Opposition parties ask president Bio to explain how he spent Thirty-One Trillion Leones borrowed in just three Years

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 15 July 2021:

Last week in Sierra Leone’s parliament, opposition party MPs questioned the Bio-led government about the Le31.3 Trillion that they borrowed in the last three years of taking power in 2018.

Parliamentary Leader of the National Grand Coalition party (NGC) – Dr Kandeh Yumkella, challenged the government to come clean on its spending of the hundreds of millions of dollars they have borrowed since 2018.

Abdul Kargbo MP, speaking for the main opposition All People’s Congress Party (APC) said that President Bio has failed to deliver on his promise to keep a tight control on public spending and borrowing.

He said that Sierra Leone descended from moderate debt risk in 2018 to high debt risk in 2020, according to the IMF.

Abdul Kargbo explained that in the ten years of the former Koroma-led APC government, Sierra Leone’s external debt was Le19 Trillion when they left office in 2018, compared to the last three years of the current SLPP government, which has built up a mountain of foreign debt of over Thirty-One Trillion Leones.

This he said, amounts to an increase of Le12.3 Trillion in less than three years in office, equivalent to an annual borrowing of Le4.1 Trillion, as against the APC’s annual average borrowing of Le1.66 Trillion.

The APC MP accused the Bio-led government of breaking its promise on financial good management to the people of Sierra Leone, by tripling its borrowing in less than three years in office.

Abdul Kargbo MP reminded parliamentarians that in 2018 president Bio made a solemn promise to the people of Sierra Leone which he has broken.

The question now remains – can president Bio be trusted in office? Elections are due in 2023

The opposition MP listed several promises made by the President that are yet to come to fruition, such as  free tuition for teachers, youth empowerment fund, cultural village to promote the country’s culture, establishment of arts theatre, development of the entertainment industry, building of houses for all MPs, constructing a bridge across Lungi to Freetown, and building a national bakery.

Finally, Abdul Kargbo lamented that the debt figures he had quoted are only for 2020, and that 2021 is not included, as he expressed fear that the country’s external debt will continue to rise exponentially because of poor financial management by the Bio-led government.

16 Comments

  1. Thanks Mr Young4na, you have demonstrated your passion not by words but by deeds, which is the ultimate commitment you and many others have shown that you not only talk the talk, but you walk the walk. As you rightly pointed about this Bio government and some of his corrupt Ministers that are busy enriching themselves and building villas at back of the suffering of the vast majority of Sierra Leoneans, and families up and down the country, lets face it sometimes, don’t know where their next meal is coming from, all the while their so called elected representatives are busy opening up champagne bottles celebrating their new found wealth in villas with swimming pools. The ONE DIRECTION slogan in which he used as a mantra to convinced his unsuspecting fellow countrymen, if elected things will be different under his leadership .

    To many it sounds bit hallow. His promised of tackling corruption, tribalism, nepotism, and regionalism, three years on have all fallen on the way side.Talk is cheap. The one direction mantra is now like a number plate stuck at the back of a 1960s Bedford lorry bleaching smoke transporting our rainforest to China, and other places around the world.causing us the environmental damage some us are experiencing today. And is all happening under his watch. In his book about tbe impossible state North Korea past and future, Victor Cha captured your feelings when you saw poapa villas being erected “Many first time observers of North Koerans cannot fathom how citizens can blindly follow a leadership that serves it own needs before most of the people and in such extravagant ways building $150 millions villas while the population starved” he might as well be talking about Sierra Leone.

  2. Professors of linguistics, intellectually acclaimed patriotic brethren – Dauda Yillah, Stargazer, Abraham Amadu Jalloh, Alimamy Turay, Sahr Matturi and the rest, my hat off to you all gentlemen, for your relentless civic responsibility and service to nation, manifested daily right here on this glorious intellectual platform, courtesy of the great patriot honorable ART. Considering the illiteracy level in our nation and the inaccessibility of online platforms like this, though your daily voices barely etch the sound barrier (figuratively speaking), you represent the best of the best our nation has to offer.

    Sadly, our corrupt political class and their bootlicking sympathizers, many of whom barely get rewarded with crumbs, perceives you as enemies, shamefully coming into this glorious intellectual platform intermittently to defend the indefensible. I consider some of these folks as lost, intoxicated, or for lack of a better description, suffering from schizophrenia. I mean, how then can you make sense of a kidnap and torture victim, becoming an advocate for the very assailant responsible for his or her demise?

    Every election cycle, we have crooks that parade themselves as politicians, hiding behind political parties with tribalistic sentiments, promising to do things differently if given the key to our national coffers. Once in office, the only thing that improves in record time is their lifestyle and families, while the rest of the citizens continue to languish in abject poverty. Frankly, these folks are nothing but bandits, robbing what rightfully belong to the broader nation for their own personal gratification.

  3. Special Agent Young 4na…Another loud shout-out for your dynamic efforts in doing what you can to provide much needed relief for people with disabilities in our little Sierra Leone;We need more selfless and focused patriots like you holding positions of high authority in our country.Anytime,anyway,anywhere and whenever you decide to run for any public office you can count on my full your support, financially,morally and professionally. Again, its feels great to hear a genuine first hand account of what’s actually happening on the ground in our country; Indeed its sounds quite troubling; The roosters are still crowing at dawn,that i am aware of but the vultures as you have indicated are building mansions and not nests made of dry twigs, grass and leaves but with stolen money that was not earned through sweat and hard work but borrowed from loan sharks.

    I have always insisted that come 2023 this President is not going to hand over power without a nasty,bloody fight when he loses – I am taking bets on that right now from anyone who thinks otherwise – an open wager folks any amount you can afford – Come 2023 when the old soldier loses there will be total anarchy;that’s when you folks will truly see with your naked eyes and know for sure what a blood thirsty cursed Coup plotter is capable of doing to vulnerable people under his rule. Just you wait and see what a brazen thief can do.(lol)

  4. Look at President Bio in that picture, sitting relaxed and challenging Dr Kandeh Yumkella. A picture is worth a thousand words. “Dr Kandeh Yumkella, challenged the government to come clean on its spending of the hundreds of millions of dollars they have borrowed since 2018”. But President Bio is asking Dr Kandeh Yumkella for any evidence he has. Were there no whistle-blowers amongst the opposition to take on the President and his government at the early stages of this all time massive debt raid? The opposition have some blame to carry in my view. My question now is this – Are parliamentarians from the opposition not involved in any corrupt deals? Don’t they have businesses or associated with companies that are involved in some of those bogus corrupt government deals?

    I’m asking these questions because it seems strange to me that Dr Kandeh Yumkella is challenging this president only now. Ceasefire Ladies and Gentlemen on this issue till we get more information on the matter. Many people including myself know that this president and some if his allies are corrupt. But are some opposition members corrupt and involved in squandering our money by this massive debt? Are some of them complice? 2023 is not far away. Let’s be very careful not to alienate those Bio and SLPP supporters who are fed-up with this president and want to abandon him. We need those supporters in 2023 to give this president a crushing and humiliating defeat.

    My campaign to let them know that Sierra Leone has an alternative to President Bio started months ago with maximum political acceleration and the political momentum is getting better by the day. It’s a very tedious undertaking, but we will prevail in the end. God help our country.

  5. Corruption is the order of the day and violence strikes homeless sierra Leoneans. Politicians are busy sending their children overseas whilst the poor people suffer because of bad management and brutal leadership. Time after time we keep on making the same mistakes. If this government is voted for in 2023, empirically we the people have juxtaposed our amputated mindset. We should keep fit to face the challenges we will encounter 2023. May God help us. How long will this sustain our nation. Cheap politics with negative driving force is the order of the day.

  6. Asking Bio, and his government ministers to account for that colossal amount of money, borrowed from international financial institutions, is like trying to squeeze blood out of stone. I suppose this international creditors would have given up any hope of ever recovering their funds even before the ink dry on the agreements signed with them. More than anyone else, Bio knows he can get away with it, without risking the downgrading of Sierra Leone’s credit worthiness by international financial institutions. The danger of course, if we continued on this path, any future government will find it difficult to negotiate terms, and conditions of refinancing our sluggish economy. Once your country is black listed,say for instance by credit agencies like Moody,and Fitch, you risk your country’s economy going into serious financial melt down, with all the security risks involved.

    The price of imported goods will go up, and international financial institutions figuratively speaking, will demand you put the family jewellery on the table before you get a looking. Lebanon is a case in point, where due to corruption, there government have lost any smablance of credibility and trustworthiness by its people, and international financial institutions like the World Bank and IMF. Any government that is seriously thinking of investing into long term sustainable economic growth, Bionomics is certainly one to avoid. His lack of grasp for details, held hostage by all the Presidents men, there is more chance of Sierra Leone sending a man to the Moon, than Bio’s government suddenly being converts to transparency and accountability. Bio’s road Damascus is too early to call.

    The election of Bio’s government and so far the way he’d manage our economy , is akin to a category five hurricane hitting our shores with out any warning. Bio’s government is a train wreck no one saw hurtling down the tracks. His election was an accident waiting to happen. Given the state our country is in, of Sierra Leone, everyday our country is acquiring the distinct features of a BANANA REPUBLIC. Bio is indeed working hard so he makes it a reality.

  7. “What the old man see while sitting cannot be seen by the young man while standing”. What is interesting about our constitution is that it is not only accessible by the few but many. Whenever we get confused about the interpretation of this instrument called the constitution, there is room for interpretation of it. One thing I have come to realize in my research about the Sierra Leonean elite is that every elite in this country want to be a president. Our arguments about governance goes on and on for several years. People have used several ploys to either attract or distract the attention of our audience. Some contributions are relevant while some remain otherwise. To my audience I say thank you for reading our views.

    In my opinion, I would like our law makers to be specific on how they form the laws of our country. To avoid any ambiguity, in my opinion I want our laws to be specific on the rules of our elected president, that of our parliament and the judiciary. If it is true that these roles are specified in our books, then why should some members of the public keep bringing up unhealthy discourse. If it is true that we do not have those roles specified then why the establishment of these offices in the first place.

    In his reign, my president, your president our president Dr. Julius Maada Bio is the first statesman that has demonstrated a fair and credible leadership by fulfilling promises of national interest. We all have been crying for the repeal of the public order act for years, he came and repealed it. A good number of people are grumbling about biased recruitments into public sector jobs with one set of group of people dominating with or without merit and other related unfair treatments in public matters. In a bid to address these issues, he has set the independent peace commission. Yet with all these strides made to help change our perception about our country, we still have people who because of their personal gains are still bent on pulling strings of discord. May God help us to know the truth.

  8. I am yet to see a parliament that will defend the interest of the people instead of theirs. If the presidency is corrupt and with no legal actions taken by parliament this tells me they are on it together. As the lawmakers and head of all over sight committees representing the state. My take on this I am highly disappointed by the members of parliament as we continue to suffer, remain a poor nation, a divided nation, a corrupt nation and no independent institutions, not even talking of justice here.

    My opinion Mr. MPs – go to work, take legal actions, redeem your people from forever suffering. At the same time I will commend Honourable Kargbo and others who are trying in their own way but more should be done Mr. MPs.

  9. In reality, APC is really confused, and they don’t even know or understand where to start. The major opposition parties headed by APC asking President Bio explanation? really?… folks, may the sun don’t rise at midnight. Where are the funds – the donation monies that came purposely for the” EBOLA and MUDSLIDE” victims? Are you forgetting or having some IQ question? Auditing the administration is not a crime but if we can investigate how many” TRILLIONS” of Leones the former regime, APC lavished there will be a big question mark?

    Right now they are worried, who is going to be selected as the next flagbearer, that’s the question. But you know what? if God mighty spare our lives, come 2023, Bio is the next commander in chief, inshaa Allah. I am just afraid for our intelligent brother KKY, not to allow APC to use him. Brother KKY; APC don’t like you yesterday, nor today neither tomorrow or forever, be careful. They still blame you for their big defeat in 2018, remember. Thank you.

  10. SLPP thieves at night and in broad daylight its no longer funny tell us now where our money went and how it was recklessly spent. Thieves at night that’s who they are,thieves waiting to abscond with their stolen loot on foot out of sight with all their might;Thieves dressed to impress in leather military combat boots and expensive designer suits shamelessly acting like mindless brutes;Show me the money;This is not a political conspiracy and its no longer funny, trillions of Leones have been stolen by SLPP thieves in broad daylight,that connive, thrive and survive through violence very late at night; Thieves that float around like dry leaves in the wind…bandits and misfits that despise the glorious light, Show me the money,billions and trillions of Cash – tell me,where did it all go so quickly?

    Brazen bandits and misfits that are widely known for embracing and caressing the eerie darkness and the ways of madness as if they were bosom lovers,where’s all the money that belongs to the crippled homeless beggar? Our roads are full of pot holes; bridges are old and crumbling,hospitals are failing,patients are dying,teachers are quitting,schools are closing yet our Ministers just keep on stealing, Show me the money…Trillions of leones has been stolen from Sierra Leone,my only home.

  11. The president will not be able to answer this question. Because he has not used the money he borrowed correctly. Please fellow citizens let us pray for good leadership in our country, Mama Salone.

  12. Thank you Abdul for the picture above;Trillions of leones missing again,and sadly it is all borrowed money that future generations like the dispirited young man above would have pay back.Mr President has already started showing signs of emotional fatigue because its now clear he lacks the will to keep things under control.

    I would advise him to just eke out his way through his first term in office and then go somewhere and retire in peace; He is a soldier and not a politician. His government will go down as the worst in the history of Sierra Leone for sure.

  13. Folks, having recently spent 6 weeks in Salone and just return few days ago, I can categorically state that, our nation continues to stride in a state of doldrums, with absolutely no hope in sight. Our current crop of politicians and the powers that be, are busying amassing wealth and building mansions. Virtually all the donor funds and external loans taken, are mostly shared among PAOPA elites for extravagant lifestyles and offshore savings.

    Just by curiosity, I stopped by the infamous PAOPA town at Grafton, which at the moment is a massive construction site, with a good number of mansions being rapidly erected with the owners believed to be PAOPA officials. A young man who happen to be a caretaker of one of the mansions, pointed me several mansions belonging to personal bodyguards of the president.

    I said to myself, how insane that, most of us here in the West usually have to toil for a number of years for us to succeed in erecting an average house at home, yet these politicians will build massive mansions within a twinkle of an eye? This is at the core of the reason why these guys will do whatever it takes to stay in power, with the shedding of human blood or devastating an entire nation being the least of their concerns. I foresee big trouble in the next election cycle.

    • Alas, Young4na, your closing words make my blood run cold. I really fear for our country. The next electoral rendezvous is less than two years away and Bio’s corrupt and kleptocratic regime will stop at nothing to hold on to power. As you chillingly foretell, they will use murderous violence for political gain considering the unimaginably rich pickings that flow from it. What awaits our country, in particular the opposition parties and their supporters seeking to put paid to the robbery of an entire nation that is underway is anyone’s guess.

      However, resist we all must, at home and abroad; in human affairs, in particular the affairs of a whole country, no situation – especially one willed and shaped by political scumbags – is or should be allowed to be set in stone. The human desire for the triumph of good over evil, justice over injustice, light over darkness and right over wrong should propel our nation via the ballot box towards a radically different, more humane, civilised society. Down with kleptocracy!

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