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Showing posts from June, 2014

FIFA has had Enough of Luis Suarez's Biting Antics

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Soccer's world governing body FIFA has banned Urugyan striker Luis Suarez for four months following a biting incident in Uruguay's last match against Italy in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Though Uruguay advances, they wouldn't do so with the soccer genius who has an unfortunate tendency to bite under duress. Suarez bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on the back in their tense qualification encounter and then pretended as if it was just an accident by clutching his teeth and feigning pain.

This is the third time the 27 year old Suarez who plays with British side Liverpool has been involved in a biting incident in the last four years. Suarez has been banned from all football activities till the end of October which means that he will be out of the remaining games of the World Cup and may also affect his stay at Liverpool FC. He was banned from playing for his country for nine games and fined $112,000
The loss of Suarez will be a big loss to Uruguay who has progressed i…

Sierra Leone Ebola Victims Should Not be Pawns in In Anybody's Power Struggle

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Blyden: A Life Dedicated to the Cultivation of Enemies
I had the time to listen to an interview on Radio Democracy given by the Special Executive Assistant to Sierra Leone's President Sylvia Blyden and came away ever more convinced than ever of my earlier suspicion that all the tears she had been shedding for the Ebola victims in Kailahun were just meant to use a particularly horrendous disaster to score a political advantage over perceived enemies.

In the world there are basically three types of ambitious people. The first are those people who have high aspirations in life and devote all their lives to preparing themselves to meet these aspirations. They try to fulfill their ambitions by pursuing perfection. An individual like the great Nelson Mandela falls conveniently in this class. Obama is another.
The second type of ambitious people are those who may or may not seek perfection, but whose primary strength lies in building networks of influence and using these networks to fulf…

England Joins World Cup Champions Spain on Fast Exit Train from Brazil

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Two top rated European soccer giants, Spain and England, have in all likelihood been given matching orders out of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil due to dismal performances in their first two matches.
Spain who were totally humiliated in a 5-1 rout by Holland in their opening match against the same Dutch team they had defeated in 2010 to claim the World Cup final in South Africa, were again humiliated 2-0 in their second match by the South Americans Chile in Rio De Janeiro's Maracana stadium to be given an early ticket back to Spain where they are bound to face tough questions from the citizens of a football crazed nation. The Segbwema blogger has dubbed the first game as the "Dutch Revenge"
In the second Spanish match, it was two Chilean stars, Eduardo Vargas and Charles Arranguiz, who put the final seal of doom on the Spanish side in a tournament in which they had conceded 7 goals in just two games. The Spanish humiliation was sealed on the same day their King Juan Carlo…

What is the Real Beef Between Sylvia Omotunde Blyden and Miatta Kargbo

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What is really going on between Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, the Special Executive Assistant to Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma and the country's Health and Sanitation Minister Miatta Kargbo?

Listening to Sylvia's Blyden's perpetual litany of complaints on Facebook and her Awareness Times gossip tabloid about the ineptitude of the Health Minister, one could almost be forgiven for thinking that it was Miatta Kargbo herself who personally went to the forests of Congo and begged the Ebola virus to come to Sierra Leone after first stopping in Guinea and Liberia.

Many Sierra Leoneans are aware that the country's Ministry of Health and Sanitation had enough time to set up a measured and effective response to the eventuality of the dreaded Ebola virus landing on the country's shores. The initial uncoordinated and chaotic response to the outbreak was probably the reason for its high proliferation and death rate in Sierra Leone in such a short period of time. But for t…

Liberian Jailed Warlord Charles Ghankay Taylor Sues for Right to theFamily Life he Deprived others Of.

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One of Africa's most infamous mass murderers, former Liberian warlord and President Charles Ghankay Taylor, the leader of a group of primitive rebels who specialized in torture, rape and cannibalism have just sued the British Government for allegedly depriving him of family life. Charles Taylor was jailed for a 50 year term by the Special Court for Sierra Leone  for crimes against humanity, a sentence he appealed against and lost.

It can be recalled that when Taylor was sentenced to the lengthy stretch that was essentially a life sentence, considering his age, he appealed to the court to be jailed in Africa, preferably in Rwanda, so it could be easier for him to see his family and probably have conjugal visits from his many female partners. 
The court refused Taylor's request for special treatment as jail birds do not usually determine where they spent their sentence. Given his history of jail escapes and his enormous wealth, what could prevent him from giving some poor jaile…

Will Richard Konteh Apologize to Transparency International?

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In 2013 the international corruption watchdog Transparency International's annual list of national corruption around the world was not very favorable to Sierra Leone. Not only did the report take particular note of the high level of official corruption in Sierra Leone, but went further to actually award the West African nation the unique distinction of being the country with the highest incidence of reported bribery in Sub-Saharan Africa. 
The bribery report was a major embarrassment to the Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma, coming on the heels of an invitation by President Barack Obama  to visit the White House in recognition of positive democratic trends in the West African nation. The bribery report was also a major setback for the President's "rebranding" effort, a policy that was designed to convince both the international and domestic audience that Sierra Leone was now a very different place, largely free of the strife, corruption, poverty, bad leadership…

Japanese Show Class in Brazil-Culled From the Independent

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Kashmira Gander Kashmira Gander writes for the Independent and Independent on Sunday Monday 16 June 2014
Japanese fans who watched their national team be defeated by the Ivory Coast in theFifa World Cup on Saturday showed it is possible to lose graciously, when they stayed behind after the match to help clean up.
Despite seeing the Blue Samurais lose 2-1 against Didier Drogba's team at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Japanese spectators armed with bin liners patrolled their side of the stadium and gathered up discarded litter,Yahoo Sport reported.
While gathering waste after a sporting event is customary in Japan, the spectators’ actions came as a shock to football fans from other countries.
As pictures of the scene spread online, Twitter users took to the social media website to praise the do-gooders.

Sierra Leone Ebola Press Release

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SIERRA LEONE GOVERNMENT (Office of Government Spokesman) Ministry of Information and Communications 8th Floor, Youyi Building, Brookfields, Freetown

PRESS RELEASE

FREETOWN, JUNE 11, 2014

As Government and its health development partners continue to fight the outbreak of the Ebola disease that has so far claimed the lives of 16 people,  the Government through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and other participating Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) is therefore putting the following measures in place with immediate effect as part of an overall national strategy in addressing the outbreak of the Ebola virus:
All vehicles and their passengers entering and leaving Kailahun district must subject themselves to screening by authorities at various checkpoints;All schools in Kailahun district are closed with immediate effect, and that the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is making arrangements with the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for those students slat…

Is President Ernest Koroma Clearing APC of any Challenge to His Dominance?

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Some months ago it was Almamy Petito Koroma the then minister of works. Petito was sacked for the usual "failure to perform to the expectations of the President." Now it is Presidential Chief of Staff Dr. Richard Konteh, dismissed because he was allegedly negotiating a mining contract to his own benefit (his own personal Agenda for Prosperity) and is involved in the identical timber scandal that once engulfed Vice President Sam Sumana, which the government then denied strenuously, stating that it was an attempt by opposition detractors to stain the reputation of the presidency. Well now, it seems as if the timbergate has moved from the VP's office to State House. Maybe Sam Sumana was a "Chuneh."
What gives many of us analysts room for caution is that both Petito and Richard Konteh are people that were popularly rumored in the past to be prime candidates to replace President Koroma at the head of APC when his tenure came to an end. It is therefore very suspici…

Are Sierra Leoneans Being Deceived by Sylvia Blyden because of Personality Conflicts

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With the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, some of us initially made the calculated decision to desist from criticizing the government, as the virus was a serious matter and unhelpful criticism was not going to help in many meaningful way. A potent killer, Ebola is highly infectious and extremely lethal. The race to find a way to limit the proliferation of the disease around Sierra Leone needed only constructive contributions about prevention, management of the outbreak and education of the masses. This was not about how you felt about the government, but only about racing to save lives.

Then the Special Executive Assistant to the President himself, Sylvia Olayinka Blyden took to social media and criticized the inept handling of the official response to the presence of the disease in the country. She lamented that her persistent calls for preparedness had been ignores and stressed the unwillingness of health officials to listen to her, even though, as she claims, she was a qualified medi…

Fighting EVD in Sierra Leone; Is SEA The Ebola Virus?

I found this article on social media giving a different view of the response to the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone. I thought it was worth sharing.By Saffa.It is very obvious that the issue of the Ebola virus has been a constant topic of discussion since the outbreak started in neighbouring Guinea. The Ebola virus by all indications is a dreadful disease that has the propensity of claiming several lives within the shortest possible time and the dreadful aftermath of any contact of this disease to a significant extent is not an envisaged reality of any well meaning Sierra Leonean.Quite recently, it has now been confirmed that this contagious disease is now within the precinct of the Eastern Provincial district of Kailahun. However, what is appalling is the fact that discussions on this deadly outbreak especially on social media have been trivialized and politicized by some rabble-rousing unpatriotic Sierra Leoneans of which I have the firm belief that is a smear crackdown on the national …

Ebola Response Magnifies Government Ineptitude in Sierra Leone

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The President of Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma has a rather unfortunate tendency of making most appointments in the country solely on the  basis of political patronage. No matter how crucial the position, you have to be in his inner circle or be aligned with his political beliefs before he can appoint you to that position. Your past actions and your experience hardly count, as the only thing that matters is how loudly you praise his name. Some of his close people have taken to calling this tendency 'koromaism.'

The result of this disastrous public sector recruitment strategy is a government of individuals whose ineptitude comes on full display whenever there is an emergency situation in the country, often with fatal or embarrassing consequences.
Just a year or so ago, the response to a cholera outbreak in the capital Freetown was bungled so badly that it resulted in the deaths of many people and even necessitated the institution of a task force in State House, the office of …