August 19, 2019
By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
Justice Biobele Abraham Georgewill, one of the judges presiding at the on-going Commission of Inquiry, has cautioned employees of the Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO) to be faithful in the discharge of their services to the people of Sierra Leone.
The Judge was on Wednesday August 14th speaking after the testimony of one Edward Jah Tobby, who introduced himself as Engineer at SALWACO.
According to the testimony of the witness, he was supposed to drill boreholes at the then Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and installed 2 five thousand liters of water tanks.
On the contrary, the Auditor General’s report notes that the witness only installed two water tanks with each holding two thousand liters, and that he neither filed a report to the ministry nor SLWACO to indicate reasons he had failed to install the five thousand liters water tanks.
According to Justice Georgewill, those things are seen minor but that they have negative infect on the country, noting that such is happening every day in different institutions across the country.
In his testimony, Edward Jah Tobby said he works for SLWACO as an Engineer and that his responsibility is to supervise the drilling of boreholes.
He recalled drilling one borehole at the Ministry of Education upon the request of the former Director General-Samuel Bangura, noting that the exercise was carried out in May 2017.
He said the Permanent Secretary of the Education of Ministry had written a letter to the Director General of SLWACO, requesting the drilling of two boreholes at the ministry.
He said based on the instruction from his former boss, he only drilled one borehole instead of two due to non-payment by the ministry, noting that prior to the drilling of the one, he had drilled two others in the same compound, which were not providing adequate water.
He said they had prepared quotation for drilling of two boreholes for the total sum of one hundred and eighty-five million Leones, adding that the ministry was supposed to pay 60% upfront and 40% upon completion of the scheme.
He further that the ministry was also supposed to pay 30% for any negative borehole drilled.
He told the commission that he was not aware of any payment made for the two negative boreholes drilled, and that he would not also confirm whether the one hundred and eighty-five million Leones was paid.
Also testifying was Abu Bakarr Bangura, Finance Manager at SLWACO, who stated that he was aware of a contract between the Ministry of Education and SALWACO for drilling of boreholes and installation of water tanks at the ministry.
He said in January 2017, he had received quotation prepared by the Chief Engineer of SLWACO and sent to the ministry for the drilling of two boreholes, noting that they did a payment follow-up with the ministry.
He said the ministry was supposed to pay one hundred and eighty-five million Leones for the drilling of two boreholes and installation of submersible pumps and two 500-litter water tanks, adding that they received only ninety-two million, five hundred thousand Leones as part payment for the services in July 2017.