Via Sheku Sheriff's Diary, some background on the politics of Sierra Leone: Miatta Kargbo Recalled to State House. Excerpt:
"Miatta Kargbo has been recalled to State House to serve in the Strategy and Policy Unit until further notice"
The above was the statement released in Sierra Leone last week, announcing the "sacking" or "recalling"of the most incompetent Health Minister in the history of post independence Africa. This sacking of course came only after mountains of pressure had been piled on Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma.
He may finally have been convinced that his health minister was the very symbol of incompetence, both in how she prepared for and how how she responded to the Ebola crisis that is now battering the small West African nation.
When Ebola entered the country from Guinea and Liberia, the health ministry was totally unprepared. There was no comprehensive strategy, the Ebola test kits that had been stockpiled were expired, the personal protective equipment -PPEs- used by the health workers were for standard precautions and totally inadequate for Ebola, and consequently the infection spread as quickly as wildfire in the harmattan.
Miatta Kargbo's dilemma could be likened to a mediocre student who has prepared studiously for junior school exams being forced to take the final year exams of a university honors program with the expectations that she will pass with flying colors. It was never bound to happen. The computer experts have a term they call it;(GIGO)- garbage in, garbage out.
Everybody, except President Koroma, knew that Miatta Kargbo was a walking disaster. How she managed to stay as Health Minister from May to August, the President will one day be forced to explain to the souls of the hundreds who have died due to the disastrous handling of the Ebola outbreak in the country. Many people, including those very close to the President have blamed the hapless minister for the poor response to the crisis.
In my honest opinion, what many of her critics fail to comprehend is that this was truly a failure of presidential leadership. Miatta Kargbo's failure was the failure of President Koroma to see that square pegs are just not meant for round holes. If you have a round hole, you look for a round peg.
President Koroma is the type of leader you need in a country which is completely disaster free, a country where the only role the ministers play is to praise the President and shower him with superficial platitudes. The only blessing that Sierra Leone has is that during country's protracted civil war, Ernest Bai Koroma was never voted for as President, as that would have been catastrophe of unimaginable proportions.
In Periods of crisis, President Koroma has proven over the years that time and again, he simply cannot rise up to the challenge of good leadership. The President's major flaw, both as a leader and a human being, is his inability to make quick decisions and his affinity for meaningless platitudes. In periods of crisis, he has sometimes asked people to engage in periods of fasting. One irate lady once said that if she had wanted a President who encouraged her to fast, she would have voted for her pastor.
I have no insights whatsoever into Sierra Leonean politics, but I note that as soon as Kargbo was replaced by Dr. Abubakar Fofana, a very adequate ministry website appeared and the daily Ebola updates became much more detailed.