I am not afraid of the COI White Paper – says Dr Samura Kamara

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 23 January 2020:

The 2018 presidential flagbearer of the All Peoples Congress (APC) Dr Samura Kamara, has told Awoko that his 30 plus years in government can speak for itself. Speaking from his Wellington Street office in Freetown, the presidential aspirant  said he has worked under several presidents – including President Maada Bio; and that in all his time in government, he never saw the economy of Sierra Leone so challenged and unpredictable as it is today.

He said, even when the country was at war, the economy was growing and stable, as well as predictable. But today he said, nobody can tell what will happen tomorrow.

When asked about the state of the economy inherited by the current government, Dr Samura Kamara said that even though the economy was in  austerity under Koroma, it was not that bad because all those that were in charge of the economy were professionals and experienced people, such as Dr Kelfala Marrah, Momodu Kargbo, Dr Richard Conteh, Edmond Koroma  and himself.

“Today you just need to take a look of the people in charge across government to understand why Sierra Leoneans are suffering. They have damaged the economy because they thought that playing politics will help them. So many of the South-Easterners you find in the Finance ministry were employed by me. I believed in brains. I was not a tribalist. I employed and groomed Sierra Leoneans from across the country, but today some of them because of tribalism have failed to do the right thing; and they are just fighting their compatriots from the West and North. It is not good for the country,” Samura Kamara said.

The former flag bearer said this is the only country we have and we must work together as one people to develop the nation. He said he contested and lost the 2018 elections even though there was overwhelming evidence that he was robbed. But he said that, he believes in the laws of the land and went to court to protest the election results.

“It is almost two years now and the Chief Justice is yet to assign my case, but because I am a man of peace I will continue to follow the law and restrain those who would want to take the laws into their hands. Few days ago we saw what happened in our party’s office where skirmishes took place and all the evidences are in social media. But up till now the government and the police are silent. If it was the other way round, we would have seen our APC members being rounded up and locked up. As I am talking to you now we have two of our members in jail now for months, for crime that we are yet to understand.”

Dr Samura Kamara said he is in sympathy with the people of Sierra Leone for the economic stress they are going through. He said he was going around the city two days ago, and he heard people demanding back the rice given to the government by the Chinese government for school feeding.

“It is sad that the Chinese would go to such length to help the government in their Free Quality Education and the rice is being used as political tool. We must be ashamed of ourselves as the Chinese Ambassador is in town listening to all these stories being aired or written in the newspapers. It is not good for the country’s image and we must grow up and do the right thing, especially when the government is preaching against corruption.”

The presidential aspirant said he will continue to preach peace as he believes in unifying the country; and that being closer to the people is the best for a successful leader like him.

“I believe in the APC and I believe in the people of Sierra Leone. The mistake they made in 2018 they will not make in 2023, because most of them have regretted but they have to live with it till 2023 when they would be given the chance to choose a leader that will free them from the current bondage they are under.”

Dr Samura Kamara said he is appealing to all Sierra Leoneans to be law abiding and should not take the law into their hands, even if the situation should worsen than it is now. The police and government he said are heartless, and can do anything that will be detrimental to the people. He said a life lost for him is unacceptable because every Sierra Leonean has his or her role to play in the development of Sierra Leone.

The former Minister in the Ernest Koroma led government – Dr Samura Kamara also told Awoko that he has nothing to be afraid of in the Commission of Enquiry’s (COI) White Paper that would soon be published by the government.

He said he was never called by the COI, and that even though he believes they would have had some frivolous information about him, they were not bothered to invite him, because his time in government was one of responsibility.

“If the COI had something against me they would have called me. The only thing they had was the Sierra Rutile matter that the current Financial Secretary Mr Jusu eventually told the court that he heard about over the radio, and that was the end. I know they would have gone through my assets and bank records, but maybe they did not call me because the government might have their plans to use their White Paper to ban me out of politics.”

When asked if he really thinks that the SLPP government would want to ban him from politics, Dr Samura Kamara said that anything is possible because he thinks he is very popular and the people of Sierra Leone this time round would prefer him to the current president. For this reason, he said, they might want to use any available means to silence him.

He said he believes that the COI was not established genuinely, but they would want to use the outcome of the investigations to ban several APC members, so that they will weaken the APC party ahead of the next general elections in 2023.

Dr Samura Kamara said the ruling SLPP may want to focus on him and ex-President Koroma who is the leader and chairman of the APC party, so that the party would find it difficult in getting a good flag bearer that could win election for the party. They want to disrupt the peace and tranquil of the APC party, he accused the ruling SLPP.

“I know they have the power to do such, as we have seen them kicking out 10 of our MPs from Parliament and teargassed our party office. They have done so much to us and we have been patient. If they have the plan to ban us from politics by using the COI White Paper, then I am sure it will not only be me but the majority of members of the APC party.”

Dr Samura Kamara said the reason why he is talking about the COI White Paper is because he has heard from different quarters that the government wants to use the White Paper to ban APC politicians as they are afraid that they would not be able to win the next election if especially Ex-President Ernest Koroma and himself are banned from politics.

The 2018 APC presidential flagbearer said that as a party, they are preparing themselves for the outcome of the COI White Paper that the ruling party might want to use for their own political advantage against the APC.

“I am thinking that they would want to release it when they will be celebrating their two awful years in office. During their first anniversary they came up with the forensic auditing with some astronomical figures that they said were missing. So in April they will celebrate two years and what they will come up with is the COI White Paper to ban us from politics.  They have nothing to celebrate for their time in office, so they will need something to celebrate.”

Dr Samura Kamara spoke about the current Chinese rice saga that has embarrassed the ruling SLPP party. He said what the government did was to use the rise in fuel prices to set a new agenda so that people will forget about the rice. And he said they succeeded because the media has forgotten about the rice saga and are now talking about the hike in fuel prices.

Speaking about the government’s poor performance at the UK – Africa Investment Summit, Samura Kamara said it is disappointing that Sierra Leone was unable to secure any investment or trade deal at the Summit.

“I hope the media will discuss some of this important news item that has a telling effect on our society, because we need investment to grow our economy; and for a president to attend such a forum and come back with nothing, means something is wrong.”

He called on Sierra Leoneans to be ready to receive the news of APC members being banned from politics because the ruling party he said knows that given the economic crisis in the country, they will not be able to win any re-election in Sierra Leone, other than use every available means that will destroy the peace and tranquillity of the country.

Dr Samura Kamara said the APC party will be waiting to hear from them, but his is prepared for any outcome.

Editor’s note: The Sierra Leone will bring you more on this interview with Dr Samura Kamara conducted by Awoko.  

13 Comments

  1. Mr. Kaloko we can make it happen! A Natinal Unity Government free from political parties, free from the winner takes it all mentality, has a lot of advantages for our poor, poor country. Just imagine:

    – No more grassroot political party supporters (source of corruption and violence)
    – a rotating presidency (very 2 years) with a ceremonial function
    – A prime miniter as head of government
    – a very strong economic and social council for sustainable development, the same for education, health and agriculture
    – Instead of talking about SLPP OR APC, we will be talking about AGRICULTURE, AGRICULTURE, AGRICULTURE, AGRICULTURE.
    – Our hope for a better Salone MUST be based on AGRICULTURE, AGRICULTURE! Our youths need to be engaged in AGRICULTURE not in thuggery for political parties that have always misused them for their own selfish ENDS.

    • There is a possibility there – without a doubt Mr. Moiba. But I guess the question to arise from that, would be how do we get the vast majority of the population – if not all – to get on board and back this movement? Also, given that the people of Sierra Leone have gone through so much anguish under the current system, I suppose it is safe to suggest that it should not take much to make a case for a political paradigm shift, especially a shift that the people themselves will have direct involvement in – in all its dealings. I believe we should put some more thought into this Mr. Moiba, and see what more to make of it, for the core idea itself has a finer ring to it, when compared to what we have now.

    • Telling me! The idea of moving our country away from a mining based economy to an agricultural based economy was one of the development ingenuity of the former C4C leader Chief Sam Sumana. In fact, it is part of the C4C manifesto if I’m not mistaking. Another very important “hope for a better Salone” is to establish a preventive national health care system. All in the C4C manifesto. Can you imagine how progressive the C4C was under the leadership of the former leader and even today and will be forever?
      That’s why I have been asking Mr. Anthony Moiba to follow me support Chief Sam Sumana for his return to the APC. He refused. Now, he is telling me about one of his very significant and popular policies. Can you imagine how Sierra Leone would look like if this political genius becomes President? OH boy. The paradise of Africa all the way. This political genius has a lot of ideas and capacity for “a hope for a better Salone”, which Mr. Anthony Moiba is dreaming of. Do you agree with me Mr. Moiba? I hope he does.
      Thank you very much Mr. Anthony Moiba for reminding me of one of the very significant and popular national strategy for “a better hope for Salone” by Chief Sam Sumana. God bless Chief Sam Sumana and Mr. Anthony Moiba.

    • Mr. Anthony Moiba, you cannot change the rules of a game when the game is in progress. Our system calls for a winner takes all and it should remain that way. A government of national unity is only necessary in times of war and other social and political upheavals. That is not the case presently in Sierra Leone.

      A government of national unity is a recipe for chaos and disaster. Bringing together political parties with different beliefs and ideologies into the executive branch of government will not promote development anywhere. The constitution allows the opposition to make its mark in the legislative body. It should stay that way. I can see your concerns as a member of the NGC. But I would bet that if the NGC were in power you would never talk about a government of national unity.

      I cannot imagine any progress being made in the country with Kandeh Yumkella or Samura Kamara as Vice President. Kandeh and Maada did not see eye to eye on anything in the SLPP. It was good that he (Kandeh) left. Had he stayed in the SLPP, the SLPP would still have been in opposition.

      While I will not wish your party good luck in 2023 (I believe that SLPP will win on the first ballot), I implore you to work harder to win over Sierra Leoneans especially in the provinces. It is a tall order because Sierra Leone’s political DNA is Green-Red.

  2. While there is some truth in what he is saying, he is however preempting the outcome of an enquiry.

    First you spent over 15 years at the Finance ministry having been employed by Dr. John Karimu in the Strasser Bio government. Tejan Kabba SLPP retained you and the APC kicked in. With that vast knowledge, it was surprising that you left the country in austerity and yet claimed you were competent. You expect your successor to use the magic wand and change that which took you ten years to destroy.

    I hope that the people of Sierra Leone would if they are going to ditch the current regime, do so for a third party and not people who refused to admit thier irresponsible behaviour that has Landed us to where we are.
    The only politics that you and your ilk know is South-East Vs North-West.

  3. Dr Samura as always never fails to impress with his honest thoughtful utterances. I said it countless times before, that this SLPP government is going to do whatever it takes to stay in power – you must not forget that Bio now residing in State House. He overthrew legitimate authority once before, just to quench and satisfy his thirst for power and his inordinate, insatiable appetite for riches; what makes you think he wouldn’t want to hold on to power now, by any means possible?

    Listen, they know exactly what they are doing; they are planning discreetly and waiting patiently to let all the chips and
    pieces needed, that will facilitate authoritarian rule, fall in their rightful places. Surely, we are slowly now approaching the Gates of Hell! A major piece of the puzzle, an allegedly corrupt Chief Justice is already firmly in their grips and so are the corrupt Sierra Leone Police and our unthinking Military.

    All the cards needed are already in their hands, being quietly shuffled before their shady, undemocratic game begins – all except the indomitable will of the good people of Sierra Leone. Thieves at night and criminals by day – that’s who they are You tell me, what deplorable kind of person steals rice meant to be on the empty plates and tables of the poor, suffering masses? Thieves at night and criminals by day!

    Yep, from such men investors will always run away, like frightened impalas, with lives in danger, zipping away from drooling, fawning, blood thirsty hyenas.(lol) A wild goose chasing President, that does not know the difference between a sneeze and a cough, surrounded by Professors with photographic memories, that never developed into anything tangible and credible for our people and a Finance Minister with policies that resemble a hangman’s cruel noose. He fleeces and robs the system and then uses harmless words like “Overspent” to defraud and deceive the gullible, unsuspecting masses. Lord have mercy!

    I see them coming – endless days full of strife, anarchy and chaos if the the rule of law is brushed off and wickedly tossed aside and the rights of citizens are trampled upon. I see frightening days coming full of copious tears, men,and women are going to shed in anguish and pain. The COI white paper means absolutely nothing – it is a fabricated piece of evidence designed to bully, even scores, harass and intimidate the opposition. They have no credibility at all. None whatsoever! No Fears at all! Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  4. S. J. Koroma says “Only on one occasion have I heard a panelist on AYV, and that was just a Week ago, who suggested the neccesity for a conference of Economists/Businessmen/Entrepreneurs to bring ideas or suggestions as to how the Country can get out of this present Situation. NOT Hon. KKY, NOT Dr. Samura Kamara, and NOT Chief Sam Sumana or the GOVT. has ever said a word in that direction. Everyone cries “di Gron dry”, knowing quite well the reasons for that”

    During the month of August last year 2019, this is what KKY suggested during one of his interview posted by the Sierra Leone Telegraph.
    Question: “What would you advise President Bio to do?”

    KKY: a couple of things: first, appoint a 15 member Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) – on a PRO-BONO basis comprising of businessmen, some bankers, former credible bank governors and former Sierra Leonean IMF staff to hammer out his own economic blue-print. Past leaders in Malaysia, Singapore among others have maintained such an advisory group during their tenure.
    This same group can monitor implementation of the president’s economic agenda which should be aligned with private sector aspirations and investment plans.

    More importantly, they will give him sound apolitical advice rather than just what he, the president, wants to hear. Secondly, end inflated procurement and government contracts. Thirdly, aggressively lower the cost of doing business by making it easy to clear goods at the port and lower some import duty and private sector taxes. We need deeper changes in the productive sectors – agriculture, fisheries, mining, etc.”

    https://www.thesierraleonetelegraph.com/what-direction-sierra-leones-economy-dr-kandeh-yumkella-speaks-out/

    There you have it brother S.J. Koroma. Time and again, this regime has sidelined or negated genuine calls for a collaborative and muliti-dimensional approach in solving our economic malaise, but to no avail. NGC as a party have even gone the extra mile conducting a thorough economic survey to diagnose the actual contributors of our current predicament; the result was published for all to see, yet the regime choose to play politics.

    As our nation continues to dwindle into the abyss of total economic collapse, the PAOPA elite team continues to arrogantly portray themselves as knowing everything and having all the answers to our problems. 2 years in, no meaningful results. The NEW DIRECTION seems to be the BACKWARD DIRECTION. Nothing is improving.

  5. Straight talk there by Dr. Samura Kamara. I would advice that Dr. Samura Kamara teams up with Chief Sam Sumana to get our country out of this mess come 2023. It is not a difficult thing if the APC is united and speak with one voice. I have this question for the government about the rice Dr. Samura Kamara talked about. Have they found the missing rice? The people of Sierra Leone, the Chinese and Sahr Matturi want to know. Xièxiè Dr. Samura Kamara. Fēicháng gǎnxiè nǐ The Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone. God bless Dr Samura Kamara. God bless the Chinese Ambassador.

    • Dr. Samura Kamara is the most senior civil servant in the country. He has served the country diligently and has established a large Cashew Plantation where young People from across the Country are engaged. He has a good record and that is why he was not wanted by the COI.

      He however raised concerns about the government planning to ban certain individuals – kind of SORTING THEM OUT.
      If indeed some are SORTED OUT, then this is exactly what we have been saying. Does this also mean the GRAND COALITION, or THE COALITION FOR …?

      Are we going to see TRUE coalitions or coalition one day soon ? In one post someone was asking the question about how the Chinese were able to bring that vast Nation under control. Let us wait and see what would be in the government White Paper. One Nation, One People !

  6. Only on one occasion I have heard a panellist on AYV, and that was just a Week ago, who suggested the neccesity for a conference of Economists / Bussinessmen / Entrepreneurs to bring ideas or suggestions as to how the Country can get out of this present Situation. NOT Hon. KKY, NOT Dr. Samura Kamara, and NOT Chief Sam Sumana or the GOVT. had ever said a word in that direction. Everyone cries “di Gron dry”, knowing quite well the reasons for that.

    Dr. Samura Kamara says he had served in various Governments in the past, but had never experienced such a hardship in the Country as it is now, not even during the war. Well this might be correct and it could have been possible due to the huge Revenue from sales of the Sierra Leone Passport.

    That Sierra Leone failed to woo investors at UK-Africa investment summit while others did, is no strange thing because UK Companies had abandoned S.L. since time immemorial: the times of UAC, PZ, Texaco, A.Genet, GBO, Bata etc. way back in the 70s and early 80s. They have their reasons why and had nothing against the present Govt.

    The most recent UK Company was London Mining. We all know how it Ended. It had very little to do with Maada Bio. We are very thankful to the UK and DFID for the numerous Support, and pray that others will have faith and trust in the country so as to help and invest.

    • The only way out of this excellent mess is voting APC to power in 2023. Dr. Samura Kamara has started hinting on some of the points in the New Order – Combating Lawlessness and Barbarity. Did they hear clearly and louder what Dr. Samura Kamara said? Let me say it now – Sierra Leoneans must be law abiding.

      I have always given my advice to the APC each time barbarity, unlawful incarceration and violence is carried out by the SLPP and the government against them. That is, no counter punches. Be calm and and be law abiding. It is always difficult to exercise patient when a bully bullies you every now and then and gets away with it. But that is the only way to defeat the SLPP and have the backing of investors and donors even if you are not in power. You will just keep attracting the investors who Will come in 2023 after defeating them with a merciless earthquake elections results, that will annihilate their political aspirations forever. Final destination – the political wilderness forever.

      So, the APC as a party must unite to achieve this. Of course they will. Talking to myself. Think about that Chief Sam Sumana and Dr. Samura Kamara. The progressive forces and the investors are with you people. God bless Chief Sam Sumana. God bless Dr. Samura Kamara. God bless the APC and Salone. God help “get SALONE sorted”.

  7. “Sierra Leone jumps 10 places up in the 2019 global corruption ranking” could this be the answer to Dr. Samura Kamara’s criticism. Dr. Kamara I expect to be acceptable but he is pegged just too deep down the roots of the chairman for life everlasting. And the chairman like Donald Trump cares only for his own personal well being.

    Our economic and social problems, my country people, are far bigger for just one party to solve, Lets form a Government of National Unity – free from regionalism, party colour or birthright!!

    • You might have something going here sir. I mean what has the democratic system that is used to gauge our nation’s political structure done for us as of late, aside educing additional schisms within a people who via tribal lines have struggled to work as one before the system itself was implemented? In addition to that, What would we lose, say if we decide to negate ourselves from the democratic system – which vastly consists of the APC and SLPP party duopoly – that has plagued the country for far too long to a system that will politically bind us together in the same way that the Chinese people have managed to politically bind themselves together? I’m asking because apparently the governing system in China is working relatively well for the Chinese people.

      Also, by its highest definition, wouldn’t it be democratic to have a change of political model from what we have now to that of ‘China’s’? Because my understanding is that a democratic governing structure is reasoned, if, and only if, it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. So, if majority of the people decides to come together and say the hell with what we have now for something similar to Chinese model, for the purpose of restoring dignity – if there was ever a dignifying moment – wouldn’t that also be considered a democracy?

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