Sierra Leone has a new British High Commissioner – she is Lisa Chesney

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 15 May 2021:

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London early this week announced that the British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone – Mr Simon Mustard will be replaced in August 2021 by Ms Lisa Chesney MBE.

The British High Commissioner is the UK government’s representative in Sierra Leone, responsible for the direction and work of the High Commission office in Freetown, including political work, trade and investment, press and cultural relations, and visa and consular services.

According to the statement, Simon Mustard will be transferring to another Diplomatic Service appointment.

Ms. Lisa Jane Chesney has an impressive foreign and commonwealth office (FCO) career, which began in 2008 as Head of Financial Skills and Support in the Finance Directorate, before moving in 2010 to the FCO Corporate Services Centre (CSC) as Change Programme Director, later Interim CSC Director in the Finance Directorate. She also served in that period as Head of the Prevent Team in the Counter-Terrorism Department.

In 2012 she moved to Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan as Head of Politics and Strategic Communications, Provincial Reconstruction Team, at Helmand Province; and in 2013 Ms. Chesney took up a new role as Deputy Head of Mission in Mogadishu.

In 2015 she became the FCO’s Deputy Head of Security Policy Department; and in 2018 joined the Home Office as Head of Counter-Extremism Unit.

Last year – 2020, Lisa was appointed Gold Command, COVID-19 Recovery and Change, Public Safety Group and Head, Counter-Extremism Unit at the Home Office.

11 Comments

  1. Well said honorable compatriot, David Samura. Indeed, Sierra Leone is the only country I know of on mother earth whose people are so blinded by hate, jealousy and bitterness that they actually beg development partners not to support its development. Sinful and shameful!. If awarded the MCC grant will be programmed for development of the water sector, especially in the Western Area. Why does ‘Pastor’ K-K hate Sierra Leone so much that he does not want water for Western Area?

  2. And your SLPP utterances on these matters SIR have been measured, shaken, and properly weighted in order to evaluate their true value; And we have found out after strenuous efforts that when all of them are put together they are not worth even a nickel, dime or a penny.((lol)

  3. Thanks Mr Peter Douda, for reminding us. I don’t know about you, we listened with encouragement, when the US, State department, made their press release at the start of the Biden administration, that ,after four years of America first foreign policy by Trump , the new administration is going to pursue an ethical foreign, based on the respect of human rights,the rule of law, Free press, and above all else fighting corruption. Because as our Western partners understood it, corruption have a corrosive effects to fragile countries like ours. So you are right in saying the British embassy, knows what is going on in Sierra Leone. Otherwise whats the point of having an embassy? The new British high commissioner, Ms. Lisa Jane Chesney, is certainly not a tourist or, visiting Sierra Leone because some one recommended the country as an investment destination.

    The British, with our historical connection, has a stake in the future development of Sierra Leone,both morally ,and historically.Our two countries are joined in the hips. It might not be so apparent to you,if you live in a different planet, but the British have always played a part in shaping our History.You migth give Bio’s government a five star rating. But for the rest of the struggling population in Sierra Leone , life under Bio, is every day struggle for survival. The corruption allegations, the constant black outs,the lack of water supply in Freetown, our death trapped potholes filled roads, and the jailing of opponents, like Dr Blyden, and Major Poalo Conteh. Indeed after she was released, Dr Blyden thanked the British Embassy for their assistance.And it goes with out saying, the killing of youths in Makeni, Pademba Road prison, by Bio’s out of control security agents, wouldn’t have escape the attention of foreign embassies .

    Not long after the Biden administration made their statement on pursuing ethical foreign policy, a similar statement was released by the British Foreign, and Commonwealth Office. The new Biden administration, and the UK government, have pledged to pursue an ethical foreign policy and will hold them to accounts for any misdemeanours .We the citizens of countries under the grip of corrupt governments like Bio’s, was rather please . And we will hold them to their pledges .For some of us, to hear those statements coming from Washington, and London, was like music to our ears. For the past four years, there was a vacuum of leadership, in linking aid money to respect for human rights. So it should come at no surprise to you , that we have to keep reminding the British, and the American governments to hold our elected leaders to account. Because the bulk of our country’s budgetary requirements, is met by international financial institutions, in which this two governments are major contributors. No more giving blank cheques to would be dictators, that are engaged in human rights violence of their people and misappropriation of public funds.

  4. The British government knows more about what is going on in Sierra Leone than your average Sierra Leonean. It is therefore pointless for anyone to try to distract the high Commissioner from her mission.

    • Yep, you damn right they know exactly what is happening in a volatile backwards Sierra Leone under the leadership of a mean-spirited, old soldier; Ah Yes…They know the man is a fraudster through and through and a trickster in his truest form, a tribalist that always overfeeds himself just to be able to get some form of meaningful control over his abnormal, eerie insecurities and erratic impulses;(lol) Yup, you hit the nail right on the head, they know he is a wanna be Cowboy that has killed unarmed prisoners and vulnerable innocent youths in cold blood like helpless, frantic chickens in a slaughterhouse.

      Gentlemen – if incompetence and cruelty had two interchangeable faces they will be the man in State House Maada Bio. Answer – Is it possible to distract the Captain of a rudderless, directionless ship overcrowded with SLPP pirates and bandits on a mission to rob, plunder and ransack the empty coffers of a struggling nation? Don’t ask me to believe in the exploits of criminals with self-seeking agendas.

  5. The cordial relationship we have no doubt and expecting it not only growing older like johnny walker but to flourish in more developments. No doubt with her experience, and from a distance we are wishing you well and happiness. You are
    at home, Trust me.

  6. Congratulations to Ms Lisa Jane Cheshney, on your new appointment as the UK High Commissioner to Sierra Leone. According to your CV, you have served her Majesty’s Government in Laskar Gah, Afghanistan as head of politics, and strategic communications team at Helmand province where a lot of British troops paid the ultimate price. May their souls rest in peace. Just like Afghanistan, British troops, ECOMOG, and United nations troops helped end the madness that gripped our nation, during eleven yeras of civil war. May their souls rest in peace. Unlike any other war in the African continent before and after, the principal cause of the war was CORRUPTION. And this Bio government hasn’t learnt any lessons from that war. They are repeating the same mistakes. Corruption, tribalism, and regionalism.

    As a deputy head of mission in Mogadishu with such impressive service in two of the most trubled hot spots in the world, you will find you have been posted into a familiar territory. As a trouble shooter, your work is cut out for you. No pressure. Just like Afghanistan and Somalia, Sierra Leone is orbiting the same path of what can only be discribed as failed state. The Bio government is not in any way, shape or form, different from the war lords in Afghanistan and Somalia, that have misused billions of Dollars of foreign aid, meant to help their countries war recovery efforts, instead diverted to private bank accounts of families and friends. You may be surprised to find, over the years and despite generous British Foreign aid to help the country on its recovery programme, both in damaged infrastructure, and laying the foundations stones for sustainable economic development goals, Sierra Leone is still limping like we are just emerging from that brutal war.

    Almost twenty years after the RUF war, there are still some buildings around the commercial district of Freetown, PZ, that have bullet holes. Ms Ambassador, that tells you every thing you want to know about Sierra Leone. If you take a guided tour of the city, you can’t fail to notice the emaciated bodies of young men and women with hands stretched out begging for money. All the while the money sent by our development partners are being misused. My advice to you, is to tell Bio to swap places. Instead of behaving like a Klan leader in Somalia, he should act like the Rwandan President Paul Kegame. He is a good example of how to use British foreign aid, and other international willing partners to lift his nation out of poverty after the brutalities his people endured during the 1994 genocide.

    • “he should act like the Rwandan President Paul Kegame. He is a good example of how to use British foreign aid, and other international willing partners to lift his nation out of poverty after the brutalities his people endured during the 1994 genocide.” Abraham amadu jalloh

      Bio should act like Kagame and stay in power for 27 years. Yes you read me right. That is the number of years Kagame has been in power. Habyarimana whom he replaced was in power for 21 years. Kangames first seven years in power was not as glorious as you see today. But that is left for another day to debate about. Like someone wrote above, the New High Commissioner knows more about the politics and every day life than a lot of us since she looks at issues with an open mind while many of our ilk looks at things myopically with either our red or green lenses.

      This is reminiscent of an open letter written by one Kabs Kanu begging the Americans not to honour the MCC Grant to Sierra Leone. Well, you have to try another trick my dear. 11 years of Ernest Koroma and 5 years of president Kabba post war period and yet Bio is responsible for bullet holes on houses. Some people would not ceased to expose themselves.
      Bio

      • Thanks Mr Samura and Mr Mopoa, I respect your opinions. But I totally reject your presumption, that when we highlight the failures of this Bio government or past governments, its because we are wedded to tribalism or die hard party supporters. May be that blind sided support, see no evil and hear no evil, is for Sierra Leoneans that are either benefiting from the corruption perpetuated under this government, or at some point stand to benefit from. Now here are facts which we may agree on. Our country is rich in natural and human resources, similar to Botswana. And Botswana is one of few African countries that is not carrying a begging bowl to international financial institutions.

        As for Rawanda, their president is not an angel. No African leader can claim that manttle. What he have achieved in 27 years of dictatorship, is far better than what we achieved in 60 years of independence. I rather have a dictatorship like Jerry Rawlings of Ghana, Rawanda’s Paul Kegame than our own free and fair election, only used as a vehicle to enrich corrupt politicians.

        I don’t know which part of Sierra Leone you are, but whatever region or district, please come back to me and let me know if you have paved roads, 24 hours electricity, no child mortality, enough food in your towns and villages, and above all you have politicians that deliver their promises. Otherwise stop propagating or acting like propaganda spokeperson for Bio. People are suffering in Sierra Leone. Families cannot afford to feed themselves.

        • Sir, I will not challenge you on your love affairs with Paul Kagame and JJ Rawlings. Good for you! Since you don’t reside in Rwanda and Ghana, perhaps citizens of those countries will agree or disagree with your claims. What I know however is, I have not come across a single Rwandese or Ghanaian who has gone of his way to beg or advocate to development partners to withhold development grants to their countries, irrespective of their political strains. Only cowardly Sierra Leoneans have demonstrated that desire. Shameful!

          • Mr Mopao, if you think the billions of dollars sent to Sierra Leone, for our war recovery efforts, I think you or any one else should make your assessment, how much of that money reached it intented targets. The missing Ebola funds, the more recently missing millions of Covid19 funds, that can build bridges, Schools, road construction and health centres. What in the world are you trying to say on this forum. Here on this forum we don’t peddle fake news. We stick with facts. Because if nothing else, its what Sierra Leoneans deserve. Our own sitting President Bio admitted corruption is the major problem holding back our country. Now to his credit, here is the president of our country admitting something we know that existed since independence. If international donor money goes directly to help the people of Sierra Leone, no Sierra Leonean in their right mind will oppose that.

            But if that money negotiated on our behalf with the clear understanding that its going to improve the lives of me, my family and you and seven million of your fellow Sierra-leoneans, but for some reason, a tiny group of politicians think its their God given right to misappropriate such funds for their private use, and you think we as citizens will just sit down and swallow lies, I think you are not doing a good job in trying to silence us. As for Rawanda and Ghana, and by the way you failed to mention Botswana, another country that is outperforming us. Ghana is growing this year. The first National Basketball Association game for an African tournament, will soon be hosted by Rawanda. Why was Sierra Leone not chosen giving the history we share with America through the trans-Atlantic slave trade? Because our country is not developing. Instead all we hear is allegations of corruption.

            Recently Tweeter chose Ghana as opposed to Nigeria and Sierra Leone, to build their operational headquarters in Africa! Why not Sierra Leone, if you want us to believe everything is good in Sierra Leone. We need to stop lying to ourselves. That’s why you can accuse Bio of anything under the sun. Corruption, not fulfilling his promises, and being tribalistic. As he admitted recently on a TV interview that he only employ people he personally knows. Qualifications – you don’t need it. For that I respect him. Because he sticks with telling us the truth, but even if he fails to change anything about it. Bio likes to talk the talk but can’t Walk the walk. And here is another one for you. If we used our God given natural resources, Diamonds, bauxite, Gold, Iron or, our fertile lands to grow our staple food rice, etc and marshall our human resources, correctly, tackle corruption, I can assure you we don’t need international financial assistance.

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