Monday, October 1, 2012

President Ernest Koroma Mocks Attitudinal Change

President Ernest Koroma
Oh how time and power changes men! Just a few years ago, APC's President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone was singing a different tune. Having been elected on a wave of resentment against the slow pace of recovery under SLPP's President Ahmed Tejan Kabba, Ernest Koroma was sworn into office on a wave of promises to the impatient people of the small West African nation. During the heydays of the campaign, president Koroma had, like all African demagogues, vilified the Tejan Kabbah government and made promises based more on fantasy than cold hard economic reality.

President Koroma had promised to; reduce the price of the nations staple food rice rice from sixty thousand to twenty thousand Leones, revamp the country's declining education and make the country once again the Athens of West Africa. He pledged to rebuild the country's infrastructure including ensuring that the capital city Freetown had 24 hours uninterrupted electricity in just three months. He was to usher in a new era of zero tolerance to corruption, vowing there were going to be no sacred cows and developed and propagated the mantra of behavioral changed. He even envisioned and established a dubious sounding behavioral change secretariat whose true function was opaque at best.
Freetown Slum Drowning in Filth

Forward to October 2012 and the once visionary Ernest Bai Koroma's new APC  has been reduced to just another corrupt kleptocratic government remarkably similar to all the others dotting the African continent, from Zimbabwe, to the Democratic Republic of Congo, to Nigeria.

The pledge of running the country like a business has been a a remarkable case of financial and economic disaster that has enriched the president and his cronies, while the national currency has lost  more than 100%  of its real value during his period at the helm and the price of a bag of rice has increased from sixty to one hundred and sixty thousand Leones, with the country's educational performance relative to its other English neighbors nothing more than a total catastrophe, ensuring that if nothing is done in a short time, Sierra Leone will in 16 years be populated by immaculately dressed semi-illiterates.

The country's once beautiful capital city Freetown is now an overcrowded mountain of filth in which the lack of proper garbage and sewage disposal has resulted in the worst outbreak of the water borne diarrheal disease cholera that the country has experienced in close to a century. Cholera has within a space of few months devastated the entire country, resulting in hundreds of deaths, with the president responding by setting up a cholera task force based in the presidential offices at State House, which is absolutely beyond the reach of the normal citizen, let alone one sick with cholera.
Cholera Breeding ground

The income disparity in the country has become so glaring that it has become a concern of Western countries who invested so much to ensure the return of peace to the once war devastated nation. While the president's cronies jet around the world at the expense of the nations taxpayers, 87% of the people subsist on less that two dollars a day.  In 2011 when the president came to the UN general Assembly in New York he brought a large delegation that rented two floors at the Hyatt 48 Lex, including the penthouse. His security detail were sleeping in rooms that cost more one thousand dollars a night during the UN week while the majority of children in his country sleep each on empty stomachs.
Cheapest Room at Hyatt 48 Lex

November 17th 2012 is  supposed to be election day in Sierra Leone and the opposition parties and people are prepared to say goodbye to the disastrous Ernest Koroma government, but the president and his cronies are not ready to quit anytime soon. With his immediate family members now controlling fat government contracts in the country and his friends and affiliates ensconced in all the powerful positions in the country, President Koroma is doing everything possible to muddy the waters and cling on to power by hook or by crook. Most of the nations journalists are now paid agents that have forgotten how to report news but are now just engaged in shameless praise singing and deification of a very flawed government. The many radio stations are now propaganda mouth pieces whose main function is to have long running daily programs ridiculing the opposition.
Freetown in 2012

Presidential Scammer  Alhaji Sumana
The electoral commission recently announced a fee for electoral candidates that would have ensured the effective marginalization of 70% of the population from ever participating in he country's politics and had the opposition parties not stood firm against this assault on democracy by the electoral commissioner Christina Thorpe, only the president's party, with their hands in the national cookie jar,  would have been able to field candidates in all the constituencies.

And just yesterday it was announced that the country's scandalous and monumentally corrupt Vice President,  Sam Sumana,  would once again be on the presidential ticket in a move that is so bizarre that it has left even fanatic APC supporters questioning the president's judgment. Sam Sumana is no stranger to scandal and within the span of just five year has developed the reputation as one of the most corrupt politicians on the African continent. Having defrauded and scammed some prominent American businessmen who have decided to bring the weight of American justice to bear on his head whenever they have the opportunity, his reappointment is troubling to many observes inside and outside the country and manifests the glaring fact that the government's behavior change mantra is just an illusion or smokescreen that is meant to treat the population as insignificant nonentities whose opinions do not really matter in the wider scheme of things.
Sanitation Disaster 

In reappointing Sam Sumana, President Koroma has effectively tarnished his legacy as no matter how he tries to to paint Sam Sumana as a misunderstood man, the average Sierra Leonean is acutely aware that even if you bleach the hand of a monkey, it will always be black. By reappointing Sam Sumana, president Koroma has just told the whole world that the concept of attitudinal change was just a joke. May God save Sierra Leone

The only way the people of Sierra Leone are going to end this national disgrace is to turn out in their hundreds of thousands to reject this incompetent bunch who if given five more years will just put the country in a bag, put a price on it and sell it to the highest bidder.

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