The governing Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) propaganda that they inherited the “worst economy since dependence empty coffers” with a “broken” and “battered” economy from the last All People’s Congress (APC) regime, has in the first place exposed the lack of common sense, ineptitude of president Julius Maada Bio’s classroom economists. That the governor, Bank of Sierra Leone, Prof. Kaifala Kallon, Finance Minister Jacob Jusu Saffa and the entire sector administrators of this government have shown to the world that they are not capable to actually manage the national economy of Sierra Leone well in the last one year and five month plus.
Their malicious and hearted propaganda against their predecessors is not helping the national bread and butter problems, as they continue to deceive the suffering masses, while the foreign exchange rates keep flying at a rocket pace with the United States Dollar now being changed at $ 100 Le Million Twenty Thousand Leones (1,20,000). Can you imagine governments with all the best economists in the country yet still the lies outweigh the truth? Our leaders must inculcate and embrace the culture of sincere leadership and dirt free politics.
Lies can’t fix the problems especially where the foreign exchange which forms the basic economic foundation constantly remained defiant. Can somebody please tell self destructive president Bio to fix the problems of inflation and foreign exchange rates and discontinue with the blame game to revive economic progress once more, since lies have to a large extent deceived us as a government and as a country. And president Bio you should beware of the sufferings of the masses that look up to him for the improvement of their living standards across the country not his incompetent and failed ministers. Not even the much elevated chief minister can meet his ministerial commitments at State House. Why then the massive recruitments of illiterate diasporas, who cant in anyway deliver of their mandates as minister, directors, commissioners to name just the few. So review their contracts and relieve some of them off their various duties before you end up shouldering all the blames for your entire failures in governance.
Government’s excuses were that the Bio SLPP regime inherited a “looted” economy from its predecessor, which are mere lies later proven by former governor, BSL, Dr Patrick Conteh, who exposed lies of the ruling party, that the last APC rule of former president Dr Ernest Bai Koroma actually left the national economy in a very healthy condition, with U.S $ 507 Million in foreign reserves. That in its equivalent to Three Trillion, Eight Hundred and Fifty Nine Billion Two Hundred and Four Million Leones as was disclosed last year by Dr Conteh at one of Ministry of Finance news conferences in Freetown, after president Bio and his minister went round the world telling lies about inheriting the “worse economy” with “battered” and “empty coffers.”
Jargons as “battered” and “looted” virtually became deadwood of excuses on the lips of ruling every SLPP member including of pro-ruling party heads ministries departments and agencies rudely shouting all over the place that the economy was “bad” and “the coffers were looted” by the time the new administration came on 4thApril 2018. One year almost six months yet the differences are not as impressive as one could imagine, considering the present economic hardship being imposed on the people under the inept financial administration of classroom economists – J.J. Saffa and Prof. Kallon.
They lied about the national economy as if the SLPP was still on the trail campaigning to win votes, failing realized that the elections were long gone, and that their party was now in governance and not still in opposition. So many people would wonder why the desperation at destroying the reputations of other politicians. Or is it the real mischievous points scoring games by the typical SLPP politicians with the motive of denting the good records APC. Just too curious to know from any of the spin doctors, who have tried to fix the economy with lies, without stabilizing the foreign exchange rate. Top notch economists by foot, and Kallon, J. J. Saffa need to take exit before Sierra Leone relegates to the situation of Zimbabwe.
These cheap political strategies designed by SLPP bungler politicians to constantly intimidate shame and disgrace their APC opponents, under the guise of financial prudency and corruption mitigation. The more reasons they rushed into setting up of the commission of inquiries to probe officials of the last regime, thereby tarnishing their political reputation to the public and the world at large. This didn’t work as government lies were also debunked by the international Monetary Fund country representative on a local radio talk show, all making it publically known that indeed SLPP government’s lies and fake propaganda were not in the best interest of the country as the last Ernest Bai Koroma administration left U.S $ 507 Million in foreign reserves.
What is being deliberately ignored by government officials is the truth, failing to note that you don’t lie about the economy when the harsh realities are so glaring on the ground with hike in prices of essential commodities including staple food rice, now sold at Three Hundred Thousand Leones (Le 300, 000) per bag. Government is duly responsible for skyrocketing prices of food stuffs and other essential commodities. And president Bio you and your team of failed classroom economists have failed the people of Sierra Leone by reneging from your presidential campaign promises in 2012 and in 2018, much as economic reforms are concerned.
And as for food, we can’t continue to wait in vain for Tormabome rice which cultivation has not even started yet…that dried dog meat tastes sweet and makes a nice soup is fine, but what can one hold on while waiting for dog meat to dry, are major concerns being raised everywhere you go in the country. Import rice for the people they voted you to alleviate their sad socioeconomic plights. You owe it to the whole nation not just to the people of Bonthe district and your in-laws in The Gambia. Sierra Leoneans too deserve better life.
Moreover the politics of inheriting “broken”, “batter” and “worst economy since independence” has not work at all as excuses, because the Sierra Leone economy before Koroma handed over the mantle of authority to Bio was in a very good shape. But things turned out to be different from what was expected from the government, with astronomical hikes in taxes on foreign and local investors, automatically ridding certain companies out of businesses. Instead the sufferings of the down trodden continues unabated with slogans as “things will get better” in the words of pro-SLPP musician, Amidu Bockarie alias Emerson, only God knows when.
As a result the lies and excuses of bad economy and empty coffers are really hard to believe by many Sierra Leoneans, judging from financial and economic gains the SLPP Bio led government inherited from the last Koroma APC administration. For all we know, have seen and read so far, there is no country with empty coffers. That gimmick was just too cheap. That is why some of us find it hard to believe that Sierra Leone is broke, except for the fact that the government may to some extent want to accept that it has spent too much moneys on oversea trips by president Bio, cabinet minister among other top government officials. Though that has its own lavishing effects of the economy, yet is cant drain it as being widely perceived when the government sent in early last year. Oversea trips are expensive and they cost government so much the more reason we were supportive of president when he vowed during his campaign that if elected he will cut down on oversea trips but it is the exact opposite we are now experiencing.
And the current state of affairs has clearly shown that president Bio and his Bonthe sibling, J.J. Saffa and team are not capable of handling the economy seriously because of deliberate excessive wasteful spending of tax payers’ moneys with impunity. In fact most people hold the opinion that the appointments of J.J. Blood as minister of finance and Prof Kallon as governor BSL is a disservice to the country. Saffa, does not think well nor even imagine of rational thought process of his intellect. A cannabis addict always semi-drunk even at work with foreign experts are around he never observes protocol. All he is busy doing is intimidating his political opponents within the ministry through his surrogates, and flies in and out to secure more daily sustenance allowances from government. Prof Kallon does not understanding the local financial industry well, being that he has been away for long. His recent stay at the country’s bank has caused more harm than good to the economy, and his best strategy is to auction United States Dollars and ban transactions in foreign currencies. These two characters are not fit to handle the economic situation of this country. Think twice president and do justice to the people who voted you to office.
With such there is no need to ask where have the moneys gone to in this short period of SLPP in office? To The Gambia, Bonthe, England or elsewhere in off shore accounts, while Sierra Leoneans are dying of hunger and starvation. Don’t talk nor raise concern about basic health care services and regular supply of safe drinking water midst cries of imposed economic hardship under the president Bio and his “soja” team.
One thing I always remind our leaders incumbent and past about is their leadership roles and responsibilities as president of Sierra Leone that is why many cynics like myself would always hold president Bio accountable for whatever happening in this country now, to the people of Sierra Leone and the national economy should all be squarely blamed on your presidency Mr Bio. And that is where we hold your government accountable. President Bio should be held responsible for the damaging status of the national economy.
These are not the faults of any of your ministers but you president Bio take the blame and solve the problems now because the people you to free them from poverty not your bunch of compensated underperformers serving you as ministers. President Bio redeem Sierra Leone from the present economic sufferings and uplift the living standards of the people by replacing whoever deserves to be fired for under performing in their various offices, before the nation continue to perish under the watchful eyes. Such actions would only help in saving your personal reputation, the economy and the whole government.
By Mangia Dunne