Water Ministry in conspiracy with SALWACO has been indicted for fleecing USD 3, 715, 082 (a sum totaling Le 14 billion) of Sierra Leone’s money.
In the recently published 2015 audit report, it was made mentioned that a sum totaling USD$3, 715, 082 (Le14 billion) was reportedly pocketed following alleged overpricing in the purchasing of water bowsers for use by SALWACO and Guma Valley.
It was further recommended that management of Water Ministry be investigated for fraud, as according to the report, there isn’t any adequate information for the overpricing and that the amount of UD$3,715,082 must be recovered from the Ministry and paid back to government.
It was suggested also that an amount of Le769, 172,992 unduly gained as a result of Ecobank’s selling rate instead of the central bank mid-rate, as at the time of the water bowsers’ transaction, be likewise refunded too.
And because the exposed overpricing has not been addressed by Water Ministry officials to recover the excess and pay back into the Consolidated Revenue Fund, Parliament and Anti Corruption Commission stand oblige in ensuring that persons found wanting face an obligatory criminal prosecution.
Reference is further drawn to situations in which the Water Ministry and synergizing institutions, in particular, SALWACO, as headed by Samuel Bangura, were accused of receiving millions of dollars from donors to make-do pure water for people living in the provinces, but has seen them do little or virtually nothing at all.
Some local newspapers, in late 2016, had as lead stories on their front-pages issues explaining how monies meant for the constructions of water wells (boreholes) in provincial headquarter towns by SALWACO of Samuel Bangura fleeced and pocketed just like that.
Until the exposition as in the published audit report, there have been calls by the media and civil society organizations for an unrestricted corruption investigation against officials of Water Ministry and SALWACO.
As at press time, efforts getting the head of Anti Corruption comment on the Le14 billion corruption allegations against Water Ministry proved futile.