On Sunday, July 22, the Sierra Leone Daily Mail’s Christian Sesay confronted Mr. Mark Heiligman to clear the innocent name of President Ernest Bai Koroma from what appeared to be a devastating article which was written based on sheer and naïve assumptions of the presidency in Sierra Leone.
President Ernest Bai Koroma, who many of us believe to be the contemporary transformational leader that this generation in Sierra Leone hankered, will never stoop so low in wishy-washy dealings. After 90 minutes of intense grilling, Mark Heiligman was forced to retract the implication of the president in his story. He had this to say and with utmost sincerity, “I made a mistake and I will apologize to the people of Sierra Leone for wrongfully implicating the president. I only assumed that because Sam Sumana is the Vice President, the president should know more about him but I was wrong to think that way”
MARK HEILIGMAN AND HIS WIFE SUSAN
Mark Heiligman, who claimed to be the business partner and friend of the Vice-President, indicated that based on his impression of President Ernest Bai Koroma, “he appears to be a statesman-like leader who is loved by all in the country”. He went on further to state that he (Mark) is a business man who is only focused on doing his business and not to be involved in anyone’s politics.
When quizzed about the underlining political motive of this letter, Mark declared that he has no intention in swaying election results in Sierra Leone and according to reports he heard about the political climate in Sierra Leone, the opposition leader is weak and no-good. In Mark’s own words, “I was made to understand that the military guy who is running against the president is a terrible man who has done nothing for his own people but to kill and steal. So I will never work with men like those who have no sympathy for their own people”.
When asked why it took this long to come out the way he did for his money, Mark intimated to that he thought that they were going to get their money back quietly and that there would have been no need for all this mess. Based on promises, I was waited patiently for my money. When asked this question: Do you think you will get your money by falsely implicating someone else, Mark replied again “My implications were based on the premise of false assumptions on the operation of government in Sierra Leone. The president sounded like a great guy and I have said this to everyone that I have spoken to. What I said about the president was not true…it was only said out of frustration to get my money back”.
“I made a mistake in judgement”, he concluded, “and I am sorry”.