Government of Sierra Leone
Ministry of Information and Communications
My attention has been drawn to a press release issued by the Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella Movement (KKYM) Media Team responding to remarks I made during the 6th July, 2017 press conference held in the Conference Room of the Ministry of Information and Communications. According to them, I had berated Dr. Yumkella for admonishing him to desist from making misrepresentations in especially some African and Western capitals that he has been ordained by President Koroma to succeed him.
Whilst I respect the right to respond as proffered by the KKY Media Team, I wish to categorically state that I stand by the remarks I made with many abundant facts at hand to corroborate my comments, including the very recent press release Dr. Yumkella issued and comments he made on one of our local radio stations. As someone who incontrovertibly believes in public debates as a way of promoting the political discourse, I hereby extend an open invitation to Dr. Yumkella to a public debate on this and other governance issues for the benefit of the public on whose behest we discuss national political issues.
|Mohamed Bangura, Govt Spokesman
To this end, in spite of the many invectives already directed at my person by the KKY Media Team and their protégés, I will restrain myself from responding in like manner. This is against the backdrop that apart from being a Government Minister, I have always espouse freedom of speech as a journalist and a strong believer in the tenets of democracy and good governance.
The public invitation to debate with Dr. Yumkella should not in any way be construed as another effort on my part to denigrate his personality, as the KKY Media Team may want the public to believe, but to further debunk any misrepresentation as him being the chosen successor by President Koroma. I am hopeful that this dialogue will promote accuracy of facts and bring in integrity in our body politic as our country marches forward to the March 7, 2018 date slated for the general elections.
8th July, 2017
Minister of Information and Communications
KANDEH KOLLEH YUMKELLA MOVEMENT (KKYM)
The KKYM views with utter contempt and dismay an act of calumny engaged in by the Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Bangura at the Government Press Briefing held at the Ministry’s Conference Room on Thursday 6th June, 2017.
In his statement, the Minster alleged that Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella had engaged in misinforming the world that President Ernest Bai Koroma has strongly promised to make him his successor. This calumny was aired on Star and AYV televisions.
|Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella (KKY)
The KKYM wishes to first of all dismiss the Minister’s allegation as false, deliberately calculated to bring the good name of Dr. Kandeh Yumkella into disrepute, and to deflect the people’s attention from the country’s dire economic state, which has left 70% of our people in abject poverty, 60% youth unemployment, 10,000 under paid and uncertified teachers, 20,000 ex-servicemen without a sustainable means of livelihood, unbridled corruption and the worst maternal and infant mortality rates in the world.
What sense does it make for Dr. Yumkella to impersonate President Koroma when under the right climate he has all it takes to win free, unfettered presidential elections. The KKYM wishes the general public to know that with the following requisite experiences that Dr Yumkella has acquired like being well travelled to more than 90 countries,is among the most influential 100 Africans in the world, a former Director General of UNIDO who had access to far more resources than most African countries, as Under Secretary of the UN (was the third highest functionary in the UN), the recipient of dozens of professional and academic awards, and as one of Africa’s foremost diplomats, he is well positioned to know that in democratic countries like Sierra Leone, it is only the people who elect a President’s successor and not the President himself.
The KKYM further wishes to inform Minister Mohamed Bangura that instead of engaging in such cheap calumny, he should rather endeavor to clear his name when he lied to Parliament under oath that he holds Bachelors and Masters degrees which to this day he has failed to produce substantive proof of.
Lastly, the KKYM calls on its numerous supporters to remain calm and focused on the Movement’s objectives, and to continue to provide Dr. Kandeh Yumkella with the relevant support he needs for the socio-political transformation of our beloved country.
THE KKYM MEDIA TEAM
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Top of Page