There are always consequences for every action
If anyone was thinking that politics in this day in age is going to be “Business as usual” like in times past, maybe, they need to think again! The same can be said for those who think that the only way they can attract attention and win the hearts and minds of the electorates in Sierra Leone is through spin and deceptive publications against the sitting government and its officials with the sole purpose of making the government and the nation look bad in the eyes of our development partners and donor community. The government and its officials may be seen as slow in acting against malicious propaganda but that does to defeat the fact that justice is going to be served at the end of it all. The government of President Koroma has great faith in our justice system because one way to grow and strengthen a judicial system is to allow it to do its job no matter how long it takes. (Photo: Brima Turay, author)
The Aljazera debacle involving the malicious desire by the London-based Journalist, Mr. Sorious Samura, to implicate Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana, Mr. Alex Mansaray, the business man; and Mr. Momoh Conteh, in a video that is concocted, stage-managed and cleverly edited to appear credible and implicating, will not be over till we say it’s over. As I write this piece, Mr. Momoh Conteh is considering a strong lawsuit against Aljazera, a network that has nothing new to offer even to our Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) beyond what they aired in the deceptive videotape aided and pioneered by Sorious. Mr. Alex Mansaray is considering bringing forward a similar lawsuit because he has a responsibility and strong desire to clear his name and continue to set the records straight.
Several and frantic attempts have been made by individuals and Media Houses to get more information from Aljazera beyond what the world has already seen but Aljazera has nothing else to offer. Ironically, the same Aljazera is now distancing itself from Mr. Sorious Samura’s malicious tirades and the Network is seriously considering discontinuing the very program from which Sorious Samura is able to carry out his “Spot and Kill” Journalistic charade.
Regardless of what those spin masters have in mind, Mr. Alex Mansaray is a fine gentleman, who, like many others, has played his part in bringing the APC back to power. From his brief Chairmanship of the APC North American branch, in the days when the pundits and skeptics dismissed the APC supporters as mere dreamers prior to the 2007 elections, to his great contributions during the transition period, he cannot be dismissed as a mere criminal by simply trying to criminalize the activities that we saw in the tape. He has made it crystal clear that he was acting on his own person as a businessman and certainly not under the authority or directives of the Vice President’s office.
If Mr. Sorious Samura and his Aljazera network do not have enough to bring against Messers Mansaray, Conteh and Vice president Sumana, they would soon be answering to a court of law on their attempts to malign blackmail and make criminal these three individuals. We admire and applaud the role of Journalists in shaping our 21st century politics. What we will not tolerate is the kind of Journalism that hinges upon character assassination for the sake of distorting facts and criminalizing the activities of individuals and organizations for the sole purpose of winning the day. No one wants to condone corruption – at least, not me; but when we try to politicize our attempts to go after corrupt practices and try to tie people to corrupt practices that they may not have perpetuated at all, we would be seen as crossing the line, and that practice usually calls for redress.
As a political party, the APC and its Public Relations machinery have a responsibility to defend and go after anyone who tries to muddle the regime’s efforts at re-branding and revitalizing our nation’s human and socio-economic capital. I think it is even a responsibility that must be borne by every patriotic Sierra Leonean regardless of political party affiliations. Mr. Alex Mansaray’s actions should be dealt with on an individual basis and not in his capacity as a government functionary because he is not. And the fact that he is a strong supporter of the APC party does not make him and the APC party a bunch of criminals.
Dr. Abass Bundu and Mr. Julius Maada Bio have both been connected to a shady deal involving our country’s passport and they both belong to the SLPP party – not to mention the fact that Mr. Bio is the current Presidential nominee; but I don’t think their actions, standing alone by themselves, should lead to anyone calling the SLPP a thieving political party. We can tie Mr. Maada Bio to the incident and challenge his credibility if we can reasonably prove that he was, indeed, involved in the passport racket. But when we see the SLPP spin masters trying to tie the Vice President’s office to the Sorious Samura incident, which was solely championed by Messers Alex Mansaray and Conteh, it sort of smacks deceit and political haranguing.
If Messers Mansary and Conteh were living in the United States as businessmen connected with the politicians, they would both be seen as Lobbyists. To the best of my recollection, there has never been any law in the United States nor in Sierra Leone which bans the existence of Lobbyists. We can control and minimize their impact on policies and National enterprise through very clearly thought-out regulations that will take many other things into consideration. Therefore, a Lobbyist, and not the office to which he is connected, always takes full responsibility for his or her actions. Mr. Alex Mansaray is willing and ready to stand before the Anti-Corruption Commission if the Commission has enough to even invite him to take the stand. Until then, he stands credible and remains the businessman that he has always been and will continue to be for many years to come.
Brima Michael Turay , Act. PRO; APC North America
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