Re- This , not only perennial but seemingly everlasting and insurmountable problem of pernicious corruption everywhere , tomes have been written about it . What can we learn from other African countries such as Nigeria and Ghana who are still tackling this problem?
On BBC Hardtalk, Tim Sebastian raised the question of corruption with Tom Ikimi, then Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs who quibbled that corruption is an English word, which means that the Brits who invented the word must know all about it…
On the same programme - at an earlier date, Tim Sebastian had told Sierra Leone’s President Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah that some of his people were saying that he Kabbah was as “like a toothless Chimpanzee” in his fight against corruption and when Pa Kabbah raised his finger for one dreadful moment I thought that he was going to slap Mr. Sebastian right there in the studio, but all he said was ,“For anybody to say that you will get rid of corruption to the extent of 100%, you are living in a dream” - as if he had eliminated it 98% or even 55%
I thought that Kabbah was going to give Tim a slap, just like the one that Albert Margai delivered on poor Monty Cole , a Sierra Leonean journalist who asked the mighty Prime Minister Albert Margai the following question :
“Sir, there have been allegations of corruption in the SLPMB (the Sierra leone Produce Marketing Board) have you investigated these allegations “
Prime Minister Albert Margai : “The Allegations are false !”
Journalist Monty Cole : “But how do you know that the allegations are false if you have not investigated them ?”
Albert Margai: “ I just told you: The Allegations are false !!! ”
Journalist Monty Cole : “ Sir….” and he got no further with his freedom to interrogate as he received a lightening slap from Akpata and that shut him up completely.
I repeated what happened verbatim when I was introduced to Monty Cole in London, some twenty years ago by Dr. Bernard Frazer at a Sierra Leone social event and Mr. Cole was amazed by the accuracy of my recollection.
These three men formerly of the armed forces could prove to be the greatsets fighters against corruption:
Jerry Rawlings on corruption
Muhammadu Buhari on corruption
Maada Bio on corruption
The aspects of corruption that are systemically entrenched can be rooted out by some of what Maada Bio has proposed so far - backed by strong enforcement of the laws of Sierra Leone .
As to Knice’s attestation that “Corruption in Sierra Leone is a management, and not a moral issue” I beg to disagree - and he he too knows this much better than I do, that it is basically a moral issue and as far as management is cornered it can contained - to some extent by effective law enforcement - in which case the Judiciary and the rudimentary law enforcement agencies, tax collection etc has to be empowered to be much more effective….
Addressing the moral aspect of the issue, President Kabbah did exhort the nation to voluntarily embrace what he delineated as Seven National values . But, as you know the cat is going to go for the milk - if you don’t safeguard the milk just as you also know that when the cat is not around the rats can take over..
How does someone report his/ her President or government minister for hanky panky/ skullduggery? And in the private business sector? Protection of whistleblowers should be put in place...