July 3, 2017 Joesph M.Koroma
Former Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to China, Joseph M.Koromah, has reacted to a front page story carried by Concord Times’ Friday (30 June 2017) publication, in which it claimed that the former was battling with community members along Spur Loop over a plot of land allotted for the construction of access road connecting the entire community.
In his reaction, former Ambasador Joseph M.Koroma stated that all what was told to Concord Times and published on Friday, was a calculated ploy by the source to tarnish his hard earned character, stating that the construction of access road for which his perimeter fence was partly destroyed by Dr.Brian Conton, was not for the community but for individual interest.
“No community wanted access road. The access road was being constructed for Brian who hired a contractor to do the work. He demolished part of my fence and destroyed the pipe that supplied water to my house, which is occupied by the World Bank Country Manager. The diplomat has gone 8 weeks without accessing water from Guma Valley. I have taken Brian Conton to the Lumley Police for malicious damage and the matter would be charged to court,” he said.
Meanwhile, a letter from the former Ambassador’s neighbour, Dr .S.C. Spencer, dated 10th April, 2017, had authorised Dr.Brian Conton to take leadership in constructing access road for the community.
According to Concord Times investigations, the said authorisation emanated from an approval letter written and signed by the Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands, T.R Gbetewa, but the said approval has created some controversies to the extent that the minister has denied knowledge of its content.
Ambassador Koroma charged that documents which had earlier claimed that the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment and the Ministry of Works, Housing and Infrastructure, granted a 15ft State land for the community to construct access road, was totally false and that the ministry of lands was misled into believing that the community wanted access road.
“I have just spoken with the Minister of Lands, Diana Konomanyi. She is very much concerned and furious about the issue and had promised to take appropriate action. She had told me that the said documents were authored by the Permanent Secretary without her knowledge,” he said.
Although Concord Times could not reach the minister for her comment, but a telephone conversation between the two-Joseph Koroma and Diana Konomanyi proved that the latter was not a party to the said approval from her ministry.
“This is what happens when I am out of the office,” she told the former ambassador via watsaap chat.
While community members had claimed that the erstwhile ambassador had insisted that the community should not construct access road close to his house, he noted that there was no demarcation which indicates the construction of access road close to his house.
Also, it was claimed that the Ministry of Lands conducted a site inspection and recommended that there was need for access road to be constructed for community members to have easy access to their different homes, but Concord Times observations in the community and interviews with some residents proved otherwise.
“Officials from the Ministry of Lands never visited the community to ascertain their findings. They would have not taken such decision if they had visited the community,” said a security guard attached to the residence of the Deputy SCOP at State House, who preferred anonymity.
It was also observed that the perimeter fence of the Deputy SCOP of State House, Philip Kargbo, was destroyed by Dr.Brian Conton, to the annoyance of the former.