WHAT DIANA KONOMANYI SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PRESS RELEASES
Diana, the Princess of Kono, has been flexing her muscles really hard since coming to the Lands Ministry. We have seen demolitions and heard threats of demolitions. When people say THE MORE THINGS CHANGE THE MORE THEY REMAIN THE SAME, this is what they mean. In Green Movement days, demolition of so-called illegal structures was popular with Bobson Sesay running around Freetown in particular.
Ooooh ya! In that time the Red Movement in opposition named the man BROKE OSE MINISTER, literally translating as the minister in charge of breaking houses. The REDS described him as wicked and unsympathetic over the plight of ordinary Sierra Leoneans. Eight years into De Pa’s government, houses are still being knocked down. Has anything changed now? The same thing REDS said about the GREENS giving street cleaning jobs to youths and digging bore holes for fringe communities. Look at what they are doing today. Consistent inconsistency!
Back to the press release issued by the Kono Princess. Her ministry has a professional Public Relations person but the statement we saw on social media did not answer most of the questions. So it galls us when the REDS have employed so many so-called media people – some are even CONSULTANTS – and put them all over the place paying them thousands of dollars, yet they still cannot write a basic press release. Forget about the hostage press release conundrum for a moment.
When we read a press release that leaves so many questions unanswered, we have to make this feeble effort to put things right on behalf of the people.
We quote from Diana’s statement:
Ministry of Lands – “The ministry of Lands Country Planning and the Environment is hereby informing the general public that all individuals in possession of leases of state lands above the stipulated three year period and/or are in default of payments have forfeited their leases with immediate effect.
“The ministry will take steps to repossess and offer to new applicants without recourse to defaulters”.
POLITICO – Can the ministry please tell us what the position is with people who were offered state lands that they never took possession of even after paying the necessary fees? We know of many such people. How can the ministry collect money from ordinary Sierra Leoneans and then fail to handover the land to them. There are people in some communities who openly challenged the authority of the ministry in those communities – from South Ridge to Gloucester. Diana, please give them the land or refund their monies now.
By the way, please don’t take land from people without listening to them. Listening to them is the least thing to do and a natural course of justice. Diana will be surprised at what she gets from them.
We will be back on this in subsequent editions.
QUIET BONTHE ISLAND IN THE NEWS FOR THE WRONG REASON
We don’t normally hear from Bonthe Island. It’s almost as if the people there are not a part of Sierra Leone. At election time or a journalist on some reporting mission drops on the island, we get some pictures of what life is like out there.
Look what we have now from the place – two people dead, a curfew in place and the mayor suggests that his people could starve because no food is going in there right now.
It may not be the best thing to reopen the issues but we should take another look at what caused the clashes and take steps to prevent such a thing from happening again on Bonthe Island or in any other part of the country at that.
1. First of all we have to take action to open up Bonthe district, and the Island in particular, to the rest of the country. That district has the worst roads in the country. FIFTY-TWO MILES between Bo and the major town of Mattru takes FIVE hours.
2. We must improve life on the Island. Sometimes the place feels like an open prison despite it being so important to the rest of Sierra Leone. Just read about the history of Bonthe and its people.
3. Let’s pay special attention to the touristic potentials of the place. Please, we are not talking about foreigners visiting Bonthe. We have no problem with that anyway but we are asking for a system to be put in place so that ordinary people like us can spend a weekend on Bonthe Island twice a year. China makes a huge amount of money on local or domestic tourism.
4. Maybe Bothe Island needs a local MARSHALL PLAN. All things being equal, Bonthe Island alone can make significant contributions to the economy of Sierra Leone. Or is it because it is home to the BRIGADIER?
5. As long as places like Bonthe Island remain so closed up, even psychologically cut off from the rest of us, little tensions that people in Freetown or other parts of the country can cool down with over a pint of beer will continue to boil over there. May peace prevail on the Christmas Island!
DEFECTING GREEN MOVEMENT COUNCILOR IS WELCOME TO JOIN LAYBELLEH COMMITTTEE
The Green Movement councilor who recently defected from to the REDS has been speaking all over the place recently. This is the first time we are hearing from him since his election. From what we’ve heard from him, he has finally had enough of the troubles in his own party. He may be right. The Green Movement has not been at peace with itself since they were thrown out of power in 2007.
But journalists are trained to ask difficult questions. We are trained to do so even in situations where simplistic answers are flying all over the place. So here we go: could it be that economic and political considerations underpin the councilor’s decision to defect?
Ordinarily, we would have little problem with people joining a political organization of their choice; but in this case we do not believe we have been told the full story. We may not get the full story until after the 2018 election. So our questions:
1. How does the councilor know things will be rosy in his new political home? We read daily about people putting their names forward to succeed De Pa. How does he think that issue will be resolved?
2. Could it be that he fears his ward might be overrun by the Red Movement in 2018?
3. Has this turncoat councilor been assured of his ward in the coming election? There are people there who’ve been waiting all along. DE LINE LONG O! Or the councilor can simply join that great committee. It’s an easy route to certain things even if at the expense of more important things.
4. May be our councilor should be a little quiet and stop going around telling the world he had nothing to do with the problems in his former movement. We’ve been told a lot of things that we are checking out now.
5. Sometimes it’s just good to believe and stand up for something. Imagine if John Garang, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and a few others had decided to take what looked like the easy route, we wonder what the world would have looked like today. Believe, Believe and Believe. Too late now, dear defected councilor. Hahahahahaha.
MATCHFIXING OR CRUEL WITCHHUNT? JOHANSEN BLUNDERS AGAIN
So Johansen’s so-called match-fixing probe is finally in motion? It’s beginning to appear to us as if the closer we approach the end of the Johansen era, the more she becomes desperate as she looks to clear the way. In other words she seems hell bent on taking out all those who are likely to beat her easily in the race, all in the name of a bogus inquiry.
From the outset, nobody considered this project as a serious business. It’s just a continuation of the long-term political struggle in the SLFA that has paralysed mainstream football. The other day everybody saw what happened when COFA, of all organisations, brought their competition to the stadium. Let’s compare that now to what happens at SLFA matches. SLFA matches resemble matches in which FIFA orders home teams to play in empty stadiums. Here:
1. There is definitely nothing to look into. The match-fixing claims are bogus! Plain and simple!
2. The inquiry is an unnecessary waste of everybody’s time and the people’s money.
3. It has been set to work now like a marionette so as to mask the huge problems that have always beset the SLFA since the apparently rigged process that brought in the current administration. At some point our facts would stand up and the nation will get the full picture of Johansen’s failed administration.
4. All those connected with Rodney Michael in the most remote way are up for a flawed ban if they cooperate with this inquiry. We started out with a long list. Now we have a very short one with some names dropped without a public apology. Isn’t that strange?
5. Let’s even imagine there was some case to answer. We believe this committee is totally incapable of being fair. We have a lot of respect for the chairman but we are very afraid that the circumstances around this probe and the driving forces behind it make it impossible for justice to be done.
© Politico 20/07/16