Your trusted place for Sierra Leone and global news
HomePoliticsZainab Bangura, between Politics and the Press

Zainab Bangura, between Politics and the Press

Zainab Bangura, between Politics and the Press

William Thomas Stead was a British journalist and lived from 1849 to 1912. He was born in Embleton, Northumberland.  In his writing ‘Government by Journalism’ wrote that   “…there are of course papers and papers. There are papers of business, papers of advertisement, papers of sport, papers of opinion, and papers of power. It takes all sorts to make up a world, and there is as much diversity in journalists as in members of Parliament. But all of them go together to make the Fourth Estate, which is becoming more powerful than all the other estates of the realm. Great is the power of the printed word…” The media is a powerful weapon; it can make and unmake an individual. But the oriole of the media in the development of a country should be seen in a positive light. Yes, “…the importance which the Press possesses as a gauge of public opinion might be enormously increased.” (Photo: Pa John Baimba Sesay)

In August of this year, I wrote that the ‘ability of a country to sell its image at the international scene may be one key tool for re-branding the image of that country’ and that when we take Sierra Leone as a case study, it reached a level when we were referred to as a ‘failed state’ and that was very bad for us. I also made mention of the fact that we suffered as a nation for some bad 11 years

I also categorically said that as a country which has most been able to overcome the trauma of a decade long civil war, we have embarked upon efforts to change that image and perception that the world once had of us; we have witnessed a peaceful transition of our country from one democratic regime to another and this is an indication that we are progressing

I have been following recent media reports on Zainab Bangura, especially from the point of view of her presidential ambition. She has been lampooned but can we debate the issue from another perspective? Now, I doubt the sincerity of the media reports really, taking into account the very fact that, the woman became a subject of media attacks at a time when she left the country to partake in the Hajj programme and also when rumors are making the round that, there is a pending cabinet reshuffle. 

Making headways

Zainab Bangura, feeling the power of the media

Zainab Bangura, feeling the power of the media

Zainab may not be the saint we are looking for in post war Sierra Leone but I think she is making headways in her political assignments given her by President Koroma.  She may not   be a liked woman, taking into account the position she now handles, but she should be appreciated.

Regarding the Presidential ambition of an individual, I hold no brief for Zainab, but is there anything bad for one to say she or he is interested in pursuing something? Or are we now being told that people should not exercise their democratic rights?  Practically, let us look at the good diplomatic moves she has undertaken in recent times as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation in ensuring that Sierra Leone maintains a good relationship with our sister countries and even other countries at the international level.

Wooing more support

Zainab Bangura has succeeded in wooing more international support for Sierra Leone. And she must continue with that. Notwithstanding what she is experiencing at the moment, she should be focused. She is, in my view, amongst the country’s finest Foreign Ministers. I saw a news release from Zainab Bangura stating that, she has done’… nothing unexpected of my office. The allegation that I have surrounded the presidency with personnel loyal to me, with a view to enhancing my political ambition, so as to challenge the President at the 2012 general elections is not only untrue, but a calculated effort by the writers and their cohorts to sow seed of distrust and distraction within the government…’’

Now I have not been able to comprehend how Zainab Bangura could begin to nurture this political ambition. ‘ …as long as I have the confidence, trust and support of my boss and President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, I will continue to serve as mandated…’ This is what we expect of her. It was no mistake that President Koroma retained Hawa Bangura in the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

The reasons are simple and clear; she has, in my view, been able to display some level of political maturity in handling the Yenga issue – working and lobbying behind closed doors within the sub-region just to achieve an amicable solution. If Minister Tony Blair is to have tremendous influence to help rebuild the economy of the country through particularly tourism, it is the idea of Zainab. And I think we’ve got to give her that credit rather than pulling her down as its evidenced in some frustrated folks.

Support her instead

Let us look at how she has successfully turned the face of our foreign missions and even the ministry’s headquarters which was an eyesore not only to the local public. That former dilapidated structure tells a lot about the country internationally. That beside, through her relentless efforts, she had been able to establish three other missions for the country – Brazil, Senegal and Kuwait. Zainab Bangura, in my view, has a very decent track record both locally and internationally and it is that reputation that is helping her take the country the direction it is heading towards now. She has as a matter of fact being at the forefront in the Public Relations aspect for Sierra Leone.

We therefore would need to support Zainab, Rather than crying her down as I am now seeing. She may not, as I said earlier be a perfect person, but she is making strides. The excellent working relationship she has continued to enjoy with the President should not be made to discontinue and it is good that Zainab has ‘… come to appreciate his unique and exceptional leadership style as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.  I will not succumb to claims that she is ignorant from the diplomatic perspective, and as such she has caused some embarrassment for some of our government Ministers. In the first place President Koroma has reshuffled his cabinet once, he sacked two Ministers in recent times, and Zainab Bangura is still maintaining her position as Foreign Minister. Logically this shows, President Koroma has confidence in her

Who is APC?

This is also, not a matter of one is APC or not. If I can ask, how many real APC people do we have today in the current political setup?? Or is this the right time to begin to point at who is APC or not? Now, it is unfair, practically unfair for Zainab to be castigated out of what ever vendetta one may have got. This is my view anyway.

And what actually makes one an APC member? Just having a party card or having strong political loyalty to the party. Sierra Leone has been dominated over the years by two political parties; the APC and SLPP. Trust me, all the political players have found their ways in either of these parties. So why the noise of one not being an APC? Why did President Koroma appoint Zainab to that position when such a position needs a strong and committed party member? So it is completely illogical, arguing that Zainab is not APC.

Stay with Sierra Express Media, for your trusted place in news!

© 2009, https:. All rights reserved.

Share With:
Rate This Article
No Comments

Leave A Comment