Sierratel appallingly recently allowed Samura Kamara, APC’s standard bearer to launch the company’s new 4G product.
Their reason for doing so is that Samura was stepping in the shoe of president Koroma, who formally was invited to perform such function but did not turn up.
This, however, has seen large number of Sierra Leoneans questioning the impartiality and credibility of Sierratel as a public entity, one established on grounds of independence, which should also be completely apolitical.
It is true President Koroma, of late, has come under a barrage of criticism for allowing his APC presidential candidate, Samura performing state functions when no-longer a government official.
Samura has relinquished his position as foreign minister shortly after he was selected APC’s presidential candidate for the March 7 general elections.
Save for opponent presidential candidates, Samura’s selection has seen him frequently traveling the length and breadth of the country and on international conferences (at some moments with president Koroma) in an attempt having him marketed for vote in the coming elections.
Recently, Koroma was in Kenema, east of Sierra Leone, where incidentally he arbitrarily allowed Samura commissioned a road construction project on behalf of government.
The advent of such unending development has raised eye brows in many quarters, with the public pointing accusing fingers at the president that he has been abusing state powers by giving Samura undue advantage over other presidential candidates just like that.
They say, however, that moves by the president in propelling Samura to a vantage point could enhance his popularity and may catapult him to state house come 2018.
Reference is further drawn to the fact that an audit report on the account of Sierra Leone Government 2016, on one occasion, revealed how moneys totaling billions paid to Sierratel by Teltac Company has no supporting document.
The report claimed that: “Le8, 600,000,000 was disclosed as advances from shareholder in the financial statement for the year ended 31st December, 2014 as non-current liability.”
It was therefore recommended that Sierratel’s General Manager provides the schedule and all relevant supporting documents in connection with the amount for audit inspection as such would have helped the auditors make a much clearer audit opinion.
But the GM’s response was that the said description was inadvertently made, as it was never an advance from shareholder but from Teltac Company.
The GM further said that the only shareholder for Sierratel is the Government of Sierra Leone.
That it was discovered that the money was given by Teltac to Sierratel.
The schedule related to this amount was not submitted for audit review by Sierratel at all.
It was revealed also that there was neither share certificate nor loan agreement submitted to the auditors by Sierratel to substantiate whether the amount related to capital commitment or a loan to the company.
These and other things have seen many calling on the anti corruption to probe into the activities of management of Sierratel and bring to light issues explaining dishonesty and maladministration respectively.
Our findings are that Sierratel’s GM has been on a year contract, which unfortunately had expired but with the support of senior management officials of national privatization commission, he has had field days in the enjoyment of extended occupancy of office.