Sierra Leone Political Appointments: The Rise of The Morons
Kabba The Clown
Dr. Patrick K. Muana
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 intellectual development of both the civil service and state security/law enforcement agents.
When the NPRC coup of 1992 removed the one party APC dictatorship of Joseph Saidu Momoh, the young military leaders embarked on a shuffle of the senior brass of the military and law enforcement agencies, but left the civil service almost intact. The NPRC also ensured that the public face of their revolution was well presented to both their internal and external audiences. Karifa Kargo, the young NPRC spokesman at the time was simply a joy to listen to and it was from one of his interviews that I first heard the term penultimate. I still have a great affection for that fellow.
Late Sumanguru Hindolo Trye
Shift to today, and the story is sadly and pathetically different. It is as if the current government of Ernest Bai Koroma has embarked on a full scale exercise of the glorification of morons. While there are some serious political heavyweights in the current adminstration, they have either been largely silent or have been relegated to the background, while glorified nonentities have been pushed to the fore. The exercise could almost be described as the deliberate "dumbification" of government. Up til the time of his death, radical student political heavyweight turned minister Hindolo Sumanguru Trye was a mere face in the APC. Under withering attacks by Sylvia Blyden and other tabloid journalists who parodied his health issues, Hindolo retreated into his shell and became a shadow of his former self. Let me go straight to the matter at hand.
I woke up this morning, listened to Sierra Leone news on Star Radio and tried to read some opinions about current events. It was during this morning online news perusal that I came across the letter written by Karamoh Kabba the Director of Public and Political Affairs for the Minister of Public and Political Affairs, accusing Dr. Patrick Kagbeni Muana and the opposition SLPP of the use of a LISTSERV for political discussion and somehow implying that it was in contravention of some obscure act that prevented the use of foreign contributions or donations in local Sierra Leone politics. The fellow even accused Dr. Muana, a young Sierra Leonean associate professor at Texas A &M, one of the foremost universities in the USA, of stealing a listserv.
Karamoh Kabba, whose title is the same name as the ministry in which he works did not only limit this gross display of ignorance to the local papers, he had the audacity to copy this nonsense to important state organs and diplomatic missions in the country. The tragedy about this laughable comedic exercise is that this guy purportedly holds an important post in the country, if his title is to be believed, and about two weeks ago I heard him spew the same nonsense on the popular radio program "Monologue" which I occasionally listen to on star radio. When I listened to the radio program, I was sure that somebody in Sierra Leone or the government was going to tell him about the proliferation of free international communication groups, but apparently they did not, and have allowed him to expose his mediocrity and ignorance to the whole world, a bloody shame.
What next is Karamoh Kabba going to target next, yahoo for allowing the use of yahoo groups or google for allowing the use of google groups to host communication groups? These are also foreign to Sierra Leone. Why not include hotmail, yahoo mail and gmail. People use these foreign email services that are American based to communicate Sierra Leone political messages all over the world, they can also be described as foreign entities donating to local campaigns. Karamoh should write to Bill Gates to report the use of hotmail.
Why not just report the father of them all, Facebook? There are so many Sierra Leone closed and open political groups on Facebook that I stopped counting long ago. Karamoh needs to write to President Obama and report Mark Zuckerberg for allowing Sylvia Blyden and other Facebookers from using foreign resources to interfere in Sierra Leone politics, in direct contravention of the sacred laws of the nonentity promoting West African enclave of Sierra Leone.
Patrick Muana will be somewhere reading this hoopla and laughing like a hyena. Some weeks ago I told Karamoh Kabba about the advice my teacher Mr. J. B. Fobay once gave me. I will repeat it again and hope that someday, somebody will print it and hand it over for him to read. Uncle Karamoh " It is better to look like a fool than to open your mouth and confirm it."
Why minister Alpha Khan would have this clown as a political director in his ministry is a question that I cannot answer easily. Does the guy hail from Kono and have access to diamonds? Is he a brother in law? With all the young APC supporters that were my college mates at Fourah Bay College, or even young APC guys from Milton Margai or Njala, why this fellow. Does the minister want somebody less smart than him, only the minister knows the answer, but this fellow is a disgrace to his position. He is a whack job who just needs to shut up and stop disgracing his party and country, he can go pick a peck or do something else.