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Saingbay Kamara – c/o The African Champion

Saingbay Kamara – c/o The African Champion

Dear Saingbay:  Thank you for your letter published in the Monday December 7 edition of the African Champion newspaper. I am intrigued that you come from the Pujehun district; you will find the reason for this as you read along. But I read your letter with some interest. There are two main components of the concern expressed in it, namely my persistent criticism of the African Champion newspaper which you attribute to its regularly publicizing the achievements of the APC government and my criticism of the said government itself.

I propose to deal with the two issues separately. I am not sure whether you have been a regular reader of the African Champion and for how long. If you were, you certainly could not be unaware of all the venom and slander which the newspaper throws at me regularly and naturally my retort at them.

They began a long time ago when the SLPP was in office and cataloguing them will take up two much space; in any case regular readers of the paper are familiar with spurious, vicious, slanderous and always unsubstantiated attacks, often impinging on my character and reputation. They range from being a car thief, to a thug and murderer, to be “suffering from prostate cancer of the penis,”  and being put on board in a wheel chair on a London bound plane and admitted in the Intensive Care Unit of a London hospital at a time when I was walking along the streets of Freetown with my chin right up? Or to being invited by the ACC for holding on to an official government vehicle after leaving office, to lobbying for a job from President Koroma or to be included in the government delegation to the recently conference in London.

When has the newspaper criticized the SLPP without adding an unflattering photograph of me to the story even when it doesn’t mention me in the narrative? Were you the alleged 104 year old victim, how would you respond? So much for the African Champion newspaper.

Next you accuse me of refusing to acknowledge the achievements of the APC. In his valedictory address to Parliament, former President Tejan-Kabbah gave a concise account of the achievements of the SLPP government in its 11 years in office including the darkest periods in the country’s history. He also prepared a full handing-over notes for his successor which sadly he was not allowed to read at the inauguration ceremony. All of that not withstanding do not APC critics of the SLPP and they include the African Champion, constantly repeat that we achieved nothing in those eleven years? That there were absolutely no developments and all we did was to leave an empty treasury behind.

While the same critics say the government is a continuing process, they and the government itself make no reference to the positive strides we made. They refer to the current infrastructure projects like road construction, public buildings as fulfillments of their election pledge to the electorate. There was no mention of former President Tejan-Kabbah’s government impute into Bumbuna. What irks all of these people is our interjection, that “No, we did that road, or began its construction or introduced such and such policies.” I won’t repeat what I wrote on Monday about APC violence on day one of assuming office. 

Surely Saingbay, you come from Pujehun in particular which is a part of the South East region and therefore you must be aware of all the rampant sackings of those people from the public sector or of the inequitable distribution of appointments in favour of the north. Is it heresy to point these out? Would you regard such actions as factors of national cohesiveness? I don’t!

I have always found virtue in speaking my mind and calling things by their proper names; does that make my criticisms unfounded? When I applauded the APC over Bumbuna, I couldn’t help but point out that the result has not marched the very super high powered publicity that continues to be given to it. And yet it was only in yesterday’s papers that the Energy Minister was quoted as admitting that Freetown is as of now only receiving 60% power supply. Having said all this, who would not want to congratulate the Road Transport Corporation board for acquiring twelve new buses and the broad base in naming them? Congrats and well done.

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