Sierra Leone Telegraph: 2 November 2017
Corruption is very endemic in Sierra Leone’s political history. Both my APC and the SLPP parties are guilty of massive corruption.
Voters have been let down innumerable times by past governments, dominated by these two main political parties since independence in 1961. Shame on them for stealing from the nation’s coffers. Greedy and selfish politicians are pushing the majority of electorate into abject poverty and hopelessness.
That is why, according to my research, the voters are now gearing up for the 2018 elections with eyes and ears widely open. Corruption is at the core of voters’ minds this time. (Photo: Abu Shaw).
Any political candidates that can convince the voters that corruption will be eliminated or drastically minimised will have their votes. No doubts. Voters in Sierra Leone have long been taken for granted and as fools.
True, the ruling APC party is the lesser of two evils. SLPP is worse statistically. But now the voters do want honest, accountable and transparent government. They yearn for a political party that puts the country and citizens’ interests first, not public servants who continue to steal and enrich themselves and their families.
APC and SLPP should hang their heads in shame for not adequately punishing the bad eggs in their midst.
Yes, APC has done well in developing the country infrastructurally. Voters enjoy nice roads around the country now since President Ernest Koroma took the reign. But the rampant corruption – that necessitates the absence of basic amenities of life nationwide – like safe drinking water, free education, good hospitals, affordable food, etc – is a real concern for the ordinary Sierra Leoneans.
People are tired of hearing Ebolagate, Hajjgate and countless corrupt practices shamefully engineered by corrupt officials in high places, who in most cases are let off the hook, thanks to the remote controlled and incompetent Anti- Corruption Commission.
Yes, voters want to see their public servants live well, but not by stealing tax payers money. They can live on their wages like the majority of poverty stricken Sierra Leoneans. At least their fat allowances can top up their livelihood.
It bothers many voters when public thieves are allowed to go scot free by the ACC, thus making a mockery of our justice system, which is fast becoming a laughing stock nationally and globally.
Painfully, the handful of public servants who do not condone corruption are either maligned, blasted or undermined by certain higher-ups, much to the chagrin and annoyance of the silent observers.
“When will this stop,” voters often ask. Research shows that the 2018 elections will be very unique as voters are now ready to spring surprises during polling day on March 7, 2018.
Sierra Leone is bleeding economically, as corrupt officials continue to acquire more palaces, expensive vehicles, millions of foreign currency banked overseas, expensive medical treatments abroad, the list is endless, while ordinary Sierra Leoneans look on hopelessly and wondering why God has forsaken them for so long.
True, corruption is everywhere in the world, even in developed nations. And it’s impossible to eliminate corruption. But it can be minimised to the least percentage.
Corruption in western countries is put at 5% to 10% maximum. But when you are in a country where corruption has become endemic and is clocking over 70%, then it is a recipe for disaster for the ordinary voters. It’s a shame that some of our politicians have no conscience and compassion for the suffering masses.
Sierra Leone is very rich in natural resources, and is a nation that can be easily managed and developed, provided the government can combat rampant corruption.
Now the voters are waiting impatiently for the manifestos from the various political parties. The policy document that puts Anti-corruption at the top of its scale of preference, will definitely win the 2018 elections.
May the better side win. Hopefully, my APC party will win. But the new force in town – the National Grand Coalition (NGC) must be taken seriously.
You guys continue to speak your grammar. You functional elites.
NGC all the way!
You do not need to cast blame on these poor citizens who are victims of circumstances. Most of them are blinded by these politicians. And all these promises. Some are being selfish because of family connections.
In my opinion, there is a level of corruption in every part of the world, but in Sierra Leone, the APC government is consistently engaged in the destruction of every institution that was built before independence. For example education – Fourahbay college which used to be affiliated with Durham University from 1876-1967; the financial institutions in Freetown which used to be the headquarter for all the former British colonies in west Africa; and also the Judicial institution.
In the 70’s and 80’s the APC government systematically destroyed the transportation systems by destroying the railways and the Sierra Leone Airways.
Currently, they have a plan to destroy all what the late president Tejan Kabba struggled to build after the 10 years civil war – including the police.
My only prayer is for all the opposition parties to unite and kick out the APC government, so we can save our nation from further destruction – especially our democracy.
My bet is on the two big political parties (APC and SLPP) to produce the winner of the presidential polls in March next year. Kandeh Yumkella and the NGC are late comers to the political game. Accordingly, Sierra Leonean voters are not going to suddenly change overnight and vote for an angel that they do not know.
They may party with NGC folks all night but when they enter that polling booth they will be looking for RED or GREEN. Obviously, this behavior is not unique to Sierra Leoneans. American voters too look for either RED or BLUE and British voters also dance to the tune two party system.
Evidently, third party forces are used as channels for airing grievances in many political formations. But they often find it difficult to crack the political foundations on which a nation stands. And in the case of Sierra Leone, the historical evidence is that third political forces are only relevant for one electoral cycle. Once that cycle is over, their fire self-extinguishes.
The forthrightness of the article cannot be questioned in its portrayal of APC and SLPP as being negatively corrupt vis-a-vis the nation. This is to contend that there is such a thing as positive corruption depending on the context at hand.
A surgeon,for example, may stem the normal flow of blood in order to perform intricate surgery to save a life ; this is benevolent corruption. An engineer who diverts water flow for the purpose of generating hydro electricity is guilty of positive corruption to help a nation with its power needs.A government official who diverts funds from the construction of a stretch of road to the construction of a technologically advanced university,believing that everything else will follow if his country has a highly educated population, is engaged in commendable corruption.
It is when a state official engages in a conscious and deliberate activity to divert national resources to his/her personal use that we are into the kingdom of malevolent corruption with all its devastating and unrefined consequences,forever retarding the overall progress of a nation.
This is the type of corruption which SLPP and APC have been fostering for decades. For anyone,who is a true Sierra Leonean, to be presented with the opportunity to shove both of them to the scrap heap of politics for the next decade and not rudely grab it should examine his/her patriotism and conscience. To such a person the verdict of future generations means nothing.
No one is asserting that the National Grand Coalition [NGC] would be the panacea to all our ills, but why not give them a chance, rather than be blinded and immobilised by sentiments and emotions into not striving for change?
If we bring in NGC,I believe some visible progress will take place if for no reason than that SLPP and APC will match the former to the gates of the opposite side of heaven in their rage,which in turn will make NGC to perform at their maximum. If they dare to slip, even their ash will not be given a dignified burial.
Fellow Sierra Leoneans,if only for the first and last time in our history,let us don’t vote in 2018 as Mendes,Temenies,Limbas,Krios,Fullahs,Konos or anything else,but as patriotic people whose desire for change has become an incurable disease.
The author is indeed a faithful APC follower and certainly a beneficiary of the corrupt practices of the APC. If after the proficiency with which the APC has wrecked Sierra Leone through the Ebolagate, Hajjgate, and even the “Roadgate” that you may be clueless about, you still wish these rogues to assume power, then I wonder where your love for country lies. Even the blind knows the difference in levels of corrupt practices between the APC and SLPP.
As for the so called new breed of politicians in the GNC, they should not be taken for granted because our people still fall for handouts. Whatever makes them new I don’t know. Can you name me one “New Breed” of politician in the GNC? They are all active participants in bringing our country down to its knees – from their lone Flag bearer, the Chairman and all their top officials. We know the parts they played in stealing our resources.
I am quite sure the next president will take corruption into hand and eliminate it completley. Voters must think of the expatriate from the far east. They are corrupt and will also drive politicians in.
I do believe the SLPP IS NOT THE OLD SLPP THAT FAVOURED CORRUPTION. BY electing Dr. Maada Bio, sure he will fight hard to curb the rampant corruption that is draining the country.
It is a no-brainer that both the APC and SLPP are guilty of corruption. I will also not argue much about your assertion that corruption in the developed countries is up to 10%, while in Sierra Leone we are talking about 70%.
However, it would be good to provide some statistics to back up your claim that APC is less corrupt. That is really not my main point – Its a bit surprising that you still want your APC to win despite the alleged corruption. This is probably one of the habits we as Sierra Leoneans should shed.
I have followed countless debates with regards the performance of these two parties, and invariably, our brothers and sisters will defend their respective parties regardless of the facts. Lets pray that Sierra Leoneans this time round will vote for the leadership and party that will sincerely fight corruption.