From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Afsatu Kabba
Is Afsatu Guilty Until Proven Innocent?
By Sylvia O. Blyden
May 12, 2010, 17:16

An essential belief in civilised societies is that a person is innocent until proven guilty but it will appear that for some malice-ridden haters, Haja Afsatu Kabba has to be guilty until she is proven innocent. Despite all the anomalies and strangeness around the manner she was investigated, charged and is being prosecuted with some procedures even being unprecedented, persons still wish to insist that she is guilty until proven innocent.

Now, they have even transferred the malice to her supporters who go to Court to witness what is supposed to be a Trial open to the Public. As if the press-bashing and brow-beating that the poor woman has sustained, is not enough, some wicked members of the press are now saying her supporters have no business going to the Law Courts to witness the trial of their heroine. If persons were so cocksure of the veracity of their allegations, they should be even happy that Haja Afsatu’s fans are going to witness as they strip her of her halo and prove her guilty.

Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) under the dynamic leadership of Mr. Umaru Fofana has been known to storm our court rooms in support of one of their own (including yours truly). On many occasions, Umaru Fofana has even rented whole buses in which he had loaded journalists to travel all the way from Freetown to far off places in the Provinces in the name of solidarity with journalist colleagues charged to court for one reason or the other.

Within the last few weeks, the Law Courts were stormed by Civil Society Activists wearing their black and yellow NEW T-Shirts in solidarity with Francess Fortune, Ngolo Katta and Joseph Lahai of National Elections Watch (NEW) when they were charged to court to face criminal charges. No-one said anything about solidarity then!

Now, Haja Afsatu Kabba gets charged to court and her APC colleagues, most of them grassroots supporters who make up the vast percentage of this country’s demographics, have gone to the Law Courts to show solidarity with her and ALL HELL HAS BROKEN LOOSE ON CERTAIN NEWS OUTLETS!

Haja Afsatu Kabba is innocent until proven guilty regardless of how the charges might be against her and for many people, charging for the hiring of a messenger provides more comic relief than anything else let alone reprehension.

I have said over and over again in this saga, until I see EVIDENCE of the guilt of this poor, maligned, defamed and wrongfully castigated woman, I am standing SOLIDLY with her. I have seen how she took on the corrupt FISH MAFIA only to be abandoned at the height of her anti-corruption crusade. Yes! I have seen how APC top-guns tried to sell the woman out but what I am yet to see, is a single scrap of evidence to justify the allegations! Nay, not one scrap! It has not helped that ACC wants the Witness Statements and Bundle of Evidence to be kept a secret! I wish they were public so we, ordinary members of the public, could know the foundation upon which the allegations are based.

So, since I am yet to see a scrap of evidence, please pardon me if I say you all attacking her without seeing a scrap of evidence to back up the allegations, belong to the category of evil souls who support the FISH MAFIA and their likes who have kept this country down in the dungeons. You are evil for maliciously attacking Haja Afsatu Kabba because you belong to that same class of persons who stood by silently and applauded when Siaka Stevens executed people only to turn around and blame Siaka Stevens after the people were dead. You are the same persons who applauded as 24 soldiers were executed during the SLPP, only to turn around and blame Pa Kabbah after the executions. You want some of us to join you as you lynch an innocent woman and when we refuse to join you, you call us names saying we are paid. Oh how pathetic some of you are.

If SLAJ can take bus-loads of journalists to ‘make some noise’ up in Kenema several times as "solidarity", I think people should allow Afsatu Kabba’s supporters to go to the courts without you name-calling them as having been paid. If you are not alleging Sylvia Blyden has been paid, it is market-women who have been paid! Shameless people!

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