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 Siaka Stevens

Siaka Stevens

Introduction

About

Siaka Probyn Stevens, born on August 24, 1905, in Moyamba, British Sierra Leone, rose to prominence as a political figure, serving as the leader of Sierra Leone from 1967 to 1985. He held various positions, including Prime Minister from 1967 to 1971 and President from 1971 to 1985. Stevens' leadership was marked by its authoritarian nature and allegations of corruption, which he utilized to consolidate power.


Stevens entered the political arena by co-founding the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) in 1951 and subsequently serving as Sierra Leone's first Minister of Mines, Lands, and Labor. However, disagreements within the SLPP led to his departure, and he later co-founded the People's National Party (PNP). Stevens' political journey continued as he launched the Elections Before Independence Movement (EBIM), advocating for democratic processes before independence.


In 1960, Stevens played a pivotal role in founding the All People's Congress (APC), which would become one of Sierra Leone's major political parties. Despite initial setbacks, the APC emerged victorious in the 1967 general elections, leading to Stevens' appointment as Prime Minister. However, his tenure was short-lived due to a military coup shortly after taking office.


Reassuming the role of Prime Minister in 1968, Stevens navigated Sierra Leone through constitutional changes, ultimately declaring the country a republic in 1971. He became president, wielding significant executive and legislative powers. Under his leadership, Sierra Leone experienced political turmoil, with opposition parties boycotting elections and Stevens consolidating power within the APC.


Stevens' presidency was marked by repression, corruption, and human rights abuses. He employed harsh tactics to quell dissent, including imprisonment and execution of political opponents. Economic mismanagement exacerbated poverty and instability, contributing to Sierra Leone's eventual civil war.


Despite his controversial reign, Stevens maintained diplomatic relations with both Western and communist nations, emphasizing ties with the United Kingdom while engaging with countries like North Korea and Cuba.


Retiring in 1985, Stevens exerted influence over his successor's appointment, ensuring the continuation of his political legacy. He passed away on May 29, 1988, leaving behind a mixed legacy characterized by authoritarianism and corruption, which influenced constitutional reforms limiting presidential terms in Sierra Leone.


Reference:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siaka_Stevens





Time of Birth:

Place of Birth: Moyamba, Sierra Leone

Long: 12.4352° W

Lat: 8.1621° N

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Date of Birth: August 24, 1905

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