What is the difference?
On Saturday July 12, I could not make any calls nor send any text message through one of my service providers until early afternoon. As usual they provided no excuse for their failure let alone offer apology to users. When I finally succeeded in making my first call I was expected the electronic machine to inform me as usual that my “call cost 2 units“ to be followed by a further information of the balance of my credit. I was momentarily taken aback when I saw that my call had cost “90” and that my balance was 14216.74, a figure that I thought was out of this world. It was only then that I saw the word Leones and I was reminded that the Telecom Regulating Authority NATCOM had issued a last ultimatum to mobile phone operators of the risk of losing their licenses unless they stopped billing us their customers in United States dollars per second rather than in Leones. Again the company had given no information that the new Leone billing system had taken effect. (Photo: Dr. Sama Banya)
As Twitter has pointed out in the Politico newspaper, what difference does it make, the high rate per call continues? The Telephone companies are notorious for frying us in our own fat. They placate customers although deceive would be a more appropriate word with mouthwatering promotional prizes. They have convinced themselves that we are suckers and so they constantly take us on their joy rides.
Instead of the entire gimmick and the deceit why would they not reduce their killer rates which would benefit every subscriber rather fool us with their mock offers? These days we can’t even leave voice messages for our friends, the company tells us that the person we are trying to call was unavailable and to try again.
In any case would NATCOM tell us of any special advantage in billing us in Leones when the calculation is done in United States Dollars?
My Mende people would say “The rope is round the goat’s neck or the goat is tethered to the rope” by whichever the goat is in captivity. What a joke!
Has the commercialization of agric production failed Sam?
I saw an advert in one of our newspapers last week asking for tenders for the importation of rice. What is the purpose of importing rice when according to Sam Sesey our man in charge of Food Security is all over the place with his monotonous propaganda of commercialized farming and its resultant increased agricultural production and near self-sufficiency in our staple food rice? Would the importer be favoured with a massive duty free concession and then allowed to sell his rice in competition with CTC, Bazzy and other rice importers? Is that another meaning of the Agenda for Prosperity I wonder?
Ebola and our Sierra Leone psyche
Sometimes I deceive myself in thinking that with my over three score and ten years I have seen most if not all. In spite of all the warning and the increased surveillance and public awareness programmes about the deadly Ebola infection which carries the very high mortality of 90 percent people with frank or suspected infection continue to flout continuing publicized regulations and thus put sometimes entire households at risk.
Two cases involving health workers would take some beating in terms or reckless and irresponsible behavior. Why would a private medical clinic conceal an infected case? Why would a health worker from Kenema allegedly walk into a government health institution and lie to his colleagues that he was in the capital to sit to a professional examination when as a matter of fact he was infected or is suspected to be infected with the virus?
Having said that I am equally concerned over the reported callous behavior of some health workers towards patients and their families. There was such incident in the Kissi Tongi chiefdom recently of an old woman who had lost a son from Ebola being left out in the open for days until she too perished and her corpse was left lying out there until her family quietly removed her at night for burial.
The High Dollar and Runaway Inflation
Our poor miserable Leone! Whoever told it that it would be a match for the mighty United States Dollar? From the end of last week the U S currency has jumped from its already record breaking high of FOUR THOUSAND AND FIFTY LEONES to FOUR HUNDRED AND SIXTY PLUS this week and probably ready to fly higher. Whom do we ask for an explanation, Dr. Kelfala Marrah our man at Finance? With Sambadee Sesey having been given the Red card and Momodu Kargbo having just gone through Parliament we are in a dilemma because the question is being asked whether it was Mr. Sesey’s monetary policy that had kept the American giant in trim at FOUR THOUSAND AND FORTY FOR SUCH A LONG PERIOD. I would like to advise my ‘Nephew’ that an economy with the fastest growing GDP whose benefit does not filter down to the man in the bush or as Tam Baryoh was wont to say to reach to his his grandma’s cousin’s sister-in-law in Kainkodu is merely a means of making the rich richer.
For Pete’s Sake Who Has Been Molesting Okere Adams?
Okere Adams hails from an original SLPP family tree. His father Pa Sampha Adams of Tonkolili was a founding father of the Torkoi party in 1951. Okere who is a hotelier by profession held two prestigious portfolios under former President Tejan-Kabbah. Okere’s interest and enthusiasm in the party began to wane soon after our party lost power. Whenever I teased him about it he would reply with his infectious giggle that he was still active in the party but would not say how. I called late President Tejan-Kabbah’s attention to the behavior of one of his favourite boys and he replied that the young man had muted such an intention but that he Pa Kabbah had talked him out of it. Now to read that Okere was going APC comes as no surprise but he should not take us for fools when he says he was leaving because he was being molested. If he was around I would ask, “When and by whom, since you don’t go near the party or its offices? And it dates even when JOB was chairman and leader. Go as you had planned but you’ll never deceive the likes of me.
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