Reject corruption – refuse to be a willing participant and report it

Murray Sandy: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 May 2019:

Evidence-based research has irrefutably shown and indeed concluded that there is a direct correlation between corruption and poverty.

A respected American business TV news outlet based in New York, Bloomberg, states thus: “Corruption often conjures up images of people getting rich. But in fact, corruption’s connections to poverty are far more numerous and pervasive. Corruption delays, distorts and diverts economic growth. It comes in a variety of forms, and while no two countries are alike, there are common dilemmas for all to see”. Poverty is everywhere.

The magazine goes further to amplify the effects of corruption this way: “The links between corruption and poverty affect both individuals and businesses, and they run in both directions: poverty invites corruption, while corruption deepens poverty. Corruption both causes and thrives upon weaknesses in key economic, political and social institutions. It is a form of self-serving influence akin to a heavily regressive tax, benefiting the haves at the expense of the have-nots”.

Fellow Sierra Leoneans, please read the above paragraph over and over again until its premise is digested, understood, and applied to our individual situation and also apply it to the country at large.

I’m going out on a limb here and implore all well-meaning Sierra Leoneans to be a witness to these “ominous headlines” from one of the most prominent newspapers – “The Sierra Leone Telegraph” and see if you can sleep at all tonight. And if you do, unfortunately, in all probability, it will be in utter darkness.

Here are the headlines: “Power cuts bring misery to residents of Bo and Kenema in Sierra Leone”, “Water crisis rocks Bo city amid power cuts”; “Corruption investigations – MP seeks to overturn decision for the ACC to prosecute”.

For the purposes of this conversion, Bo and Kenema are just generic reference points, since this could happen at any time in Freetown, Makeni, Kamakwe, Sefadu, Moyamba, Kailahun, Waterloo, or anywhere else in Sierra Leone for that matter, (if these amenities do exist there).

It is important to remember though, that this, of course, will not happen in most of these places or everywhere in Sierra Leone since government provided electricity and water “supply” is in very short “supply” across the country, five decades on since independence in 1964. It’s a deplorable situation and very disconcerting to the people of Sierra Leone.

It’s never legally, or otherwise, advisable to take matters into your own hands. Sorry Sierra Leoneans, but that’s exactly what I’m advocating here.

For purposes of emphasis, it is worth repeating: “Evidence-based research has irrefutably shown and indeed concluded that there is a direct correlation between corruption and poverty”, in any given situation, scenario or country.

As it exists in business with a middleman who buys a product and sells it at ridiculously prohibitive prices, so does corruption, which has the overt tendency to denigrate its intended beneficiaries, Sierra Leoneans.

If you have personally experienced this phenomenon, that is corruption, and all indications point to the fact that everyone has been affected by this practice, in one way or another, then it is incumbent upon you, Mr. and Mrs. Sierra Leonean to do something about it.

Here is what you can do: Reject corruption, refuse to be a willing participant, and report its existence and occurrence in your immediate environment. Hell, for the sake of the country, Be a snitch.

President Bio and his team have embarked upon a concerted effort to eliminate this menace from the Sierra Leonean psyche. A heavy lifting indeed, but it has to be done.

There are ongoing national efforts by the present government through, TV and radio advertisements, TV and radio programs, and local citizen contents and productions. All these are commendable.

But the fact of the matter is, it is each and every individual who will bear the most personal responsibility to help eradicate corruption from our mist. That’s what I mean by taking matters into your own hands.

You are in the bulls-eye to do something about corruption, which has corroded the very livelihood of most Sierra Leoneans.

Do your little bit to help alleviate it, rectify it, and contribute to its ignominious and timely demise going forward.

Time is not on our side. Remember, it has been 58 years and counting. Worth repeating, time is not on the side of Sierra Leoneans, we must act now. The presidential team is doing its part; we must do our part.

2 Comments

  1. The question now is, what do we do those accused and found guilty of corruption? There’s one thing to identify and shame corrupt officials and there’s equally something quite different to prosecute them, If Sierra Leoneans are well aware of the fact that there are consequences for their actions, then patriotic Sierra Leoneans will be willing to take the risk of becoming snitches.

    What good will it take to take such a risk, only for snitches to become victims themselves? The answer is very simple: ” Death penalty for all those who PAY and RECEIVE BRIBES” and every Sierra Leonean must be empowered as a RIGHT to publicly exposed corrupt officials.

    How could someone received a salary of say Le 10.000 and end up building a house or buy a car for himself or his GIRFRIENDS that costs millions? It’s a shame! Shame on all those who have rendered our beloved country useless and a laughing stock of the world.

  2. Firstly, let us be crystal clear on this – the poor masses have had very little to do with the devastating results of corruption that we are all experiencing today. To be sincere, and if we all wish to cast our nets out wide and very far, governments past and present must shoulder the blame and be held criminally responsible for their indiscretions and past actions.

    I have always insisted that corruption in our society or any other is not too hard to eradicate if only the willingness, morale and firm resolve is there to accomplish it. But that is not happening; It never has! On the contrary, what was once a little scratch, has become an infected wound – an open sore, oozing and discharging profusely with bacterial Pus – totally neglected and left to drain itself on its own.

    And so the suffocating stench of rotten human flesh decomposing, while the individual is still alive permeates the air and the environment in which we live; And everyone complains while adjusting themselves to inhaling and exhaling, the sickening, foul smelling air.

    This is the story of Corruption in Sierra Leone. Corruption has always been there, like day and night, but no one is prepared to fix it, or do something about it. The suffering masses adjust to all kinds of ugly situations they are being confronted with under corruption and yet not uttering word of protest, naively believing things will eventual change for the better. But it never has and never will.

    Is it possible to use the same old, injured horse, that lost many times, to run againb and miraculously win a gallant race?….Not happening! To compete in any race, head to head with the finest, strongest, most athletic, Arabian and European horses, then that Old chronically ill and unhealthy African horse of ours needs to, be retired, euthanized and replaced by a new stronger, vibrant one.

    New methods – first strong institutions need to be put in place. I mean serious and solid ones, not the rickety structures we have now, about to crumble and that are of no use to anyone. Those institutions will serve as solid pillars upon which government will receive, and derive its support, and remember the stronger the institutions, the more efficient a government will be.

    The United Kingdom and the United States demonstrate perfect examples, that we must strive to emulate on this issue. No more lame excuses. We need to tear down old underperforming institutions, and build new ones, that is the first and most crucial step. It won’t be easy, but it must be done.

    We desperately need institutions that make no provisions for errors in the handling of incomes and revenues earned by government; that won’t allow government officials to withdraw large sums of monies without alerting the general public; stake holders and the media.

    Results oriented institutions that demand answers from government officials handling projects, transactions and business who are being less productive or proving themselves to be unfit to handle their responsibilities; institutions that resemble perfectly designed cardboard puzzles, where all the pieces (undertakings,obligations,directives) of government fall rightly in their perfect places. That is what Sa Lone needs now, more than ever, otherwise the same stories of anger, of frustration, of being robbed, disenfranchised, cheated, sidelined, mistreated and discriminated upon will continue forever. Ad Infinitum…Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

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