From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

COMMENTS & OPINIONS
That Foolish American Embassy Cable From Sierra Leone!
By Sylvia Olayinka Blyden
Dec 8, 2010, 14:26

As a free-thinking African and a patriotic citizen, I simply cannot stay quiet over this issue. This is going to be one of those rare times when I am going to defend the President; this time from the machinations of foreign diplomats with hidden agenda. I am talking about the now topical leaked US Embassy Secret Cables which claims President Koroma interfered with the police investigation of 2008 cocaine plane landing and insinuates that Kemoh Sesay was made Transport Minister solely because he was to organise cocaine plane landings.

Now, let me first recall the day I was introduced to the current sitting President, Ernest Bai Koroma. It was in August 2004 whilst I was recovering from a plane crash and Hon. Ibrahim Bundu (a long-time brotherly friend of mine) brought Hon. Ernest Koroma over to my private hospital room. At the time, the SLPP Government’s Transport Minister Prince Harding had pretended as if no air disaster had occurred in Sierra Leone causing much dissatisfaction amongst us hospitalised passengers.

The then Opposition Leader Hon. Ernest Koroma was introduced to me for the very first time in my life. I should here note that although I was Young Peoples Party (YPP) National Leader during the 2002 Elections, seeing I was only 30 years old and ineligible for the Presidency, I did not interact much with the 2002 Presidential contestants like Ernest Koroma. It was mostly Cornelius Deveaux who was back then my YPP Chairman (he is currently APC Newspaper Editor) who had been relating to the APC Leader. So, even though I was the 2002 YPP Leader, I had never met Ernest Koroma.

Anyway, my point for today is that after being introduced to me by Hon. Ibrahim Bundu, Ernest Koroma listened to the plight of myself and my fellow passengers and he had then showed tremendous concern and he was to whip out his Celtel phone and right in front of me, he telephoned someone named Hon. Kemoh Sesay, his fellow APC parliamentarian at the time, to urgently come over to meet him at the hospital. Indeed, Hon. Kemoh Sesay arrived at the hospital within minutes and seeing that was the first time of me also meeting Kemoh Sesay, it was Hon. Ernest Koroma who formally introduced me to Hon. Kemoh Sesay.

Now, I still recall VERY CLEARLY how Hon. Ernest Koroma had introduced Hon. Kemoh Sesay to me. Hon. Ernest Koroma told me that Kemoh Sesay was, in the words of Koroma, “my Shadow Minister of Transport & Communications”.

Following the introduction, Hon. Ernest Koroma said he would be monitoring our condition at the hospital but he gave instructions, again right in front of me, to Hon. Kemoh Sesay to wit: that Kemoh Sesay, as APC’s Shadow Minister of Transport, was now in charge of ensuring that the affected passengers got justice from the airline seeing that the then SLPP Transport Minister Prince Harding had been lackadaisical to our plight.

So, when I was yesterday shown a copy of the Glenn Fedzer authored SECRET UNITED STATES EMBASSY CABLE which was leaked late on Monday night by Wikileaks website, I shook my head in total disgust at how some of these terrible diplomats are filing secret coded reports full of rubbish against Sierra Leonean citizens.

Whilst I have made a decision in the interest of national security and other considerations, not to publicise the contents of the United Nations Coded Cables against certain Sierra Leone citizens that were recently leaked to me, I will produce this US Embassy Secret Cables today since it is already well publicised over the BBC for people to see how malicious some of these diplomats can be to the extent of twisting facts and coming up with flawed Opinions with which they use to mislead their handlers back home.

It is amazing to learn that Glenn Fedzer pretended as if the U.S. Embassy never knew that Kemoh Sesay had been Ernest Koroma’s Shadow Minister of Transport (and thus the possible automatic choice to be made Transport Minister when Koroma won the elections)

If Kemoh Sesay was already Shadow Transport Minister as far back as 2004, then how will any logical person arrive at the conclusion that Ernest Koroma only made him Transport Minister in 2007 in order to coordinate cocaine transportation? See how distorted Glenn Fedzer’s logic is? Or even more sinister, it could be that Glenn Fedzer actually knows that Kemoh Sesay was Shadow Transport Minister but suppressed that fact from his report in order to give his desired impression of President Ernest Koroma placing Kemoh Sesay as Transport Minister to coordinate cocaine business. Sinister!

But perhaps the most amazing nonsense of the entire piece of Glenn Fedzer’s secret cable as leaked by Wikileaks on Monday 6th December 2010 is Glenn Fedzer writing his malicious lie that Kemoh Sesay used to be a member of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and that in 1996, Kemoh Sesay won a seat as an SLPP parliamentarian before he switched allegiance to the APC by the 2002 Elections. The truth is that Kemoh Sesay has never been a member of the SLPP. So, to my mind, the intent of Glenn Fedzer might have been to ensure that SLPP gets some of the cocaine stain by saying Kemoh Sesay was an SLPP Parliamentarian...

The way I see how certain games are being played in the diplomatic corridors concerning Sierra Leone, APC and SLPP should be thoroughly sullied and stained so that only parties like for example, the Movement for Progress (MOP) party of Zainab Bangura will be left stainless and looking good.

Kemoh Sesay has never been a member of the SLPP and such erroneous assertions being made with cocksure arrogance by Glenn Fedzer leaves a lot to be desired from the US Embassy here. At any rate, I have repeatedly stated that the calibre of diplomats who have manned the US Embassy in Freetown over the past few years, are a sorry lot. When I recall the kind of seasoned US Embassy diplomats of earlier years who used to come to this country, I only shake my head now to see the characters like the now exited Dana Van Brandt & Glenn Fedzer. These so-called diplomats are a disgrace to the USA.

Finally, I wonder whose name(s) have been inked out with XXXXXXXXX in the document. Going by the loads of SECRET U.N. CABLES currently leaked to me and now in my possession, safely stored at a secured location, I have a very, very fair idea of whom is the person whose identity has been XXX out by Wikileaks before publication. The suspect is an utterly pathetic case and the sooner this country realises how much that female C.I.A. spy has destroyed good people with the rubbish she transmits to her handlers, the better. Nuff said!

Meanwhile, in this edition is the full text of the factually flawed Secret Cable authored by Glenn Fedzer against President Koroma but which has now been published worldwide by very credible international newspapers & the BBC who have culled it from Wikileaks website. However, what the news outlets might not realise is that the contents are badly flawed!

If even we leave aside the point that Glenn Fedzer is ignorant of the fact that Kemoh Sesay was Ernest Koroma’s Shadow Transport Minister when Ernest Koroma was the Opposition Leader, if Glenn Fedzer can write with confidence, his utter rubbish that Kemoh Sesay used to be a member of the ruling SLPP Government from 1996 to 2002, then can we even believe anything else inside that so-called Diplomatic Dispatch such as the unproven allegation that it was President Koroma who stopped the police from arresting Kemoh Sesay? And can we give any credence to the wicked innuendo that President Koroma deployed Kemoh Sesay to Transport Ministry to coordinate cocaine smuggling?

Finally, for those who wish to know the facts and to set the records straight, Hon. Kemoh Sesay, like Hon. Alpha Kanu and Haja Afsatu Kabba all came into politics in 1996 under the banner of the PDP-Sorbeh party. In 1996, Hon. Kemoh Sesay was elected into Parliament as a PDP-Sorbeh member and he has NEVER been an SLPP member. I only wish the U.S. Embassy will now correct the erroneous Cable contents. But even if they correct it, the shame and disgrace of it all will cloud the integrity of American Embassy diplomats as their Charge D’Affaires has been proven to be nothing other than a twister of facts. What a shame! What a shameful US Embassy Secret Cable! What a disgrace! What a big shame!


Secret Cable from US Embassy in Freetown

Dated August 6th 2008 and authored by Glenn Fedzer (Charge D’Affaires)

 

S E C R E T FREETOWN 000389

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/W (JHUNTER), INL/AAE (SSNYDER)

EO 12958 DECL: 08/06/2018

TAGS SNAR, PREL, PGOV, PINR, SL

 

SUBJECT: COCAINE BUST: MINISTER OF TRANSPORTATION SACKED,

DEA PARTICIPATION ACCEPTED

 

REF: A. FREETOWN 336  B. FREETOWN

 

Classified By: CDA Glenn Fedzer for reasons 1.4(b/d)

 

¶1. (S) Summary: Transportation and Aviation Minister Ibrahim Kemoh Sesay was relieved of his duties August 4, pending the conclusion of the cocaine trafficking investigation. Sesay has vehemently proclaimed his innocence since the bust, despite a close family connection to one of the accused. XXXXXXXXXXXX Sesay was questioned by the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) August 5, but the SLP had orders from the President to neither charge nor detain him. This runs counter to Koroma’s public and private statements which have said he will hold anyone connected to the cocaine bust accountable, regardless of their connections. Also, following an Embassy offer August 1, the GoSL has accepted and offer for DEA to assistance in the investigation, and possible help with the deportation of the accused. End Summary.

 

Minister Fired

———————

¶2. (SBU) The repercussions of the July 13 cocaine bust at Lungi Airport (reftel A) continue to be felt, with Minister of Transportation and Aviation Ibrahim Kemoh Sesay relieved of his duties August 4. According to a State House press statement, this action was taken to facilitate the investigation and provide “unfettered access to everyone and everywhere the investigations demand.” Sesay stated in a radio interview August 5 that he “expects to land on his feet” following the conclusion of the investigation, inferring that he will resume his ministerial duties at that time.

¶3. (SBU) Sesay’s removal from power is not a surprise. Media reports have called for his resignation since the bust, in large part due to the arrest of his cousin (Note: Media reports refer to them as brothers, but this reflects the African tradition of brotherhood that extends beyond immediate family. End note), Mohamed Sesay. The media have reflected the public sentiment that, at the very least, the close familial relationship between the two makes it hard for the Minister to be impartial during the investigation. Kemoh Sesay has frequently declared his innocence and willingness to allow the investigation to occur without influence or interference.

¶4. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX  XXXXXXXXXXXX  the President directly ordered SLP senior officers to refrain from arresting Kemoh Sesay. Instead, he was brought in for questioning and released on August 5, with subsequent questioning expected August 6. The SLP intend to convince the President to sanction his arrest, and in the meantime have Kemoh Sesay under constant surveillance. Since he is considered a flight risk, warnings were sent out to all exit points, including the airport. Despite these measures, known corruption at the borders makes it nearly impossible to prevent escape.

¶5. (C) The Sesay “brothers” are APC stalwarts with close ties to the President. Kemoh Sesay was originally elected as a Member of Parliament in 1996 as an SLPP party member, but switched allegiances to the APC during the 2002 elections. He was elected MP in the Port Loko District in 2007 and resigned this position to become Minister. Mohamed Sesay, not considered competent or educated enough to be a politician, was one of the key financial backers of the 2007 Presidential campaign. His contributions during the election, according to rumor, earned the ministerial position for Kemoh Sesay and the Manager position of the national football team for himself. If the allegations are true, these positions were strategically selected and likely used to facilitate narcotics trafficking beyond this particular case.

 

DEA Help Accepted

————————

¶6. (S) Following an official USG offer made by diplomatic note on 1 August, the GoSL accepted DEA assistance and held a joint DEA-GoSL meeting August 6, chaired by Office of National Security General Kellie Conte. Conte and GoSL officials made clear their fear that the traffickers could

corrupt lover-level judiciary and police officials, and hoped that the DEA could indict and remove the traffickers from Sierra Leone as quickly as possible. The attendees at the meeting also agreed that an additional DEA agent fluent in Spanish should be sent to Sierra Leone immediately. Post will report further developments regarding DEA participation septel.

¶7. (S) Comment: XXXXXXXXXXXX  XXXXXXXXXXXX  His stance on Kemoh Sesay’s possible arrest contradicts previously reported information that he intends to see any guilty party brought to justice, regardless of their personal or professional connections. This is an unwelcome development, particularly given the importance of Koroma’s personal integrity and commitment to rule of law in encouraging greater investor and donor confidence. On the other hand, DEA involvement, particularly if it results in the removal of traffickers from Sierra Leone quickly, helps the President retain his government’s reputation and commitment to the rule of law—before the traffickers use their resources to bribe their way past prison and police officials who make only few dollars a day. End comment.

/ FEDZER



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