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Mr. President, Where is that IMF Money?

By Abdul Suhood Komeh,
London, UK.

The Sierra Leone ‘government is spending IMF money on trying to win the election, not on agreed measures for economic recovery. The Fund has suspended payments’, reports Africa Confidential via a leaked despatch by United States diplomats in Freetown.

But why would such a leak surface so close to an election? That’s the question the IMF and really the United States, are hoping to provoke out of Sierra Leoneans, especially the tribalistic, religiously loyal ‘Tolongbo’ people, aka suicidal APC supporters.

Firstly, if you think that was some careless leak that was encountered by a serious toil of journalistic curiosity, I feel sorry for you, friend. You’ve got a bit of growing up to do.

This is the IMF and the United States doing the rest of the serious world’s bidding. Seeing that despite sensible warnings, and against mountains of evidenced failure, a considerable amount of Sierra Leoneans are hellbent on returning the most corrupt government back to government, with the same band of thieves at the core.

This is the international community laying it bare in the only way they could, the furthest they could go, without running foul of diplomatic protocols.

They cannot interfere, blatantly. But have provided a serious prompter, contrary to flimsily constructed myths of progress, that these guys need a proper fit-for-office scrutiny.

This is perhaps a last throw of the dice, a way of challenging Sierra Leoneans to prove they are not foolishly wedded to the political architects of their destruction, specifically the APC. That they can actually vote for their real interest.

You see, the mistake some Sierra Leoneans and to a more serious concern our ‘governments’ make is assuming the US Embassy, British High Commission, etc. are in Freetown to issue visas. No. They are serious observers, for their own interest, first and foremost. They are tired of spending their money for our advance, only for a few to use as theirs.

The IMF, USA and the world saw the credulous crowds at the recent APC rally. Donned in blood-red as instructed by racketeer-politicians badly playing cool with potbellies on motorcycles, paid for by looted public funds. Some of which was provided in aid by the West. And thought, you idiots, we would try one more thing and see if you are capable of being and wanting better for yourselves.

So, they deliberately leaked their position to one of the most serious publications on Africa, Africa Confidential, with an intellectually serious presence on the continent for nearly 60 years. 

The USA or IMF couldn’t give such a leak to a Sierra Leonean paper, radio or tv - too compromised, too unreliable, too hopelessly bought or fearful of State House. So this is it, fill yourself.

As I write this, APC propagandists are scrambling to spin this as the government refusing to do as told by the IMF, and that Koroma is a tough defender of the country’s economic integrity. Bollocks!

If the government wanted to prove its economic nous or illustrate fiscal responsibility, they wouldn’t have agreed to a loan tied with so many stringent conditions. Period.

The fact that the APC agreed to the terms of the loan, before adopting the empty bluster of reneging after, proves their wicked carelessness as the country’s economic custodians. Their priority couldn’t have been more clearly spelt out. Fool the masses to get elected, and then squeeze them after. Now the West has called their bluff, the ball is in Sierra Leoneans’ court.

Note, the most important of the terms of the loan had already been implemented: 1; the declaration of austerity - what ‘prosperity’? And 2; the withdrawal of fuel subsidies. The rest, they intend to postpone till after the election. By that time they’d have spent money from debt taken on behalf of the economy to get themselves elected, before unleashing a raft of punishing policies as dictated by their debtor, the IMF.

The IMF has done the country a huge favour by refusing to release their money. Now that the government has fully grounded the economy, they ought to finance their own re-election with what they’ve already stolen, not the country’s future debt.

Sadly, this is not the first time in this cycle the West has warned Sierra Leoneans to wise-up. If this leak is linked to the USA, Britain posted theirs last October.

When the Guardian published an article about the relative ease with which Ernest Koroma has arrested the APC to the detriment of progress in the country, Sierra Leoneans ran away with the red herring - an angle of the piece that touched on the possibility of Samura Kamara’s PhD. being fake. Koroma’s ‘Iron Fist’, the main event, was left unattended.

What the paper was trying to draw our attention to was the danger posed to the country by the President’s brand of politics; how unlike the veneer of advance in a few third-rate roads that show no value for money, a foolishly cultish support bought by our own money, has made him an implacable enemy of political and ultimately, economic success.

The Guardian story was trying to instigate a debate around the question: why would a leader that wanted a ‘third term’, and then ‘more time’ - all resisted - insisted that he chose his successor, his former minister of finance? But the debate never happened. Instead, guys dug and dug a Welsh University’s website for Samura’s thesis. Because their interest was not Koroma’s personal insurance policy in Samura’s appointment, but justification to support a failed brain behind the country’s economic decline; a man whose economic acumen was so great, he forgot to make hay while the gangsters at Africa Minerals ran the show.

What the IMF has done is spell it out a bit more clearer. These guys are thieves. Vote them in if you so desperately want to kill yourselves. What we will not do is provide the money that convinces you, you’re doing the right thing for yourselves and your country.

I keep saying it, I keep saying it: one day, one morning, one nett, Oona go learn!