Christian F. Sesay Jr., Editor-in-Chief
“I tried unsuccessfully to get a simple renewal on my Sierra Leone passport with no luck. First, he said that he needed 100 dollars – but passport costs about 25 dollars. Then he said that I didn’t submit all the documentation, but didn’t tell me what. Finally, he said I need to give him another 200 dollars as bribe, even though it is illegal. This was how I lost a chance for a contract in Oman and I am deeply frustrated and upset now”, alleged Muctarr Rogers against Abdul Kargbo, Deputy Consular-General in Kenya.
For many Sierra Leoneans leaving in Kenya, the above narrative has become an all too familiar story in their personally lives because they go through constant humiliation and neglect at the covetous hands of one Abdul Kargbo, who unfortunately occupies the position of the deputy Consular-General in Kenya.
Abdul Kargbo was appointed to the position he now abuses by the Tejan Kabbah’s government. According to Sierra Leonean residing in the east African state of Kenya, Abdul has recently jumped on the APC band wagon with the hope that a win for the party will enable him to continue fraudulent acts that are inimical to the interest and progress of Sierra Leoneans in Kenya.
Young Sierra Leoneans have been left stranded in Nairobi due to the scams of Abdul Kargbo. He lures them to Nairobi with the promise of helping them obtain visas to countries like Oman, Thailand, Malaysia or Singapore. Upon their arrival in Nairobi, he starts demanding more money from them. A recent case in point was about one young man who refused to pay more money and ended up in a Kenyan police cell because his temporary stay expired. Upon calling the Deputy Consul General, the young man was told that he will rot in jail-note that the role of a country’s diplomatic mission is to help citizens of the country in another country.
This same diplomat, many Sierra Leoneans in Kenya will be quick to point out, flies the Kenya-Freetown route frequently. It is suspected that on his way back to Kenya, he goes with many passports for other Africans, Eastern Europeans, Indians and Arabs. There are certain higher level officials at the Immigration department who are believed to be involved in this deal
At a time when President Ernest Koroma and other well-meaning Sierra Leoneans are hell bent on rebranding the image of the country, the likes of Abdul Kargbo and company continues to do business as usual. He is bad business for the community of Sierra Leoneans in Kenya. His continued stay as Deputy Consular-General remains embedded in controversy since he was sent to Kenya in a manner that is said to be inappropriate in diplomatic circles.
Stay tuned for the role of Fouad Sasso, Consular-General in Kenya!