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Page added on December 16, 2011
The signs are beginning to show that this year’s Christmas which by God’s grace had always been a joyous occasion the world over would this time around be a somber moment in the Republic of Sierra Leone.
The indicators are clearly visible. They appear on the faces of many Sierra Leoneans; they are visible in many homes; they are reflected in the purchasing power of ordinary people. The signs are on the streets and in the offices and business places. They are all over the place.
Of course, it is not going to be the usual merry Christmas when children walk and play, when young men and women swank and swagger and when the aged romances with the glorious past.
This Christmas will come with a difference: full of despair and despondence!
Barely a week to the D- day, not many Sierra Leoneans are sure of a decent meal on that day. The reasons are many and varied: business is running low; salaries for government workers have not been paid even for November, so the prospect of expecting December salaries is very, very slim. It is nil, in fact!
Even for private sector workers it is not all that rosy. The day might be as gloomy as the rest of the non-income earning population.
The fact of the matter is that things are generally difficult for the ordinary man. Today, it has become a very difficult task to make ends meet. The high cost of living occasioned by the spiral cost of basic commodities has intensified poverty among many family members.
To add salt to injury, we have just heard from an unofficial source that the vaults at the Central Bank, the nation’s bank, are virtually empty which is why government is finding it difficult to pay salaries for November as well as December.
Other sources say government is waiting for royalties from London Mining and African Minerals after their first shipment of our minerals early next year to replenish their depleting vaults at the bank.
True or not, the fact remains that the APC Government is walking on tight ropes. No money, no salary but more frustration. This is too bad for Father Christmas!
Sadly though, what used to be a joyous Christmas and a happy New Year is turning out to be an occasion full of pain and tears. This is no exaggeration. The only exception is the rich and highly placed people in society. Even these are few in number compared to the vast majority of sufferers roaming the streets which is not of their making. The people have been conditioned by the economic realities during these four years of APC rule.
Yes, this will be a Christmas with a difference. Hunger and despair will dominate.
It is predictable!
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