Notice: register_sidebar was called incorrectly. No id was set in the arguments array for the "Sidebar 1" sidebar. Defaulting to "sidebar-1". Manually set the id to "sidebar-1" to silence this notice and keep existing sidebar content. Please see Debugging in WordPress for more information. (This message was added in version 4.2.0.) in /home/cocorioko/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4041
COCORIOKO » 2007 » February

Archive for February, 2007

Solomon Berewa says he is more experienced : What experience ?

Saturday, February 17th, 2007


By a Forumite

Solomon Berewa boasts of experience
What experience?
The experience that has grounded the economy with
– No electricity, no water, poor health and education facilities?
– Highest maternal and infant mortality rate in the world?
– Growing youth unemployment currently about 60%?
– Transforming criminals into saints?
Or is it
– The experience of somnolence?
– The experience of somnambulism?
– The sleepy eyed experience of an aspirant who
can hardly stay awake during crucial meetings?
What experience?
– The experience of endemic corruption?
– The experience of giving contracts and jobs only
to SLPP card holders?
– The experience of politicizing micro credit?
– The experience of embezzling public funds?
No, indeed the donors have resolved not to release a single cent more until a full and proper account of the funds doled out to the Tejan Kabbah/Berewa led government is given.
And you know what, the International Community is right. Any more funds released to the SLPP will be squandered and stashed away especially now that “SLPP dae pack for go”.

As we say goodbye to Mr. Sleepy experience. I Invite you all to join the APC team, fresh, dynamic with a clear vision to take Sierra Leone to the next level.
I thank you.

Britain could hold back £15m for impoverished Sierra Leone, the jewel in Blair’s foreign policy crown : Corruption threatens aid

Saturday, February 17th, 2007



Alex Duval Smith, Freetown

Sunday June 10, 2007

The Observer

Senior sources in Sierra Leone believe Britain is about to freeze a £15m payment to the West African nation amid evidence of endemic corruption that has seen millions of pounds in aid line the pockets of dishonest officials while ordinary people struggle in conditions of catastrophic poverty .

Britain, as the single largest donor country, gives the small country more than £50m a year, including £12m for its armed forces and the £15m direct payment to the Treasury, which is due in July to cover public servants’ sa
A Foreign Office source claimed that the July payment will not be released. But a source for the Department for International Development (Dfid) disputed this last night, insisting the ‘payment will be released’ but admitted that some concerns remain about the ability of the Sierra Leone government to meet certain requirements such as accounting for the aid they receive and reaching certain benchmarks.

Ten days ago Blair visited the country on his farewell Africa tour and said things were ‘a darn sight better’ than five years ago. But people in Freetown were disappointed that he did not travel to the decrepit capital, opting instead to limit his six-hour visit to the area around the international airport at Lungi.

Morlai Kamara, a good-governance campaigner with the Network Movement for Justice and Development in Freetown, said corruption was widespread. ‘It permeates every level from the office of the President lawyer to the cleaner. It takes the form of people embezzling funds, appointing people they know and abusing resources. Endemic corruption was one of the main reasons for the war: the government could no longer meet its side of the social contract. Now we are back at pre-war levels.’

In the past few years, chiefly thanks to British lobbying, Sierra Leone has benefited from more international concern than almost any other country. Towards the end of the war it had the world’s biggest UN peacekeeping presence – more than 17,000 troops. Britain’s high-profile military engagement involved the Paras, Navy, Gurkhas and the SAS and, at the time, was the most expensive British military campaign since the Falklands. Later millions of pounds were pledged to create an army and police force and see through disarmament programmes for 56,000 combatants, including children.

Yet Freetown remains a metropolitan slum, without electricity or drinking water, where living conditions are worse for many than they were during the war. Promised plans by the government – for which aid was paid – to kick-start agriculture in the interior of the country have not materialised. Next month’s planned presidential and parliamentary elections have been delayed until August and the reason given – the expected weather – has failed to convince the people.

In the diamond-rich Kono district, miners are still sifting river beds for elusive gems. Diamond exports are now taxed but the revenue is not, as was promised, being spent on building schools and clinics.
Just as before and during the war, Sierra Leone has the worst children’s and maternal mortality figures in the world. Life expectancy stands at 41.

Val Collier, former commissioner of the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission, said Britain and other aid donors were hypocritical: ‘When money is given, checks and balances should be imposed. A large share of the money is spent on sending foreign consultants here to write reports; they come with their laptops in their slingbags, like intellectual mercenaries. Such spending does not put food in the bellies of the people of Sierra Leone.’

The new commissioner, Henry Joko-Smart, is seen as government-friendly and his work has proved timid. A Dfid report on the commission last month found that, of 64 cases examined in 2006, 15 were pursued, including a case against a hospital payroll officer and another against a headmaster. Corruption at other levels was ignored.

A Foreign Office official confirmed the freeze on Dfid’s £15m payment, due next month, to the Sierra Leone government’s ‘consolidated fund’, which pays public servants’ salaries. ‘We want accountability,’ said one source. But a spokesman would only confirm that the matter was under discussion.

Corruption threat to aid,,2099506,00.html



Saturday, February 17th, 2007
As the all-important General Elections draw closer, emotions are certain to boil over in Sierra Leone and the diaspora, especially  among political fanatics, who now seem to arise in leaps and bounds . This is especially  so , given the important and crucial nature of this particular election in the political metamorphosis of post-war Sierra Leone.
This year’s Presidential and Legislative polls will be  the Mother-Of- All –Elections , far surpassing the epic, memorable and epoch-making 1967 Elections because Sierra Leoneans, whose eyes are now wide-opened than ever before, want to ring in a change in their country. They have realised that for too long they have sat down supinely and allowed certain politicians to lead them by their noses and push their country to the precipice of socio-economic and political doom .They do not want to tolerate this stoic and unpatriotic state of affairs anymore. Thus, this year, they will jampack polling stations to cast their votes not for anything  else but to herald change , meaningful change, that will hopefully restore the country’s preeminent status as the Beacon of Light of Africa ( Which status she once enjoyed , while also being the Athens of West Africa) . 
  Well, according to my own opinion, electing solomon Berewa to power which is a foregone conclusion will be the biggest mistake of sierra leoneans,his assention will be the last straw on the carmel’s back for sierra leoneans. Solo B is an opportunist who manipulated his way by misleading that daft kabba, and betraying people like chief norman, joe Demby in order to usurp power through the backdoor.  
Vice President Solomon Berewa and his followers go around bragging of his experience and true leadership abilities,but forgotten the facts that he lacks integrity.Both Vice President Berewa and his boss Pa Kabbah fail to realize that they were appointed
members of the CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW COMMISSION.This appointment were made by Valentine Strasser and his
co-horts of the NPRC government that took over power unconstitutionally.


Friday, February 9th, 2007
 Former Sierra Leonean military strongman  , Retired  Colonel Tom Nyuma , was picked up at his residence in Ohio by U.S. authorities yesterday.  Diligent investigations by this newspaper  confirmed the arrest ,  but it is not certain yet whether he is in the custody of the  Federal Bureau of Investigations ( FBI) , as was initially reported to COCORIOKO  by sources.  . 
Our investigations unearthed the fact that Col.Nyuma was arrested in Columbus, Ohio while a  collegue, retired Colonel Komba Kambo was said to have been nabbed  in Austin, Texas. It is said that though being held in Columbus, Nyuma was arrested by officers from Austin, Texas.  A member of the National Provisional Ruling Council ( NPRC) –The military government that ruled Sierra Leone from 1992 when the then ruling All People’s Congress ( APC ) was overthrown to 1996 when civilian rule was restored—was contacted by this newspaper but he said he had no knowledge of the arrests.
Both Nyuma and Kambo served the NPRC, but is also not known whether they were arrested for alleged atrocities committed by the junta  . Calls made to  Col.Nyuma’s wife  in Ohio were not picked up , but a family member confirmed the arrest and said that Mrs.Nyuma was not receiving calls presently. Sources said last night that she was depressed and devastated.
STAY TUNED to  Cocorioko for further details of this developing story.



Wednesday, February 7th, 2007
The death occured in Freetown yesterday of the former Speaker of Parliament, Mr. William Conteh. According to the former Secretary General of the opposition All People’s Congress ( APC), Mr. E.T.Kamara, who spoke exclusively with COCORIOKO  last night, Mr. Conteh died at his residence at Kandeh Drive, off Wilkinson Road , after a brief illness .He was 73. 


Monday, February 5th, 2007
APC Leader Ernest Bai Koroma acknowledges cheers from supporters in Magburaka. 
Throngs of crowds reaching out to touch the APC Leader in Masingbi as Ernest Koroma addresses a program held in memory of his father-in-law, Abu Aiah Koroma.
 Security was tight during the tour  The .Police were all over . 
The APC Leader’s motorcade surrounded  by the huge crowds of supporters. 
The APC Leader addressing the crowd in Magburaka
The new APC office commissioned in Magburaka.

A special ceremony at the grave of the father -in-law of the APC Leader


Sunday, February 4th, 2007

SLPP says PMDC claims about Hinga Norman are false, and Freetown news briefs

Friday, February 2nd, 2007
 The ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP) says it does not believe claims by the opposition People’s Movement For Democratic Change ( PMDC)  that Former Internal Affairs Minister , Chief Hinga Norman and other indictees of the Special Court have joined them.Talking to COCORIOKO  exclusively this weekend were the Chairman of the SLPP North American Branch, Mr. Matthew Margao and his Deputy , Mr. Sallu Saidu and both men ridiculed the document that the PMDC  released as coming from the indictees. Mr. Margao made it clear that as far as the SLPP was concerned , Hinga Norman is still a registered member of the party and the party has not been officially informed by Norman about the stories being peddled by the PMDC.  


The opposition People’s Movement For Democratic Change( PMDC)  has asked the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP) to continue to live in its dream world. Speaking to COCORIOKO  in an exclusive interview with COCORIOKO  last night, PMDC Director of Public Information in the United States, Mr. Karamoh Kabba debunked claims by the SLPP  that the  recent document from Special Court indictees, in which they declared for the PMDC,  was false.


As I write, there is a high powered Sierra Leonean delegation in Tripoli comprising of the Vice President and the Foreign Minister, the most likely Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates of the SLPP in the forthcoming Presidential elections. Visiting Tripoli at the eve of the 2007 elections sends signals about trying to maintain a Kabbah hegemony in Sierra Leone. What is Ghaddafi’s agenda in Sierra Leone? What promises has President Kabbah made to Ghaddafi?

During the 1980s, Libya’s revolutionary influence in Sierra Leone was channeled through students (like Victor Reider of the SLPP,etc) and discussion groups focusing on Ghaddafi’s Green Book.


The opposition People’s Movement For Democratic Change ( PMDC) has boasted that those people who were stunned by the recent announcement that Chief Hinga Norman and other Special Court indictees have joined them “Have just seen the tip of the iceberg “. Speaking to COCORIOKO in an exclusive interview early this week, the Director of Information of the United States Chapter of the party , Mr. Karamoh Kabba, said the PMDC has an armada of shock and awe awaiting the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP).


Disaster  befalls the immigrant community in the U.S, as


N’Dora Serry- Kamal ,  25-year-old woman from a prominent Sierra Leonean family,  was allegedly stabbed to death last Saturday morning by her boyfriend in Colombus, Ohio. The alleged killer, Mr. George Aruna , 32, has been arrested and charged with murder.

According to the COLOMBUS POST  newspaper, Mr. Aruna  himself called the Columbus Police and when he met them at the door, broke the grim news to them  : “She is in the bedroom;  I stabbed her. ” , he informed them

The killing has stunned citizens of Sierra Leone all over the continental United States . The news has spread like wildfire as Sierra Leoneans have been calling each other to share news  of the disaster



Special Court of Delay?

Friday, February 2nd, 2007
By Jacob Sax Conteh
Virginia, US
How can justice that has been delayed for so many years be real justice?  How can those of us who lost loved ones in the senseless carnage in Sierra Leone be assured that the same thing will never happened again when the perpetrators of one of  the most cruel and brutish wars in modern history have not been punished because of an intricate court system which sees many foreign and national workers of the Special Court live in luxurious houses, ride air-conditioned SUVs and fly wherever they want in the country when our people continue to languish in poverty and diseases, some without hands and feet?  I often shudder when I think of the untold misery the rebels caused in Sierra Leone, and how up to this day none of the leadership of that movement has been convicted in a court of law. 
The rebel leaders – Sam Bockarie and Foday Sankoh died without facing justice.  Jonny Koroma is missing, and now Issa Sesay is in Senegal getting first class medical treatment.  This is wrong.  The UN can do better than that.  We cannot continue to wait without seeing someone locked up for good in a less luxurious hotel (prison) like the one the killers now enjoy in Freetown.  Though many of us are willing to forgive and move on with our lives, we also need the process of justice to be accelerated.  Here in the United States and in many other countries in the world, serious cases are often tried and concluded in a space of a year or two.  So why is it that more than six years after the war officially ended, we are still waiting for the Special Court to nab the rebels.
The answer lies in the way the UN operates.  In Rwanda, despite warning from several groups, the UN stood by or left the Tutsis and moderate Hutus to be massacred before heading there to set up a tribunal to prosecute the killers, many of whom have either being killed in reprisal killing or have simply disappeared into oblivion.  After the Rwanda genocide, many Hutus, including innocent women and children fled to Goma, Zaire to escape from Paul Kigame and his army.  But Kigame and his henchmen took advantage of lapses in Zairian security and massacred thousands of Hutus, and the UN did not do anything.  In Zaire itself, it took the UN years to react to the continued rape and murder of innocent civilians.  In Liberia and Sierra Leone, the Nigerians would have easily ended the rebel carnage if they had the support of the UN Security Council, but here again the UN failed miserably.  They sat in their offices in New York until thousands of people lost their lives.  In Sierra Leone, when the UN finally decided to act, they sent a group of inept and ill-equipped peace keepers five hundred of whom the RUF rebels took hostage.  That emboldened the rebels to press the war until they almost overran the entire country.
Today, the UN is a toothless lame bulldog when it comes to Darfur.   While thousands of poor defenseless   people are killed in that regtion in an ethnic cleansing foray, the UN cannot agree on what to do to rescue the people of Darfur.  This is an outrage.  But the UN will surely set another tribunal to bring the perpetrators to justice years later.
I call on the UN Special Court in Sierra Leone to speed up its process and bring the killers of our people to justice.  That will finally put to rest the anguish many of us still feel knowing that the murderers, rapist and gangs that terrorized our people have never paid the price for their act.



Thursday, February 1st, 2007
By Francis Pa Santhkie Bangura, Acting Secretary
General APC, USA
This country has one perennial problem. I call it
perennial because it is endemic as well as systemic
in nature and has the capacity to remodel itself under
various guises. It is infectious and congenital in the
socio-economic fabric of this land of ours. It is the
unseen enemy.
Rebels left their physical and
psycho-social scars on all of us. We are still
grappling with those repercussions today!
But there is another menace that predates the war and
guess what? Unlike the war this menace is still here!
And it is growing at an alarming rate. Leaders have
come and gone and have either pacified or added to the
problem. But there have never been a time in our
history when this plague have become so identical and
tied to an incumbent administration as it is now. It
is no coincidence we have been ranked the poorest in
most international socio-economic indexes. What is
perplexing is those entrusted with running this nation
seem unapologetic to the economic mess and dog eat
dog mayhem that they unleashed on us.
Post-war reconstruction provided the opportunity to be
marinated in donor cash and instead of building
bridges with this impoverished nation, rather they
marooned themselves in series of gated mansions that
may not be unconnected with donor cash. The very
reason why the next APC government will give
prosecutorial teeth to the Anti-corruption Commission.
The aim is to connect the dots and tie a loop on
assets and cash acquired unethically and those from
public funds. ACC, do not be despondent, help is on
its way! We share your frustrations, fighting a cat
and mouse game with the powers that be. The run around
is almost over.
Anti-Corruption Commission will not be hamstrung with
red tape under an APC government.
Public servants deserve a living wage that will
discourage pilfering the public purse. Added to a
decent retirement plan. This is to forestall amassing
public funds for departing officials who anticipate no
decent means of support as they wander into the
unknown. The national social security and insurance
trust (NASSIT) will be a key player in achieving this
objective. This will run parallel to very stiff
penalties for those found culpable of corrupt
An ethics class will be incorporated into the national
curriculum starting from primary school. This is no
gimmick folks. The goal is to educate youth about the
need to be honest citizens, morally upright, and
foster a collective civic responsibility for the next
generation. This is a social solution from early
childhood to a social and economic menace that is
eating away our potential to develop as a sovereign
nation.  That sovereignty or what is left of it is
outsourced to the goodwill of stakeholders. Hence, he
who pays the piper chooses the tune!
The crux of the matter is the goodwill that is meant
to lift this nation from the abyss is being used and
abused by some for self-serving purposes. Reason why
this issue is no longer just a menace or anti-social
behavior wherever it occurs. Matter-of-factly, it has
contributed to our under-development. It is thwarting
and stunting our development and deserves to be
treated as a national security problem just as the war
did. It impinges on the national interest, period!