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The week that was

The week that was

I could not believe my ears; to put it mildly I was horrified. I simply could not accept that an SLBC presenter in the year 2010 could pronounce the name IRELAND as” IRILAND.” Throughout his interview with Mary Robinson the former  President of Ireland who since she left office has been working assiduously for the United Nations in protecting Human Rights and other related matters like Maternal and Child Health he kept pronouncing the name of the Irish Republic as “IRILAND.”

Just for the records the name is pronounced “aiarland.” I am aware that like most of us, English is a foreign language, but people, or better still organizations like the SLBC and other radio stations should make sure that they get the pronunciations of names correctly. Just listen to how BBC newsreaders and commentators pronounce some of those awkward sounding foreign names.

While on the subject of Ireland, there are other names crying out for correct pronunciations. For example, PARLIAMENT is pronounced “Parlement” and NOT PARLIAMENT; WEDNESDAY is pronounced “wenzdi” and NOT wenesday. Oh the number of times when I have had to correct people that my title is pronounced “Dokter” and NOT DOCTOR!

Sierra Leone Telecommunications Company SierraTel was in the news during the week. There was an invitation from the chairman of the National Privatisation Commission for bids from interested parties for the management of the beleaguered Telecommunications Agency. At the same time the pro government African Champion newspaper was screaming that the company was up for sale while the other equally pro government New Citizen newspaper was quoting the minister of information and communication that the company was not for sale. So where are we? (Photo: Dr. Sama Banya)

Whatever the situation I have to say that as a GSM provider, the company’s Internet service IS THE WORST in the country. It is irritatingly slow and most inefficient in its operation. This confirms the results of investigations carried out some two months ago by the Awoko newspaper. I switched over to them for purely economic reasons because the charges levied by the front runner providers like Zain, Africel and Comium! It is for the same reason that I am sticking it out with SierraTel at least for the time being; I repeat that the service is hopelessly hopeless.

During its monthly news conference last Wednesday among other things, the national chairman of the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party John Oponjo Benjamin referred to the anomalies associated with the office for the Diasporas. I have myself made repeated reference to the secrecy surrounding the operation of that APC created office. The government has resolutely refused to address the main issues that I raised before, which correspond to those of the SLPP chairman. Was the office created for ALL SIERRA LEONEANS or for the benefit of only members and supporters of the ruling APC? Why does it not come out with information about its operations, what it has achieved since its establishment and a breakdown of those it has employed so far? The speculation is that the office is serving the interest of only members of the APC and those who had made handsome donations to the party prior to the 2007 Presidential elections. What is the rationale for creating such an office in the first place? What prevents the beneficiaries from competing on the same level field, which are the Public Service Commission and other employing agencies? Our tertiary institutions continue to turn out brilliant young men and women who are roaming the streets in search of employment and yet a government which boasts of caring for the ordinary Sierra Leonean is devoting a whole division at the Presidency to cater for people who had made their homes abroad? Is that part of the ATTITUDINAL CHANGE gospel? We will continue to monitor this agency.

The week concluded with a whirlwind visit to Bo and Kenema according to reports so as to launch agricultural or other development projects. When pipe born water, electricity in all district headquarters and the planned road works shall have taken off then this government would have begun to make some original impact instead of the constant “Pull nar doe” projects of the previous SLPP regime.

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