it possible for many of them to go to school and get an education. Krio children would help them with their school work. I was a little child, but I saw this hapoen. These children grew up and became very responsible pillars of society. However, today you hate Krios with a passion.
Many other Krio families took children in from the provinces. If the parents were ill, they would inform the Krio people ‘duya if r die, nar you for men me pikin, duya – (if I die, I want you to look after my child). It is people like you that made Krio people stop taking in children from the provinces. They realised that they put a lot of effort into caring for them, but when they grew up, all they got was ingratitude, disrespect, insults and hatred. Up till today, people from the provinces plead with Krios to take in their children, but many refuse.
There is a lot of intermarriage and friendship between Krios and other tribes and yet you still hate them? Maybe you need some therapy?
So what if they descend from Nigeria or Gambia? Many of our kinsmen in the provinces originate from Timbuktu, Guinea, Liberia and other neighbouring countries and they came less than 200 years ago. Do we hold it against them? NO. So what if Krios live in western countries? I bet you live in a western country yourself as do many many others who hail from the provinces. So, bo duya lef Krio dem saful ya!! Krios do not hate you, so do not hate them.
To my critics Adelewe John and Abraham Jalloh, let’s look at the date of the enactment of The Provinces Land Act in 1960 and the CURRENT APC 1991 Constitution which technically became effective in April 1996 and February/March 1998 to theis year 2020 and beyond. During these periods, were the Krios stagnant/dormant just residing in the Western Area and did not migrate elsewhere within the country?
I will tell of the former Minister of Finance during the one party APC era of prezo J.S.Momoh between 1985-1991/92. This finance minister prior to his appointment was a commercial/mechanised rice farmer in the Northern province and head of Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce when he was selected to be the Finance minister by prezo Momoh. And I will be proud of that krio man who was decades ahead of what we are now doing for food sufficiency currently in mama Salone.
The problem is with your diabolical/unpredictable nature when the kios are given powerful positions as we saw with Captain Valentine Strasser AS PREZO OF SALONE during the NPRC1 resulting to NPRC2 era from there military led administration between 1992-1992. I will also mention the diabolical nature of Micheal Golley a krio residing then in the UK who think he was above the will/law of the UK govt/people because he was a lawyer during the RUF civil war in mama Salone and he was kicked out of the UK.
You still haven’t got it. We are not having a go at you Mr Boima. Our contention is about the LAW. When a Law is enacted its more powerful than anything in the land. Just look throughout history when laws are passed against a certain group of people, they are disciminated against based on that law. The Nazis against the Jews. “BLACKS SHOULD GIVE UP THEIR SEATS TO WHITE PEOPLE AND GO SIT AT THE BACK OF THE BUS” in 1950s America. TO THIS DAY YOUNG BLACK KIDS STILL DO IT WITHOUT REALISING ITS ORIGIN.
BLACK SOUTH AFRICANS SHOWED PASSES TO VISIT certain areas under Apartheid. Blacks should not date white women. So why is all that possible? The law Mr Bioma. You might have your views on Creole people which I think vast majority of right thinking Sierra Leoneans don’t share with you. so I hope you never run for public office in Sierra Leone. Your beliefs and pronunciations are the very things that have devided our country on tribal and regional lines.
I would have thought you are educated enough to know better. Lets imagine a Mr Johnson goes to kabala and bought a piece of land. Say after he secured the land, I turned up and say you bought this land from my sister. I wasn’t aware of the sale. I was never consulted. Then what? I will take Mr Johnson to court. If the judge hearing the case goes by the 1960s colonial Act tbat denied creole people ownership of land in the provinces, I am sure Mr Johnson will not only forfeit the land and money, he might get fined or go to prison for breaking the Laws of the land as they stood. May God bless the Krio language that uinte our tribes. No ill feelings.
“….former Minister of Finance during the one party APC era of prezo J.S.Momoh between 1985-1991/92” that you cannot even name? And you blame the Krios for the sins of Strasser and Golley? Man – you are one big joke that cannot be taken seriously. I thought you had more brain than this Senesie but I obviously misjudged you. You are one hell of a tribalist and may God help you to see the light Lol.
As Amadu said, thank God you are not in power, otherwise you may be calling for the Krios to be sent to the gas chamber. But dont worry, tribalists like you will one day meet your waterloo.
The Krios have never been in power in Sierra Leone. All that ever happened is that every government since independence in 1961, used a tokenistic handful of highly intelligent Krios to help in whatever development role they can for the good of country. Which tribes have been in power since independence that are responsible for the destruction of the fabric of this country (education, civil service and judiciary) – I wonder. Juxon-Smith was a superb head of state. But like Strasser, he was toppled by who? A Krio? Krios have never been given the chance to rule Sierra Leone. Please go and read your history and stop exposing yourself on this glorious forum built by a Krio for every tribe’s benefit Lol.
The LAW is the LAW. And when it applies to a group of particular communities, its impact to those affected is devastating. Pointing out this government or previous governments has in their cabinet ministers of Krio decent is a reason why we should over look the 1960 land law. The rigHt for our Krio brethren to own lands in the provinces is okay, its not only wrong but damn right misleading. For people that want this discriminatory law to stay is okay for them.
Maybe you’ve never been discriminated because of you enjoying the benefits of being in the majority tribe. I could not argue with that. And to be honest its not your fault. But my problem is with people who come from the majority that don’t see or listen to the minority that is crying out for help. Until you wear someone’s shoes and walk in them, you will not know how they feel. For Fulani people that used to endure similar discrimination by president Stevens and the likes of Hon. Thaimu Bangura, its not a jolly good experience.
Lets look at it this way. We had Major Jumu Jalloh in the Stevens era. But that did not stop travelling Fulani men and women being scared to their wits when they arrived at Pamlap check point manned by police officers who were only interested in NUMBER ELEVEN TO COME DOWN AND SHOW THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE IN SIERRA-LEONE. Number eleven is the Fulani tribal markings. AT ONE POINT DURING MY SCHOOL HOLIDAY BREAK, TRAVELLING FROM MAKENI TO KABALA, I HAD TO HIDE BUNDLES OF US DOLLARS AMONGST MY BOOKS ON BEHALF OF FULANI COW TRADERS retuning from Liberia to avoid forfeiting some of ther “Manankok” to these highway robbers dressed in police uniforms.
My own contributions to buttress what Mr Yei Manga has stated above I will add the WONDERFUL ROGERS CLAN/FAMILY who are KRIO in originality/tribe but they had successfully integrated/assimilated for generations and time in memorial with the ingenious local people in mama SALONE. They had built a cathedral church-PLACE OF WORSHIP for the United Methodist Church in THE Bo district in mama Salone.
THEY had inter-MARRIED AND HAD CHILDREN to the generations with the LOCALS, they had plantations, printing presses ESPECIALLY in the SOUTHERN PROVINCE OF mama SALONE. The Rogers clans/family had been duly elected as MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT FROM THE PROVINCES both in the corrupt APC one party reign to the present multiparty dispensations in Salone
My suggestions/advice to the panel of judges in this matter is that they had to be objective and do some research/assignments from the krios who had integrated/resettled in the provinces since the repartriations and resettlement of free slaves we called the KRIOS and ask their descendants in the provinces how they had successfully did so/that and what can be done to effectively synergies/integrate an hamoneous whole package/rulings that will be beneficial for both sides living in the country in that case ruling and may God almighty continue to bless/keep mama Salone
Mr Boima, thanks for educating us about the Rogers family that in all fairness managed to integrate in the provinces, especially in the South. We should not even be having this debate because these are Sierra Leoneans just like everyone else. Something is wrong, when we start debating issues like these. I grew up in tbe north. I don’t need to do any research on this one. But i have never seen a creole family household in our neck of the woods. Pointing out one or any amount of Krio families that managed it in the provinces is not enough.
Its like you accused a white person of being racist against you becsuse of the colour of your skin. And in his defence he say to you i grew up with ethically mixed population, or the best one of all my friends are black. Now since we are talking about a law that prevent creole people owning land in the provinces , it is more serious tban just saying than pointing out few creole families that manage to make it. The system of apartheid succeed because that was the laws of the land.
Unless and untill the law that prevents the creoles from owing lands in the provinces, while someone from Guinea with deep pockets or any other parts of the world can get away with it, the discrimination against this community remains in our country’s statue books. It is wrong and I think is high time the government scrap this law. Lets be real here, you can’t ignore the laws of the state. Right now the creole community have been served a raw deal. All in the name of what. If every tribe can call Freetown home, why are they not accorded the same privilege to own lands in Falaba, or Makeni, or Kambia. Lets get rid off this discriminatory law. May God bless the Krio language.
Senessie said: “My own contributions to buttress what Mr Yei Manga has stated above I will add the WONDERFUL ROGERS CLAN/FAMILY who are KRIO in originality/tribe but they had successfully integrated/assimilated for generations and time in memorial with the ingenious local people in mama SALONE. They had built a cathedral church-PLACE OF WORSHIP for the United Methodist Church in THE Bo district in mama Salone.”
This is another big fat lie by another GREEN TOAD claiming that the Rogers are Krio. This is far from the truth. The Rogers are Mendes from Bo and Kenema. They are not Krios. Please stop your lies on this glorious forum. If you want to deny Krio people the right to equality in their own country, then go ahead and continue do so, but stop casting such blatant and wicked tale on the Krios.
In fact you should go and read your history or speak to your elders about the scores of Krio families that were killed in and banished from Mendeland, alleged to have supported the northerners and Europeans against the Mendes. Their houses and businesses were destroyed, which is why till this day, many Krio people are highly suspicious of the Mendes. So please stop your lies and make peace with your conscience and God.
“Needless to say, these assimilationists formed an alliance with the upholders of the European worldview with its twin pillars – Western civilization and white supremacy. Of course, most African devotees to western civilization would deny that they favor white supremacy. Yet, how is it possible to separate the two. Not only are they join at the body, but they both share the same vital organs, including the heart and the mind”- Jacob H. Carruthers
How are you against what Trump stands for, but yet you celebrate loans/aid received from IMF/world bank? Pardon the wit but it’s analogous to a slave trader castigating the enslaver for slavery, because the enslaver takes pride in enslaving his subjects – a logical conundrum.
Now this:” The Krio People have contributed more to our cultural heritage than any other ethnic group.” What? Say that again…Bwahahahaha; Sincerely,such a bizarre,ludicrous statement doesn’t need a verbal response,it will be a total waste of my time; One thing is for sure to be able to ingest such a fallacious, misguided statement one would certainly need to kneel, fervently pray and ask for Divine assistance – Yup, this one rightly needs a special Prayer!(lol)
Sorry Mr Stargazer, it wouldn’t suprise me if you are a young person. But I respect your opinion or the opinion of everyone who contributes in this ongoing debate as our country grapples with the Bio dictatorship. There are many ways you can contribute to tbe debate. But throwing insults at your fellow Sierra-leoneans is not one of them. You might have read the history of our country. I will ask you my brother to revisit some of it. Or speak to the older generation and hear what they have to say. But for some of us we lived through the Stevens dictatorshi. Do you know after the 1982 election he ordered Fulani people to go back to Guinea? He only stoped because of Seku Turay. Probably the only ever good tbing he did for Fulanis.
Do you know the Hon Thaimu Bangura of Bombali dictrict wanted the government of stevens to introduce the WORREH TAX. Do you know how many Fulanis were killed in Sanda in Bombali District? Did I also tell you I joined the Green Book movement with the aim of putting pressure on the Momoh government? Now can you enlighten which univeral language we should have used if there is no Krio language? Because lets face it, not everyone speaks English given the illiteracy rate in our country. Now I will visit pujehun without any knowledge of speaking mende. Then what? Maybe sign language which I doubt will take me that far with the locals.
In Southern Africa they have Swahilli. I Wonder which language will qualify to uinte a divided nation like Sierra-leone. Sometimes you are sounding bit like the present Bio dictatorship. Only their opinions matter. If you say anything that is opposed to them, they will take you to the dry cleaners. The krio people and their language have done more for us tban any other tribe. Otherwise from this day on I would like people to stop using the Krio if they are that bad and I order every Sierra-leonean to speak Fulani Or MENDE, LIMBA, TEMENE, YALUNKA, KORANKO OR HELL NOT FORGETTING OUR COUSINS THE MADINGOS !May God bless Sierra-leone
Thanks to Mr Adewale John, you couldn’t have put the record straight better. During the Stevens government, it was Fulani people that used to get the dry hair treatment. All I can see now under this Bio led ‘all directions’ dictatorship government, the Creole community are on his cross hairs. Sylvia Bylden, the mayor of Freetown and many more incidents disguised as working for the national interest. No one is fooled by your actions or the lack of it.
Turning Creole lands to state lands, only to be sold off to his ministers or any Johnny foreigner speaks volumes about the way he is slowly but surely turning our country to a Mugabe style ‘land grab’ at the expense of the creole community that have done more for our country than any other tribe including my own normadic tribesmen. At the very least Mugabe had a valid reason where a minority of white famers owned almost 80% of arable farm land. The Creole community wbo are Sierra Leoneans like our famous COTTON TREE in the centre of Freetown, you can’t beat that – are being treated like second class citizens in their own country.
Come on Mr President give us a break. It is similar to the treatment meted out to fulani people under the Stevens government. Of course the irony of all ironies is that the creoles have helped to uphold the rule of law through their workings in our justice system. Its about time we come out of our tribal enclaves and start to embrace each other, otherwise people will only listen to preachers of hate to re-enforce their misguided beliefs about ‘others’ that don’t look like them or practice the same culture. May God bless the Krio language.
I support the krio initiative and hope they succeed .
The 2015 census put the Krio population at slightly above 200,000/= people. That is for those who declared themselves as Krio. I grew up in Kenema, Pa JB Francis a well admired Krio had a big compound in Kenema. Mr. Leslie Scott, who was Minister of Agriculture in the Strasser Government, a Krio with no provincial blood, has a big Coffee Plantation in Combema just outside Kenema, Dispenser Jones father of one time Headmaster of Saint Charles Luanga Primary school Mr Benjamin Jones had a large Coffee and Cacao Plantation at Boama Koya. The list goes on and on. These are Krios who worked or migrated to the provinces, never looked down on the inhabitants as inferior and paid for the lands that they have since had.
If you want to know why the colonial masters wrote that law to protect the provincial people from the bullish hands of the Krios before independence, read a recent article by Korthor Kamara in the Patriotic Vanguard. I hope that President Bio will be foolish enough to give 1000 hectares of his people’s land in Bonthe to the Krios before he ventures into other areas in the provinces.
Thanks Mr. Yei Manga for your point of view, and for pointing us out to read an opinion piece, that the krio people look down on us from the country side. I respect your point of view, but on that note, I beg to defer.That the reason the British colonial authorities came up with such a discriminatory law, is because they fear the krio community will discriminate against people from the provinces. I can’t hazard a guess for what the population of the krio community was at the time when this apartheid law was drawn up. How could the British justify such a conspiracy theory.A tiny minority of no less than one per cent of the population, would have been capable of playing a domineering role in the politics of our country, and taking away lands from unsuspecting local tribesmen. Well the Bio government ministers is doing just that and I wonder what’s your opinion on that one?
Its the same conspiracy theory that was advanced in South Africa, that caused Apartheid to last for so many years. The white minority government was fearful of a black majority government. In my recent visit to Sierra Leone, I was discriminated against by the shop keepers. On the pain of death, I was told by my cousin guide to stay mute whenever we visit a shop. Why I ask? Well there is a name tag for you guys from abroad. “JUST CAM” which means they will inflate the prices anytime you go to purchase an item. So can you imagine the discrimination the krio community suffered when they were taken back to Sierra leone. If my history serves me right, I think there first settlement was Burnt to the ground by local tribes men. Both the the climate around the Freetown peninsula and the locals were hostile towards new settlers. Now who is discriminating against who? Since these stories are passed from generations to generations, who knows what the descendants of people who suffered such barbarity from the locals might have thought about people from the country side.
I don’t know how many krio friends you have or interact with, but you can’t use the same brush to paint a whole community. Without the krio language, name me one language that is universal to all our divided tribes in Sierra leone? You are sounding a bit like a mini Trump disciple in the Sierra Leone context. When I was growing up, we Fulanis were called foreigners in Sierra leone. That all prisons officers are Mendes and Koranko people, because they like the power of control. That Temne people hate Fulanis because of our cattle. All these theories are based on lies. Put simply its the fear of the other. Some far right groups believe blacks are sub humans. I rather you interact with people first, before you make a judgement. We can all hold our beliefs and live in our bubble. That is a dangerous mindset. May God bless the Kiro language that unite us Sierra Leoneans!
The krio Community versus the state of Sierra Leone. What a headline grabing case. Just like the 1965 libel laws, this 1960 Land Act is another way of controlling a whole community of people. Why are we still enforcing colonial era laws is beyond the thinking of any right thinking Sierra Leonean. We should be celebrating the krio Community that are descendants of the most babaric punishment man is capable of inflicting on his fellow man. To be forcibly removed from your community and sold to a different race and in the process wiped out your identity.
I could even go futher to suggest given the history of our country and the part it played in the Trans Atlantic slave trade, we owe this community not only compensation and an apology for enslaving their forefathers, but set a day in our calendar to mark the the return and setting up Freetown as the only place slaves are freed. Ever wonder when you were at school in Kono, Bo, Makeni, Kambia, Pujehun, Kabala, your parents will tell you to go and play with the neighbours children, but never the Krio children. Yes because the laws of the land prevented them from owning land in the provinces. It is a stain on our history. President Bio, should do the decent thing and scrap it. We should not try to sugar coat it. Call it what it is.
Its discriminatory against the Krio people whatever way one looks at it. This Land Act is similar to the Group Areas Act of the 1960s Apartheid laws of South Africa that defined where whole section of the black community should live and call their home. Land is the most emotive issue in the world. But on this one the Sierra Leone government should scrap the law. And stop wasting state funds in challenging the case. The krio people have contributed more to our cultural heritage than any other ethnic group. May God bless Sierra Leone.
Mr. Amadu Abraham Jalloh, I beg to differ with some of the points you raised in your numerous posts on this subject. First Swahili is not spoken in South Africa. It is spoken in East Africa predominantly Tanzania and Kenya, with some parts of the DRC and Uganda. Post independence, Tanzania had 130 ethnic groups. Mwalimu in his wisdom adopted Swahili which was a coastal language derived mostly from Arabic and made it the national language. He endeavoured to sell the Idea of adopting Swahili to other African.
Kenyatta bought the idea but retain English as the other officials language. The DRC and Uganda areas closer to Tanzania due to trade came to learn the language. Today over 200 million people can speak, read and write Swahili effectively. However, the Kenyans have an advantage over the Tanzanians because they did not abandon the English language. And because Swahili is not derived from English, the Kenyans speak better English than us in Sierra Leone. A taxi driver or street peddler can communicate with you better in well constricted English.
You go to schools, college campuses and government offices, you will be disappointed with our spoken and written English. The reason is that the broken English has destroyed our ability to speak and write better English. As a child growing up in Yoni, we were punished for speaking krio in class. Our spoken English was far better then. Mendes were scorned for speaking English instead of krio. With time they lost that good attributes. Tell me what is the use of a dialect spoken by less than 7.5 million people? The pidgin in Nigeria and Liberia is more closet to English than krio spoken in Sierra Leone and part of Cameroon.
Without the Krio language, ethnicities in Sierra Leone will never be able to communicate and interact socially or in trade. Krio is the only unifying factor in the nation. Ordinary Sierra Leoneans prefer Krio to English but that is a separate issue. Even in parliament, courts, universities etc, the punchline is always in Krio. Sierra Leoneans certainly prefer Krio to Mende – a language totally rejected in all areas outside the southeast. Krio is simply a successful language reflected in its cultural origins. There are several English-lexicon creole countries around the world whose spoken or written English is also much better than the average Sierra Leonean’s so what’s your point?
I hope this get fixed and the Krio people get what rightfully belong to them. This is one of the main reasons why we as a people continue to dwell in disorder. We have never been able to grow beyond our boundless social microcosms, i.e. the nuclear family formation, extended family structure, tribal affiliation, geographical dispositions and so on. On the contrary, other racial groups have been able to accomplish this, and have used it to their advantage to grow as a unit in a real way.
Please can you also add in my reply to Mr kamara. His suggestion that the Krio language has destroyed our local language comparing the Sierra leone to Tanzania is not only wrong, he should look at the history of why Freetown was founded and to blame it on slave trade – not the Krio people.