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Showing posts from August, 2012

President Ernest Koroma's Dilemma

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Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma is not a happy man these days. For a man who came to power promising to reduce poverty and improve the fortunes of the majority of the people, his government has been an unmitigated disaster for the livelihood of the common man. Rice the country's staple food was 60 thousand leones when the president took over in 2007, it is now 200 thousand,  while the average office messenger is paid 150 thousand leones. In essence, Sierra Leone in addition to its many distinctions can now also boast of having the poorest office messengers in the world, thanks to APC.

In 2007, Ernest Koroma capitalized on the high illiteracy rate in the country to run a fairy tale campaign completely devoid of reality. In an era of rising world food prices, Ernest Koroma promised to reduce the price of a bag of rice from 60 thousand leones to 20 thousand leones, knowing full well that the country imported most of its rice from other countries and the APC had no pla…

National Electoral Commission Becoming A Barrier to Sierra Leone Democracy.

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The great democratic strides that have been achieved in post conflict Sierra Leone are currently on the verge of being seriously undermined not by political parties, lawless entities or thugs, but apparently by the very institution which has as its mandate the promotion of democratic ideals and representative government, the National Electoral Commission ( NEC).

When in 2007 the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) which was the ruling party at the time pled no contest to the nullification of thousands of votes in its electoral strongholds that effectively handed over power to the opposition APC, the whole world heaved a collective sigh of relief to see a peaceful transfer of power from the government to the opposition All Peoples Congress party. Though there was a lot of discontent amongst the rank of SLPP supporters, president Ahmed Tejan Kabba decided to abide by the ruling of the NEC in order to avoid post electoral conflict and ensure respect for the mandate of the electoral commis…

Sierra Leone Politics: The Rise of The Clowns

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Sierra Leone Political Appointments: The Rise of The Morons

Kabba The Clown
I grew up with a serious regard for civil servants and political appointees in the Sierra Leone of the past. Say what you may about the past civilian governments of Milton Margai, Albert Margai, Siaka Stevens, Joseph Momoh and Tejan Kabba. They could have to varying degrees been corrupt, self serving and incompetent, but at least they had the moral decency to appoint people of substance to sensitive political and civil service positions.
Even Joseph Saidu Momoh who is unarguably the worst president Sierra Leone has ever had, did at one time attempt to put together a government of technocrats when his government was at the edge of an economic precipice. Siaka Stevens ensured that young academics were given jobs as a way of suppressing dissent and forestalling a challenge to the status quo. Tejan Kabba relied on the help of internal and external expertise in running the government machinery and he promoted the i…

Sierra Leone Woman Stands Up for her Civil Rights and Wins

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By MADISON GRAY | @madisonjgray | August 12, 2012 |

Jestina Clayton, a refugee from her native Sierra Leone, moved to Centreville, Utah when she was 22 and began braiding hair at home while a student at Weber State University. At the time, she was told by state regulators that she didn’t need a cosmetology license if she wasn’t cutting hair or using chemicals, which her style of braiding does not require.

 But in 2009, the state told her that she had to get a cosmetology license to continue her business, which requires 2,000 hours of school and about 18,000 in tuition, plus an exam, although Utah cosmetology schools don’t teach anything about African hair braiding. She protested to the state’s cosmetology board, saying that cosmetology, a vocation that involves chemical treatments and handling of skin and hair, was completely different than African hair braiding, an art that stretches back thousands of years. But her complaint was rejected and no legislator would amend the statute.

Tegloma Acting As Cultural Ambassadors For Sierra Leone

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Tegloma Dallas Chief Josephine Ladipo
Tegloma Federation International Inc, is the largest Sierra Leone organization in the diaspora. Formed in 1975 in Washington DC to help Sierra Leoneans of southeastern origin in the diaspora who faced overt discrimination meted out by the Sierra Leone Embassy in Washington at the time due to their perceived political antipathy for Siaka Steven's government, Tegloma has metamorphosed during the last 37 years from a reactionary organization into a philanthropic nonprofit and an ambassador of Sierra Leone culture in the diaspora.

Tegloma Dallas Members Actings as Cultural Ambassadors
Tegloma is now a federation of 24 autonomous chapters in USA, Canada, UK, Gambia and Sierra Leone and plans are underway to launch brand new chapters in Australia and Holland, two countries with growing Sierra Leonean populations. Tegloma has also over the years developed an open door policy to anybody interested in or originating from Sierra Leone, though the majorit…

Wesley Old Students Association Announcement

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   Kalilu Lavalie Foday (Save Me Oh God)
The late Kalilu Lavalie Foday ( SMOG), the Segbwema born teacher and economist was a valuable and prominent member of Wesley Old Students Association (WOSA), the alumni association of his alma mater Wesley Secondary School, Kailahun District, Sierra Leone. WOSA members will therefore be playing a very prominent role in the funeral ceremonies for their distinguished colleague.
Kalilu Foday departed this world on Monday August 6, 2012 at the 34 Military Hospital, Wilberforce, Freetown Sierra Leone after a period of illness. Funeral arrangements are simultaneously being held in Freetown, Kenema and Segbwema. The remains of the dear brother will be transported to Segbwema on Saturday August 11 for interment in the home of his forefathers on Sunday August 12, 2012.
The Wesley Old Students Association (WOSA) will be be convening an emergency meeting at the funeral home located at 3 Regent Road, Lumley Freetown on Thursday August 9, 2012,  at exactly 5pm…

Kalilu Lavalie Foday: Death of An Ally

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Kalilu Lavalie Foday (SMOG)
It was with the utmost shock that I learnt yesterday of the death of my brother, ally and friend, Mr. Kalilu Lavalie Foday, alias SMOG. 
Kalilu was born in the early 60s in Segbwema to the late Mamie Jajua and Njaluahun Chiefdom Speaker Chief Foday. He was born into a family of chiefs on both his maternal and paternal side.
I came to know SMOG when I went to back to Segbwema to complete secondary school and we both became school mates at Wesley Secondary School. Though SMOG was my senior, we soon became close friends as both of our mothers were life long friends and I developed a fascination for SMOG's radicalism and unconventional ways. In a society bound by customs and traditions, SMOG was the perfect radical. Even as a student he was fiercely independent and nonconformist. During the holidays he will buy used books from other students for resale and each holiday he will have a thriving black market business for used books by the old…

Sam Sumana Is Embarrassing Sierra Leone

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Sumana Timber  The most Scandal plagued Vice President in the history of Sierra Leone Chief Sam Sumana, aka. Sumana Timber seems to be virtually unstoppable in his quest to be the richest Vice President in the history of the small West African country, through dishonest means. All Peoples Congress officials who had been quietly stating all through the past years that Sam Sumana, a relative political unknown before he became the occupier of the second seat in the land, had bought the position with cold hard cash seem to have been completely vindicated.
The vice president, whose record of brazen scam tactics has made the country a disgrace in the subregion seems to outdo even himself with each waking day. When it was revealed that the vice president had scammed a group of Minnesota investors led by Dave Kloeber of Unique Thrift stores, the vice president and his supporters concocted a story blaming his detractors in the opposition Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP)and twisted the alle…

Sam Sumana's Conspiracy Baloney Does Not Make Sense.

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Stop The Baloney If there is one thing the ruling All People's Congress party of Sierra Leone is good at, it is their capacity to look at every single issue through the tribal lens. If you talk against the current ineptitude of APC, you must not like northerners. If you talk against the corruption plagued Vice President Sam Sumana, you have a grand plan against the Kono people. In essence, the only thing you can do is keep very quiet, while your poor people back home wallow in poverty and despair. Some parochial minds even say that those of us in the diaspora should not talk about things going back home in Sierra Leone, disregarding the fact that our daily trips to Western Union and Moneygram are directly related to the fact that folks back home are growing increasingly dependent or in some cases totally dependent on those of us here who care for families back home, as the Sierra Leone economy is now a basket case.
Where is My Money Mr. VP?
When I read Titus Boye-Thompson's art…

NEC Discriminates Against the Poor in Sierra Leone

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Mohamed Bangura "Double the Fees" The late Reggae legend Bob Marley once sang that the destruction of the poor lies in their poverty. I am guessing Bob must have gotten that line straight out of the  Holy Bible. Well the National Electoral Commission in Sierra Leone, headed by Commissioner Christiana Thorpe has decided that Bob Marley's words should be taken a step further. The NEC has imposed a set of fees that would effectively bar any poor man from even dreaming about running for parliament in the small but troubled West African state, let alone actually doing so. By imposing a a parliamentary candidate fee of approximately $5500.00 in a country where approximately 75% of the people have only seen $5000.00 in bank robbery movies or Nigerian films, the electoral commission has effectively barred all ordinary civil servants, teachers, small scale farmers, and the ordinary man from ever being able to run for parliament without outside help or without digging themselves in…

APC Parliamentarians Set The Stage for Violence in Sierra Leone

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In a completely unreasonable and diabolical move, ruling party parliamentarians in the West African state of Sierra Leone have set the stage for armed conflict and possibly state sanctioned civil homicide by approving and legalizing the possession of small arms by individuals and groups for so called "security purposes".

Sierra Leone spent the better part of ten years engaged in a dangerous, atrocious, brutal and bloody armed civil conflict that led to massive proliferation of arms and ammunition in the country. This proliferation of weapons resulted in a state of near anarchy with armed groups and civil militias practically running the country; leading to lawlessness, decapitations, amputations, rape, and armed robbery by groups of youths fueled by drugs and negative ideology.
Peace and some semblance of normalcy was only reintroduced into the country after the forceful intervention of the regional West African force ECOMOG and the United Nations which sent the largest pea…