|Africa's Best Chance|
Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson
In Rome, Pope Benedict decided that he was just too tired these days to effectively conduct his papal duties. He has secretly been thinking about this for some time. Some years ago he made a symbolic visit to the tomb of the last pope that retired about 600 years ago and laid some flowers on the grave. Many people did not think about the significance of the action then, until he announced his extremely unexpected decision, sending us history buffs into a frenzy, scrambling to find precedence.
The last few weeks a lot of questions were asked about the papal succession. Will we get another European pope or will the new pope come from elsewhere, particularly the developing world? The world has witnessed the negative correlation between the decline in Catholicism in the Western nations and the growth in the number of Catholics in the developing world, particularly in Latin America. People thought loudly that it was about time for a Pope to come out of the developing world. Why get a European Pope, when Europeans were turning away from Catholicism and even Christianity?
|Pope Francis I|
Some of us in Africa were even wondering if we would get another African pope. Africa has had only three popes in the history of the Papacy and they had all come from North Africa. But that was so many years ago, that even some devote African Catholics may not have not known about this particular aspect of papal history.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, we were thinking that it was now time for a black Pope. Of course a Pope from my home town of Segbwema was an extremely remote possibility, asymptotically tending to zero. Men from that town have a particular fondness for the opposite sex, which naturally precludes most of them from the priesthood and ultimately the papacy. So in the midst of all the hullabaloo there was going to be no Pope Sei I or Pope Kailondo I, no Segbwema Pope. The Pope came from Argentina and the Italians were clever enough to select an Italian born in Argentina as Pope, cunningly having a Pope with both Italian blood and Argentinian nationality. Talk about killing two birds with one stone, A European pope from the Developing world, Pope Francis I
Of course Sierra Leone at large was not bound to get a pope soon. Bill Gates, the world's richest man, would have sent a special delegation to the Vatican to ensure that that the GAVI Alliance money that was so blatantly squandered by health officials in the country would be accounted for, before the country's archbishop will even be allowed near the Conclave of Cardinals. So there was no Pope Ernesto I.
|Where is my Money?|
Corruption has always been rampant in Sierra Leone and has been ingratiated into the national fabric, desensitizing most of the citizens to its occurrence. But the gall and audacity with which the GAVI Alliance funds that were meant to help children in a country with one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world were pilfered was truly appalling and absolutely revolting.
The GAVI Alliance is a subsidiary of the Gates Foundation that is committed to "Saving children’s lives and protecting people’s health by increasing access to immunization in poor countries." Senior officials in Sierra Leone's ministry of health jumped at the GAVI immunization cash like a group of 50 hungry monkeys rushing at a bunch of 5 ripe bananas. The group of criminals included the top healtgh officials in the country and 7 medical doctors who had taken the Hippocratic oath to protect lives.
Of course it was Bill Gates' money, the richest man in the world and one of the greatest donors to the international institutions that control the purse string of Sierra Leone. So at the emerging and embarrassing scandal, the officials of the country pretended self righteous indignation and indicted 29 people, with all the fanfare of a Christmas parade filled by a group of rowdy drunks. The truth of the matter is that they knew that they had messed with the money of the wrong American. When the country's Auditor General revealed blatant official corruption just a few weeks prior, it had all been hush hush and noting had come of it. By next year the the Accountant General will likely be replaced by another Koroma and future reports will be compiled by accounting graduates from UNIMAK, end of story. But eating Bill Gates money, the man responsible for developing some of the most effective computer accounting software in the world, was a manifestation of the stupidity of the third world criminal.
|Where is My Injection?|
But common Sierra Leoneans are not fools, thanks to God. After a period in which there was no fuel in the country and the end of an election after which the country was plunged back into darkness, the President's blue eyed boys spent billions of Leones on a second inauguration that was meant to showcase the messianic qualities of the world's best leader. Invitations were sent throughout the world and all over the country. Come Friday the 22nd, the president and his men were welcomed by a half empty stadium, as only scared civil servants and drunken revelers in need of their next pint showed up to the bogus charade. Those who had other things to do stayed at home and that was almost all of Freetown. Of the world leaders, only Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf bothered to show up, she was on her way to a conference and said "well, what the heck"
Now we are hearing rumors from Politico that President Ernest Bai Koroma does not want the country's VP Sumana Timber to be the next APC flag-bearer. With Satanic journalist Blyden close to the president's ear and Sumana's arch nemesis Diana Konomanyi now in the country's bloated cabinet, the president now has new in-laws from Kono and politico reports that EBK has told his wife that VP Sumana is not a welcome guest anywhere near him.
With Sumana's ally Victor Foh exiled to China to study communism and the APC convention yanked from Kono back to Freetown, there is much juice from Sierra Leone this week to fill a few pages of the Segbwema Blog.
While all this is happening the leaders of the main opposition SLPP, are fighting over sixty thousand dollars, insulting each other and inviting the police to beat each other up. Sierra Leone may be poor in many ways, but is always very rich in Wahala.