By Kabs Kanu
Sierra Leone has never been a democratic country. In the sad and inglorious past, only the views of the politicians and the high and mighty were heard. Also, if any man was accused of any crime, Sierra Leoneans deemed him guilty until he proves himself innocent. Sierra Leoneans are either very ignorant about democracy and the Rule of Law or had not been brought up in the tradition of these ideals .This is the reason that people get uneasy whenever the individuals society has already passed judgement on as villians are given the opportunity to state their own case in the press. We do not believe that those we dislike or compete with or have been accused of wrongdoing should ever be given the opportunity to present their own views.
COCORIOKO is running a series on the dismissed Managing Director of the Sierra Leone Water Company, Mr. Justin Musa .An insider is providing classified information which, to him and those privy to the information, believe leaves no doubt that Musa was a victim of witch-hunting. This is not the view of Cocorioko. We are only messengers passing on to the public the other side of a very contentious issue , being provided by an insider . Our quest has brought lots of attacks from people who think that the only thing Justin Musa deserves now is crucifixion.However , it is good to note that a democratic society does not operate like that. We must allow those who are on his side to tell the world why they think he is a victim of witch-hunting.
The article below was written by to explain to members of the COCORIOKO FORUM , especially Mr. Allie Formeh Kamara, COCORIOKO’s standpoint on the issue. Readers know how much we abhor corruption and would be the last to believe that we are trying to remake Mr. Musa.We are not. Please read our standpoint below and understand with us.
Posted by KABS KANU on June 20, 2007 at 12:20:44:
Brother Formeh Kamara,
Thank you for your comments on the Justin Musa articles on the revelations of an Insider . Believe me, my brother, I do not know Justin Musa from Adam. I have never met him or spoken to him. Somebody once said he too attended CKC but if he is older than me, he may have attended long before I did. If I am older than him, he may have attended CKC long after I left. I don’t know him;I don’t know anybody connected with him.
All I am doing is practising REAL, DEMOCRATIC JOURNALISM and as somebody with a degree in law, also promoting the tenets of the Rule of Law—Both dicta stating that EVERY MAN, EVERY SOUL, EVERY INDIVIDUAL, WHATEVER HIS CREED, WHATEVER HIS NATIONALITY, WHATEVER HIS RELIGION , WHATEVER THE CHARGES AGAINST HIM , DESERVES TO BE HEARD AND A MAN IS PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL HE IS FOUND GUILTY BY A CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. . This is the foundation upon which our system of Democracy and The Rule of Law are built.
Justin Musa may have done all the things you are alleging .We are not trying to vindicate him in anyway. We at COCORIOKO care a lot about our nation and about corruption, but our policy is :WE WILL GIVE EVERYBODY A CHANCE TO BE HEARD. IF THE SNAKE STARTS TALKING TODAY AND WANTS TO TELL THE WORLD ITS OWN VERSION OF THE INCIDENT AT THE GARDEN OF EDEN, BELIEVE ME, IN THE SPIRIT OF FREEDOM OF THE PRESS, WE SHALL PUBLISH IT, THOUGH WE ALREADY BELIEVE THAT THE BIBLE’S EXPLANATION IS THE ONLY TRUTH ABOUT THE MATTER. .
WE BELIEVE IN THE BIBLE AND WE THINK THE BIBLE IS SO ACCURATE AND FAIR EVEN THE ENEMIES OF GOD ARE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES–Do you remember what Satan told Job and Jesus and what the jews were saying about Christ ? . The Bible did not conceal them. It brought them out .They were grave allegations and they were not true and by publishing them, the Bible was not saying they were true. It was just trying to have the other side heard , which was later demolished by clear and convincing beyond a reasonable doubt that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. We must note though that in Christianity, God is the Be-all and end-all. What he says is the only truth. There is no other truth besides God’s word. I only gave this example to demonstrate the best way possible that we will allow anyone to talk , even though our mind is already made up ( Like on the fact that Satan is evil and deserves what he got and will get ).
Even you, there are allegations against you–About the role you and your girlfriend played when Justin Musa left you in charge of his bounties, which we learn is the reason that you are so bitter against him.We will publish everything and then we will ask you for your own side of the story and we will publish that. This is what Democracy is all about. .We have to give everybody a chance to be heard, even if others think they are wrong or guilty of a crime. This is the spirit of democracy and the rule of law.
This is the good thing about COCORIOKO and this is why I am fighting very hard tomaintain our neutrality, independence and objectivity. It is in COCORIOKO that you will hear alleged villians speaking. We don’t stop anybody from defending himself on our pages. We will let the public look on the two sides and make their own judgements. We don’t pre-empt the public. if contrary evidence emerges against what the alleged villian said, we will also publish it
This is a kind of trial. Let us hear all the sides of the story and let us not stop others from having their own side of the issue heard. If we do that, we are not practising democracy .We would be practising one-sidedness.Even Franklin Bassir will be given a chance to respond to the allegations against him by the Insider . .
Read COCORIOKO this afternoon. An SLPP official in New Jersey, Mr. Kai Lebbie, is going to respond to all the allegations supporters of the APC have been making in recent times in the newspaperHe is going to tell it from the SLPP standpoint. This is the kind of spirit we want to prevail at COCORIOKO. When I die, I want to leave a legacy that I was one of the most fair, objective and democratic Editors that ever lived. Infact, your article on the forum will be published in the newspaper this afternoon.I will also tell the Moderator not to delete your attacks on the paperThis is democracy and press freedom.
Democracy is sweet. Let us Savor it and enjoy it .