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Reviving the Sierra Leone Daily Mail – for the people or for the APC?

Reviving the Sierra Leone Daily Mail – for the people or for the APC?

So the government owned Sierra Leone Daily Mail newspaper is to be revived by this APC government. I first learnt about this on the SLBC tea break programme last Friday when the presenter Claude Anthony interviewed the minister of information and communication Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, himself a journalist by profession and a former President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ).

According to the very eloquent minister, the APC government had decided to revive the Daily Mail because its contemporaries, all of whom were previously owned by the London Daily Mirror group of newspapers, before it divested its interests to private investors in Ghana and Nigeria and with the Daily Mail sold to the government. He added that with the exception of the Sierra Leone Daily Mail, the Daily Graphic in Ghana and the Daily Times in Nigeria were still functioning and that it was only proper for the Daily Mail to be revived.

We are now very familiar with the minister’s practice of not telling the whole truth. Why did the honourable minister fail to reveal that the two other publications referred to were owned by private investors in those countries? That sounded alarm bells before the honourable minister’s next blab which was in reply to Claude Anthony. Would the former employees of the Daily Mail be reemployed and why would the former Sierra News publication not be revived? As far as I could recall the minister dodged a straight answer with the first part of the question. Rather he was quick to say that the Sierra Leone news agency SLENA would be housed in the Daily Mail building as well as the Chairman of the of the SLBC.

Then came the clanger, dropped with typical I B Kargbo eloquence and  confidence in the hope of hoodwinking a skeptical public. The newspaper would be published in the first instance “On-line” from New York. Now tighten your seat belts for the shock. The editor is to be the Counselor in our United Nations Mission. Then the knock-out blow followed – the counselor in question is the Reverend Kabs-Kanu; and in case you are still wondering the Rev. Kabs- Kanu was the former editor of the pro APC COCORIOKO ON-LINE NEWSPAER.

YES, this government with typical contempt and disdain for the people of this country, is to revive a government owned newspaper belonging to all the people of Sierra Leone, is to published on-line by the APC’s chief propagandist, a job  for which he has been amply rewarded with a diplomatic appointment. Are we expected to shout hallelujah? What does IB Kargbo take us for?

This man is planning to use our resources, resources which belong to everyone in Sierra Leone to reopen what can only be an APC propaganda machine. If not why would not the editor be a staff member of the government’s information services or the staff of SLENA?

There are eminent Sierra Leoneans who are quite capable of running the newspaper as a public entity. But IB plans to use our own fat to fry us by making this another APC monopoly. What a party! What a cruel and deceitful government! I hope the minister will understand that as ordinary citizens we reserve the right to seek redress in the courts. I am delighted that veteran journalist Christo Johnson and others have already expressed serious concern over this hijacking of public property. What are the others doing and where is our coalition of civil society activists?

David Tam-Baryoh has done another great service to this country. In his Monologue programme on Star radio over the week-end he has called attention to the “Kuku jumu kuu” (courtesy Awareness Times newspaper) REVIVING that has taken place in the College Of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences COMAHS in a one-man adventure  and on which the Attorney-General’s office has sat or concealed from the President. The minister of education youth and sports has a lot to answer. Read Puawui’s comments on Tam-Baryoh’s bombshell in the next edition.

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  • Why did you guys not revive it while you were in power? Apparently, you didn’t think it was important enough, now that someone is trying to do something about it, like the proverbial Shepard boy, you are crying wolf. Shame on you.

    30th August 2010

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