Former Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden has criticized the British High Commission for meddling in Sierra Leone’s politics.
The former minister fumed at the British High Commissioner, Lisa Chesney after she liked a post on social media where the Mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr declared her intention to run for a second term in office.
“It is only under this unfortunate Regime of H.E. President Julius Maada Bio that foreign diplomatic missions can forget the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” Dr. Blyden stated.
She added that the British Mission is running “completely loose” in Sierra Leone as if they were “cowboys”.
The former minister also claimed that the British High Commission convinced the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) from prosecuting Aki-Sawyerr for “egregious acts of theft and corruption” while running the Sierra Leonean capital.
She added that the ACC, under duress from the British, failed to probe the Mayor after she unlawfully opened a secret bank account “in connivance with British citizens”, which they used to loot UN Donor funds meant for the country.
Dr. Blyden said that the British also helped to veil the Mayor’s misappropriation of British Funds. She said Aki-Sawyerr used the money to construct a property on Jomo Kenyatta Road, unlawfully while she was serving as Mayor.
She claimed that the British High Commission also wrote an “intimidating letter” to Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh regarding the issue.
Dr. Blyden noted that the High Commissioner, Chesney interfered with Sierra Leone Judicial System because she was “openly siding with former President Ernest Bai Koroma and the Mayor” in matters involving the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC).
In other news, the UK Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly is in Sierra Leone to strengthen diplomatic relations and also find out more about his heritage since it is reported that he has links to Sierra Leone.
Political analysts have said that Dr. Blyden’s accusations might catch the attention of the Foreign Secretary.