AWARENESS TIMES
Sierra Leone News & Information

State House | Press Union | Lumley Beach | AllAfrica | SL-Web

www.awarenesstimes.com

  Giving Knowledge to the People
welcome to sierra leone's premier news source
Last Updated: Sep 17th, 2010 - 19:55:49 
Front Page 
 
 NEWS
 Breaking News
 Local News
 Politics
 Photo News
 Video News
 
 EDITORIALS
 
 SPECIAL REPORTS
 Afsatu Kabba
 
 COMMENTS & OPINIONS
 Moiie's Column
 
 FEATURES
 
 ENTERTAINMENT
 
 PROFILES
 Role Models
 Awareness Lady
 Common Man
 
 THE ECONOMY
 
 NOTICES & DOCUMENTS
 Special Messages
 Legal Matters
 Obituaries
 
 PAID SUPPLEMENTS
 
 ADVERTISEMENTS
 
 SATIRE
 
 FROM OUR TEAM
Search


Published online by
Sylvia Blyden Dot Com

17 Garrison Street,
Freetown,
Sierra Leone.
Tel: +232-77-772001
Tel: +232-88-321000
Tel: +232-76-350077
Tel: +232-30-321001
Email:
editor@awarenesstimes.com
Website:
www.awarenesstimes.com

FEATURES  

60 Minutes with Dr. Harry Will in Moyamba
By Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden
May 17, 2010, 14:04
Email this article
 Printer friendly page

Dr. Harry Will was the very first sitting Cabinet Minister in Sierra Leone to be indicted for corruption. Many have followed. His indictment was in August 1999, some eleven years ago. Harry Will was the then Minister of Agriculture, Forestry & the Environment in the former Tejan Kabbah led SLPP Government. Contrary to the propaganda that before President Ernest Koromas advent, no Cabinet Minister had been charged for corruption, the fact is that Dr. Harry Will was just the first of numerous other SLPP Cabinet Ministers indicted and/or investigated for corruption during President Kabbahs term.

Infact, Dr. Harry Will was not only charged but he recalls how he was disgracefully arrested from right inside his minister office, hurled off to the Police like a common criminal and later charged to court. Prior to this, he had been one of the blue-eyed SLPP ministers who had worked like a yeoman from 1991 until the SLPP won elections in 1996. His indictment for corruption had thus shocked many!

Dr. Harry Will shown yesterday at his Moyamba Residence; at peace with himself

Here now comes some comparisons...

Yesterday, I spent some 60 minutes in conversation with Dr. Harry Will at his quiet residence inside Moyamba Town. It was a 60 minutes of education! He informs of how at the time he was arrested and dragged to court having been sacked that same day as Cabinet Minister of Agriculture, his colleague who was the then sitting Cabinet Minister of Lands, Housing & Country Planning at the time had been one Haja Afsatu Olayinka Kabba who was by then, a PDP representative in then SLPP-PDP Coalition Government. It is the same Afsatu now facing trial for alleged corruption as APC minister.

Haja Afsatu Kabba is not a sacred cow but is surely a big fish! Now, if people think she is the first big fish to have had a unique corruption trial wait until you hear all about the case of The State versus Harry Will & Others.

During yesterdays 60 minutes, I first of all learnt of the high respect with which Harry Will holds former Cabinet Colleague Afsatu Kabba. "When in Cabinet, you learn traits of Cabinet colleagues. I left Cabinet holding Afsatu in high esteem," Dr. Harry Will told me.

During my educative time with Doyen of Moyamba Politics, he informed me to my astonishment that the corruption charges against him and his Director of Agriculture Lamin Feika, were changed no less than three times in open court! He insists that they were changed at any time the prosecution realised that the former charges would not hold up.

"My dear Sylvia, I was charged and those initial charges were dropped and that same moment of them being dropped inside the court, I was re-charged with fresh charges and later, within a few weeks of proceeding, those fresh second set charges were dropped only for me to be re-charged again with a third set of fresh charges again within the courts. It was a witch-hunt and a political vendetta," Harry Will recalled as he shook his head.

I learnt that the Defence Lawyers became extremely exasperated when all their objections were over-ruled by Justice Taju-Deen "even on clear points of law".

I learnt that one of the Lead Defence Counsels back then was no less a person than a certain Lawyer Nicholas Colin Browne-Marke who is today a Judge! It is this same Hon. Justice Browne-Marke who gave those recent interesting rulings and who over-ruled Lawyer Jenkins Johnstons points of Law in the ongoing matter of The State versus Haja Afsatu Kabba.

Interestingly, Haja Afsatu Kabbas own charges have been changed twice now just like Harry Wills own was changed three times back then.

Harry Wills convictions have since been over-turned and squashed by the Appeals Court with one of the Appeals Court Judge opining that he saw no basis for the matter(s) to have even been charged to court. However, the convictions were over-turned in March 2008, almost ten years after the convictions - with an interregnum that left Harry Will with the emotional turmoil of walking around a convicted criminal.

Dr. Will confessed yesterday that the period of his arrest and eventual conviction were of great personal turmoil to him. However, today, he comes across as a man completely at peace with himself and easily bursts into laughter. He has an infectious smile behind which lies an intellect that I came to quickly appreciate. By the time I was leaving his compound last evening, I had a better understanding of why he is called the Doyen of Moyamba Politics. The man is not only of high intellect but in a country with a paucity of political strategists, Dr. Harry Will should not be under-estimated; even at his advanced age.

Dr. Harry Will is humble but from what I have gleaned, his humiliation by the former SLPP-led Government which were aimed at them burnishing their anti-corruption credentials back in 1999 to the international world, did not yield positive dividends for the SLPP in the end. This is because although they sacrificed Harry Will who became the first sitting Cabinet Minister to be indicted for corruption, Dr. Harry Will was to later have his moment against the person who prosecuted him when in the Year 2007, he quietly mobilised within the PMDC to destroy SLPPs hitherto undisputed hold of Moyamba in 2007.

In 1999, Harry Wills indictment was made known to the public via a Presidential Statement dated Sunday August 22nd 1999.

Will protested his innocence strongly! But he was still convicted despite the lack of evidence in law thus leaving him and his supporters bitter and disgruntled with the SLPP. Today, Dr. Harry Will tells me that although he now considers himself an Elder Statesman and non-partisan in politics, back in 2007, he worked hard within the PMDC structure to ensure that the SLPP lost the elections in 2007. He is however quick to add that he is open to consultations with any of the countrys political parties as he is "currently totally non-partisan" but "an Elder Statesman who is willing to hold counsel with any Sierra Leone citizen who desires to have me help with any knowledge I may possess".

I arrived back in Freetown at around 9pm last night and quickly took to jotting down these few words about my 60 minutes with Dr. Harry Will. Indeed, it was a 60 minutes I appreciated. I learnt so much from the retired Doyen of Moyamba Politics. I also learnt that he is a big fan of the Awareness Times newspaper; which information made me like him even more. I am sure there will be more interactions between me and the great Dr. Harry Will especially as we are both now seated on the same Board pushing Computer Technology in Moyamba District. I am the Chairman of the Board and he is the Senior Adviser to the Board. He looks forward to me helping him improve his computer skills and I look forward to learning as much as possible from him about local Sierra Leone politics especially in Moyamba.
- end -


Monday 23rd August 1999 (Culled from Sierra Leone Web News of Peter Andersen): Sierra Leones Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and the Environment, Dr. Harry Will and Director of Agriculture Lamin Feika have been dismissed from their posts and charged with "corruption and related offences," according to a presidential statement issued on Sunday. Also charged was businessman Alhaji Bockarie Kakay. "Dr. Harry N. Will has been relieved of his duties as Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and the Environment and Mr. Lamin M. Feika, Director-General of Agriculture is automatically interdicted according to Civil Service regulations," the statement said. No details of the corruption allegations were provided, but the statement noted "the co-operation of the Ghanaian Government in the investigation that led to the discovery of this present instance of corruption." The statement said President Kabbah had taken the decision to dismiss and prosecute Will "notwithstanding the fact that he believes that Dr. Will is one of Sierra Leones best agriculturists and someone he had hoped will lead a team of committed people that will transform Sierra Leone from a country substantially dependent on foreign food aid to one that can grow food to feed its own people at affordable price," but added that the decision was taken "in the overall national interest."


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Top of Page

Latest Headlines
NEWS
APC Lies Exposed in Pujehun
Coming Soon : Is this Man A Rat? Or a Mole?
In Sierra Leone, Nafaya Kabbah Laid to Rest
EDITORIALS
Encourage Moseray Fadika and Frank Timis the Romanian
National Judiciary Deserves to be Heard
We Do Not Negotiate for Space with Anyone!
SPECIAL REPORTS
Sierra Leone's Opposition Resident Village Idiot flies out to U.K. and Ghana today
Afsatu Pays Le450M; Files Appeal against Conviction
In Sierra Leone, Afsatu Kabbas Friends and Admirers Raise almost Le450 Million (US$100,000) in 24 days
COMMENTS & OPINIONS
Support of Only Sixteen MPs can pass Budget?
Too Late to Denounce the Kono Violence!
So Did President Koroma Lie? Part (2)
FEATURES
Reproduced by Popular Demand: No Junior Secondary School Built at Tondola Junction
Sierra Leone's NPRCs Tom Nyuma, Sierra Rutile, Vimetco, John Sisay & the Inquest for late Bambay Kamara
Tom Nyuma Has a New Toy costing over One Hundred Thousand Dollars
ENTERTAINMENT
Sierra Leone's Video-Journalist Abdulai Jalloh marries his Sweetheart, Cecilia
Nor Look En Face Takes Over the Airwaves in Sierra Leone
PROFILES
A TRIBUTE TO THE LATE MRS. HANNAH BABY NELLIE GADD - A Role Model
Haja Afsatu Olayinka Kabba: A Muslim Woman of Excellence!
THE ECONOMY
Sierra Leone Government in Serious Embarrassment as Businesses Shut Down over New Tax
NOTICES & DOCUMENTS
IN THE HIGH COURT OF SIERRA LEONE
African Media Owners Forge New Path in Cameroon Meeting
A Presidential Preface to Sierra Leone: The Turn Around: Three Years of Transformative Achievements by The Ernest Koroma Government,
PAID SUPPLEMENTS
Marampa Can Achieve Late 2012 Start-Up With Maiden 200mt Jorc Resource Representing Only 20% Of The Mineralised Strike
Koidu Holdings Explains Blasting Incident at Koidu Kimberlite Project Mine Site
Presenting Professor Dr. Ritchard Tamba MBayo
ADVERTISEMENTS
NASSIT and HFC offers 28 Newly Built Houses for immediate Sale in Sierra Leone
African Minerals (SL) Ltd Job Vacancy
JOLLIBOY! - Solomon Pratt's Book is now available for Purchase Online
SATIRE
President Koroma Fires One: Maybe the Cabinet Reshuffle Has Commenced?
Tom Nyuma, APC will buy you a Jumbo Jet after 2012 Elections in Sierra Leone
Mr. President, is there a Junior Secondary School or is there not at Tondola Junction in Kailahun, Sierra Leone?
FROM OUR TEAM
Schulenburg Should Behave Himself
No Edition out for today from Freetown, Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone's Awareness Times Publisher Never Collected a Single Penny for P.R. let alone Ten Million Leones monthly!

Copyright © 2005 - 2010, Awareness Times Sierra Leone; All Rights Reserved.
Hosted & Designed by West Africa Dot Net