MCC dunts Sierra Leone for corruption is a call for patrioticism and nationalism
The failing of Sierra Leone by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a failure for all Sierra Leoneans, especially the patriotic, peace, unity, progress and development loving Sierra Leoneans all over the world. Therefore, it is not only a failure for President Koroma, APC or government. In view of that any development oriented Sierra Leoneans should bow down their heads in shame. However, only enemies of peace, unity, progress and development in and out of the country will tend to cast blame on President Koroma and his government for such national and international disgraceful issue. (Photo: Tony Bee, author)
The failure in general is a wake-up call in this 2014, for all Sierra Leoneans to be more patriotic, nationalist and pro-active for the progress and development of their country. It is a wake-up call for a change of attitudes and behaviours for the benefit of the country. It is a wake-up call for Sierra Leoneans to stop the pull him or her down (PhD) syndrome system against one another, especially the honest and hard working patriotic fellow Sierra Leoneans. It is a wake-up call for Sierra Leoneans to stop the negative comments against their motherland. It is a wake-up call for Sierra Leoneans all over the world to learn to promote their country’s progress and development. It is a wake-up call for constructive criticism rather than political, tribal, regional hatred, jealousy, bad hart, negative criticism or propaganda. It is a wake-up call to stop manipulating our political parties’ constitutions to suit individual or few members. It is a wakeup call to stop cheating our country at the expenses of the poor masses. There is no place like home called Sierra Leone. If Sierra Leone is bitter is for all of us and if it is sweet it is sweet for all Sierra Leoneans.
Therefore, it is also a wakeup call for Sierra Leoneans all over the world to put peace, unity, stability, progress and development of the country’s interest above self, especially selfish enrichment, tribe, political party and regional interest. The love for Sierra Leone, particularly for its progress and development should be at the top of any Sierra Leoneans’ daily thinking or activities if we really want to become the next Dubai in a very such period. No single person or government can move the country forward without the positive support of all Sierra Leoneans whether you accept that or not. It’s a real fact. In view of that Sierra Leoneans must be willing to move the country forward through honesty, love and hard work. Therefore, we should not only be critics of our nation at the expense of the poor innocent masses but we should also be productive by making our positive contributions to make our constructive criticisms more meaningful.
Why we missed it? We missed it for lack of patriotism and nationalism in our culture. We missed it because of enemies of progress, development, peace and unity in the country. We missed it because we pre-empted negative result for Sierra Leone MCC report card. We missed it because of tribalism, hatred, jealousy, bad heart; pull him or her down (PhD) syndrome system against others. We missed it because very good, honest and patriotic prominent journalists allowed themselves to be corrupted by corrupt power hungry politicians and corrupt senior civil servants. We missed it because some musicians allowed themselves to be corrupted and used by zealous unpatriotic political power politician dreamers and senior civil servants. Therefore, they are unable to analysis the differences between present and past events for the befit of the nation. We missed it because we put more premiums on political parties, regional interest and self seeking than the country’s interest. We missed it because we lack monitoring skills and follow up attitudes. We missed it because of lawlessness and indiscipline. We missed it because of dishonesty amongst Sierra Leoneans in the country. We missed it because we lacked formidable and honest patriotic political party oppositions. We missed it because of the negative comments against our country with the aim of tarnishing the image of the APC government at the expense of the nation. We missed it because we are refusing to recognize individuals’ good output. We missed it because we take state and donors money and give to foreigners to run business for us at the detriment of the country. We missed it because when you go to the banks to buy foreign currency officially they will tell you that there are no dollars. We missed it because we take government hard currency and donors’ dollars and give them to the so-called Dollar Boys in the streets for our personal benefit leaving the nation in abject poverty. We missed it because we allowed the so-called Dollar Boys in the streets to determine our foreign exchange in the country instead of government. We missed it because we rent our houses in dollars instead of in Leones. We missed it because we love foreign currency (dollars) than our national precious currency, the Leones. We missed it because we promote tribalism and regionalism to achieve our thirst for political power at the expense of the country, especially the defenseless poor masses. We missed it because we promote division amongst Sierra Leoneans to achieve our greedy and selfish political dream. We missed it because we take violence and tribalism as our weapon to achieve our political ambition in the country. We missed it because if not us or me, no peace, no progress and no development in Sierra Leone.
For sure, those are some of the main attitudes and behaviours that causing our country’s backwardness. So if only we are willing and really ready to put aside such ungodly and unpatriotic satanic self-destructive attitudes and behaviours in this 2014, definitely, in few years time we will be the next Dubai for Africa, especially in the sub region.
Therefore, there is no point for any honest and progress loving Sierra Leoneans to start pointing accusing fingers at others while the rest of the other fingers are pointing at us. As a result, there is no need to politicize such disgraceful MCC result for the country. It is no longer a matter of blame game period. For the mere fact that as long as you are a Sierra Leonean, the black spot of bribery and corruption labels are always with you whether you are corrupt or not. As long as the country, Sierra Leone is being named as one of the corrupt countries in the world.
In view of that, as long as you are a citizen of Sierra Leone or you are carrying a Sierra Leonean passport, simply means you are corrupt whether you like it or not or whether you are corrupt or not, you have a corruption stigma because you are a Sierra Leonean by nationality. Particularly for what we call collective responsibility, for instance if the name of the country is good all over the world, you will feel proud to be called Sierra Leonean, likewise if it’s bad, you will also be labeled as bad even if you are not. So the big questions are, if the country is corrupt, then who is corrupt? Is it President Koroma, APC as a political party, government or all Sierra Leoneans?
Although in terms of logical argument, others may be tempted to argue that one or more Sierra Leoneans corruption practices does not mean that all Sierra Leoneans are corrupt. Yes, if MCC is talking about particular government departments’ corruption for instance, Water Quay, Customs, Lands department or police, especially the traffic division and those in the police stations in the country where we have lots of corruption stories in our cupboards. In this case, MCC is not about a special government department, is talking about the rest of Sierra Leone as a country, particularly the government of Sierra Leone. In such argument, I begged the questions who made up of the government of Sierra Leone or who is/are the government? What is democracy or what is a democratic government? Whatever answer/s or definition/s you may intend to give or make it’s up to you. But the real fact remains to be indisputable.
Corrupt free, decent, honest, hard working, progress and development oriented patriotic Sierra Leoneans are carrying such undeserved disgraceful corruption stigma with them, especially at international level, because of the unpatriotic enemies of peace, progress and development in the country. Who are deliberately refusing to welcome good changes for the benefit of every Sierra Leoneans, because of their selfish and devilish unpatriotic bribery and corrupt practices at the expense of their fellow patriotic and nationalist Sierra Leoneans that are in and out of Sierra Leone
Therefore, to redeem our country from underserved corruption name and our names as Sierra Leoneans, we should wage war against those who are refusing to welcome good changes for the country’s progress and development. For such war to succeed, I would suggest that all patriotic and nationalist Sierra Leoneans should put all their hands on deck to fight against the menace of bribery and corruption that are becoming incurable diseases that have been infested in the body and soul of some of our brothers and sisters in the country. That always sees bribery and corrupt practices as a way of life for their wicked selfish enrichment at the expense of the country’s hard earned peace, progress and development.
However, such fight should be an all out fight for all Sierra Leoneans. It should not be a matter of President Koroma and his APC government alone. It should be a concerned for all progress and development oriented Sierra Leoneans because not only APC political party supporters alone that are running the country or heading government departments.
Therefore, all political parties, especially the oppositions, include SLPP, PMDC etc. should welcome the fight against the menace of corruption in good faith without politicizing it or playing blame game with it in the country. It should be a concerned for all Sierra Leoneans in and out of the country. For the fact that corrupts Sierra Leoneans, especially in the country, you find them in all facets of the nation, including political parties.
That is to say even the opposition political party leaders and supporters are not saints or angels; therefore, they are corrupt in one way or the other because they are human beings. In view of that surely enough they have corrupt Sierra Leonean elements amongst them. For example, many times you heard/hear about political party members accusing one another for embezzling or misappropriating their political party funds. When a political party leader or supporter embezzles or misappropriates their political party funds, what do you expect him or her to do when he or she happens to become a President of the country or individual/s become a head of government department or parastatal head in the country? Good or bad charity begins at home.
In view of that I would also like to suggest the following measures if we really want to become the next Dubai in the shortest possible time in Africa, particularly in West Africa by eradicating or minimizing bribery and corruption:
- Every Sierra Leoneans should be a committed watchdog for one another against bribery and corruption in the country by passing on information to the appropriate authorities as quickly as possible about bribery and corrupt practices in any institutions, including market places or business places.
- The authorities concerned should immediately respond to corruption allegations for on the sport investigation without delay, especially for those who give false or fake receipt for payment made by clients or customers/business people without stating the actual amount paid by the businessmen or women and those who do not also want to give receipt at all for business been transacted with business people.
For example, where a business man or woman is charged to pay the sum of Le20m for his or her goods instead of giving the individual a Le20m receipt they will give to him or her a receipt of Le5m the rest goes into their ungodly pocket at the expense of the nation as the case may be in the container section at Water Quay, customs, police fines and other business places. While other government official in the various government departments asking for bribes directly or indirectly either by sitting on documents or dragging feet on them by giving flimsy excuses for processing or signing them. Such unpatriotic self interest attitudes and behaviours by devil incarnation Sierra Leoneans slow down the success of agenda for prosperity. Please ACC don’t ask me, ask the business community members they will tell you more about these forms of unpatriotic bribery and corrupt practices in the country and those who clear containers from the Quay, goods from customs and those who bail suspects from police custodies they will also tell you more about the wicked and corrupt Sierra Leoneans in those places and offices.
- Government should establish free telephone call centres all over the country for those who may want to make immediate report on corrupt malpractices but they do not have credits in their personal phones. Corruption telephone line numbers should be provided by government and there should be free calls, only for bribery and corruption reports. Receptionists and corruption allegation investigators should always be available or ready to respond to corruption phone calls, especially for on the sport investigations. Bribery and corruption malpractices reporters or callers should be protected through confidentiality system. They should always be assured of their safety through trainings, information sessions, workshops and media programs.
- The general public should be trained how to report bribery and corrupt practices and how to use public corruption phone numbers for their safety, by organizing information sessions, workshops, and seminars and also through the use of media programs.
- Electronic financial transaction should be introduced or improve. A system where no money or cash changes hands, only paper work/receipts work, for example, electronic salary voucher, ever individual’s salary should be paid to his or her own bank account directly. Customs duties, taxes, fines etc are to be paid electronically. There is no need for queue or toe line for any payment. However, such system needs constant 24/7 electricity supply for its effectiveness.
- The judiciary should be more honest and cooperative with ACC in prosecuting corruption cases in order not to weakling the strength and efforts of ACC.
- Those found guilty of corruption malpractices should be asked to refund the money they embezzled, seize their properties and sent them to prison, especially higher government profile corrupt officials.
- The media should be honest and sincere in reporting corruption allegations without bias, fear or favour.
- The business community should be more pro-active and cooperative in reporting bribery and corruption practices. However, they should also be honest in reporting government corrupt officials, for the fact that many of them have direct dealings with corrupt government high profiles in the country.
- Government officials, especially senior civil servants and parastatal heads who are senior corrupt teachers in the country should be transferred at regular intervals, for instance a senior civil servant or senior parastatal officer should spent not more than two years six months in a particular department or Ministry, he or she should be move to another department because some of them take government offices as their personal property to perform their corrupt practices.
Happy New Year to you all my brothers and sisters’ Sierra Leoneans, I hope we will change our bad attitudes and behaviours against one another for the betterment of our beloved Sierra Leone.
By Tony Bee, Sydney, Australia
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