Sierra Leone Telegraph: 30 December 2019:
In August this year, the new Chinese ambassador to Sierra Leone – Hu Zhangliang, met president Bio at State House in Freetown, where he informed president Bio about a range of support that the Chinese government has approved for the country.
The ambassador said that the Chinese government will help develop the country’s international Lungi Airport, after president Bio took the bold decision to cancel a $400 million loan agreement signed by former president Koroma with China to build a new international airport.
In particular, China says they will modernise the airport’s VIP lounge, which recently was the subject of much fracas between the opposition APC and the government, after former president Koroma was denied access to the lounge. (Photo: President Bio meets new Chinese ambassador to Sierra Leone at State House in August 2019).
“In terms of improving the capability of receiving state guests, my government is considering to help your government set up a VIP convoy with bikes, cars and support cars. And I believe that all of these will be delivered by February 2020. We are also looking at the rehabilitation of the VIP Lounge at the Lungi International Airport,” he said.
Last week, the Chinese government made good on its promise, well ahead of the schedule delivery deadline date of February 2020.
According to Sierra Leone’s State House report, the government of president Bio last Monday 23 December 2019, received a large consignment of VIP logistic support, from the Chinese embassy in Freetown.
Receiving and inspecting the consignment from ambassador – Hu Zhangliang at the Ministry of Foreign Affair and International Cooperation (MFAIC) in Tower Hill, Freetown, president Bio expressed delight and gratitude.
This massive Christmas present from the Chinese government which according to Sierra Leone’s minister of foreign affairs cost over $1 million, comprises a fleet of 31 luxurious vehicles.
The Chinese ambassador said the vehicles should help the Sierra Leone government “give foreign VIP visitors to the country a diplomatic and dignified welcome”.
The fleet includes 5 VVIP vehicles, 5 protocol vehicles, 5 official vehicles, 3 large coaches, 1 Ambulance, 2 supporting cars and 10 VIP police escort motor bikes.
You can watch the president receiving the vehicles here:
Asher Gbandawa,at the end of my piece on this topic I wanted to know what was behind the gift of the luxurious cars.And you have remarkably nailed down all the answers with your lecture to President Bio,who has forgotten his third form Economics and the notion of Opportunity Cost.
His minister of trade and industry does not have a clue as to how to get the commerce of the nation to be dominated by Sierra Leoneans rather than foreigners, who believe that we are a bunch of idiots. His Thief Minister,David Francis,only sees the country as a conduit to making himself very wealthy in the shortest possible time.
The Chinese aim is not hidden:To dominate and control countries whose leaders are the most gullible in the world. Unless Bio uses whatever common sense he has, he is setting the stage to entrap future generations in perpetual servitude to the Chinese who have done it to countries like Sri Lanka, Zambia and others.
The Indians have a tendency to keep to themselves,they hardly ever integrate,especially in Africa,which is the main problem Idi Amin of Uganda had with them.They can come to do business in the country but we must also have our people competing with them.
I hope to find time one of these days to give the kind of lecture which you [Asher] have given to President Bio, to the minister of trade and industry to trigger his common sense which he seems to have swallowed with some well cooked “jakie tumbor”.
All of us in this forum should pressure Maada Bio to cut down on his foreign travels and use the money so saved to flood the country with rice and other basic necessities; this is what Opportunity Cost is all about. We also need a constant supply of electricity and pipe borne water.
We need full stomachs just like his, as evidenced by the enormous weight he continues to put on. We don’t need luxurious cars because we cannot eat them. Good job Asher.
Mr. Santhkie Sorie, your ad hominin attacks on the president and his chief minister are noted. I am disappointed that a man of your intellectual stature and standing on this forum can stoop so low to make a political point. Korthor, with all due respect I am not sure you or Asher Gbandawa can give an economics lecture to the present government, given the high number of men and women with proven scholarship in the field of economics occupying positions of trust in the government.
Moreover, at this stage of our development, the last thing that we need is a lecture in what the late George H.W. Bush referred to as voodoo economics. The theoretical underpinnings of voodoo economics have no logical basis in conventional economic theory.
Korthor, your suggestion that the government of Sierra Leone should intervene into the economy and limit the participation of foreigners while providing capital to Sierra Leoneans to replace them is antithetical to astute demand management in a free enterprise economy. For your information, eighty five percent of all small businesses in the United States are started by foreigners. This shows that the core obligation of a free enterprise economy lies in the centrality of the market in economic activity. Thus, the role of government must be limited as government does not create wealth in a free enterprise system.
Additionally, let’s not forget that if Sierra Leone has requested financial support and policy advice from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the wake of APC’s destruction of the national economy, the same Sierra Leone cannot turn around and start violating IMF conditionalities by subsidizing consumption.
Korthor, you also have issue with Sierra Leone receiving gifts from a development partner, China. You go on to opine that China may be tying the gifts to getting the contract for constructing the Lungi bridge. So, what if China gets the contract to construct the Lungi bridge? Would that be the first project that China would be undertaking in Sierra Leone? Also, aren’t there Chinese investments all over the world including the United States? Or are members of the Bio government so intellectually inferior to Santhkie Sorie that they would easily sign off the sovereignty of Sierra Leone to China?
To close, let me state that there is no better way of getting a people to participate in wealth creation and nation building than pursuing human capital development at the national level. This is exactly what the Bio administration is doing. Thus, any suggestions to the contrary fly in the face of astute economic reasoning.
This is corruption to the highest degree. This is BRIBERY to the G.O.S.L, because China is anticipating to get the contract to build the Tagrin-Lungi bridge. Mr. President Sir, our people need FOOD to eat, place to lay their heads, 24/7 electricity and jobs for our youths, and good water supply. We do not need all these gifts that do not put food on the tables of our beloved people. Give the gifts back and use the money to increase agricultural productivity. Sir, remember a nation that does not FEED her people is doomed.
Do not forget how the Chinese made the former government more corrupt. These Chinese are Economic Imperialist. China will not do things for nothing. They have studied Africa’s relationship with her colonial masters of the West and have learnt how to easily manipulate African leaders with gifts, with strings attached.
Mr. President, like our Oku people say “We get for tie we bottom belleh gitty, gitty” in order for Sierra Leone to develop. We need to make do with the resources we have. I am not a pessimist, but Sierra Leone will NEVER develop as long as we are still allowing FOREIGNERS to control our economy. This has been the norm before I was born and even after I was born until today (2020). Mr. President Sir, we need to change this pattern that has brought poverty on our people. If you are a TRUE NATIONALIST (who loves his country and his people), think on these things.
For our Nation to develop, we need to copy the Nigerian Model. Keep FOREIGNERs out of the sectors that bring gains to our economic development. Give preferential treatment to our People to get loans to start a business, and put in place stringent measures to curtail foreigners from obtaining loans and getting government contracts. We have allowed the Lebanese and Indians to control our economy for so long that when you visit Beirut, Lebanon and Mumbai, India you will see our Blessings been displayed.
Conferences, yapping (talk, talk) will not do it. We need ACTION from your government SIR. Lonta!!!!
Adding to your facts Asher, I would like to know from the administration what gifts were given and received through the back door. What we saw with that bombastic end of year gesture was, the front door gifts. Nobody will convince me that, there were no back door gifts. The Chinese are good at giving back door gifts and painting it cosmetically with front door gifts.
Whether there was a front door gift or back door gift, seems meaningless to me because, our people were the loser. The Chinese are more interested in making VIPs visiting our country very comfortable rather than help feeding our people at the very least. 5.5 star reception. It’s just ridiculous!
Asher is right. Our people need food. The people are hungry. The Chinese should have done our country good by sending ship loads of rice and tons of condiments as a fantastic Christmas gesture. God bless you Asher for your wise thoughts and may God help “get Salone sorted.
Despite all what you are saying Mr. Alusine Fallay about Chief Sam Sumana, I will hold FIRE for the time being. Again, things are going to change the day Chief Sam Sumana is ELECTED LEADER of the APC. Let me just say something. You know very well that your PARTY has chosen to put their POLITICAL LOCOMOTIVE behind the WAGONS and PUSHING to climb up a steep hill over a 2023 meter bridge to reach the train station. A Chief Sam Sumana LEADERSHIP if elected LEADER of the APC has a different POLITICAL APPROACH to reach the same train station and “GET SALONE SORTED”. I will explain what I am talking about sometime down the road.
Mind you Mr. Alusine Fallay. It is easier to PULL than to PUSH. RALLY behind me to help “GET SALONE SORTED”. Simple as that. For now, I will just say “TALK HALF, LEF HALF”. I reckon you and your PARTY are very NERVOUS about Chief Sam Sumana becoming LEADER of the APC because of a CRUSHING DEFEAT against your PARTY come 2023.
Finally, let me repeat, the NARATIVE and the DEBATE is going to be controlled by us and get our country out of this HORRIBLE MESS. We are going to “GET SALONE SORTED”. That’s it. GOD BLESS Mr Alusine Fallay and may GOD help Mr. Alusine Fallay RALLY behind me to “GET SALONE SORTED”.
I am in agreement with Saidu Conteh,there are urgent things our nation needs presently instead of limousines.Cars are going to be hardly beneficial but tools,and seeds for farmers will be able to transform their communities,and lives forever.
Why there are so many myopic supporters of this government when there is nothing to write home about. People are suffering and yet people are still loud praising the mess we are in.
“GET SALONE SORTED“??? Chief Sam Sumana has to sort himself out first because his greatest enemy is himself. One thing that is obvious about APC party is that they have no gray area, it is either black or white, they either like or hate you and they will let you know right in your face. What is so difficult for this FOOL to understand that he has been labeled as a non believer, a mole and all sorts of derogatory terms.
The reality is only people from the BOMBALI DiSTRICT CAN BE A PRESIDENTIAL FLAG BEARER of the APC party period, unlike the SLPP party that built their foundation on democracy and believes in “ONE COUNTRY ONE PEOPLE “ as was the case of late President Kabba (a Northerner).
Late President Stevens who in biblical terms will be referred to as LUCIFER built the foundation of the APC through the help of his main disciple AGBA SATNI ( late Vice President S.I Koroma) on intimidation, violence and destruction and that is the reality Sam-Sumana has to live with.
Finally I wish him the best as the Krio proverb says – “FOL WAE NOR YERI SHEEEEE GO YERI STONE “.
Mr Matturi, you really think the chief will be the APC flagbearer in 2023? What is he going to put on the table this time? Will the chief expand his support base? By the way, why do you call this guy chief?
The Chinese gesture is very much welcomed in the name of the long-standing friendship between the two countries. A friend who does not wait for a formal request but steps in to satisfy a need is indeed a friend.
However in geo-politics what seems benign without any qualification should be thoroughly scrutinised and assessed to ensure that the outer side of things are a carbon copy of what is on the inside. Geo-politics has always been about influence peddling; it was so during the cold war and it is so now, although the major players are no longer just the former Soviet Union and its satellite states versus America and its satellite states. Now we have China rising fast as a major world power and India is peeping in too.
It should be clear to even the casual observer that President Bio has not warmed up to the Chinese in the same way as Earnest Koroma did. He is spreading his wings far and wide, not least because ordinary Sierra Leoneans have come to know that all Chinese investments hardly nudge the unemployment rate downwards because most of the workers are shipped in from China, some of whom end up making roots in the country,a potential for conflict in the future. Let us not forget that Sierra Leone is a small country and it is about time we started controlling the number of immigrants who would like to settle in the country.
It was Jomo Kenyatta, the man who led Kenya to independence, who said of Europeans when they started their invasion of the continent that “when they came, they taught us to pray with our eyes closed and when we opened our eyes again they had taken away all the land; when we protested they brought guns from underneath their robes to threaten us”.
President Bio and his gang should beware. Our foreign policy should be conducted with our eyes wide open and never put our eggs in one basket. What is behind the luxurious cars?
Caterpillars again, anxious,and desperate to become butterflies – they will say,and do anything to make themselves appear,or look good.(lmao) These people use phrases they don’t actually understand,and know the real meanings of.”Manners maketh men” simply means that a person is judged according to their habits,behaviors, and the content of their character. An insubordinate, selfish, disgruntled ex soldier that once overthrew a legitimate government and his boss is not worthy of emulation. His temperament and manners suck, and his judgement totally stinks. Manners maketh a man, you say? Totally agree!
This President was once an untrustworthy, disloyal,unreliable,military snitch. He is shady to the bone, and dubious in character. The SLPP government he now leads and controls is overcrowded with the worsts kinds of deplorable conmen, and liars. (lol) Pride, arrogance and stupidity are the badges of shame they proudly wear. The pretentious, notorious,inadequate SLPP is a cowardly bunch of BO school puppets,and delusional opportunists, who have never opened even a wayside Apeteshie bar for themselves, or their many boisterous, shabby concubines ever before.(lol) And here they are stupidly and ignorantly, trying to bully, threaten and intimidate seasoned investors.(lol) …Rising Sun Will Rise Again.
Thanks to the Almighty for this forum because at least destructive APC supporters can continue to vent their anger this time around here as compared to the first term of the late President Kabba when they succeeded in inciting Johnny Paul Koroma who declared “operation Kill all living thing“ which brought our nation 30 years backwards due to the destruction of lives and properties, – so let’s continue to pray for our nation against UNCONTROLLABLE ANGER AND TRIBAL BATING. after losing the 2018 presidential election.
One thing that is obvious is that President Bio is blessed with common sense apart from his Bo School education where he learned that “Manners Maketh Man”.
My only advice for the lunatic APC supporters is to stop feeling inferior, having no self confidence and low self esteem in yourselves because President Maada didn’t choose to come from a particular tribe. Finally Sierra Leoneans are no longer interested in settling for mediocre contracts based on our beliefs that we deserve more from our natural resources than “selling our birthrights for a bowl of Porridge “ just to please few APC supporters including the late Jamil Sahid Mohamed, late Moseray Fadika commonly known as Super and the lifetime leader and chairman of the APC party Ernest Bai Koroma.
Chief Sam Sumana has joined the APC and the forces that have joined and continue joining is increasing by the Minute. Things are going to change rapidly the day Chief Sam Sumana is elected LEADER. We are going to control the NARATIVE because we have the CAPACITY and ABILITY. Believe me Mr. Alusine Fallay.
One of the reasons the APC lost the past elections was because of a LESS AGGRESSIVE POLITICAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGY. That is going to change. The former LEADER did very well. The difference in the TOTAL VOTE COUNT tells all. But that GAP will be CLOSED and EXPANDED if Chief Sam Sumana is ELECTED LEADER of the APC.
GOD BLESS YOU and GOD help “GET SALONE SORTED” through a Chief Sam Sumana lead APC LEADERSHIP.
Psssst! A bird in hand is worth hundreds in the bush.(lol) Its outright silliness, ineptitude and cantankerous bad sense of judgement for this morbidly obese, unthinking, pot belly President to cancel, legitimate mining contracts and lawlessly disobey an international arbitrary court order; instead of sensibly engaging friendly and dependable investors in constructive negotiations and meaningful dialogue.
Is that what your poorly educated, tribalistic, clueless palm wine educators tirelessly taught you that proudly went to BO school?(lol) Here we have a President who lacks pragmatism, discretion and refined discernment, that is a violent bully, that is oblivious of the fact that priorities must and should always be in their rightful places in order for government to succeed. And some delusional, out of touch, caterpillar that does not know his knees from his elbows is here on this authentic forum blowing pretentious trumpets of shame and blame? Wake the hell up man and see the light. Rising Sun Will Rise Again.
If I may ask please, why don’t Sierra Leone leaders choose to beg for their own planes, ships and tractors with harvesters. We need such loans or gifts from IMF and foreign investors. Whereas Marampa mines will produce iron ore from dust to a usable metals. To be honest the Chinese gifts are just for personal purposes which the Chinese government will benefit in the near future.
My end of year – 2019 advice to people on this platform is quite simple – If you find yourself Dilly dallying around,struggling to put your thoughts sensibly on paper, and can’t cope, or cannot interact critically and judiciously in meaningful discussions here, then HIT the road JACK, this glorious Forum isn’t the place for you. In 2020, levels are going to change; we welcome Eagles and Dragons from all over the globe with the abilities to fly, attack and hunt with precision at breathtaking speeds.
Caterpillars, vultures, hyenas and mischievous Gremlins, BEWARE! You have already been warned.(lol) Rising Sun Will Rise Again.
Late President Ahmed Tejan Kabba of Blessed memories who spent about 30 years of his life working for The United Nations clearly stated – “SALONE MAN GET BAD HEART“. This is what is clearly demonstrated in this forum “BAD HEART AND JEALOUSY.”
President Bio will go down in history as the first President to cancel a $400 million contract and unprofitable bogus mining contracts based on his principles and values of putting the interests and people of Sierra Leone first. So no short sighted people should second guess his integrity.
Receiving gifts from friends and allies should always be APPRECIATED with a BIG THANK YOU from every patriotic Sierra Leonean. How difficult can that be? Please repeat after me with a BIG HAPPY SMILE – THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!
Indeed. From the FRYING PAN to the FIRE. See GENTLEMAN S J Koroma in trouble again. What does he really mean by saying and I quote “Sierra Leone should create her own – Sierra Leone Monetary Fund – to develop other countries”. I don’t really know what he is talking about. Is he OK? I hope so. Maybe just another DAY DREAM. Most likely, he is conveying his message through some EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL MEDIUM to the INHABITANTS of CLOUD CUCKOO LAND.
Please explain your statement to me GENTLEMAN S J Koroma. I hope you respond before the NEW YEAR. GOD help GENTLEMAN S J Koroma join forces with me to help “GET SALONE SORTED” so that he will be RELIEVED AND HAPPY forever in the “LAND that we LOVE our Sierra Leone”. GENTLEMAN S J Koroma somewhere there CONFUSED about a so called “Sierra Leone Monetary Fund”. GOD BLESS GENTLEMAN S J Koroma.
Why not, if IMF and others have not succeeded to develop any country, SL should take ober.
BUT WHY DO YOU TAKE MATTERS SO PERSONALLY?
Indeed, if you don’t believe in something you will fall for anything. Its almost the Year 2020 and we still have leaders proudly and shamelessly begging for handouts. (lol). Who would have guessed that luxury vehicles would someday become a top priority to a legitimate government, shackled and securely chained in economic depravation…that is hopelessly drowning in perplexing whirlpools of financial challenges and obstacles? A million dollars worth of vehicles huh? What a chance gone, lost forever! What a wasted opportunity to do greater things, thrown away!
Folks, there are fishermen in desperate need of new boats and outboard engines; carpenters struggling with old and ineffective tools that need modernised replacements; farmers in search of high yielding seeds that can grow anywhere, that are resistant to bacteria and pests. And this clueless, incompetent SLPP government has the audacity to celebrate and cheer a donation of vehicles from the Chinese, our nation doesn’t need at all? Sierra Leone, my only home – a nation bewildered, corrupted and confused – hopeless beggars is what we have become…Rising Sun Will Rise Again
Let me first of all remind GENTLEMAN S J Koroma that you are the only BEGGAR that has no choice. Not the people of Sierra Leone or me. By saying “Beggars have no choice” is a DEFEAT and HUMILIATION for your very self. No wonder how FRUSTRATED and AGGRESSIVE you tend to be. ARE YOU OK? I hope so. You have first of all no CLUE of what is going on and secondly, it seems to me that you are working as a SHADOW in DISGUISE. ARGUE.
You should be ashamed of yourself making such RECKLESS, NONSENSE, ABSURD, SILLY and MISGUIDED statements. You should have done yourself good by just BLINDFOLDING your NARROW MINDED and BORING ideas for the PIGS in the PIGSTY. I would advice you in your own interest to put all your POLITICAL FRUSTRATIONS and DISTRESS aside and join me in the fight to “GET SALONE SORTED”. I know you are very FRUSTRATED by what is going badly wrong POLITICALLY in the country which is of course provoked by your PARTY. I don’t blame you for that. You would be relieved if you join me “GET SALONE SORTED”. That is the only way out. So calm down. Help is on its way.
You even went further by bringing Mr. Idriss Elba’s story that has nothing to do with this article or argument. Oh my goodness. What a FRUSTRATION. Again. Are you OK GENTLEMAN S J Koroma. I hope so. GENTLEMAN S J Koroma somewhere there on PLANET EARTH, FRUSTRATED about his party’s POLITICS and saying Bullshit for the BIRDS to HEAR. GOD BLESS YOU GENTLEMAN S J Koroma and happy new year in advance.
I am not narrow minded my dear. I only try to point out facts in contradiction to your onesidedness. I am not interested in politics and also not a Sierra Leonean. I was born in SL though. Would it not have been a bit civilized or matured to simply keep cool or appreciate the efforts made to change the narrative in S.L. Why should it only be you (your Affiliation) or Wishes?
There was no personal attack on you, but just read your piece again then you’ll realise how frustrated YOU ARE. I cannot use the words you did towards me, because I will keep my level. I am not paid as you are, to answer to some of the comments you make on this Platform. Thank you.
Something is fundamentally wrong with African leadership. What do you expect when it comes to contract negotiations? You will simply have to soften your stance when they come for your minerals or squeezing unhealthy loans through. Its like a girl accepting all your gifts you are buying her and in the end she will have no choice but to say yes to your sexual advances. Party loyalty is slowly destroying our country to the point that no wrong doing by our leaders is questioned.
That was how they sang praised EBK and he subsequently went on to sign extortive contracts. Even diasporans have lost their intellect because of party loyalty and have become the loudest praise singers. How do you think Europe and America was developed? No one came with gifts to let them take their eyes off the ball. Do you think China will give all that for nothing? Mr Fallay’s comment is one example of praise singing without seriously questioning the motive behind the gifts.
Everyone including Bio and the entire government know that the IMF, World Bank and all these other countries have no intention of helping us apart from controlling the affairs of the state. During the campaign, all of the candidates were frowning at IMF and the rest; but after elections, its business as usual. Name one country that became developed through IMF et al projects. So disappointing
Sierra Leone shold create her own – Sierra Leone Monetary Fund – to develop other countries.
Indeed Mr. Turay. What is even more surprising to me is the fact that these men/women had the audacity to concoct a version of their trademark propaganda videos about this, as if it is some type of national achievement that we ought to be jumping on about in elation. I’m not sure whether the mediocre soundtrack of the video is more laughable, or the public relations specialist, who thought this was the way to usher a people who are ravaging in poverty into the new year.
I could be reaching here Mr. Turay, but the logic here from our government’s perspective might’ve been that they merely wanted to dazzle the poor people of Sierra Leone with the pronouncement of the donated Chinese trinkets, in the same way that they were dazzled by China’s diplomatic gesture. They figured being dazzled in isolation, there is no fun in that, so what the heck…
What a BOMBASTIC end of YEAR GESTURE by the CHINESE to make VIPs entering our country COMFORTABLE. Nevertheless, it is their money and they are free to do whatever they want. I would have prefered the CHINESE helping us with something different. For example, a SHIP LOAD OF RICE to ease with the PRICE of RICE at the end of this year. That did not happen. No problem.
Helping the government make VIPs entering the country COMFORTABLE is one of the PRIORITIES of this government. Can you imagine? They asked the CHINESE for it and the CHINESE responded. SAD in terms of PRIORITY. Personally, this is not a priority to me.
However, I say thanks to the CHINESE for this BOMBASTIC END OF YEAR GESTURE.
HAPPY NEW YEAR in advance to the CHINESE and may GOD BLESS CHINA.
Thanks to the Chinese Government for boasting our country’s moral and status. No one would think this “is the PRIORITIES of the SL Govt.” It is rather impolite when People make such remarks of ingratitude; we should not forget that most of the things we say are heard all over the world. Idriss Elba will call it Bullshit.
“Beggars have no choice” – it would have been bad if this Govt. was to have asked for “Customized Bikes”. “a SHIP LOAD OF RICE” -then you will ask “way di Plassas Money”. Salone man nor get tenki.
Everyone would agree that SL needs to uplift the Condition of the Airport etc, in order to avoid embarrassment to Tourists and State Guests. Please read what Mr. Fallay wrote. HAPPY NEW YEAR IN ADVANCE TO EVERYONE !
Congratulations to the New Direction government and thanks to the Chinese Government for boasting our country’s moral and status. I personally believe that they are still trying to replenish the vehicles that were stolen, looted and even destroyed by removing parts of government vehicles during the transitional process after the APC government was humiliated in the 2018 presidential election and, President Bio even borrowed some officials vehicles from Guinean President Alpha Condeh during his inaugural ceremony.
I hope and pray that after the recovery of our economy, President Bio will be rewarded with a presidential plane so that the parliament will no longer be concerned about his traveling expenses around the world. Hopefully most government and private investors arriving in Sierra Leone will be welcomed and treated with dignity and first class reception, which will continue to motivate more investment in our country. “FIRST IMPRESSION GOES A LONG WAY.”