Showing posts from October, 2012

Sierra Leone News Update: The Rat's Buttocks-"World's Best

RUF for Koroma
Last week Sierra Leone's presidential candidates were crisscrossing the country, appealing, begging and threatening for votes. The two main parties, the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) and the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) have been traveling in different areas of the country drawing huge crowds of revelers, onlookers, opportunists, traveling supporters and professional crowd swellers.

There was a huge hoopla about the statement American Ambassador to Sierra Leone Michael Owen made, telling a local FM station in the country that he thought there could be a second round of voting as the two main parties both seemed to have massive support around the country. This statement elicited an unreasonable outcry of political interference from ruling APC party supporters, who are of the opinion that football carrying President Ernest Bai Koroma, is the "world's best president", in spite of the fact that the level of unemployment in the country i…

Sierra Leone News Round Up: The Sheep's Buttocks

Today is Friday and as elections in Sierra Leone get closer the tension is rising, the expectations are high as the fissures in the society have deepened and are continuing to widen. As opposed to ex-President Tejan Kabbah who saw the need for national cohesiveness, President Koroma is pathologically partisan, with a winner takes all mentality. Politics in Sierra Leone today is simple, either you are with the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) or you are in the wilderness. With government being the largest direct employer in Sierra Leone the chances of getting a good job in Sierra Leone these days is directly proportional to the number of red shirts in your wardrobe. The situation is such that a man in Makeni almost divorced his wife for buying him a green shirt as a birthday present.

The need to identify with party extends even to funerals. Funeral convoys in Sierra Leone are now bedecked with party colors. Could you imagine, wearing red to a funeral! But this is Sierra Leone, and th…

A Tale of Two Elections: Obama and Koroma

In November, Sierra Leoneans living in USA will be feverish with anticipation and excitement. Well this will at  least be true for those who follow politics. On November 6, 2012,  Americans will be asked to decide between incumbent President Barack Obama and his Republican Challenger Mitt Willard Romney. Just a week and some days after the American election the people of the beautiful West African country of Sierra Leone, just north of the equator will also be asked to choose between incumbent President Ernest Bai Koroma and a bevy of opposition candidates, even though the only one with any realistic chance of upsetting the president is the main opposition challenger Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra leone Peoples
party, the man who transitioned the country to multiparty democracy after a quarter century of one-party and military rule.

President Obama and Koroma have some real similarities. They were both elected on an agenda of hope and change, one economic and the other…

The Thriving Business of Crowd Swelling in Sierra Leone

The All Peoples Congress party in Sierra Leone may not have the best legacy of government. In fact it is under successive APC governments that the nation has experienced the worst geometric economic declines in its 51 year history of independence. In spite of this sorry legacy, the party is extremely adept at concocting mechanisms for survival and all other parties may want to learn a bit from APC's ingenuity for presenting their dirty linen in public and simultaneously convincing people that it were silk and velvet.

The presidential and legislative elections in Sierra Leone is less than a month away and every party is busy creating the impression that it has enormous support in the country. Smaller parties mask their small crowds and lack of support by engaging drummers and beating up these drums as loud and fantastic possible to attract onlookers who they will then say are possible. More creative types like Mohamed Bangura of the PMDC breakaway UDM give outrageous press confere…

Sierra Leone's Discredited Government Grows Reckless in Desperation

The saying "you reap what you sow" has never rang true in Sierra Leone as it did this week for the nation's embattled president who is in a state of panic, as the euphoria to replace his inept and monumentally corrupt government reaches fever peak in the nation's capital Freetown and other major population areas in the country.

Ernest Koroma, who came into office on a wave of promises has presided over the greatest accelerated decline in the living standards of the people since the nation became an independent state in April 1961. In a period of just 5 years, the national currency declined from approximately Le. 2000.00 to 1 dollar to the current exchange rate of over Le. 4500.00 against the dollar. The price of the country's staple food rice tripled in price from a high of Le. 60,000.00 to almost Le. 200,000.00 from 2007, an astounding 200% while wages have grown during this period at an anemic 5%. The national banks are currently facing severe currency shortag…

Sierra Leone Roundup: The frog's Buttocks

It is Friday October 5, 2012 and to say that it has been an interesting week in Sierra Leone is basically an understatement.

A snake was out of control in the Northern Region of Sierra Leonean allegedly killing many people in the area. In response to this menace,  the APC government hired a group of witch doctors to investigate and solve the mysterious occurrence, thus making the Sierra Leone government the second government in West Africa to officially sanction herbalism and witchcraft, after Gambia's own President Alhaji Sheikh Professor Dr. Yayah Abdul-Azziz Junkus Jammeh who claims to have discovered a cure for AIDS and Asthma and has a whole ward at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Banjul devoted to care of his patients, who he cures with an elaborate combo of herbal remedies and Juju. Both of these governments in 2012 twelve have decided to resort to wizardry and witchcraft to address ailments in their countries, taking their countries back to the post medieval dark ages.

In …

What Is Wrong With Charles Margai

I just heard that my friend and buddy Dennis T. Saidu, who I have not heard from for quite a while is now the running mate of the All Peoples Congress friendly United Democratic Movement Party's leader Mohamed Bangura, who spends more time attacking Maada Julius Wonnie Bio the opposition Sierra Leone People Party's leader, than criticizing the Ernest Bai Koroma led government. In a remarkable case of political straight man talk, Mohamed Bangura admitted at the Electoral Commmission that his party had no chance of winning the presidency, but they just wanted some seats in Parliament, implying that his candidacy was either an ego trip, a popularity campaign or a bargaining chip.
What really surprised me about the candidacy is the fact that my own man Dennis T. Saidu (Seiko 5) has left the People's Movement For Democratic Movement (PMDC)
Many people claim to have been PMDC pioneers or strong men. But Dennis Saidu epitomized the meaning of commitment to party and leadership. …

What is Wrong With You? You are a Sheriff.

I am just being Me.
Have you ever seen that Pastor's son who was brought up the right way? From the moment he was a toddler his father taught him right from wrong. He taught him about the essence of living an ethical and moral life. A life dedicated to the praise and service of God. A life devoted to the love of mankind and charity. A life full of selfless devotion free of vanity, greed and over ambition.
Yet somehow as the pastor's son grows up he starts to rebel against all these moral teachings. He becomes rebellious and rejoices in causing discomfort for his righteous dad. His rebellion is usually a reaction to years of trying to live up to the expectation of an authority figure who always wants a little bit more out of him. A father who expects him to behave like a saint because he was his son. His rebellion is a rejection of society's expectations of him. A society that expects him to be somewhat better than others because he was a pastor's son. A society in whic…

Tegloma Minnesota Chapter Fundraising

In the biting winter Minnesota cold, Tegloma Minnesota Chapter hosted a great fundraiser yesterday Saturday October 6, 2012 at the East Side Neighborhood in Minneapolis Minnesota.
 Tegloma Minnesota Vice President Ms. Alice Karpeh was the MC for the occasion.

The Secretary General of the Board of Directors Tegloma Federation Mr. Sheku Sheriff of the Tegloma Minnesota chapter told the mixed audience about Tegloma; its history, its past achievements, current projects and projects and plans for the future. The secretary general told the audience that Tegloma was a family organization that came to the support of its members who were either experiencing problems, loss or just wanted to do a joyful celebration. In the diaspora Tegloma supported its members with immigration issues, bereavement, illness, or celebrating weddings, graduations, baby showers and so on. Tegloma has also engaged in shipping food, supplying medical supplies and giving scholarship to students in Sierra Leone. Teglom…