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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Campaign of calumny against Moijueh Kaikai & Radio Democracy

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Campaign of calumny against Moijueh Kaikai & Radio Democracy

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Kaikai was relieved of his duty as Minister following an encounter between him and his former deputy Mustapha Bai Atilla in which the latter rained abusive languages and behaved in a riotous conduct to provoke a breach of the peace. Notwithstanding the restraint exercised by the former minister, it pleased the President that appointed the two ministers to sack them. Well, it would be premature to question the prerogative of the President since the reasons behind the sacking remain a mystery.

However, we should learn to celebrate heroes in Sierra Leone while they are still alive. In my personal view, which is from an investigative and informed perspective, Moijueh Kaikai is one of such heroes that should be celebrated in Sierra Leone. That does not in any way makes him an angel. As all humans, especially Sierra Leoneans, he has his excesses.

Any campaign of calumny however, against this fine gentleman, at a time like this, when he has already been punished enough for unclear reasons, would be tantamount to sin and should be vehemently rejected.

A self-styled journalist claiming to operate a newspaper that has never published either a hard copy or online this week staged a press conference with the aid of his handlers primarily to cast aspersions on the integrity of a man that has succeeded in changing the face of the Social Welfare Ministry within a short period of time.

With no scrap of evidence, the journalist made wild allegations of abuse of office against the ex-minister ranging from including names of journalists in a list to attend an international conference without following due process to misappropriation of flood victims’ fund.

To start with the inclusion of the names of some three accredited journalists into the list of people to attend the conference, the journalist failed to answer the question as to whether or not the three members of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) have business to attend the conference and/or have right to receive accreditation from the ministry. Well, as an opportunity to set the records straight without holding briefs for the three journalists of Radio Democracy and the sacked minister, the answers to the two questions are in the affirmative. There is nothing absolutely wrong for the journalists to travel under the accreditation of the ministry for the international conference under review. Firstly, the conference provides an open opportunity for all journalists reporting of gender and other related issues to attend, but with accreditation from the ministry following an application from the journalists. However, the travelling expenses of these journalists are not paid by the ministry but by the journalists themselves and those wishing to sponsor their trips, according to findings. Again, there was nothing wrong for the name of Khadija Bangura, a staff of Radio Democracy, to be included on the delegation list as a journalist attached to the ministry. Who says she needed to go through the Ministry of Information and Communications to be attached to the Ministry of Social Welfare? Is she working for the government or for a private media institution? All she needed was to be assigned by her institution as the radio staff attached to that particular ministry; simple and straight forward. Questions abound as to why would somebody claiming to be a journalist be in such a rush and exciting mood to attack colleague journalists on unjustifiable grounds. Well, in a country where journalists and politicians dine together and speak the same language, this should not come as a surprise.

Did the journalist really bothered to ask questions as to which institution was actually in charge of handling flood victims’ fund before rushing to accuse the ex-minister of chopping such money? Of course he also failed to search for facts indicating that the flood victims’ money that was handed over to the ministry for distribution to a certain number of victims was transparently and accordingly distributed.

And on the issue of a vehicle the journalist insinuated had been transformed to the personal property of the minister, a simple attempt to crosscheck would have educated the journalist that Moijueh never used any other government or donor vehicle in the Ministry of Social Welfare, with the exception of his official government minister’s vehicle, which he handed over to the Permanent Secretary, in good shape, within thirty minutes after he was sacked.

This wicked attack on the ex-minister has forced some of us to now investigate and let the public know about his legacy in the ministry and the public will judge after such publications as to whether or not Moijueh is a devil.

 

In the meantime, let me advise the young self-styled journalist to let Moijueh and the Radio Democracy staff be, until he has justifiable grounds to name and shame them. 

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