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I cringe every time Jacob Jusu Saffa speaks. The secretary general of the Sierra Leone People's Party, who doubles as the party's spokesman, has a knack for grandstanding- choosing his moments to relay negative political attacks in a style he has made all his own.

Saffa took the party's 2007 presidential and parliamentary election loss so badly; he wrote in a post-election press release that the international community connived in the "stealing of SLPP's happiness." As if that wasn't bad enough, he repeated the same charge on air in September 2007: "It's part of the international conspiracy, but they will not get away with it," Saffa said ominously. Emotive language.

Nine months on, and a few days shy of Sierra Leone's local elections, another sound bite from Saffa has made headlines: President Koroma is behaving like Zimbabwe's Mugabe, he is reported to have said. Saffa has a penchant for sound and fury.

Last week, in the weekly briefi…