100 buses: ACC exonerates LogusKoroma

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…but says there were procurement irregularities

December 8, 2015 By Mohamed Massaquoi

Commissioner of Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday disclosed that the commission has concluded their investigation into the controversial hire purchase of 100 buses by the Ministry of Transport and Aviation to ease the acute transportation problem in the country.

Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, while speaking at a public lecture organised by the commission at the Bank Complex in Freetown, said the commission had done proper investigation into the matter and could not proffer any charges against Minister Leonard Balogu Koroma on the grounds that he was not directly involved in the procurement process.

The ACC commissioner, however, opined that there were blatant misuse of the presidential certificate of clearance and violation of procurement procedures to hire purchase the 100 buses.

Kamara also revealed that their investigation had proved that the Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation buses will not generate the required revenue to pay the loan within four to five years.

“We have completed our investigation on the 100 buses; we found out that the ministry failed to adhere to the executive clearance, procurement procedures were also flouted at but the minister cannot be held accountable because he is not responsible for procumbent. Also, we noticed that the suppliers were already identified even before the procurement process could begin,” he said and added that it would have been appropriate for the procurement document to have been approved by Parliament before embarking on the process.

The cost of the 100 buses – US$12m – generated much public debate after they arrived in the country, with the leader and chairman of the newly registered Alliance Democratic Movement, Mohamed Kamaraimba Mansaray, insisting that total cost of the buses was US$4.5 million and not the price quoted by the government.

It remains unclear though whether anybody will ever be indicted by the ACC for the apparent bad procurement and ill advised decision to embark of the hire purchase of the 100 buses.