I am perturbed at signals coming from the Koroma Government which seem to be rather confused. Down below we have published a Press Release issued yesterday March 28th 2012 from the Government Spokesman. It is an indirect but very public criticism of Sylvester Swarray, the confused Deputy Government Spokesman who finally found his voice after months of silence – albeit to oppose Government’s stated position on the Shears-Moses report. I agree with Swarray’s points about the ridiculous flaws in that report but to avoid confusion, he should have resigned from the Government first before he opposed Government’s position.
Let us now look at Shears-Moses Report. Koroma appoints an SLPP lawyer to chair a probe into SLPP-APC violence. (Can we blame Schulenburg for employing Gberie?) The lawyer and his team come out with a mostly incoherent, rambling piece of nonsense in black and white. One only needs to read the end of Page 21 of the leaked report and try to continue reading into Page 22 to sense the state of confusion within the Shears-Moses report. Yes, a few suggestions are laudable but findings on certain named persons are flawed and illogically arrived at.
Despite the flaws, President Koroma goes on to endorse the rambling and nonsense conclusions in a White Paper signed by his equally confused Attorney-General Frank Kargbo who does not seem to know what Section 149 of Constitution of Sierra Leone states. Frank Kargbo is another confused man in the Government just like Sylvester Swarray. He takes a journalist to Media Commission over colour of underwear but he encourages lies that the Presidential bodyguards tried to assassinate opposition candidate. Frank Kargbo has confused priorities.
Yes, Koroma Government is confused but we hope this state of confusion will not expose the country to undue security risks. Superintendent Mohamed Turay (aka Yete-Yete), the Regional OSD Commander for the Southern Province was erroneously lambasted as “having no business being in Pujehun district” for which he should be disciplined. Shears-Moses was wrong. Yete-Yete’s area of operation covers the entire Southern region right on to the Jendema border with Liberia. This is just one of numerous patent errors and illogical conclusions in the Shears-Moses report. Down below are extracts from Pages 17, 18, 19 and 20 of the leaked report showing the inconsistency as the crafters of the report strain to justify their indictment of Tarawally and Yete-Yete.
However, despite such patent errors concerning the Gendema violence, this Koroma Government actually accepted such flawed findings against Yete-Yete. In the Government’s thoughtless, imbecilic and very dangerous so-called White Paper and Press Release, they call for Yete-Yete to be disciplined by Police Council. I trust the Police Council, after due deliberations, will be applying to the Appeals Court to overturn that baseless recommendation against Yete-Yete! Why should the gallant police officer be disciplined? For being proactive enough to secure a town where rising tensions were reported following false reports that an SLPP woman had been killed? Why should the State embarrass Yete-Yete like this? Is this how to motivate your police force? Nonsense Mr. President! Nonsense! Total Nonsense sir!
What message is the Government sending to the Police Force come November? Does Koroma not realise he is killing the morale of the police force by endorsing totally wrong recommendations against Supt. Turay? Does he not realise he is exposing us poor citizens to undue risk by deflating the morale of the police making the police to become too timid to protect us citizens? If the SLPP commences another round of violence in Gendema, which police officer will want to risk tackling a violent SLPP group in Gendema come November 2012 when their (police) ‘testicular fortitude’ have been literarily cut off from under them?
If Koroma allows Yete-Yete is to be disgraced like this for merely doing his job, is he not telling the rest of the Police Force to become timid in the face of violence? Have we not seen the kind of terrible LIES which the SLPP recently uttered concerning the same Gendema? Was it not the same story also of how a woman died and people fled? Did independent journalists not unravel the lies? Have we not heard testimonies from those who were sent to attack Musa Tarawally several miles off from where the elections were being held?
Is President Koroma trying to set the SLPP against innocent citizens whilst the Police will fold their hands and watch? Koroma, do not let your people down! If you are confused sir, find a way out of the maze of confusion – at least until November 17th 2012. At that point, the citizens will decide if they want to continue with your state of confused leadership which sells out your police officers and loyal Cabinet Ministers. Or they will decide if they want a change of the guard. Take this message with all possible seriousness. No one wants to follow a confused leader.
Below are Extracts from leaked Shears-Moses Report (NOTE UNDERLINES):
· Paul Damba, the District Electoral Officer testified before us as CW42. CW42 told us that he led a team of polling staff to Gendema for training on 9th March 2009. That night he said the proprietor of the guest house where he stayed reported to him that some men in police uniform had beaten up his driver for refusing them taking his vehicle away. On 10th March 2009 he was at Fairo for a training programme and at the end of the day returned to Gendema. He said that while on the way, he met two jeeps with masked policemen heading towards Fairo. - PAGE 17
· In the few days before the bye-election there was the funeral of a woman who died from snake bite and we were told of rumours that a [SLPP] party supporter had been killed. This, we were informed contributed to the tension in the area. - PAGE 18
· There was the Superintendent of OSD, Bo, at Gendema; he is Mohamed Turay alias “Yete Yete” CW59. This same man was mentioned by CW28 D/ASP Alfred Conteh who was then attached to the police station at Gendema as having arrived there (March 11th) with OSD Personnel in a Dyna Truck from Bo. At the time, all was calm in Gendema. On enquiry they said they were there to beef up security in Wai. However, no one mentioned that there was a threat to security before the 11th March when the Resident Minister and his group arrived and members of the SLPP also went to Gendema. - PAGE 19
· We were surprised at the heavy armed police presence when there was no threat of violence. - PAGE 20
Need I say anything more? The report is so biased and the findings so baseless and contradictory that Government should have simply trashed it than use it to embarrass people.
GOVERNMENT OF SIERRA LEONE
SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF GOVERNMENT
The Ministry of Information & Communications wishes it to be known by the general public that the creation of the Office of the Government Spokesman was a deliberate and conscious decision that was taken by His Excellency the President in order to have a well coordinated channel of communication between Government and the public.
It has been realized however that, especially in recent times, some functionaries have been speaking purportedly on behalf of Government but without any consultation with the Office of the Government Spokesman, which is supervised by the Ministry of Information & Communications. Such moves have the tendency of sending out discordant messages to the public.
To correct the anomaly therefore, it needs to be reiterated that the Office of the Government Spokesman is the recognized entity created to perform the function of speaking on behalf of the government. In this regard, all state functionaries are again reminded and urged to consult with the Ministry of Information & Communications before going public on any matter regarding the state.
Specifically, clearance or permission can only be sought and secured from the Minister or the Deputy Minister of Information & Communications, who are the Government Spokesman and Co-Government Spokesman respectively.
Abiding by this directive would help in avoiding any embarrassment.
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN
MINISTRY OF INFORMATION & COMMUNICATIONS
8TH FLOOR, YOUYI BUILDING
28th March 2012
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.