Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Long Nights in Sierra Leone

Leigh Joins The Marabout Parade
Now that the elections in Sierra Leone are over and APC's President Ernest Bai Koroma has been reelected to a second term, we move to the next phase of the unending drama and tactical calisthenics that is Sierra Leone politics; the jockeying for high level positions in the Koroma II administration.

From Ministers, to deputies, to Ambassadors, the president and his close allies have to scour through the names of party loyalists, cross party defectors and turncoat journalists to determine who goes where and who gets what. And amongst the political class in the country, there is much worrying as the cutthroat competition for political appointments goes ahead full steam, much like victors in biblical times used to fight over the spoils of war, but in this case, only the underground marabouts and herbalists are smiling, as their period of bountiful harvest is now.
Sierra Leone Juju King Mohamed
The World's Happiest

The most worried right now are the current crop of APC ministers, especially those who are not in the most intimate of EBK's circles, the expendables, those that can be easily sacrificed without much collateral damage, especially those whose constituencies were won by the opposition and those who owe their positions to PMDC, a party that was practically wiped out in the past elections. Until the new appointments are announced, the nights of these uncertain ministers will be long, occasionally punctuated by cold sweat and the nightmare of spending the next five years without the trappings of power. If the trips to fake marabouts were frequent before the elections, these trips will now be at frenetic paces and of course the marabouts, considering this their period of great harvest, will now be requesting cows in place of chickens and rice bags in place of Kola nuts.

Robin Fallay Resident Minister East?

Following very closely in the worried column would be those civil servants or government employees who were ambivalent about the president's campaign and did not put much effort and heart into it. They would now be secretly regretting their lackluster efforts, wishing that they had done more. They will now compensate by having the president's pictures proudly and strategically displayed in prime locations in their offices for all the world to see and their Sim Cards be in constant touch with the president's circle of intimates, calling them everyday, to seek reassurance. They would spend the coming weeks with their cellphones glued to their ears at night, lest they should sleep and miss a call. Each phone call would sound as loud as a church bell sending their hearts into their mouths, pounding like a catfish out of water.

Then would follow the defectors, those who forsook old alliances and gambled on new political destinies. They would have outdone each other over the past few months trying convince the Pa that their betrayal was thorough, complete and deep and  that they had cut their roots with finality, vowing never to look back. Their fear would be the fear of all traitors since Judas sold the Holy Galilean for 30 wretched pieces of silver. The fear that they would not be totally accepted in their new political homes and the fear that should they go back they would find no hiding place down there, from whence they had come. Until their temporary fate is fulfilled, these are men that would be sleeping with one eye open.
Logus A Comback

The next in the circle of fear would be the Ambassadors in faraway lands, whose positions are easy prey for cross party defectors and abrasive loquacious journalists of the sycophantic breed. Nobody loves traitors and some of the party defectors are slimy characters with dubious background. What better way to satisfy them and send them away than a post to Cuba, North Korea or Pakistan. Or better still why not send them as ambassadors to Afghanistan, Mali or Somalia and hope that if they fall into the hand of the Taliban or Al Shabaab, they would at least be shown some mercy.

These are long nights in Sierra Leone, as men and women await their political fates, with names being added to and subtracted from the Pa's lists and those of a certain political class are left wondering if the brand New Toyota Landcruiser will be replaced by the crusty old 1979 Toyota Corolla that allows you the view of the muddy streets of Kissy right under the driver's feet.

No comments: