Sierra Leone: 30 September 2020:
Many Sierra Leoneans as well as international donors were appalled at the devastating misappropriation of millions of dollars meant for those dying of the Ebola virus that struck Sierra Leone in 2013/2014, as thousands perished because of lack of medical care.
An investigation conducted by the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission into the missing Ebola funds, indicted dozens of people, many of whom worked in the government as well as voluntary and private sector.
A parliamentary report recommended that all monies stolen or misappropriated from the Ebola funds must be paid back to the State.
The Commission of Inquiry established by president Julius Maada Bio to look into the management of public funds by the former government led by president Ernest Bai Koroma, also examined evidence from the Ebola case and made recommendations which were published last week, that those indicted for missing Ebola funds must pay back to the State.
One person named in last week’s commission of inquiry report and government’s White paper is Mr Charles Mambu, who is now claiming to have repaid every single penny demanded by the inquiry.
He also says that despite being told by State prosecutors that he is not a person of interest to the commission of inquiry, his name and reputation have been destroyed by the government.
This is a statement issued yesterday by Charles Mambu’s organisation – Health For All Coalition (HFAC):
“The attention of the Board of Directors and Management of Health For All Coalition (HFAC) had been drawn to the Government of Sierra Leone WHITE PAPER on the Commission Of Enquiry (COI) in which our Executive Director Mr. Charles Mambu (Photo) was mentioned as one of those persons to REFUND MONEY as earlier prescribed by the Public Account Committee in 2016.
The Board of Directors and Management wishes to make it clear to the General Public that the earlier decision by the Public Account Committee (PAC) directing that we repay the loan was appealed against through the office of the HONOURABLE SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT AND THE OFFICE OF THE ANTHONY GENERAL AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE IN 2016.
Whilst awaiting their responses then, Management was directed by the Board to effect the loan repayment and at the same time pursue the appeal on the basis of OBEY AND REPORT.
On account of this directive, Management made the first repayment of this loan to the MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND SANITATION (MOHS) by a cheque totalling the sum of Sixty Millions Nine Hundred Thousand Leones (le 60,900,000.00).
This Cheque was eventually returned by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation with a statement that it’s had received instructions from the ACCOUNTANT GENERAL DEPARTMENT that the refund should be made by swift transfer to the Treasury Main Accounts with ACCOUNT NUMBER NO. 1100501 at the Bank of Sierra Leone.
In compliance with this directive, the processes of the repayments of Loan amounting to the sum ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY MILLION NINE HUNDRED THOUSAND LEONES [160,900,000.00] was re-initiated as directed and our Bankers-FIRST INTERNATIONAL BANK [SL] LTD was directed to make the first tranche of Sixty Millions Nine Hundred Thousands (Le 60,900,000.00) through the swift transfer system as prescribed by MOHS.
Between 5th September 2016 to 2nd AUGUST 2017 respectively the complete repayment of the loan was done. Copies of Receipts of these payments were sent to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the Office of the Anthony General and that of the Honourable Speaker of Parliament.
All of these transactions took place long before the change of Government and the establishment of the COMMISSION OF ENQUIRY by the New Government of Sierra Leone.
Upon the establishment of the Commissions of Enquiry our organization was invited to explain on the status of the Loan Repayment. As Law abiding people, senior members of the organization appeared on the stated date and reported to the State Prosecutor Lawyer ROBBIN MAISON AND TEAM.
Upon presentation and examinations of all our receipts and other necessary supporting documents the State PROSECUTOR directed that Mr. Charles Mambu should NOT appear before the JUDGE as we have fully paid the LOAN as directed and that he was satisfied with the evidences presented.
In view of the above, the Board of Directors and Management considered the inclusion of the name of our Executive Director in the WHITE PAPER and its follow up actions as very unfortunate.
It is worthy to note that at every stage of this matter the rule of Law must be followed. In this light therefore, we have directed our legal representatives to present our responses and views to the HON. ATTORNEY -GENERAL AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND THE THEN STATE PROSECUTOR LAWYER ROBIN MASON and to ensure that all legal means are pursued to bring this matter to another end.
SIGNED: HFAC MANAGEMENT – DATE: 29TH SEPTEMBER, 2020
The days of impunity in the public service might be coming to an end. We look forward to the day when public accountability would be the norm, when one would need to think twice about employment in the public sector especially when your motive is to enrich yourself, when those outside of government will think twice before colluding with government officials to engage in corrupt practices. Oh how I look forward to this day.
Ha ha interesting to note. I really want to know whether Mr. Bio has the moral high ground to fight corruption in Sierra Leone? Because our memories are still fresh with regards to the following:
1: Who stole and then sold Sierra Leone passport to Hong Kong – Mr. Bio?
2: $19 million dollars that was meant for government then disappeared, and that money was fraudulently converted by Mr. Bio himself.
3:Mr. Bio was involved in a $54 million dollar failed business venture in Ghana. How / where did he get such huge amount of money?
4: Mr. Bio was also involved in a boat and helicopter racket.
5: Mr. Bio is actually not the right person to talk about corruption at all because he basically doesn’t have the moral high ground.
So the question of pretending to be clean angel in the fight against. Corruption is gimmick and hypocrisy to the highest degree. Even today under his his nose, chief minister $1.5 million dollars saga, finance minister Le140 billion Leones saga to name but a few. Corruption is alive today and kicking well in this dysfunctional useless regime.
Sierra Leone as a country is troubled. The people have gone the wrong way / direction. It’s a pity.
Edward tell me where do you get your facts, I know you guys don’t like someone who is changing the face of the country by hook or by crook. Sierra Leone will became a corruption free state. Leave him alone.
I think the president and the corruption commission white paper, have opened a pandora’s box. Corruption is the most urgent problem holding our country back. And we all agreed it needs sorting out. When you have an average and this is just an estimate on my part, of no more than one thousand members of the political classes driving rough swords over, seven million Sierra Leoneans, you have got to ask yourself where did we get it all wrong, as a country and as a nation? The main culprit is CORRUPTION. It is worst than Ebola and Covid19, Aids, Malaria, TB and whatever diseases that are out there. Every Sierra-Leonean will be a cheer leader to Bio, in his recent conversion to fight this monster that has bought us nothing but hardship and regrets; why did we entrust these corrupt individuals with power in the first place?
But in doing so the public will be watching the president with an eagle eye, so that he is not given a free pass to target just past APC government officials, but members and former members of his government from the SLPP as well. That way we know he truly believes in this battle to get rid of corruption in our system. One way he can demonstrate his commitment, is for president Bio, to order all his ministers to declare their asset before they were elected into office and after they are elected into office. They might have done it before the elections, but we have now entered the brave new world of transparency. So it will do us no harm to start all over again. If it takes five years to fight this scourge, it will translate as the best five years since independence.
The president should open up his finances and throw open the challenge to all and sundry, whether you happen to be APC or SLPP. This pandora’s box of stinking corrupt worms, should not be limited to character assassination, innuendos or supporters of the two parties throwing in their lot and acting like a lynch mob. We all have to allow the process to run it course in the law courts and the court of public opinion. I think we have to use both, given our corrupt judiciary, to ensure the accused get a fair hearing. May God grant peace to Sierra Leone.
Never Ngor Charles, the paopas are khalow khalow people, finding anything anywhere they could pass on the blame of unending leaks.