Sierra Leone’s Chief Minister David Sengeh accuses mosques and churches of electricity theft

Mackie M Jalloh: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 9 May 2024:

In a startling turn of events at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs conference room on Tuesday, April 30th, 2024, Sierra Leone government’s Chief Minister David Sengeh,  lobbed serious accusations of rampant electricity theft at Mosques, Churches, government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

This bombshell has not only shaken the foundations of trust in the government but has also ignited a firestorm of indignation and protest from religious leaders and citizens across Sierra Leone.

Chief Minister Sengeh’s remarks, made during the government’s weekly press conference hosted by the Ministry of Information and Civic Education, were nothing short of incendiary.

Without presenting any evidence, Sengeh brazenly accused religious institutions and citizens of pilfering electricity, insinuating that they are responsible for the government’s financial woes in the energy sector. (Photo above: Chief minister Sengeh who seems to have lost his brain since cutting off his rastafarian dreadlocks few months ago, is now embroiled in religious smear against Islam and Christianity).

This unsubstantiated claim not only recklessly undermines the integrity of the country’s religious institutions but also casts a dark shadow over the image of the entire population.

The repercussions of Sengeh’s baseless allegations have been swift and severe. Imams and pastors, pillars of their respective communities, have condemned the Chief Minister’s remarks as inflammatory and discriminatory.

To accuse places of worship, which serve as sanctuaries and hubs of community support, of such criminal behavior without evidence is not only irresponsible but also deeply offensive.

Sengeh’s outburst risks sowing division and discord among religious groups, undermining the social fabric of the nation.

Furthermore, Sengeh’s attempt at shifting blame onto ordinary citizens for the government’s failure to effectively manage the energy sector is both disingenuous and reprehensible.

By scapegoating citizens for the shortcomings of the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) and the government, Sengeh deflects attention away from systemic issues of corruption, mismanagement, incompetence, and neglect within these institutions.

Rather than address the root causes of the country’s electricity crisis, Sengeh chooses to vilify and scapegoat those who are already struggling to make ends meet in a country plagued by poverty and inequality.

The Chief Minister’s assertion that there are more citizens stealing electricity than those who pay their bills raises serious questions about the credibility of EDSA and the government’s prepaid meter data.

If the data cannot be trusted, how can the government justify its actions or formulate effective policies to address the energy crisis?

Moreover, Sengeh’s claim that widespread electricity theft is the primary reason for the government’s inability to pay its debt to Karpower – the Turkish electricity generator, is a gross oversimplification that conveniently attempts to absolve the government of accountability.

In the wake of Sengeh’s inflammatory remarks, calls for transparency and accountability have grown louder. The recent dissolution of the boards of directors of both EDSA and the Electricity Generation and Transmission Company (EGTC), coupled with the resignation of the Minister of Energy, only serves to underscore the depth of the crisis engulfing Sierra Leone’s energy sector.

Citizens rightfully demand answers

What is the government doing with the revenue generated from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) added to prepaid meter bills?

Why are citizens paying exorbitant charges for electricity that is unreliable and inconsistent?

The harsh reality is that many citizens are unable to afford the steep fees charged by EDSA for prepaid electricity, especially when the service is unreliable and sporadic.

How can the government expect citizens to pay their bills when they are denied access to stable electricity for days or even weeks at a time? The vicious cycle of poverty and deprivation perpetuated by the energy crisis further exacerbates the hardships faced by ordinary Sierra Leoneans, trapping them in a cycle of poverty and despair.

It is abundantly clear that the only viable solution to the energy crisis is for the government and EDSA to prioritize the needs of the people over their own interests.

Instead of resorting to baseless accusations and scapegoating, Chief Minister Sengeh and the government must acknowledge their own failures and work towards meaningful reform and accountability.

This must start earnestly with a public apology to the citizens of Sierra Leone for their negligence and incompetence in addressing the energy crisis.

In conclusion, Chief Minister Sengeh’s accusations against Mosques, Churches, and citizens have only served to deepen the sense of outrage, government distrust and betrayal felt by the people of Sierra Leone.

It is time for the government and EDSA to listen to the voices of the people and take meaningful action to address the energy crisis with transparency, accountability, and empathy. Anything less would be a grave disservice to the citizens who deserve access to reliable and affordable electricity as a basic human right.


1 Comment

  1. I personally believe that the YOUNG DAVID is now confronting the GOLIATH in the land of the FREE , which was named FREETOWN by our colonial masters as homeland of the free slaves of North America, Nova Scotia in Canada, England, and the recaptives of Africa .
    Young David believes that, even though he is walking through the shadow of death, he will fear no evil, the rod and the staff of the Almighty will comfort him.
    Only the TRUTH will set FREETONIANS FREE from perpetual darkness, because truth and light are synonymous.

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