The Hinga Norman/ Charles Margai imbroglio

From: John E. Leigh
To: All
Date Posted: 13:18:44 07/18/06 ()
Email Address:
Entered From: at

Dear Forumites:

I submit this posting in opposition to the request of Mr. Albert Moinina seeking support for PMDC’s Margai. My approach below is to answer each of Mr. Moinina’s claims in the order in which he presented them on behalf of Mr. Margai and to demonstrate that there is no legitimate basis for decent people to support PMDC. I have prepared the attached in the interest of my country’s future and not because of any thing I might have against Messrs. Moinina and Margai.

1. MOININA: Charles has always been with the people. Unlike most of us who left SL for economic reasons, Charles has stayed in the country and contributed in his own way in the betterment of the lives of the people.

REBUTTAL: The above reason is not a sound one. Siaka Stevens, Joseph Momoh, Valentine Strasser, Maada Bio, Johnny Paul Koroma and Foday Sankoh – all stayed behind; all were with the people and none left the country for economic reasons.

But what good did their staying behind do for our country? Their remaining behind probably equipped them to help ruin our country. Some of them tried to bring betterment to the country but it was not because they stayed behind. It was their mentality but even they faltered at some point to the disappointment of many.

By the way, what specific deeds has Mr. Margai contributed in bettering the lives of our people? Vagueness won’t do. We need specific examples.
Furthermore, are people who left SLeone for economic reasons not beneficial to their people back home?

Would our country have been a better place if we all had stayed behind unemployed or underemployed without international exposure and education, begging foreigners and partaking of the corrupt ways that developed after Independence?

For your information, SLeoneans send millions of dollars annually to their people, schools, churches, communities, political parties, etc. Without these remittances, our country might have exploded once again or if not, our people would be far more miserable and our country more wretched than before. Remittances from émigrés are a key way for poor countries to develop. Hence, leaving SLeone to better one’s self is not a negative conduct as Mr. Moinina is implying here.

Lastly, I believe Margai stayed behind in SLeone for his own benefit because of his burning desire to further his selfish political career to lead. He thus missed out on learning international ways and observing how the world really works.

2. MOININA. Charles has always been a fighter for justice for the average man ¡V He has championed many cases for the poor and average people.

REBUTTAL: Give us specific examples, not just vague declarations. Did not Hinga Norman, a jailed national hero, complain about Mr. Margai’s request for $50,000 retainer upfront before looking into his case – after Mr. Norman was shockingly arrested and detained for war crimes and was desperate for legal help?

3. MOININA He [Margai] is a believer in democracy ¡V Without Charles and others, Joe Jackson and others would have rigged the 1986 election.

REBUTTAL: The 1986 elections were a One-Party Election that was still rigged. Those One-Party elections did nothing good for our country. They gave phony legitimacy to a civilian dictatorship of corruption, incompetence and unfairness – six months without a single flicker of electricity in the nation’s capital; and largescale marginalization of decent people – and were a prelude to a most devastating war; the relentless plunder of our country by foreigners and the concoction of a so-called Greater Liberia of which the Western boundary was the Sewa River.

Finally, if Mr. Margai was a democrat in 1986, by August 2005 he had changed and publicly advocated to set up a so-called benevolent dictatorship under his dictatorial leadership. That was his stance in the SLPP Leadership Debate over the airwaves with VP Berewa and others, including myself. I have the tapes.

4. MOININA. He [Margai] is smart. He may have failed all his exams in school, but today he is one of the best lawyers in the country.

REBUTTAL: Mr. Margai is not smart by any objective standard. If he is smart why does he have so many dunce heads and disreputable types around him or defending him in the world wide web but only a sprinkling of good, decent, deep people is seen on his side or are heard defending him?

If he is so smart, he would never have sought to recruit me to serve under his rubbish, tribal leadership. If he is so smart, he would never have sought to hijack the Third Force. If he were so smart, the CKC violence would never have occurred.
If here were so smart, he would not have engaged in his notorious, disreputable party hopping – SLPP, APC, SLPP, NUP, SLPP, PMDC. Where next, SLPP?

If he was so smart, he would not have infuriated paramount chiefs with his suggestion that they must face re-election every five years, like MPs. If he was so smart, he would never have sued his father, Sir Albert, who is alleged to have then cursed him that he will never realize his life’s ambition to lead Sierra Leone.

If Margai was really smart, he would have accepted the Hinga Norman case with alacrity instead of behaving arrogantly in demanding an impossible fee upfront as related to me by Mr. Norman. If he was so smart, the constitution he claimed he drafted for SLPP would have not hard so many loopholes that made the Makeni ConBention possible.

Further, Mr. Margai is by no means one of the best lawyers in SLeone. Being politically prominent does not add up to being “one of the best lawyers in SLeone”. Perhaps, you could prove me wrong with specific examples of his smartness and being the best lawyers in SLeone. And I stand ready and willing to be educated in this matter but please defend his dubious constitution-writing ability.

5. MOININA. His [Margai’s] integrity is indubitable ¡V his clean records, albeit unsubstantiated rumors of corruption as Minister of Interior, is loud and clear.

REBUTTAL: If as Mr. Moinina claims Mr. Margai’s “integrity is indubitable” and his record clean, how come “loud and clear” rumors of corruption at the Ministry of the Interior refuse to go way nearly five or six years after leaving the ministry? How come he sought to hijack the Third Force for himself? How come his uniform supporters crashed the CKC Closing Function last November? How come he has refused to educate the voting public about his background – education, qualifications, problems solved, experience relevant to the position of president?

If he has integrity as per Mr. Moinina, how come he is a party hopper: SLPP, APC, SLPP, NUP, SLPP, PMDC? People of integrity are not fickle minded; they are resolute! How come he took his father, Sir Albert, to court? And what is the true story behind the trust funds allegedly bequeathed by his father for his children? This may help buttress his claim of integrity.

6. MOININA. His [Margai] ¡§Arrogance¡¨ ¡V The above can be similarly ascribed to Ernest Koroma, but this is where they differ. Charles is a no non-sense person and does not compromise his principles. Therefore he is coined as ¡§arrogant¡¨. Majority of our politicians past and present are in politics first and foremost and possibly the only reason is for their personal benefits which lead to corrupt practices with such low salaries. Charles has refused to get along with these thieves in their corrupt practices. We have heard of people like Bash Taqi and Wilshire Johnson who were outspoken critics of governments. When given power they conveniently joined the band of thieves. Charles is an exception and so he is ¡§arrogant¡¨.

REBUTTAL: Two wrongs do not make a right. Merely because Mr. Ernest Koroma is deemed arrogant by Mr. Moinina does not and cannot justify Mr. Margai’s alleged arrogance. In fact, Mr. Moinina does not seem to understand the source of the claim that Mr. Margai is arrogant. It is not because he refused to join thieves. It is because he acts as if he is God’s gift to Sierra Leone and must automatically lead, pah-o-pah; hence party- hopping, Third Force-hijacking, CKC and arrogantly and repeatedly seeking to recruit me to serve under his rubbish lightweight leadership.

In fact, I understand he alone made all the essential decision for PMDC – from writing the party’s constitution, selecting the party’s name, party colors, party’s banga symbol, etc. to filing for registration paper, etc.! Such unmitigated arrogance!

PS: Ibrahim Bash Taqui never joined the hand of thieves as claimed by Mr. Moinina. Mr. Taqui gave his life in the service of the truth. He was executed with Dr. Mohamed Funna because he refused to “set yie” or “set mut”. I don’t know which Bash Taqi Mr. Moinina is talking about.

6(a) MOININA: For some of these reasons, Charles is loved by the youths and not because of his Margai name. Of course, you will have people who may support him just because of his name, but these are in the minority. People may support a candidate for various reasons. In the 1986 election, one candidate in Bo town was very popular among women because they said he was handsome. He lost the election anyway.

REBUTTAL: Some youths love Mr. Margai because of his yap-yap talk, believing that he is different from our traditional politicians. They yearn for a savior and don’t know any better. Besides, Mr. Margai made himself available for he lived locally and was on the make to advance his insatiable political ambitions since the days of Siaka Stevens.

Other Margai supporters are your everyday tribalists and descendants of Sir Albert’s former office-holding supporters. My opinion of him is that he is of the same culture, the same frame of mind as those who have dragged our country down through violence and into last place. He is also an unreliable political hopper who no one knows where he will be tomorrow.

My personal assessment is that he feels he is born to lead. Period! If he cannot lead, he hops from party to party. But where are his leadership qualifications? What major national problems has he ever solved in his life despite his long years in SLeone politics beginning at least in the One-Party days of Siaka Stevens?

6(b) MOININA: Berewa and his team want to continue Kabbah¡¦s policy of either ¡§set u yie¡¨ or ¡§u sai u tie cow na dae e dae eat¡¨. Charles and Ernest are totally against corruption, ¡§zero tolerance¡¨ in their own words. Ernest, leading the APC has no chance of winning the election.

REBUTTAL: VP Berewa has informed the public in my presence, again and again that he will continue what is good in the Kabbah Administration, avoid what is bad in the Kabbah Administration and will introduce new good programs for SLeone.

6(c) MOININA: I appeal to his supporters to join the PMDC to give a clear mandate to Charles in 2007 election. I equally appeal to SLPP members for their support because, SLPP has brought peace into the country it has failed woefully in combating corruption our number enemy towards the realization of our dreams and goals as a nation. God bless you all.

CONCLUDING REBUTTAL: SLPP did indeed bring peace to SLeone but those who did the mostest to usher in national peace and international respect were quietly marginalized by the outgoing Administration because they would not “set yie” or “set mut” about the wrongdoings they were aware of – and for no just cause.

Instead of party-hopping and political prostitution, genuine SLPPers should remain in the party and strive to clean it from within. Those who were misled into joining other parties ought to RETURN TO THE FOLD AND join me to help VP Berewa and others re-position SLPP into its true role of leading our country to permanent peace, justice, prosperity and solid international respect free from dynastic arrogance, tribalism, primitive backwardness, incompetence and lie-lie propaganda.

Lastly, from Mr. Moinina’s submission, it is clear that PMDC is a one-man party. It Margai this, Margai that. Everything centers around one man as demonstrated by Mr. Moinina. SLPP on the other hand, is a genuine democratic organization.

Related Posts