Is Solomon Berewa a Time Bomb?

1 November 2005 at 21:41 | 424 views

Another critical look at contemporary Sierra Leone politics by one of the country’s members of the diaspora. It demonstrates the anguish, apprehension and frustration felt by many of the country’s citizens at home and abroad.

By Mohamed Koroma, United Kingdom.

Leadership is definitely missing from Sierra Leone. When a country has
abundant human and natural resources but still wobbles, it is clear that
country has not got good leadership. A country is developed by people and
people need someone to organize them, and to train them and to motivate
them. They need someone to listen to them, to love and care for them. With
these, they are enabled to put in their best and unleash their creative

When a leader is committed and has vision the rest tend to follow. When I
read that ‘politics is not for beginners’ attributed to VP, I was gob
smacked. What a beautiful statement .I was tempted to ask whether the
statement was actually Berewa’s language and thought, or simply the
thought of the journalist in Concord Times. Many who would probably think
like me would want to conclude that the statement is the thought of the
journalist. If not, the experienced leadership Berewa is talking about is
one that leaves Sierra Leoneans living in abject poverty, no good roads,
no pipe borne water, none or rationed electricity, late payment of
salaries, quantity education not quality education, the kind of leadership
that will leave Sierra Leoneans to suffer and sleep rough on the streets
and going around begging day and night on an empty stomach. How can
someone who has contested and won an election, sent to jail, become
chairman of SLPP southern region and revive a whole political party,
minister when our police was revamped; a household name in politics for
the right reasons be a novice in governance?

Everyone agrees that a country like ours that has abundant human and
natural resources but still wobbles clearly shows that it has not had good
leadership. Sierra Leone is a typical example of such a country. The APC
and SLPP leadership has been a class that is solely corrupt and concerned
more about their personal wellbeing, and fatness of their bank accounts in
the USA, UK or Brussels to mention just a few.

How else could this be confirmed, when a Vice President is reported to
have a house in Chicago and building a massive complex in Goodrich, a
Minister has a house in London where his younger sister stays, and another
house in Gillingham belonging to the longest serving minister, when people
that have destroyed state institutions like the post office are now
Presidential Spokesmen, when people who sold our diplomatic missions went
Scot free as people in high places were involved, when corrupt ex-minister
are now ambassadors and when someone banned from holding public office is
now President . Definitely that country is unlucky with the kind of
leadership it has got. A country is developed by people and people need
someone to organise them, to train them and to motivate them.

Indeed the Vice President is very right, Sierra Leone’s present leaders
are no doubt motivating the citizens at least by making them realise that
Sierra Leone is not the best place to live , and that corruption and
looting the treasury to make sure they get houses that is not commensurate
to there salaries is a good thing. Sierra Leoneans need someone to listen
to them, to love them and care for them. With these, they are enabled to
put in their best and unleash their creative energies.

The Vice President who has a vast experience in government and governance
once led the justice ministry we know how retrogressive that department
became, how cases were settled like that of Lilian Lisk, how we lost our
High Commission building and wasted money on lawyers in London with his
perfect Legal advise, his role highlighted in the TRC report for us all to
read, how he gave contracts that were never honoured when he was chair of
the Tender Board, and how he has travelled out of the country but without
bringing any tangible results for us all to see. That is Sierra Leone for

On VP’s recent visit to London it created more ripples than wave, After
watching the uncut programme on OBE television today 31st October 2005,
his failure to propagate his vision for the country but rather his barrage
of personal attacks on people like Moijue KaiKai left me with a sad note
that indeed SLPP made the wrong choice in my home town, Makeni. VP must
know that people don’t need to know him for them to criticise him
constructively. He behaves like someone that is vindictive and
undiplomatic. Since his election he is making more enemies than friends.
When the whole world is going for youthfulness with some amount of
experience I must say Berewa lacks that on his performance in London. He
failed to win hearts and minds of both compatriots and friends. What was
also strange was the deliberate snubbing of the branch party. It was
rather strange that the SLPP as a branch party was not only marginalised
but there was no statement from its officials among the speakers or no
mention was made of them by any of the speakers. Is this what Berewa SLPP
is all about? The jury is out for now.

The question is what contribution has Solo Bee’s been in government done
to the ordinary man, zero. Berewa portrays the notion that he brought
peace to our country. HOW? While this Berewa was whisked away and given
safe passage from Freetown by the AFRC boys like Zagalo and Mohamed
Bangura (now in the UK) to Guinea .While Sierra Leoneans were fighting for
the liberation of our motherland Sierra Leone, he was living quietly in
Chicago-USA for most of that time. While the CDF, ECOMOG and loyal
soldiers were dying at the battle field, he was globetrotting all over the
place for personal reasons. Did he ever visit the battle field to give
moral to our fighting forces? nooooooooooo. After the LOYAL SOLDIERS,
ECOMOG AND CDF forces have dislodged AFRC/RUF out. Berewa came into the
picture as Attorney General and Justice Minister to broker a fudged peace
treaty. If he is proud of this then guess want happens next, Berewa left
Foday Sankoh with arms and ammunition which he later used to kill
innocent civilians for which until he left the justice ministry no
conviction has been done ,so why is he proud of such a poor and appalling

Sierra Leone is at a cross road. At this time in our country’s history the
only men that will fit such a bill is either Positive Man Don Cam- Charles
Margai. Or APC’s Ernest Koroma. Or for a better Sierra Leone I am
appealing to Charles and Ernest to put SIERRA LEONE first by coming
together to form a THIRD FORCE that we are craving for. Sierra Leoneans
must know that one of the most successful leaders of the world Bill
Clinton was never a VP in his life time. The last time someone was imposed
on us we know how Momoh failed. Solo Bee must go into retirement with his
boss Kabba.

Photo: Solomon Berewa, Vice President of Sierra Leone. Time bomb?