Sumana TimberThe 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 allegation of a million dollar fraud as a witch hunt against the Kono people of Sierra Leone, a people who unlike the president are known for their uprightness and honesty.
David Tam Baryoh in his popular monologue program and Karamoh Kabba, the shallow minded APC spokesman postulated that the numerous scandals the VP faced were an elaborate conspiracy against the Kono people. The monologue anchor even went as far as to speculate that not only SLPP members, but APC top brass were also complicit in the plot to bring down the VP. The fact that the numerous allegations against the Vice President originated from a variety of sources most of who bore no relationship to each other was hastily dismissed. Instead of genuinely discussing the character flaws of the vice president that made him unfit to be a leader of the country, the whole discussion was reduced to primitive tribalism, as is always the case in modern day Sierra Leone.
As has been proved time and again, crooks always end up making mistakes. Sam Sumana in his scam dealings has made a very serious mistake and miscalculation. He has now scammed a group of American investors with international clout who are now on the verge of bringing the full force of international and American law to bear on his head. What Sam Sumana failed to consider is that the American economy relies very heavily on international investments. American investors engaged in foreign business are given the full protection and backing of their government as long as they are engaged in legitimate international trade, as they form a substantial portion of the bedrock of the country's economy. By assuming that he could use his position as vice president of a heavily aid dependent nation to scam legitimate American investors, Sam Sumana has wallowed into waters that may swallow him if he does not find a quick way to swim out rapidly.
The main problem with Sierra Leone, as is the case with most African nations is the fact that wealth is highly celebrated without concern for its origin. When Sam Sumana who had been struggling to make ends meet in the Sierra Leone community here in Minnesota disappeared from the scene and suddenly emerged as the second man on a winning presidential ticket, only very few people questioned how a relatively unknown person with no known political involvement had achieved this near miraculous feat. Many people in Sierra Leone assumed that Sam was one of those men who had come to America and made it big, which he of course did, only that he did it with other people's money. In Minnesota on the other hand, stories were peddled as to how Sam whose father had been a chief had gone back home and struck it rich in diamonds. The fact that he was the country representative for a group of investors who had made him a custodian of their honest investments, somehow never made it into the VP's numerous fairy tales. But as they usually say "if it is too good to be true, it probably is."
Sam Sumana represents all that is not only wrong with Sierra Leone, but with Africa as a whole. We have societies tethering on the brink of economic disaster. We have investors willing to venture into foreign lands to invest and improve the lot of the people. Then we have sharks like Sam Sumana whose only concern is their own welfare and immediate gratification. They sell brilliant investment ideas and get people to commit to these ideas and then treat them as if they were fools. As the investment face of the APC delegation that has led trade trips as far away as Israel, Sam Sumana's conduct is not only a problem for the APC led government of President Ernest Bai Koroma, but it is an unmitigated disaster for the future of foreign investment in the country.
Freetown Floating in Filth
After a decade of civil war and some period of relative stability, the primary thing now is for the country to attract investment, both domestic and foreign. Given the low level of domestic investment, the only hope for an acceleration in economic growth and ultimately economic development is through a massive infusion of foreign capital that will kick start the economy and create jobs. What evil agents like Sam Sumana are doing is tantamount to a crime against the nation as they are discouraging potential foreign investment and perpetuating the poverty and despair that has come to characterize the once proud nation. Sam Sumana has no business being the vice president of Sierra Leoneor or even a basket case like Somalia. Sierra Leone has produced too many fine human beings to have a common crook as vice president and president Koroma if he really wanted to prove he was not complicit in any of these disgraceful occurrences will either ask for his immediate resignation or bring him nowhere the presidency ever again.
Now some new set of investors unrelated to the Kloeber affair are threatening to not only take legal action against the vice president for fraud both in Sierra Leone and USA, but are seeking the help of their congressional representatives to retrieve their monies. An original copy of a letter to Sam Sumana by the President of Taakor is shown by following the link belowhttp://thenewpeople.com/images/demandfromtaakor.pdf
A prominent Sierra Leonean who saw the documents stated that all politics aside the conduct of the vice president is very troubling. The world waits with patience to hear what the spin doctors at Cocorioko, The Daily Mail and Awareness Times who have emerged as the prime defenders of corruption in Sierra Leone, will say to defend an increasingly indefensible conduct.