Sierra Leone Telegraph: 25 August 2016
Two ministry of social welfare personnel are now at the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), helping with investigations regarding an alleged corruption syndicate involving senior public officials, uncovered at the ministry.
Sources at the ACC have this afternoon confirmed that they are both persons of interest. One of whom is the permanent secretary of the ministry – Mr Momo Bockarie Foh – the younger brother of the country’s vice president Victor Bockarie Foh.
It is understood that the other individual in ACC custody, is the chief accountant of the ministry – Mariatu Harding.
Yesterday, the permanent secretary at the ministry of social welfare in Sierra Leone, was caught red-handed attempting to withdraw thousands of dollars from an account held at the commercial bank in Freetown.
The scam was exposed in a secretly recorded audio conversation sent to the Sierra Leone Telegraph yesterday.
Sierra Leone’s ministry of social welfare is believed to be one of the most corrupt and chaotic ministries in the country, which the former editor of Awareness Times newspaper and now minister in charge of the embattled ministry – Dr. Sylvia Blyden was appointed early this year by president Koroma to bring under control.
But there are massive structural and administrative problems crippling her efforts.
More that 70% of Sierra Leone’s GDP or wealth created in the country, is consumed by the country’s public sector, with very little finding its way into the private sector for investment and job creation.
This cannot be good for tackling poverty in a country that is classed as one of the poorest in the world.
With most of the country’s GDP which is estimated at $4 billion, supporting the payment of public sector wages and salaries, the delivery of essential services and the running of government, opportunity for corruption and misappropriation of funds is astronomical.
Analysts say that yesterday’s corruption scam exposed at the ministry of social welfare is just the tip of the iceberg.