Job vindicated: Ernest Koroma has evidence of corruption but too lame to act
This is not dÃ©jÃ vu, it actually happened before in Sierra Leone: a president emphatically saying that he has evidence of corruption in public offices but too timid to sack the thieves. President Momoh did the same thing only that he did not call the culprits to state house to warn them. He went to Kono and railed: “we sabi the wan them way dae tiff dee country ihn money…na God go pay them.” Sierra Leoneans are flabbergasted to say the least to hear their president admit to knowing who the corrupt officials are yet he does not have the attitudinal fortitude to sack them. When such things happen in a country, it becomes evident that the president is not in control or extremely weak to act. (Photo: President Ernest Bai Koroma)
Just before the failed donor’s conference in London, UK, opposition leader John Benjamin wrote a letter to the president highlighting massive government corruption. He listed among the culprits, the president’s sister, brother and other cronies. JOB later asked the president to investigate the excesses. Sierra Leoneans were expecting the president to look into the issue with due diligence. Unfortunately, he dismissed the allegation as “cheap politics.”Â A couple of months later the same president is now saying he has evidence of the same corruption he had dismissed as cheap politics. The mind boggling question now is who is playing cheap politics; Ernest Koroma or John Benjamin?Â Can the president tell us that he just got the evidence about his government’s corruption?
In a world of global terrorism, which President worth his or her salt would have evidence that his country’s passport is being sold to Middle-easterners for a meager $1,000 and all he does is issue a warning? Unless that president is either involved in the racket or he believes protecting his cronies is more important than the security of the world and the country, there is likelihood that our passport would fall into the hands of Al Qaeda and they could use it to attack the United States since Sierra Leone is not on the watch list. A president who really and truly loves Sierra Leone would immediately sack the immigration boss and reorganize the whole department and put mechanisms in place to end such dangerous acts. The security of the world and Sierra Leone is more important than being a northerner and an APC member in Sierra Leone.
Specifically, the President has evidence about bribery at check points in Kambia going towards the Sierra Leone-Guinea border. Mr. President why tell us if you are too lame to act? A strong president would reassign all personnel posted in that area and suspend the LUC of the area. That is what good presidents do. They do not call a meeting to warn the thieves unless they want to show boat…and Mr. President what you have done is nothing but show boating. The people of Sierra Leone deserve much better than hot air and lip service to curbing corruption. If President Koroma really wants to stop customs officers from taking bribes, may be he should ask his brother to pay the $1 million duty free waiver he received. How lame can a president be when he says he has evidence of corruption but makes the following statement: “Any institution or individual caught will be dealt with accordingly; not only by losing the job but we will take the appropriate legal action for betraying the confidence of the people…” Hello Mr. President you just told the nation you have the evidence so what are you waiting for, just arrest the culprits or for ever hold thy peace. Stop telling the people its raining when you are actually peeing on their backs. They are not as stupid as you may want to believe.
It is ironic that the president has decided that this is the year for his government to make a difference. Â So what happened in the past two years? Where is the change Mr. President? Da black goat way you nor catch san tem nor to net you go catch am.Â You can not fool all the people all the time. It seems two things have given you this Johnny-come-lately epiphany. The President of the World Bank is visiting Sierra Leone and as sources claim, the opposition has compiled a comprehensive list with evidence of your corruption. So what people believe you are trying to do is soften the blow of the explosive evidence the opposition has in its possession. Sierra Leoneans urge the opposition to go ahead and release the specifics of the evidence of corruption and let the chips fall where they may.Â
By Ernest B. Malamangor
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