''All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing'' - Edmund Burke


S I E R R A  H E R A L D

Vol XI No 8

The tendency sometimes to protect perpetrators for the sake of peace...doesn't help society. Impunity should not be allowed to stand. - Kofi Annan on Waki report

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Sunday February 15, 2015 - It is another Sunday and all who fear and believe in the powers of the Good Lord would be singing His praises, praying that all those who made money, all those who gained/benefited from the death and suffering of thousands of Sierra Leoneans would get their just due.Sierra Leone's Auditor-General Mrs Lara Taylor-Pearce

We had stated it all along - that the uncaring rat and his cabal were in the fight against the dreaded and deadly Ebola Virus Disease for one and only one thing - making money from the suffering masses. They never cared about the misery of Sierra Leoneans. They never really cared about the many suffering families affected by the ravaging disease.

They never cared about the many health care workers including cleaners, drivers, nurses and doctors who perished in the frontlines as they threw everything they had to try and combat and possibly halt the rampaging disease that was claiming and continues to claim the lives of many Sierra Leoneans in towns, communities and families.

All the uncaring beasts of no nation were interested in was - how much money they could make out of the suffering and death that is a hallmark of the Ebola Virus Disease.

Now we know that we were correct all along. That the thieving cabal headed by the rat had been busy making as much as they can from the nation's tragedy and not caring about all those people who lost their lives including children, women, the aged, the infirm and the helpless - mainly the poor who could not afford even clean water for drinking, not to talk about enjoying the bottled imported water that is always present on the table of the rat and his accomplices as they held meetings with the unsuspecting people of Sierra Leone.

The new audit report of the Auditor General titled "Report on the Audit of the Management of the Ebola Funds" has confirmed what we had suspected and many knew all along. That the rat and his accomplices would not think twice about walking on the corpses of the Ebola dead to grease their filthy pockets, increase their bank accounts and show off their blood-dripped wealth to shameless admirers who feed deep on corruption, rot and filthy lucre.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg or as somebody put it - we are just seeing the nostrils of the hippo of corruption with the main activities controlled by the rat himself yet to emerge and we do hope that the tax payers of the Western countries especially those in EU countries and the United States would now sit up and take a good look at the ogre they had been dealing with parading himself as the President of our rich but extremely poor country - Sierra Leone.

Here's a part of what the Auditor General states in the introduction to the report:

"The Ministry of Health and Sanitation being one of the key ministries with a large share of the National Expenditure Budget, has been classified as a priority audit for the Audit Service Sierra Leone. Over the years, we have identified a number of weaknesses and made an equal number of recommendations to improve service delivery by the Ministry. For instance, for the financial years 2010 to 2012 inclusive, we made a total of 76 recommendations to the Ministry, but only 26 (i.e 34%) were implemented.

Although the current Ebola Virus Disease outbreak could not have been predicted, the weaknesses exposed in the healthcare system have been consistently reported on in our audit reports over the years. The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa started in the Republic of Guinea, then it spread to Liberia. In May 2014 Sierra Leone reported its first case.

In Sierra Leone, according to the National Ebola Response Centre, over eight thousand have been infected and over two thousand nine hundred have died of the Ebola virus. Since the outbreak and for the period to October 2014, the government has expended in excess of Le84 billion. These were funds donated by institutions and individuals mostly within Sierra Leone and from tax revenues. The funds have been spent on personal protective equipment, medical sup-plies, consumables and incentive (hazard) payments to healthcare workers. In order to ensure that these funds have been judiciously accounted for, there has been the need to audit the use of these funds.

It is clear from our audit conducted that there continue to be lapses in the financial management system in Sierra Leone and these have ultimately resulted in the loss of funds and a reduction in the quality of service delivery in the health sector. It is worth noting that donor funds channeled through implementing agencies such as the UN and INGOs are not covered in this report. We are yet to receive information on the quantum of monies received and how they have been expended for the purpose of supporting the response to eradicate the EVD."

There you have it. The Auditor General has not received figures relating to amounts received from the international community, governments as well as international NGOs who sped to our aid as the Ebola Virus Disease resisted the intitial uncordinated, rudderless and outright mediocre response designed and implemented by the rat and his cabal - nor do we know how much the rat collected on behalf of the suffering people of our once beautiful country.

We continue to insist that given what we now know, it would not be too far fetched to assume that deliberate efforts were made by the rat and his cabal for the disease to take hold in the hope that Sierra Leone would attract the sympathy and hence funds for combating the disease.

If this had not been the master plan of the rat and his thieving cabal, every effort would have been made to secure our borders as the disease ravaged neighbouring Guinea. Now we know why, despite our hard look at the situation, the beast of a President ordered that all suspected cases be transported hundreds of miles on terribly maintained roads to Kailahun and Kenema where the intial treatment centres were hurriedly set up with health workers including doctors putting their lives at risk - and dying in the attempt to stave off the wily killer.

It was in such a situation that the rat and his cabal thought it fit to reap whatever benefits they can from the decomposing bodies of the dead, the dying as well as the gravely ill. It was a situation that brought out, according to this part report, the awful horror that passes for a government where security forces, apart from having their own separate expenditure were also on the payment vouchers of the awful rot that is the Ministry of Health. In a chapter headed "Summary of Significant Findings" it is stated among other things that -

"There were inadequate controls over the disbursement of funds. For instance, payments which exceeded Le14 billion were made from the Emergency Health Response and Miscellaneous Accounts without any supporting documents to substantiate the utilisation of such funds.

Further payments which exceeded Le11billion were made from the same accounts without adequate supporting documents such as receipts, invoices, delivery notes, etc. In the absence of a well coordinated sensitisation plan to raise awareness on Ebola and its prevention, the auditors observed an overwhelming number of requests from various individuals, Non-Governmental Organisations, parliamentarians etc, for sensitisation activities to be carried out in different parts of the country.

The audit team found that payments were made to the Member of Parliament (MP) for constituency 93 in Goderich to carry out sensitisation activities even though an amount had earlier been paid to all seating members of parliament for similar activities. Furthermore, an amount of Le161 million was given as loan to Health For All Coalition (HFAC) for scaling up of the response to the Ebola fight. Of utmost concern was the fact that the total loaned amount was made in the name of Charles Mambu instead of HFAC, the organisation which he represents. In addition, the loan was not documented and the repayment terms were not agreed between the ministry and HFAC."

Take a look at a part of the report on the cesspit that is the main referral hospital in the capital Freetown - the Connaught Hospital in front of which we saw a picture that depicts the state of Sierra Leone's health delivery system with pigs - piglets and lactating sows at the entrance of a once-pristine and fit for purpose establishment.

"...a spot review of incentive payments at the Connaught Hospital revealed that the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces and the Sierra Leone Police security personnel were included on the list of workers to receive hazard payment even though funds had been transferred to both forces to meet the deployment of their officers. Procurement procedures were not followed for a number of contracts undertaken by the Ministry.

There was a complete disregard for the law on public procurement in an emergency situation.

For instance, contracts were entered into without any clear guidelines on the specification of items required. Furthermore, contracts were badly drawn up as if to allow for additional costs to be incurred thereby preventing a transparent, competitive and cost effective procurement. For instance, the contract in respect of the purchase of 20 ambulances for a contract sum of US$1,050,000 was inappropriately entered into as specific areas relating to the inspection, transportation and delivery of the ambulances were excluded in the Special Conditions of the contract.

Consequently, additional costs of $60,590 and Le39,330,000 were incurred in respect of air freight, daily subsistence allowance and airfare for the ambulances bought by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation. In addition, contracts worth over Le1billion in respect of food for quarantined homes were awarded to various suppliers without regard to the provisions of the procurement regulation in relation to procurement in an emergency. The Ministry failed to produce any documentation for contract agreements that amounted to Le17billion (including Le12.7 billion for the purchase of 50 vehicles and ambulances, Le2.7billion for the construction of the Port Loko Treatment Centre)."

The thieving and dishonest nature of contracts have again been highlighted showing the rat and his cabal's utter contempt for the Auditor General's report and we would not be surprised to learn that the rat had a hand in every contract which could well have been given out to relations, associates and party members as their own cut of the rampant thieving opportunity presented by the fight to contain the killer disease.

It was during these trying times that another arch enemy of the people Information minister Kanu had stories written about him setting up a holding and treatment centre in Port Loko. For weeks on end pictures were shown of the outside of a renovated school building. No picture was shown of the interior indicating that the man was engaged in the smoke and mirrors tactics of his boss - the great Satan and thief at State House. It was the same thing passing for a human being who at the height of the crisis was reported as having set up a charity Alfaka in preparation for harvesting more blood money from the dead, dying and dispossessed.

Remember what the rat is reported to have said at one meeting in Freetown? Let's take you to the pages of the Spectator news outlet -

"President Ernest Bai Koroma is reported to have intimated that there are people – probably his Government officials and other stakeholders in whom he had relied upon to contain the epidemic to his expectation – who are working and acting to ensure that the Ebola crisis does not come to an end because they are benefiting in the process. The President accused surveillance officials of falsifying numbers at times, saying that Ebola money is blood money and whoever thinks that they would become rich over the calamities of others in this crisis will be making a terrible mistake.

The President is reported to have made the statement at the Kingtom Bank Complex in Freetown last week, pointing out that there were some people who also had the same disposition during the war by desiring a prolongation of the programme because they were benefiting from it, whilst he stated in the last State Opening of Parliament that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) would pursue those who are involved in corruptly making funds meant to fight Ebola."

On this Sunday, February 15, 2015 - we pray that the Good Lord as the Great Judge will punish all those who stole funds meant for the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease. Now we know why Pallor Conteh was made head of the Ebola Response Centre, now we know why, despite reports of the Auditor General, the thieving rat has never used his executive powers to punish thieves - (he's one of them.)

Now we know why he could use the state of emergency powers to lock up journalists he is displeased with, locks up people in Kono but fails to use the same powers to bring to book all those mentioned in the latest report.

Yearning for the mother country?

The right choice is Kevin McPhilips Travel

©Sierra Herald 2002