Sierra Leone's Government

Re: The Challenge of the Sierra Leone Presidency

To the Editor:

Mr. Kamara's piece on Sierra Leone's problems so well dissected, diagnosed and prognosticated that it is a classic which should be a political primer for the government and all these other political parties' candidates who want to run the country come July 29, 2007. He is on the money with respect to institutionalization of corruption and an acquiescent government that doesn't appear to be capable of enacting and enforcing laws that are draconian enough to make all would-be bad people stop and think of the consequences of their behavior.

This is sorely lacking in this government which begs the question: "Where is their political will?" Leadership in general entails, to a large extent, among other things a willingness to swallow some bitter pill of political reality in the interest of hedonistic utilitarianism. This President must be willing to suffer some short-term disapproval in order to gain long-term political respect by making some tough decisions. As it is now, he is actually inviting opponents to accuse his government of gross ineptitude.

In conclusion, I would like to paraphrase what the late Foday Sankoh's wife once said: "The conditions that led to the rebel war still exist." What she left unsaid was: "And there is the potential something like that could happen again." Sierra Leone may get all the donor money and other help but until the people are paid decent and livable wages there is going to be corruption and dishonesty. The other problem that needs to be addressed is the way people feel about law and order. People have to feel that they are all equal under the law.

George Gopal
Nairobi, Kenya