…for commenting on 100 buses…
July 23, 2015 By Alusine Sesay
Majority Leader in the Sierra Leone Parliament yesterday launched a scathing tirade on Sierra Leoneans, referring to them as “idle-minded” for apparently expressing their opinions on the newly procured Chinese buses, for which a good number of members of the public have challenged the quantum of money said to have been expended in purchasing the 100 vehicles.
Hon. Ibrahim Bundu accused the Sierra Leonean public of meddling on things they know nothing about in an apparent effort to shield the Minister of Transport and Aviation of salvos being directed at him by some sections of the population, who are not convinced that the buses are worth the money being quoted by the minister to have been spent on them and other facilities.
“You know the idle mind is the workshop of the devil. Most of the minds of our people are idle and therefore saying all sorts of things against us Members of Parliament,” sputtered the lawmaker from Gbinti in the Port Loko District representing the ruling party. He continued: “They are saying we painted the buses with red and that they are not being washed.”
Hon. Bundu was contributing to a debate in Parliament on the recently procured buses that have sparked a lot of debates in the public.
The Minister of Transport and Aviation, Leonard Balogun Koroma, has been accused in many quarters of having breached procurement procedures to purchase the vehicles, and that the loan agreement to buy the buses was never presented to Parliament for scrutiny and approval.
While the public continues to raise suspicion over the cost of the buses, the Anti-Corruption Commission on Monday announced it is investigating the procurement process used to purchase them.
Minister Koroma was yesterday in Parliament to clarify the issues being raised by the public. He told MPs that he acted on the request of President Ernest Bai Koroma to procure the buses for the people of Sierra Leone.
He said he approached the Ministry of Finance to fund the process, and that he took the political leadership in the process and followed the due procedures.
Moreover, Hon. Bundu said they were not in Parliament to apologise for any mistakes or wrongdoings, noting that several mistakes had been made before with regards loan agreements and procurement but that such mistakes were rectified in Parliament.