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SPECIAL REPORTS : Afsatu Kabba  

In Sierra Leone, Afsatu Kabba’s Friends and Admirers Raise almost Le450 Million (US$100,000) in 24 days
By Dauda Koroma & Aruna Turay
Nov 5, 2010, 13:13
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The Haja Afsatu Olayinka Kabba Trust Fund which is operated at the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank on Account Number 001-105356-10-00-02 has, as of last night of November 4th 2010, reportedly raised the sum of almost Four Hundred and Fifty Million Leones from donations sent in by well-wishers located far and wide including all over the world.

 

It could be recalled that the trust fund was set up by loyalists of the former Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Haja Afsatu Olayinka Kabba after she was found guilty on five count charges of misappropriation of public funds during a High Court trial and was fined Four Hundred and Fifty Million Leones to be paid within four weeks which ends this coming Monday November 8th 2010.

 

On Wednesday 3rd November 2010, the Trust Fund Committee announced they had so far raised the sum of Three Hundred and Ninety Million Forty-Five Thousand Leones during a special fund raising programme held at the Dan Street Lorry Park off Kissy Road in Freetown.

 

APC's Southern Province Youth Leader, Malik Jobe is shown addressing Dan Street Rally with Mr. Sorie Kabia shown behind him in red hat. Haja Afsatu was acquitted of abusing her office to give employment to Jobe & Kabia. The so-called evidence for those 2 charges are the most glaring of the deep malice behind prosecution of Afsatu Kabba. In the case of Sorie Kabia on whose behalf Afsatu Kabba was charged for allegedly having him employed as a messenger ((and/or security depending on mood of Tejan-Cole)), not a single piece of evidence was adduced in court. The Prosecution did not say a single word nor tender a single document to justify why Afsatu Kabba was charged. In the case of Abdul Malik Jobe, the Anti Corruption tendered a single document dated May 1st 2008 which was the employment letter for Malik Jobe. The Anti Corruption Act of September 2008 which makes 'Abuse of Office' into a crime, is not retroactive so even if indeed the ACC had been able to show the courts that Afsatu Kabba abused her office by the employment of Malik Jobe ((which they did not as so succinctly stated by Justice Ademusu)), she could not have been charged for an alleged crime that was not a crime at the time it was allegedly committed. So why did Abdul Tejan-Cole and Glenna Thompson charge Afsatu Kabba for Sorie Kabia and Malik Jobe? The answer is very revealing and will one day be exposed - sooner or later.

 

These donations were made by loyalists from various parts of the country and from the Diaspora including students, Bondo and Poro society men and women, Nurses, Teachers, Petty-Traders, Fishmongers and Fishermen, Religious Bodies, Social Clubs, Womens' Groups, Development Organizations, Blind Beggars, amongst others; many of whom openly confessed that the former Minister is seen by them as a very wonderful person who has helped many people in the past.

 

Madam Celia Bangura, an employee of the National Power Authority speaks as a Bondo Devil Masquerade performs

 

A Special 'White Bondo Devil' from Yonibana, Tonkolili which only comes out on special occasions for special people was showcased to loud cheers and dancing from Bondo Women present.

 

At Dan Street fund raising ceremony, the Chairman for the Fund Raising Committee Mr. Dauda Kallon thanked the donors for what he described as their gratefulness towards the convicted minister. He said despite the court decision to convict the ex-minister, what the people have done is a clear manifestation to show that Haja Afsatu Kabba is still popular and loved by the people of Sierra Leone who do not believe the judgment given by the Courts against their heroine.


Kallon said this is the first time in the history of Sierra Leone for a “so-called convict” to receive such a rousing support from Sierra Leoneans. Adding that it is of no surprise to Haja Afsatu Kabba and members of the committee as it has been said that “do good that good may follow you and do evil and evil may follow you”. Mr. Kallon furthered that Afsatu is now enjoying from the good seeds she has sowed.

 

A small cross-section of the crowd whom could find a place to set. The crowd spilled out from the park into the surrounding neighbourhood

 

Young Ladies stand in line to make their cash donations or hand over their bank slips.

The Master of Ceremony in the fundraising who also doubles as the Public Relations Officer for the Trust Fund, Mr. Aruna Kamara aka Ambush Commander who is also the newly elected President of Sierra Leone Professional Drivers Association, thanked the donors for their kind gesture. He said Haja Afsatu Kabba is a true woman of substance who treats all mankind with equality regardless of tribe, religion, status or complexity.

For the Professional Drivers’ President, as far as he was concerned, Afsatu Kabba is ‘Akon’ the famous male Senegalese music star who raises dust anywhere he visits. He showered praises on all the donors who have contributed to the collection of this amount, with special recognition to the blind beggars at the Freetown Central Mosque who out of the little they get from begging, contributed the sum of eighteen thousand Leones (Le.18,000) to the Trust Fund and also one Madam Yillah who paid out five million leones cash instantly “within the first two days of the so-called conviction”. This, Ambush Commander reiterated is a sign of true loyalty and appreciation for Haja Afsatu Kabba for which she must be hailed for.

A Nursing Sister speaks about her pride to show up at the event in order to ensure she associated herself with Afsatu Kabba

 

This supporter of Haja Afsatu Kabba took the microphone to vehemently make out her bitterness against those who plotted to bring down Afsatu Kabba

 

Fourah Bay College Student and senior Executive member of the National Union of APC Students (NUAS) speaks as he hands over the NUAS contribution to the cause

 

Afsatu supporters from all walks of life handed their little 'drops of water' that made the 'mighty ocean' which has ensured Afsatu Kabba pays the Le450million next week Monday to the Courts

 

Also present at Wednesday’s first-of-its-kind fund-raising event were the largest number of APC supporters ever seen in one place since the 2008 Local Government Elections. The Dan Street Park was jam packed to overflowing with red-clad APC members including members of the APC Students National Union. Also present were Abacha Street traders, Fishmongers, Imams and religious leaders as well as cultural side-entertainment from masked Bondo devils, some of whom came from the deep hinterlands in places as far flung and far apart as Tonkolili, Port Loko, Kambia, Makeni, Bo, Kenema, Kailahun and Bonthe.

A Freetown Councilor Alusine Conteh of the ruling APC led the crowd to sing the ruling party song and declared the convicted minister as the “People’s Minister”.

Several employees of the National Power Authority including one Madam Celia Bangura said they were proud to align with the cause to redeem their heroine and that they had spent the last three weeks in sleepless nights going all over the country and over many radio stations to appeal to the public to help them raise the required cash.

Afsatu supporters from all walks of life handed Over Bank Payment slips

 

United Handing over of Donations by teams of people

 

Afsatu supporters from all walks of life handed Over Bank Payment slips

 

A member of the Trust ended by saying that by the mammoth turn-out and the huge sum of Bank slips showed as evidence of monies being paid in, he was sure that there might even be an excess of funds raised in which case, he promised that the excess would be used to create an Educational Trust Fund.

 

Haja Afsatu Kabba herself did not attend the grand Dan Street Rally.


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

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