What Donald Trump should have said about Sierra Leone – but did not

A boy walks through the river in Kroo Bay slum looking for scrap metal to sell. The river is effectively a giant sewage and everyday new garbage arrives in the water from the hills around. Kroo Bay, Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 March 2016

America’s presidential hopeful Donald Trump may be a buffoon with a lot of cash, and perhaps the worst presidential candidate the US has ever produced. But to be wrongly credited with a statement about Sierra Leone, so powerful and true, is quite a stretch.

The fact is that Trump is terribly incapable of thinking logically and putting together a coherent and sensible set of ideas and constructive criticisms, which could lead to the formulation of credible policies.

But many Sierra Leoneans who read excerpts on social media of that bogus statement he was supposed to have made about Sierra Leone, especially the people who run the country, would have saluted Donald Trump had he made that statement, because every single word is painfully true.

And not surprisingly, the Sierra Leone Embassy in America and government media, were quick to denounce the alleged Trump statement.

Yet, just two weeks ago, the United Nations Development Programme published a damning report, showing that Sierra Leone is still languishing at the bottom of the Global Human Development Index.

In 2011, Sierra Leone was ranked 180 out of 187 countries in the Human Development Index (HDI) and 72.7% of people described as multi-dimensionally poor.

salone poverty1Three years later in 2014, the report placed the country further down the HDI at 181 out of 188 countries and 77.5% of Sierra Leoneans multi-dimensionally poor – among the highest in the world, and with life expectancy at less than 50 years.

The latest Global HDI report 2015, shows that Sierra Leone has the highest maternal mortality in the world with 1,100 deaths for every 100,000 women giving birth; making the country the most dangerous place for a woman to get pregnant.

Equally so, is the sad and tragic statistic showing that Sierra Leone is the worst country for a child to be born, with the highest child mortality rate of 107 for every 1,000 births; and 160 children out of 1,000 dying before they celebrate their fifth birthday.

The physical growth of 45% of children, aged under-five is severely stunted because of malnutrition.

Sierra Leone has the lowest life expectancy for people aged 60, at just 12.5 additional years.

Only 44% of people aged 15 years and over are literate in Sierra Leone, with only 2.9% of GDP spent on education, compared to 13% of GDP spent on education in Lesotho where 76% of people aged 15 and over are literate. Which of these two countries will attract the most investors?

So, what didn’t  Donald Trump say, that caused so much uproar among government officials, which should have been said; and will he one day soon set aside his buffoonery and call the leadership of Sierra Leone for what it is?

“Look at African countries like Sierra Leone for instance, those people are stealing from their own government and go to invest the money in foreign countries. From the government to the opposition, they only qualify to be used as a case study whenever bad examples are required.

“These are people who import everything including matchsticks. In my opinion, most of these African countries like Sierra Leone ought to be recolonized again for another 100 years because they know nothing about leadership and self-governance,” Trump is wrongfully quoted as saying.

But had he made that statement, would he have been accused of being wrong?

salone poverty3The truth is that most Sierra Leoneans hold these views about the country of their birth. After 55 years of self-rule, the government of Sierra Leone cannot pay for much needed public services without funding from international donors.

The country has a shockingly low tax revenue base of just 11% of GDP.

According to local media, speaking at the launch of the government’s home fair and exhibition last  weekend, the general manager of the housing corporation (SALHOC) Lavern Buya-Kamara said that; “65% of Sierra Leoneans are living in sub-standard houses in the country”.

Speaking on World Water Day in Freetown last week, Water Aid Programme Director – Chiuchu Selma, said that “the government should take action in ensuring that 37.4 percent of Sierra Leoneans living without water are provided with access to clean water.”

The World Bank is providing tens of millions of dollars in funding to help rebuild the country’s electricity infrastructure, which it says currently supplies electricity to less than 10% of the population, with the remaining 90% living in darkness.

Despite the Koroma government claiming to have spent over $500 million on infrastructure since coming to power in 2007, few of the newly constructed roads are useable during the rainy season, because of poor construction and corruption.

Read the HDI Report here:

http://report.hdr.undp.org/

17 Comments

  1. If we are cried down by someone, some where, then all we need to do is to prove them wrong about our country Sierra Leone.

  2. I am not a fan of Donald Trump and I completely disagree with almost everything that he says, but is he right to use Sierra Leone as example of countries that need to be recolonized?

    Because effective colonization teaches people and countries to be better, to govern themselves effectively, to be united, to love their countries and country mates, to uphold their principles and abide by the laws that attracts credible and responsible investors and tourists.

    It is an example of anti-human living conditions and shameful analyzes but 55 years after the British rule, the government of Sierra Leone (mostly headed by northerners – Limba, Loko tribes. The two biggest tribes in the country – Mende and Temne do not govern their own country ) cannot pay for much needed public services without funding from international donors.

    Since 1981, Sierra Leone has won every international begging competition and she has become the biggest laughing stock around the world.

    What is the direction of Sierra Leone today? Sierra Leone continues to go backward. Corruption and daylight intimidation has become the order of the day.

    Is Ernest Koroma’s so-called New APC any different from Siaka Stevens and J.S Momoh’s destructive days? By the way, these people were the architects of human destruction and the collapse of Sierra Leone.

    What kind of society is ours when 70% of its people especially young people are jobless and lives on less than two dollars a day?

    Colonization and recolonization has its pros and cons. Effective colonization teaches the citizens of colonized societies to be better and stronger coupled with enough information and ideas to govern themselves after colonization.

    Cases in mind are Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, USA and Vietnam that refused to be colonized hence fought the French and Americans respectively.

    As highlighted above, I am not a Donald Trump supporter or fan, but Sierra Leone is a death trap and an example of failed society led by people with zero idea about good governance and love for society.

    Before APC came to power, Sierra Leone had a middle-class economy, she was a law abiding society, a principled society that used to be call the “Athens of Africa”, had good infrastructure like railway, good roads, water, improved agricultural as well as organized mining sectors.

    Today, S/L has no economy on its own; its entire economy is driven by aid, drugs and lies. The so-called fourth-class buyers and seller’s investors (the Lebanese, Syrians, Indians, now Chinese) have taken over the country; once more, the natural born citizens have become slaves in their own country (same as re-colonization but more dangerous for the country and its citizens).

    Sierra Leone is bankrupt, its citizens are poor and lives by the day, the world look down upon us because we are not respected anywhere in the world, yet tribal-driven northerners continue to vote blindly for APC.

    They continue to vote against the country’s interest, they continue to vote for seasoned corruption, intimidation, poverty, environmental degradation, division and potential slavery that could be worst than Donald Trump’s so-called re-colonization.

    The north continues to vote against their own interest and the interest of the future generations.

    It’s up to us Sierra Leoneans to rise up and demand real change in Sierra Leone, it’s up to us to spread the message to the entire people, it’s up to us to educate the people and liberate their minds, it’s up to us to educate them about human responsibility to society.

    It’s up to us to define real human living and the differences between S/L and other countries in the world. It is up to us to become fearless and commit ourselves to responsible change for the betterment of Sierra Leone and for future generations to come.

    Why is it that any time APC is in power, human destruction and natural disaster will continue to unfold?

  3. Sierra Leone is right on the crossroads of a make or break existence. Adults, young adults and even our kids, kith and kin made great sacrifice in our recent history in order to usher in freedom, justice, democracy and prosperity in the country, following a cruel civil war which claimed the lives of well over fifty thousand citizens, for a system of governance which all peace loving and progressive nations across the world have embraced and are enjoying today.

    A democratic system which paved the way for the opposition APC party to assume governance of the country in 2007, thanks to a gallant woman Christiana Thorpe, electoral commissioner who stood firmly to ensure that democratic tenants are observed in the presidential election process, along with the blessings of late President Ahmed Tejan Kabba who against the wish of his SLPP party, handed over power as a true democrat to the incumbent Ernest Koroma of the APC. A system this APC government is trying to destroy.

    This census report corroborates and testifies once again the aimless direction this APC government is driving Sierra Leone – a recurrent down turn of the Human Development Index that shows no sign of improvement. They should feel deeply ashamed of themselves and quit the political scenario, as they are unfit to put the country on track and move it towards progress and prosperity, a singsong of their failed policies.

    Overwhelmed with the daunting task of running the affairs of the country and stagnated in a clueless limbo with no sense of purpose, they are bent on corruption, scam and embezzlement of tax payers money and resources of the land, with very little or nothing to offer to the wellbeing of citizens.

    Donald Trump’s alleged statement about Sierra Leone addresses the true image of the country in current times, a condition inflicted by our clueless, corrupt and inept political elites in both the APC and SLPP governments, since the achievement of our independence.

    Sierra Leone represents a bad example of a modern nation; we are trailing far behind our peers in the sub-region in terms of social transformation. Our governments have continually failed to lay adequate foundation that could stimulate and boost the local private sector, an area of potential economic development, taking into account the business oriented nature of the people of Sierra Leone.

    As all development parameters are underpinned on the strength of the local economy of a nation, this is an area that could help lift our rankings in the Global Human Development Index, and also lay the foundation for a sustainable development.

    Left with the APC and SLPP alone, Sierra Leone will never achieve real progress. These two parties have already outlived their usefulness and must take the exit door.

    We need honest and sincere politicians with the right focus and common sense to uplift this country from the doldrums of backwardness.

    As a people, we sit by passively without speaking up to defend our democratic rights; or watch as events continue to unfold. What would posterity think about us if our democratic system fails and our country is once again dubbed a failed nation. We are accomplice to this state of affairs.

    We need to become a real force for change through exercising our democratic rights. Sierra Leone is a democratic state as enshrined in our national constitution; we are yet to move towards a democratic crusade, with total involvement of all who believe and uphold the system of democracy in Sierra Leone.

    The Sierra Leone people have attained political maturity that should be sound enough to make the right choice of their governors in a free and fair democratic election, but the educated Sierra Leoneans need to crystallize this effort – come 2018 parliamentary and presidential elections.

    This is a call to all patriotic Sierra Leoneans to wake up from our slumber and redirect our destiny.

  4. Liz: You are hereby reminded of what God’s word says on waiting for Him: “Therefore, return to your God; observe kindness and justice. And wait for your God continually.” Hosea 12:6.

  5. Mr. Mohamed Ali: Allow me respond to you in a few words. I neither insulted nor denigrated you in anyway, shape or form. I have only been assertive to you on the negative consequences of Freemasonry. And if that is extremism, then so be it; I offer no apology for that.

    Lastly, I was a Muslim too and got converted to Christianity. Jesus Christ is the reason for my conversion. For He is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father in heaven except through Jesus. John 14:6.

    Sure, I will keep my Bible with me no matter what. And thanks too for the exchanges we had between us. Bye bye.

    “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.” Matthew 10:14,15 (NIV). Amen.

  6. Let us face the gun and be frank with ourselves. Are our leaders not doing what Trump mentioned? Are they not accumulating wealth, buying and building houses in other countries? Are some not doing business secretly with state resources in other countries?

    Are they not investing in other countries for fear that when they leave power their wealth will be confiscated?

    Think about the average poor and reflect on the massive structures people put up during this short Ebola Virus Disease outbreak when they were placed in those offices. Think also about the status of any minister or senior statesman before taking up any senior position, and compare it to just one year or two after his appointment.

    The current Government wanted to follow the late President Kabbah regarding the declaration of assets by public officials. But where is this concept today. It has died a natural death.

    It will be proper if all public workers declare their assets after every two years. We know those in authority who have businesses in African countries.

    What I will not accept from Trump is for us to be recolonized. However, his statement has some facts. African countries are not under political colonization, but are under economic and development colonialism.

    Our economy is taking us nowhere, and we are incapable of developing or producing technologies. Our education is now money making venture. People are not promoted on merit any more. People pay to pass their tests, assignments and examinations.

    From primary school to University, majority of our students are promoted if they can pay bribes. Those who are intelligent will not fail, but will not receive the desired grades that their brains have the potential to produce.

    I support the first part of the alleged Trump’s statement regarding the wealth accumulated by our leaders and invested in other countries. This has made us very very poor, and we need to break out this selfish and greedy ambition.

  7. Mr Moustache, this is my last word in response to your extremist approach to religion. I am a Muslim and am comfortable with my religious beliefs, and need no convincing to join your religion. Please learn to respect diversity.

    As for your views about Freemasonry, it seems you are stuck in ignorance. But thats ok. You are entitled to your views, which however does not give you the right to denigrate or insult other people’s beliefs, or right not to believe.

    Please keep your Bible and I will keep my Quran brought down to us Muslims by Allah, through His Messenger the Prophet Mohamed (Peace be upon Him). I am not a cross-carpeter, thank you.

    Finally, let me simply say to you that there is nothing in Freemasonry that is inimical to my religious beliefs as a Muslim. I am a Freemason and am proud of the good humanitarian work that the institution is doing all over the world, and the happiness it promotes in a difficult and troubled world.

    With extremists like you, the world will continue to be an unhappy and unsafe one. I pray God help you.

    Thanks for the exchange and goodbye, as we both agree to disagree.

  8. Mr. Mohamed Ali: Thank you for your civil and decent response to my piece on satanic secret societies in the Land of Sierra Leone. Let us agree to disagree on everything about Freemasonry, which is a deceptive practice of the devil who has taken people captive and bound them for hell. You cannot fool or school me on Freemasonry. For it is Satan at work through Hiram Abiff, the chief architect of your Solomon’s Temple. What a “religious” hypocrisy indeed.

    “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. I know where you live – where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city – where Satan lives.” Revelation 2:12,13 (NIV).

    When you say that: “A Lodge building is not a church or a mosque. It is not a house of worship. It is a meeting place.” I ask that you take these ersatz and erroneous statements with a pinch of salt. For Freemasonry does not hold to the truth of my Lord Jesus Christ.

    Please repent of your sinful way of life and come out of Freemasonry. Save yourself from a corrupt generation full of all kinds of satanic institutions. Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal savior. He will give you true life, and you will become a new creation in Him. Amen.

  9. Mr Moustache, let me please enlighten you about Freemasonry, if I may.

    Firstly, Freemasonry is not and has never been a force for evil in society. As a global institution, it is one of the largest contributors to charity and humanitarian causes, such as healthcare, education, and social welfare around the world.

    But what is Freemasonry? It is a system of morality that is veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols.

    Its overriding goal is to promote happiness among its members, of which there are hundreds of thousands around the world, as well as sharing happiness in society.

    Freemasonry has the potential to make good men better. But would struggle in transforming bad men into better people in society. In point of fact, Freemasonry does not accept evil or bad men into its membership. Any member found wanting of bad conduct, is automatically expelled from the institution.

    And it is for this reason that membership of Freemasonry is based on sound recommendation from a member of good standing, so as to ensure that a member cannot bring the institution into disrepute.

    Membership of Freemasonry is open to all men over the age of 21 years, and can testify their faith and belief in God. It is open to men of ALL religious faiths: Muslims, Christians, Jews, Indus, etc.

    Finally, on your assertion that Freemasonry does not tolerate discussion IN THE LODGE ROOMS about religion or politics. You are quite right. But why?

    Take a look around the world. The two most contentious subjects that are unnecessarily the root cause of wars are religion and politics.

    Freemasonry respects the fact that everyone is entitled to their respective religious or political beliefs, and must not be subject to rancour by anyone because of those belief. Hence political and religious discussions within the Lodge building that has the potential to create tension, is discouraged to avoid any such rancour or animosity. A Lodge building is not a church or a mosque. It is not a house of worship. It is a meeting place.

    Moustache, I would encourage you to visit your nearest Lodge Building and see for yourself, what Freemasonry is all about.

    Freemasonry is not a secret society, but a society with secrets, especially with regards the identity of its members.

    I hope I have helped you in gaining a true and unbiased understanding of what Freemasonry is about. Otherwise, please feel free to ask.

  10. Samuel B. Pratt: This is how “Nebuchadnezzar” in Daniel 1:1 of the Holy Bible is spelt and not ‘Nebuccannezer.’ Just a quick correction.

    Additionally, in my piece on satanic secret societies that are practiced all over Sierra Leone, I also mentioned Freemason and Lodge as being part of the problem.

    As a matter of fact, Freemasonry forbids religious discussions and politics. They can’t hold on to truth of our Living God. What a shame!

    • You are so ignorant! Please try to understand what is being said. You are too eager to reply rather than seeking to understand. What loving “God” will be proud of the irresponsible, sub-human standards the citizen of Sierra Leoneans are now subjected to.

      Its time to take personal responsibility and stop waiting on God. God already provide every tool that is needed to make this life happens with dignity.

      Stop the God bullshitting and seek to grow and make sensible choices. That my friend is what take you places, not your hypothetical God.

  11. I thank all my Brother’s and Sister’s who have made comments regarding Prospective US Presidential candidate coming soon November 2016.

    Trump is right on so many things about current issues affecting Sierra Leone. My response to all is simple. God Jehovah allows people to lead. Whether it be Nebuccannezer, Hitler, Idi Amin, or Sadam Hussien. He is LORD Almighty, He does as He pleases.

    We HUMANS pay a terrible price always when we interfere in GOD’s plans. He has a purpose and reason for allowing some people to leadership roles. If HE WILLS Donald Trump to lead America, accept the card place in front of you.

    I am predicting: If and when Donald Trump becomes President of the US, all benevolent Dollars flowing into Africa will be severely scrutinized. I promise you all.

    Some African Countries, including Sierra Leone might not get a dime from America. I advice my fellow Africans in leadership role, to snap out of the NEO-COLONIAL mentality ideology: ‘The Colonial Masters have gone, and now I am the boss and will do as I please with my “cabbudu group”.’

  12. On March 5, 2016, 1:18 am, I wrote the following about secret societies, including Poro and Bondo, that are threatening the very life and survival of Sierra Leone as a godly nation. Everything in the country is messed up.

    There is poor Leadership tainted with corruption everywhere in the Land. My heart yearns for one more spiritual revival in Sierra Leone.

    Today, I read this article from cocorioko.info on “Alleged Poro Society Reprisal Threats On Children Of Victim Of Bamoi Charade.”

    Please renounce and denounce your involvement and participation in these satanic secret societies. Distance yourself from all of them. For the judgment of God is about coming soon. Amen.

    “No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.” 1Corinthians 10:20,21 (NIV)

    Mustache Moustache March 5, 2016 1:18 am

    “We are living by a flowing stream of clean water, but still thirsty. It is a very serious paradox for Sierra Leone enriched with many known natural resources, including diamond, gold, rutile, bauxite, etc. yet among the poorest countries in (West) Africa. What a shame!

    Question: Why is the President richer than everyone else, and all other political elites hide their wealth in foreign banks? If this is not corruption, then what else is?

    Certainly, this is because of the many ungodly and satanic secret societies, including Poro, Wondei, Gbangbani, Ojeh, Hunting, Bondo, are heavily practiced all over the country. The majority of the people of Sierra Leone are strong members of these clandestine and surreptitious groups that are interested only in bloodsucking activities. These cultic and occultic practices must STOP, without any debate, for us to prosper both physically and spiritually.

    I ask that members of these secret societies come back to their senses, like the prodigal son in Luke15, and do what is right and just before the Living God. Or else they are eternally doomed. May the Lord have mercy on them, including us. Repent! Amen.”

  13. I agree with with Alimamy B. Sankoh on the point that every Sierra Leonean should carry the blame. My simple reason is, come elections, Sierra Leoneans vote on sentiments; they vote on tribal lines and the colours of the parties.

    Its about time we start looking at real issues. But then again, statistics show that education is very low; not everyone is educated to know the consequences of voting in a bad government. Wake up, Wake up and Wake up fellow country men and women.

    On the issue of Donald Trump’s ‘utterances’ (if true). They are correct and to the point. For years, some of us have been saying that Sierra Leone being a very small country with very low population and with all the minerals, agricultural produce, land and manpower resources at our disposal, we should be at the top of the ladder of the Human Development Index (HDI).

    We have everything Western countries are lacking. This APC government like those before them, have done absolutely nothing to improve the conditions of its people.

    These politicians will never listen, because they are constantly playing us against each other. They are using our mental deficiency to mismanage our God given resources.

    As a people, we should start asking questions and holding them to account. REMEMBER: The day we close our ears and eyes and pretend that nothing is wrong; that day we expose ourselves as being part of the ongoing corruption.

    Lets stand and fight the 1% who are dragging us down the bottomless pit.

  14. Actually, Trump is more than capable of thinking logically and putting together a coherent and sensible set of ideas and constructive criticisms, which could lead to the formulation of credible policies and he has proven this with his successful companies/empire – worth Billions of $USD (not Leones SLL).

    Country’s that are low on the HDI need to change; and that change cant be to receive more hand-outs. Receiving hand outs is the reason people get more lazy, greedy and it fuels corruption.

    After spending 5 years in Sierra Leone, I grew to love the country and what it has to offer. However, I didn’t become blind to the fact corruption is the reason for the country’s decay; and this is the country’s fault only.

    Although Trump is very direct, and many things he says are not socially acceptable or the normal, I believe if Trump becomes president he will turn this world on its head, and give it the shake-up it needs. He will also not allow corruption to go under the table, like it has been.

    Finally, he is someone who is not afraid to say it how it is.

  15. If really Mr. Trump made such comments about Sierra Leone, we should not be driven away by emotional sentiments. No matter what is said, it is because of the situation in Sierra Leone that every passerby can mess with us.

    If what is written about what is happening in our country were actually the words of Mr. Trump, then we should blame every Sierra Leonean for this international public ridicule.

    Its time for us to wake up from our slumber, and ask ourselves why all this mess. Maybe we will one day come to grasp the reality and truth that Sierra Leone is sliding towards abysmal collapse.

    I believe President Ernest Bai Koroma and the opposition politicians should accept this failure of leadership in Sierra Leone, otherwise posterity will prove them harshly.

    • The APC party is not capable of transforming Sierra Leone, because the party is not truly a political party but a criminal enterprise with the objective of fleecing and converting state money to private use.

      They prefer uneducated morons whose qualification for office is praise singing and extolling the virtues of whoever happens to be their leader.

      I would challenge anyone to come up with a tangible infrastructural, social and economic change this Ernest Bai Koroma administration has made in the lives of our people, besides the much overused, talked about road development, which by the way, was in the works even before he took over.

      Our country will continue to stay at the bottom of the human development index scale, if we do not seriously start to consider the QUALIFICATION of those we elect to lead us, because they are the drivers.

      As we all know, you would not get into a vehicle no matter how expensive and nice it looks, if the driver is not sober.

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