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.