CRICKET:KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC):Man-of-the-Match John Campbell snatched a five-wicket haul and then smashed a cameo, unbeaten half-century as Jamaica Scorpions broke their four-game losing slump in the Regional four-day championship with a convincing nine-wicket win over Windward Islands Volcanoes here yesterday.Playing on the final day of the ninth round contest at the Arnos Vale Stadium, the 22-year-old claimed five for 106 with his part-time off-spin to send the hosts tumbling for 350 in their second innings.They resumed on 245 for four, but lost their last six wickets for 105 runs, with Campbell picking up four of the wickets to fall. Veteran left-arm spinner Nikita Miller provided support, taking four for 90.Devon Thomas (126), captain Liam Sebastien (52) and Kavem Hodge (45) led the Volcanoes’ scoring.Set 139 for victory, Scorpions raced to their target off 34.4 overs, with the left-handed Campbell pummelling a stroke-filled 83 and fellow opener Shacaya Thomas scoring 52.Campbell faced just 97 deliveries and belted six fours and four sixes, putting on 133 with the right-handed Thomas, who counted four boundaries in a 107-ball knock.He raised his half-century off just 52 deliveries, with four fours and two sixes, while Thomas was far more sedate, requiring 105 balls in nearly two hours.The victory, which brought Scorpions 19 points, was their first since the first week of December last year when they beat Leeward Islands Hurricanes.Pride winAT THE NATIONAL CRICKET CENTRE IN TRINIDAD: Barbados Pride defeated Trinidad and Tobago Red Force by seven wickets on the final day of their ninth round clash here yesterday.Scores: PRIDE 396 (Kraigg Brathwaite 123, Kevin Stoute 66, Roston Chase 59, Shai Hope 52, Omar Phillips 49; Yannick Ottley 2-10, Rayad Emrit 2-66) and 74 for three (Shai Hope 36, Kraigg Brathwaite 31). RED FORCE 226 (Kyle Hope 77, Yannick Ottley 37; Kemar Roach 4-45, Jomel Warrican 3-44) and 240 (Kyle Hope 76, Imran Khan 39, Marlon Richards 39; Jomel Warrican 5-54, Kevin Stoute 4-50).AT SIR VIVIAN RICHARDS CRICKET GROUND IN ANTIGUA: Leeward Islands Hurricanes drew with Guyana Jaguars on the final day here yesterday.Scores: HURRICANES 430 (Montcin Hodge 149 not out, Gavin Tonge 59, Kieran Powell 55, Daron Cruickshank 43, Keacy Carty 33, Orlando Peters 29; Chris Barnwell 2-68, Veerasammy Permaul 2-77). JAGUARS 190 (Shiv Chanderpaul 48, Rayon Reifer 45, Vishaul Singh 25; Gavin Tonge 4-37, Rahkeem Cornwall 3-59, Alzarri Joseph 2-34) and 222 for eight (Leon Johnson 79, Vishaul Singh 32, Shiv Chanderpaul 25 not out; Alzarri Joseph 4-71, Rahkeem Cornwall 3-34).
By Flomo JohnsonThe Liberian civil war officially concluded with the holding of general and presidential elections in October and November 2005. Over a dozen people ran for the presidency, while hundreds stood to fill the 30 senate and 64 representative seats.Mrs. Ellen Sirleaf of the Unity Party (UP) won the country’s presidency after a runoff against Mr. George Weah of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC). A motley group of individuals also got elected to the two branches of the country’s legislature.When the Sirleaf-led government was inaugurated in January 2006, many people in the country had a huge degree of hope in her leadership. This was largely due to her many years of advocacy against bad governance and her reputation as a tough leader who had little patience for graft and laziness.So Mrs. Sirleaf’s declaration that corruption will be the “major public enemy” was taken literally by many Liberians. How disappointed they are on the verge of her exit in a few months.Going on 12 Years of Extremely Governmental CorruptThat declaration of Mrs. Sirleaf, whether it was meant in good faith or not, turned out to be a clear falsehood. She has presided over one of the most corrupt governments in Liberian history. Even she has admitted that she lost the fight against corruption.Even with the glaring failures of the Sirleaf administration to make any meaningful change in the economic lives of the vast majority of Liberians, her political party and most certainly her vice president for the entirety of her presidency have put themselves in the frame to continue running the Liberian state.The Sirleaf government, with her vice president in tow, has pillaged Liberia to an extent that will take the country generations to recover from. Such a recovery will only be possible if serious measures are taken to take back some of the loot from her and the rest of her ruling establishment who are clearly culpable for their economic crime against humanity against the Liberian masses.Under the Sirleaf administration the country’s vital institutions made no perceptible progress. Health care in Liberia is probably worse off than at any other time of the country’s history. Liberia’s premiere hospital the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital is for all intents and purposes currently run as a private hospital. The reason for that hospital was both to train doctors and serve the Liberian masses not just the elite class.Just like its health counterpart, Liberia’s education system is also at its worst state perhaps in the entire history of the country. Many people graduating high school and even universities can hardly do basic math let alone compose correct or logical sentences. Liberia’s fledgling oil and gas sector was roundly pillaged by the Unity Party government under the direction of President Sirleaf’s son. The same thing happened with the sale of every natural resource that was done during their time in power.Preaching Continuity in a Land of Hunter Gatherers As a direct result of the Unity Party’s extreme corruption, Liberia’s economy has greatly suffered. The Liberian dollar has lost more than 50% of its value just over the past decade. This has correspondingly meant that the cost of living in the country has increased especially for the poorest Liberians who earn their living in Liberian dollars.The cost of food is astronomically high. There are many Liberians who can either not afford to eat more than one meal a day or no meal at all. Twelve years after the Unity Party came to power in Liberia; the basic necessities of life remain a luxury to the vast majority of Liberians. Many people do not only go to bed hungry, they just do not have the means to get food.The prices of every essential good are astronomically out of the reach of the average Liberian. This is largely due to the government’s tax policies which are geared towards catering for the welfare of Mrs. Sirleaf, Vice President Joseph Boakai, Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay, and their cronies.In a society where the average person lives the hunting gathering existence of the Stone Age, a few people in the government make huge amounts of money. What justifies a government official earning tens of thousands of dollars in a country where food is a luxury for most people?The Choice in October and November With the way the Unity Party headed by Mrs. Sirleaf, Mr. Boakai, Mr. Nuquay and others have run the country, there is no reason why they are even contenders in these elections. The Liberian people will have to make a clear choice between either continuing with them in the horrible state in which they have brought the country and embrace the continuing hardship or boot them out and replace them with one of the other contenders. It makes no sense for anyone to say that they would maintain a group that has clearly failed to run the country well because they lack an alternative. That is an argument that is borne by people who are either the beneficiaries of the system or hoping to benefit from its spoils.The current election has about a dozen people running for president. For anyone to conclude that it is better to maintain the status quo than look at the others is a measure of folly that will come back to haunt the country like the election of Mr. Charles Taylor did in 1997.If someone fails to deliver after 12 years of absolute authority, the most logical thing is to try another person. If someone is suffering from an ailment, that person would most certainly not continue going to the same doctor if that doctor’s repeated interventions fail to result in any improvement. The logical and best course of action will be for the sick person to consult with another doctor.Liberia is very sick! The people have given the Unity Party doctor nearly 12 years to find a cure. The fact that the condition continues to worsen suggests that the Unity Party doctors will have to be changed since they have clearly run out of ideas to treat the illness.The Liberian people have the option of consulting with a different doctor in October/November this year. It will serve the country best to change doctors as the current doctors who are treating its chronic illnesses have proven to be unequal to the task.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)