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Archive for September, 2005


Friday, September 30th, 2005
Presidential Transition, Sierra Leone PDF Print E-mail


Sierra Leone Coat of Arms Distinguished ladies and gentlemen let me take this opportunity to welcome you to this all important occasion at the State House. As you are well aware on 17th September 2007, His Excellency, Ernest Bai Koroma was sworn in as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone following his pronouncement as the Winner of the 8th September Presidential Run-off Poll by the Chairperson of the National Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone. It is the intention of the President to make the transition as smooth as possible and to allow for a comprehensive handing-over from the outgoing government. To accelerate the transition process the President therefore wishes that  a rapid assessment be conducted   on the  current status of government institutions, and make recommendations on the way forward. This background informed the directive from His Excellency the President  on the 19th of September 2007 that all government functionaries should report back to their respective positions and continue with their respective assignments.

The objectives of this exercise include the following:
1.     To work with the out-going government to ensure a smooth transition.
2.     To assess the current state of Government Institutions in terms of policy, programmes and resources.
3.     Take stock of the present situation in the machinery of government including assets, liabilities, measures and actions awaiting implementation.
4.     Make recommendations on possible directions and follow-up action points.

The strategic output expected from this exercise is a final report outlining:
(i).     the current state of Government Institutions with detailed policy, programmes and resources.
(ii).     inventory of assets, liabilities, measures and actions awaiting implementation.
(iii).    recommendations on possible directions and follow-up actions that will facilitate a transition results based framework for Government response.

The reporting  and  communication structure  for  the presidential transition team is as follows:
Members of the Technical Coordinating Team will be led by the Vice Chair : Hon. Haja Afsatu Olayinka Kabba.  The  Technical Coordinating Team will provide strategic guidance and direction to the Committee Leaders. Committee Leaders  will report directly to the Technical Co-ordinating Team or a designated member of the Technical Co-ordinating Team. All Committee Members  will report to their respective Committee Leaders.
In view of the urgency of this assignment I expect the 1st Draft consolidated report from the Technical Coordinating Team to be delivered to my office by the  5th  October 2007.  That means it is incumbent on all of you the members of the various committees to work assiduously and present the 1st Draft report from your committees to the Technical Coordinating Team within seven calendar days with effect from 25th September 2007.  We expect the duration of the assignment  to be completed within three weeks.
Let me convey His Excellency’s heartfelt appreciation to all of you for the immediate response to his call for national  service at this crucial period of democratic transition in our beloved country. It behoves us all as patriotic Sierra Leoneans to put our shoulders to the wheel and work assiduously to effect a peaceful handing-over that will set the pace for sustainable economic and social development.
The team is led and coordinated by the Vice President and assisted by the Vice Chairperson, Hon. Haja Afsatu Olayinka Kabba. The Technical Co-ordinating Team which includes Dr. Lancelot Ayo Lake, Ms. Jeannette Eno, Mr. Abu Bangura, Dr. Richard Konteh, Mr. Oluniyi Robbin-Coker, Mr. Alie Fornah, Mr. David Tam-Mbayoh and Mr. Momoh Conteh are responsible for overall coordination, interface with donors and development partners, Monitoring and Evaluation  of committees and  report consolidation.

The Committees on the Transition Team cover the following clusters:

1. Finance, Trade and Development
2. Governance Reform
3. Infrastructure
4. Agriculture, Forestry & Environment
5. Social Services
6. Mineral and Marine Resources
7. National Peace and Security
8. Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Members of the team have been assigned to these committees based on their professional and academic competencies. This team has been officially endorsed by His Excellency, the President. It is therefore my pleasure to officially commission the Presidential Transiton Team.

Thank you for your attention and I look forward to receiving the report by the 5th of October .



Friday, September 30th, 2005


Friday September 30, 2005

The Secretary-General  of the Sierra Leoneans Avocate For Progress Party , Mr. John Kanu, has called for President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah to bow out of the political scene gracefully without interfering in the succession battle.




With all due respect to the office of the Sierra Leone Presidency, The Sierra Leoneans Advocate for Progress Party wishes to register, in the strongest terms, that the outgoing President of Sierra Leone, Ahmad Tejan Kabba, bow out of the Sierra Leone politics gracefully without being perceived to manipulate his succession either by design or by remote control. With the 2007 decisive elections just around the corner, which patriotic Sierra Leonean will not stop to ponder the reason behind the president’s feet-dragging in the setting up of the Political Party Registration Commission: the body which is constitutionally empowered to register political parties in the country? In fact if the president were well intentioned, why would he establish the National Electoral Commission long before the Political Party Registration Commission? Why not simultaneously or the latter before the former?


While we wish to register our appreciation to the out-going politicians for a job half done, we do want to appeal to the out-going president that when the time of their generation of leadership is up, anything done to renew their tenure will not only be futile, but it might boomerang as well. It is certainly an old-fashioned reasoning that once a child is always a child. We are still left to wonder as to why the old-time politicians should harbor the parochial mentality that Sierra Leoneans will never outgrow past mistakes, ignorance, sycophancy and myopic reasoning. In fact the current constitution, which was drafted by these same corps of politicians mainly to protect their hidden agendas, should be revisited and purged of all the clauses of manipulation. Let us use common sense here: how independent is an Independent Electoral Commission or Political Party Registration Commission when their members are appointed by a partisan president and approved by a single-party-dominated parliament? How is this different from a one party dictatorship?


Fellow Sierra Leoneans, be rest assured that we, as a truly patriotic party, have opted to stand up to the challenge to effect a generation change. Inasmuch as we do not underestimate the magnitude of the task, we do believe that, with our shoulders to the wheel, it is doable. What Sierra Leoneans  should realize is that these out-going politicians obviously lack the political will, courage, know-how and energy to move the country from its current state. They might be well intentioned but they just cannot do the Herculean job. If we allow them to linger around, we will certainly not expect anything different from our current plight and thus we would not be able to break loose from the vicious circle of underdevelopment with all of its attendant ramifications.


John Kanu


Sierra Leoneans Advocate for Progress Party


Phone: (001)857-492-2200


Wednesday, September 28th, 2005


Wednesday September 28, 2005

International observers and monitors have started pouring into Liberia as the October 11 polls draw near, according to reports from the capital, Monrovia, yesterday. So far, 70 representatives from the European Union ( EU) are in the country , while 175 international monitors from different nations are breezing in, all of them to monitor the elections.

The EU Chief Observer Max Van Den Berg , is among the dozens of international monitors expected to be in full attendance during the elections. The French News Agency, AFP,  quoted him yesterday as saying that :Fraud cannot be avoided , but we have to reduce it as much as possible, by watching the various actors in the process “..

There are 22 Presidential candidates but according to our man on the spot, Jlateh Doe, most of them are briefcase contestants with their parties existing only in their briefcases.

The hottest favourites for victory are veteran female politician, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of the Unity Party ( UP)  and former World Footballer of the Year George Oppong Weah of the Campaign For Democratic Change ( CDC).


Margai Campaign Team charges SLPP -UK/Ireland with double standards

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005



 Wednesday September 28, 2005

 A duet of double standards – Letters to Berewa/Margai from SLPP UK/Ireland Branch Secretary General sparks new fury among members

 The letters from the Secretary General of SLPP UK and Ireland Branch, Mr Harold Saffa, and some of the executive members on the presumed behalf of the branch to both Charles Margai and Vice President Berewa, published on Cocorioko site on 26 September 2005, came as big surprise to members especially the Margai supporters who form a vast majority of the active membership. Firstly, members are not exactly clear about the purpose of the letters in regard to what it will achieve and how. Secondly, the membership of this branch were neither consulted nor informed about the content of the letters. We understand that certain members were told about the intention to write such a letter and that was it. Then for members of this branch to read both letters, on the net, for the first time, could be regarded as irresponsible and reckless on the part of the executive.

 The Chairman Mr Tamba Lamina and the Secretary General Mr Harold Saffa went to Freetown, paid for by this branch – something they will still have to answer for, to represent us at the convention that never happened while they were there. They returned to London two weeks later; and over eight weeks now since their return they have not even had the courtesy to call a general meeting to report to the membership. How dare they then pretend or assume that those letters reflect and represent the views of the entire membership of this branch? Do you call this responsible leadership? No, we will call it emotional spasm and a gross error of judgement.  It would be interesting to know from them on what basis the executive decided that the letters represent the views of the entire membership.  

 RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP were the golden words of the SLPP UK and Ireland Branch executive when they were elected by a strong, committed and enthusiastic branch members over a year and half ago.

 Having gone through years of incompetent administrations by opportunistic leaders of this branch, in May 2004, members decided enough was enough hence in good faith and high spirit, members throw their weight behind the present executive of the branch. Expectations were high and so the hope for positive change and new direction based on responsible leadership but most members have been greatly let down, as this executive has embarked on a non-consultative attitude.

 The executives placed themselves in a tangle right from the start, before the convention, when they failed to show clear leadership as to what direction this branch should go in regard to a preferred candidate (Berewa or Margai). They failed to convince the entire membership to rally behind just one candidate.  They lost control when it became clear that there are two groups – one supporting Berewa and the other supporting Margai; each group hoping that the solution would come from the executive.  This never happened.

For the benefit of readers, it would be useful for you to know that most members of the Margai Campaign Team are also members of the SLPP UK and Ireland branch,

 some as executive members and some as members of the Council of Elders.  It is therefore ridiculous that such important letters should go out without any consultation. 

 It would be fair though to say that the idea of these letters is generally good but we have our doubts on the motive and intention, and as well as serious reservations on the process and methods used by Mr Lamina and some of his executive members. As mentioned earlier, it has been established that a general meeting was neither called to discuss the issue despite available opportunities to do so, nor were drafts or copies of the letters distributed to the general membership either for consideration or for our information.

 If our brothers and sisters whom we elected into the executive cannot talk to us directly to agree to disagree on issues before presenting them on our behalf, then there was no point in changing the former executive. We have all along shared the same views and aspirations so how could they now be so sure they can effect a compromise between Berewa and Margai?

 In fact, what Mr Lamina and Mr Saffa have succeeded in doing is to wildly condemn the very process of the convention which VP Berewa and his allies strongly consider to be democratic and transparent – thanks and we commend you both for that. They also succeeded in proving a point – that the way the olive branch was offered to Margai without any incentive was not a very wise act by VP Berewa – bravo for that as well. And many thanks also for pointing out to the world that if Margai and his followers pull out of SLPP that could leave the party empty and dry. And thanks again ever so much for your laborious and painful justification of the qualities of Mr Margai as opposed to that of Mr Berewa’s. The question now is if the SLPP UK and Ireland Branch Executive knew and were so convinced about Mr Margai’s qualities, why did they not demonstrate this earlier prior to Makeni? Why now?

 What political party would wilfully decide to bring about its own downfall by voting in a candidate to represent them in the next general election – a candidate who is grossly unpopular as Berewa. We understand the hierarchy of the APC were cheering for us all the way the minute we pressed that self-destruct button at Makeni – ?selecting’ Berewa as our new leader. Just as some of us fought hard for change in this branch, those of us who are well meaning and patriotic Sierra Leoneans will continue to fight for that much needed change in Sierra Leone. We believe that change –  and as your letter has also confirmed – that change can be brought about with Charles Margai at the helm. It will be up to the SLPP to decide what part they want to play in all this but they have very little time to put this right!

 The duet of double standard here is that both of you (Harrod and Tamba), on one hand have virtually glorified Margai while on the other hand cautiously advising the Vice President to have a face to face chat with Margai after a brisk congratulatory note. What do you (if you believe in what you have written in your letters) want to advice Berewa to say to Margai when they meet face to face? – That “your grandfather and forefathers fought hard for the SLPP so please do not let the party die, stay and be a party member and support me”? 

 We wish you well in your fight and effort to gain compliments from the two sides but you have just lost the trust of your brothers and sisters. To remind you again, consultation in responsible leadership is an overarching principle for any successful administration, especially in politics. We say no more.

 The Margai Campaign Team and some disappointed members of the

SLPP branch members – London UK/Ireland.


26th September, 2005


Wednesday, September 28th, 2005
By Bishop Sam Boyabei
Wednesday September 28, 2005

I bear the burden of national freedom like many other compatroits.However , only a few persons wanna take responsibilty for charting the course for change. The basic problem of most of us is that we like to see some body else do it. So, in our national life we have produced more spectators than participants.


The need of the hour and the urgency of the moment is a REVOLUTION. But who will chart the course and CHAMPION the course?

Where ever there is a human-need,God has a prepared man. That man has to know he is sent

and that mandate becomes compulsive and not optional. When that man arrives on the scene

the people will know it. He must carry DIVINE- CREDENTIALS,and love not his own life unto death.

Sierra Leone needs a REVOLUTION!      I dare to ask which brand of revolution. I will hasten to define the word REVOLUTION. A revolution is ” a complete change of any kind.”


I`d earlier stated four types of revolution, and as follows:

1) Political revolution

2) Religious revolution

3) ANARCHIESTIC revolution

4) The 4th wave(the river)revolutiopn.

please take a journey with me in understandind these trends as they apply to our beloved nation, Sa.Lone.



We have had revolutions in the nation that meant to bring a lasting change, but failed because it lacked the ingredients of true salvation for all the people. Immaturity,greed, abuse of international protocols, gross abuse of people`s right and rampant corruption characterised almost all the so-called revolutions we have had as a nation.

The Army tried to give the people the much need break from national bondages but they ended up being captives of their own ideologies. Simply put, they failed the people in their attempt to deliver the populace. Although we still need a revolution, we do not need a military type in a hurry. This type of revolution has to be sanctified.



Sierra Leone is behind schedule as far as religious REVOLUTION is concerned. One has to appreciate and understand the dynamics of this type of revolution. We live in days of fanaticism, and religion has bored the brunt of the abuse and negative trends this has gendered in diverse places. We have had more wars fought over religious ideologies than anything in the whole wide-world. At anyrate we are not close to one as yet, and when we do we need a lot of wisdom and grace to press it through. It must be sanctified,or else it will be something else.



As seen in other places we have had our taste and we abhore it adversely. The RUF and AFRC were architecks of this great catastrophic , oppressive and demonic type of revolution.

All well meaning and patriotic Sierra Leoneans will never celebrate anarchy(HALAKIE revolutio)

that did our nation no good . It plunged us into national missery. Our compatriots simply took the wrong redress to our national problem. We don1t want it any more.


4) 4th Wave REVOLUTION(aka the RIVER).

The river is symbolic to many things and at the same time very characteristic. The river     carries life giving virtues to anything it touches. It  deserves the summary of everything that flows to cleanse,purge,sanctify.ractify,restore,refresh, revitalize,rejuvinate,transform, birth,harmonize etc;etc

It contains everything good and essential. THIS IS THE 4TH WAVE REVOLUTION we so badly

need as a people. This is the LAST CARD revolution that knows no defeat. When this RIVER comes into a nation it will heal the economy, restore credibility,affect the spiritual life of the people and bring about grassroot salvation. In this era ,the days of spectatorship must give way  to the days of  CORPORATE  PARTICIPATION.


CHARTING THE WAY FOREWARD therefore puts certain responsibilities on all of us together as a people,and I call it THE NON TRANSFERABLE RESPONSIBILITIES.These are obvious things Sierra Leoneans must do for themselves. Britain, USA, CHINA. the UN and the international Community as a whole can only contribute a quota to our national life (AND WE STILL NEED THEM). But Sierra Leoneans themselves must contribute true change to our national life. We must cherish a VISION for National TRANSFORMATION. WHY must we look like rich-paupers? Do we have prospects of national unity?


Let us possess the will to do what we have not done to get what we do not have.

UNITY is not a product of manupulations,but it is a product of MATURITY. Let us see it and grab it. Sierra Leone shall be saved!


Charting the way forward in Sierra Leone calls for divine strategies and exposures. It must abandon unhealthy competitions and bring visionaries together who possess KINDRED SPIRITS and are ready to contribute their lives to a worthy national cause.


We DECLARE: Sierra LEONE WE ARE COMING. Two things we must do.

1)Mobilize twenty four persons to form what I will call the “THE COUCIL OF PATRIOTIC ELDERS(C O P E).”

2)Plan an OCTOBER MEETING leading to the Great NOVEMBER MEETING.


Look out for PART 2—-The WAY forward for SIERRA LEONE.



Monday, September 26th, 2005


Monday September 26, 2005

Mr. Charles Margai, one of the candidates who recently lost the battle for the SLPP Leadership and the Presidential nominee , has been exhorted by the party’s influential United Kingdom/Ireland Branch to accept the gesture of reconciliation extended by the winner,  Vice-President Solomon Berewa .

The Branch also called on Mr. Margai to stay in the SLPP and defend his principles and beliefs .



20th September 2005.


      Dear Mr. Margai,

  Following the convention in Makeni the leadership of the UKand Ireland Branch has had time to consider not only the outcome, but also the full implication for the unity and direction of the party.


We note your decision to undertake a process of consultation with supporters and members, vis-�-vis your future in the SLPP. Whilst the consultation is going on, the UK and Ireland Branch, acting both as the premier Branch in the Diaspora, wish to make its position known:


1. You will recall that the new leader of the party has already extended a hand of brotherhood to you as well as other contenders who were unsuccessful in gaining the endorsement of the last convention.


2. We are encouraged by this pronouncement, and hope the call for party unity will be sustained and meaningful.


3. It is our collective belief that you should consider this gesture of reconciliation, and exercise the necessary flexibility and statesmanship that was always the trademark of the founding fathers of our great party.


4. It was not only your participation that impressed the rank and file of the party, your ambitious agenda for national renewal and development of the Country and party has become infectious, one that will seep deep into the inner recesses of our party. Put simply, the SLPP will never be the same again, because people like you have unleashed the type of reform agenda that will now be difficult if not impossible to stop.

Abandoning such a noble cause will not only make the party poorer, but will put into question the very credential and judgement of those who championed the reform agenda in the first place.


5. It will be counter productive on the part of anyone to believe that they can marginalise you in so far as the leadership of the party is concerned, but you should also have the capacity to be a consensus builder, whilst at the same time maintaining your democratic credentials. We have no doubt you have those qualities in abundance.





I should end this note by conveying to you the assurances of the Chairman and the entire Branch of our highest consideration, and wish to appeal to you to stay in the SLPP and defend your principles and beliefs.






Thank you.



Yours sincerely,



 Harold Saffa



  • Hon. Solomon E. Berewa, National Leader (SLPP)
  • Alhaji U.N.S.Jah, National Chairman, (SLPP)
  • Mr. J.J. Saffa, National Secretary-General (SLPP)
  • Mr Tamba J S Lamina,Chairman, UK and Ireland Branch (SLPP)

Eradicating Illiteracy in Sierra Leone

Saturday, September 24th, 2005

By Joseph S. Sherman, Washington, DC, USA

 The devastating civil war which began in 1991 claimed the lives of thousands of people, destroyed public and private property and disrupted the social welfare system including schools and health centers.  The civil war also interrupted the education of many young men and women who did not finish their schooling.   Illiteracy has become a huge problem in Sierra Leone.  The country will continue to suffer major development and restructuring problems whilst so many children are unable to attend school due to lack of funds.


Sierra Leone illiteracy rate is about 80%, even though the Ministry of Education quite recently claims that it has drop to 66%. Astonishingly, this number still poses a challenge to the socio-economic and political development of a country once known as the Athens of Africa, reflective of the numbers of intelligentsias it has produced in West Africa.  Why is the country facing this alarming illiteracy rate?   This is mainly due to the education system being deprived of funding over many years with education not being viewed as priority by Sierra Leonean authorities.   If post-war Sierra Leone is to reduce the persistent high rate of illiteracy in the country, then a plan of action should be implemented to address this issue.   Literacy is fundamental to citizenship in a democracy- to informed decision making, to personal empowerment, and to active and positive participation in the global and local economy.


A large number of men, women and children in Sierra Leone seeking literacy instructions today presented limited reading skills.  This is a reflection of a more generalized learning problem.  It is also an indicator of the motivational and educational disadvantages experienced by people who have a history of failure and low-socioeconomic status.  Evidence suggests that a large number of literacy-disadvantaged people in Sierra Leone have common characteristics, including low income, low social status, learning disabilities and other disadvantages.


 The new leadership in post-war Sierra Leone should play a key role in the fight against illiteracy.  The Ministry of Education should launch a massive literacy campaign to give new impetus to efforts in eradicating high rates of illiteracy in Sierra Leone.  In order to achieve these goals, an Agency for Literacy and Adult education needs to be established.  This Agency will be charged with the responsibility of developing curricula to respond to the educational needs of adult illiterates.


Cooperation on the international level with UNESCO and UNICEF for the initiation of literacy classes, training of literacy teachers and support of vocational training programs should be forged.  The Agency for Literacy and Adult Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Education will combat sources of illiteracy by enforcing the enrollment of children in the primary age category and by identifying sources of school dropout, particularly among girls.


In order to enhance linkages between literacy programs and vocational training, the Agency for Literacy and Adult Education will be charged with the responsibility of providing vocational training based on individual abilities and interests.  Such activities will help illiterates acquire skills for managing small-scale income generating projects which will enhance their living standards.


About the Author:  Joseph S. Sherman (MIP, MSA), is the Director of a Multi-Cultural Adult Education Center in Washington, DC, and Features Editor of the Cocorioko online newspaper




Hinga Norman was responsible for bad blood between Army and local defence unit

Friday, September 23rd, 2005



Friday September 23, 2005

First_Name:  Marian
Last_Name:  kailondo
Address:  7007 bayou crest dr
City:  houston
State:  tx
Zip_Code:  77020

Comments:  Hinga Norman was responsible for the Bad Blood between the Sierra Leone Army and the local defense unit

The local Defense unit first started in Tongo when the people of Bambara chiefdom approached the military commander in Kenema that they wanted to put together their local hunters to help the Army defend Tongo and its environs .There relationship with the army at that time very good . They armed themselves with shot guns(single Barrel) and all their logistics was provided by their local leaders. They never operated or undertook operations by themselves ,neither did they have specific areas of responsibility. They operated purely under the command of the Army.


With the Tongo example other areas followed suite and formed their local defense units all under the guidance of the Army. When Kono fell in 1993 it was the local Tamamboro from Kabala who along side the army liberated Kono from the RUF.By then the kono people did not have a local defense unit. It was after the second Attack on kono that they also formed the Donso to help defend Kono.On the southern front there were local vigilante group operating and one such group was under Norman’s control. Since he was the regent chief of Tailu Bongoh and as an ex military man he was given the free hand to coordinate with his vigilantes without much interference.


When the SLPP came to power and appointed Norman to the Position of Under secretary of Defense (USOD) his first agenda was to convert the local defense unit into a private army under his direct command. For God sake readers how can you be the political head of the National Army and having a private army. That was were problem  started. The army and the kamajos automatically became rivals.

Norman Created a special fund from the national coffers and from the military budget to support his Kamajos, his bodyguards were all kamajos, he ordered the national Army out of certain towns and villages and replaced them with kamajos, he armed the kamajos by replacing their shot guns with AK 47  machine guns and RPG’s.He ordered President Kabba to inspect the Kamajos in a special guard of honor parade organized by the national Army. While he was doing all this he never recognized the importance of the other local defense units in the country. Take the Tamamboros for instance, they suffered a severe blow in 1994 when Fode Sankoh othered RUF to attack and kill all the tamamboros in  kabala for their assistance to the army in liberating Kono.The local tamamboro commander was brutally massacred. Norman visited his local kamajos ever week in the southern province and seldomly visited the local military units or other local Defense units in the country.

In a few words , the main reason for the May 25 coup was that of dissatisfaction and frustration among the ranks of the Army. Norman recommended to President Kabba to cut the military budget by half .He even suggested that Kabbah Disband the National Army after the May 25 coup, but thanks to Maxwell Kobe who advised Kabbah sensibly on that.  More on Hinga Norman later…


By Mohamed Tarawally
What took you so long? What took you so long my brother? Nevertheless It is better to be late than never. I was so happy and full with joy when I heard your voice on focus on Africa tonight. You said it all. There are two candidate among the crowd that will mean well for Sierra Leone and Hinga Norman’s name is number one. If a man can give up his life and everything he has to save me there is nothing he cannot do for me. John continue to preach the truth, this is what I call leadership. For those of you who did not listen to the program, John Moriba is a member of parliament from the ruling party, he has broken rank with the party’s silence over the treatment of Hinga Norman. He said the government and the people are ungrateful to Mr. Norman. He said Mr. Norman is the most qualified man to lead the party, he is endorsing Mr. Norman for party leadership and the next President, Thank you my brother, we need more of you.
Mohammed Tarawally

Why Ernest Koroma is a better choice for President in 2007

Friday, September 23rd, 2005



Friday September 23, 2005

First_Name:  Alie Formeh
Last_Name:  Kamara
City:  Albany
State:  NY

Sierra Leone has had Presidents from varied backgrounds including law, Union Shop Stewardship, Military training and International relations. But what do we show for all these qualifications, nothing but abysmal failures. Mired with persistent corruption at all levels of Government, inefficiency of governmental operations, massive deficits, and anarchy in the democratic machinery, Sierra Leone today needs a change in the qualifications for the office of the President. Sierra Leone needs Ernest Bai Koroma, a man with proven success as a Business Executive.

Honorable Ernest Bai Koroma, leader of the All Peoples Congress (APC), comes with an impeccable record as a CEO at RITCORP. He has also functioned in a management capacity at the National Insurance Corporation (NIC). Hon. Koroma is credited for raising RITCORP from near bankruptcy to one of the most successful business in Sierra Leone.

Given the extent of Sierra Leone’s debt, the massive deficits, and backwardness of the Agriculture sector, unless Sierra Leone is led by a business minded individual it would continue on its present path to bankruptcy. The Hon. Ernest Bai Koroma is Sierra Leones best hope to turn things around.

Governments throughout the world have been borrowing, concepts and methodologies from private sectors for application in public employment because they work. Governments around the world are increasingly taking the business approach to running the ship of state with an eye towards improving their nation’s standard of living for its citizens. Only Ernest Bai Koroma offers a promise for a better Sierra Leone in contrast to an ideology of dependency and a state of hopelessness under President Tejan Kabba and his Vice President Solomon Brewa.

Sierra Leone needs an honest President who will make fighting corruption in government a priority. Elijah Zarwan, in his article ?Rebuilding Sierra Leone’ dated October 1, 2002  included a quote from Ernest Koroma in which he said ?In order to battle corruption, we must also address the issue of income.. We need to insure that people in Sierra Leone have enough income to provide for their families, to educate their children, to plan for their retirement. If we do not address these issues, the temptation to resort to corrupt practices will prove too strong for many in Sierra Leone to resist’  Ernest supports activities of the ACC and advocates for an effective police force and an independent Judiciary.

Evidence of honesty and steadfastness is exemplified in this widely circulated story of a confrontation between Ernest Koroma as the Insurance agent and President Siaka Stevens. The story is told that in the early 1980’s a claim was made for fire damage to the President’s residence. Seeing that the claim appeared exorbitant, Ernest used his professional Judgment to substantially limit the claim. After receiving briefing on the issue, the President, Dr. Siaka Stevens, summoned the spokesman for RITCORP to his house for a discussion on the matter. Fearing that the President, Dr. Siaka Stevens, may be upset, the then CEO decided to have Ernest Koroma attend the special meeting with the President since it was he who made the determination. To every ones surprise, the President congratulated Ernest for a job well done because of his refusal to succumb to pressure by executing a decision based on company policy. Ernest Bai Koroma is a honest man.

Ernest is ?Mr. clean’, a Concord Times article by Osman Ben Sankor dated September 14, 2005, quoted friends of Ernest as saying. The story continues to say that he has nothing to worry about in terms of whatever corruption, be it voucher gate or squander gate. The article also revealed that Ernest Koroma made it clear that his “is a new A.P.C,” a complete break from the past. Born in 1953, Ernest Koroma is a Business Executive turned politician with love for his country and a genuine intention to govern Sierra Leone in a manner that would ensure positive growth and development.



Friday, September 23rd, 2005

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Posted by Saloneman2 on September 23, 2005 at 01:01:39:

Recent analyses relative to the future governing of Sierra Leone have drawn interesting analogies between the running of a corporation and that of a state (Iscandari, 09/21/2005; Formeh Kamara, 09/22/2005). Iscandari and Formeh Kamara should be commended for attempting to apply price-taking and profit-maximizing behavior to the level of the state. However, they fail to provide a detailed insight as to how these business concepts can be successfully applied to the state in a post-war environment that is characterized by volatility. Iscandari and Formeh Kamara also leave one to wonder as to how Ernest Koroma, a chief executive of a corporation that is hardly known beyond the borders of the greater Freetown area, let alone the entire country or the West Africa sub-region can muster the skills and courage necessary to run a country of 5 million people akin to a successful business entity. I suggest that this radical approach to national reconstruction is suspect.

My approach to national reconstruction and economic development differs profoundly from those of Iscandari and Formeh Kamara in that it calls for the implementation of a delicate combination of ?wealth creation’ and ?poverty reduction’ strategies, strategies that have worked in many emerging economies. Before elucidating on these two important concepts, it is necessary to establish that Sierra Leone is poor because it has many structural impediments to economic growth. Five of these impediments can be identified as political instability, small market, macroeconomic instability, low agricultural productivity, poor infrastructure and poor governance. Poor governance can be both a cause and effect of poverty. These impediments explain why Sierra Leone finds it difficult to attract foreign investment or to even generate domestic investment. They also explain why the level of wages is low and why national savings rates continue to be low. These are not problems that can be tackled with the simple application of business concepts by a man with little experience in the political arena.


The ?wealth creation’ approach to national economic development, alluded to earlier, calls for the establishment of a close relationship between public and private sector institutions in fulfillment of the objective of government and business working together towards a common goal – creating wealth. Organizations give direct or indirect support to business while government officials articulate clear and measurable wealth creation support objectives. With ?poverty reduction’, a culture of control and monitoring is established as government focuses on securing grants for development. Limited time is allotted to income generating activities as activities having the greatest potential for reducing poverty are targeted for government spending. Although these two approaches are fundamentally different, hardly any country has used one at the expense of the other.


Sierra Leone needs an HONEST implementation of a combination of ?wealth creation’ and ?poverty reduction’ strategies to ameliorate its problems of economic growth and development. We need these strategies to solve our lack of an enabling environment for the productive use of our resources, on the one hand and our structural problems to growth, on the other. These problems have created a situation whereby we lack institutional arrangements that guarantee economic freedoms. Also, the two-tiered approach (?wealth creation’ and ?poverty reduction’) would ensure that problems that require a concerted global effort to solve are identified and closely scrutinized.