I BEG TO DIFFER

                                            S. I. Kamara

 

“The two-day London strike at the doorstep of the Consultative Group meeting

where Sierra Leone’s high profiled functionaries were present to sell the needs of their beloved land, was highly unfortunate and at worst, unpatriotic.”

 

I beg to differ Chief Gbondima Gbondo. You have said that “this present government, for any imaginary predicament this nation is going through, is politically self-serving and dishonest.” This to my interpretation means that these present crops of leaders we have not only are dishonest but they care less about the people they are fighting to govern.

 

From the tone of your piece I want to believe that you have been complaining like the rest of us about the way we have been governed. There is rampant corruption, ministers and top civil servants are recklessly using donor funds to enrich themselves and don’t give a damn what anybody says or writes.

 

I have been overseas and spoken to many Sierra Leoneans both lettered and unlettered, professional and nonprofessional and virtually all of them will tell you that they want to go back home as things are very difficult overseas. But what should go back to? Those who are not lettered or not professionals will freely tell you that when they work they get paid and on time and commensurate to the nature of the jobs they do. Even when things go bad they can afford to live from paycheck to paycheck.

 

I do not want to repeat what you have written as the hopelessness of the life of the average man/woman in the country is inherent in your very piece. Since the NPRC coup there had been a mad rush of Sierra Leoneans to Europe and North America. Sierra Leoneans who could not afford to buy a simple TV suddenly found themselves being able to get one, and most of all they could afford to buy cars. Some work very hard to build houses back home something the politicians prevented them from having at home. Instead they would send their children overseas to good schools out of our sweat and fraudulently convert donor funds to their personal use thereby rendering the people, including you are me, poor so that they can control us because when a man is hungry you can control him.

 

I expected that before writing your piece you have thought of what to write and I would only want to know if you ever asked yourself how come a person like Momodu Koroma, a hitherto dregman lecturer could build not only a house but houses in such a short time; how Okere Adams got all the riches he can bluff with today, why Alpha Wurie, Kabba’s untouchable, was not brought in to answered for monies that disappeared from his ministry but instead Bockarie Soloku was put in prison? Why all the injustice and outright vindictiveness demonstrated by this regime. How come Kanja Sesay was accused by newspapers of bankrolling Berewa’s campaign? You know these people are beastly rich. Is this bad heart on the part of the critics, according to Kabba and Berewa, or it is plain and simple corruption?

 

Isn’t it true that Berewa has been using monies accrued from the Road Transport Authority to service S.L.P.P. offices in the provinces? Before you challenge me, simply check. Was it not taxpayer’s money that was used delegates at the S.L.P.P. convention?

 

Please know and do realize from today that monies sent by Sierra Leoneans in the Diaspora are up keeping families back home. What has the government been doing? Lies, lies and lies galore. So if those very Sierra Leoneans you are now criticizing should protest against a cabal that has been running their people down to the earth, they are not unpatriotic as you describe them. Kabba, Berewa and his cabal are the ones that are unpatriotic because they misusing the very donor monies Kabba and Berewa came to beg for.

 

I heard what Berewa said over Focus on Africa. It was so misleading that I feel very bad that an intellectual like you should have fallen for such a statement. Man let us all always listen with the third ear and look with the third eye we will always see what these rogues do not want us to see.

 

If you go to the bank to borrow money to repair your house and the bank says it cannot give you all what you are requesting but that whatever you are requesting will be channeled through their contractor, don’t you think your integrity has been put in doubt? Kabba and Berewa have not been able to give account of all monies given to them so why trust them with more? What have they done with all that money sent to them? Let Kanja Sesay give an account of what he received officially over the years.

 

Berewa told Sierra Leoneans in London that if anybody is waiting for a level playing field for elections then that person will not be able to go back. That means that for as long as he and Kabba are at the helm Sierra Leoneans wll never enjoy free and fair elections. In this charged political atmosphere, one may easily be tempted to accuse you of brown envelope journalism but I am not doing that. I just convinced myself that there are a lot of things you do not know or probably not even want to know.

 

It is very unfair to describe hardworking Sierra Leoneans who protest against bad leaders as unpatriotic. In Sierra Leone, they would never have been allowed to do that and the International Community would have been left with the belief that all was well when things are so bad. Even when these monies will be channeled through the World Bank or the UNDP, I will urge you, Chief Gbondima Gbondo,(I hope this is your correct name), to follow up on this issue but do resist attempts to bribe you to sing praises like Sorie Fofana has been doing in London.  We are all Sierra Leoneans. Let us put these people on their toes because any attempt at praising them will convince them that they are doing things right and we will all suffer at the end and those overseas will have to stay overseas for the rest of their lives. That will never be allowed to happen because Sierra Leone is for us all not for the Kabbaists.      

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