By Sorie Fofana…………………….
There is no doubt that, there is an existing contract or agreement between Slone Telecom Limited and NATCOM for the Monitoring of the International Gateway. Yours truly has seen several correspondences between NATCOM and Slone Telecom Limited regarding the Gateway Monitoring Contract.
It is a well-known fact that, when Momoh Konte took over as Chairman of NATCOM, he raised a lot of concerns over the Gateway Monitoring Contract with Slone Telecom Limited.
Following those concerns, a review (or several reviews) of the contract or agreement did take place between Slone Telecom Limited and NATCOM.
When the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Frank Kargbo’s views were sought on the legality of the contract, he responded affirmatively on 11th May, 2015. He even warned NATCOM against “any act of anticipatory breach opening itself and Government to potential liability by attempting to forestall or aborting the implementation of the contract”.
The NPPA (National Public Procurement Authority) has even gone ahead to warn NATCOM that “there is now a legally binding and enforceable contract in place that was entered into by both parties” (meaning NATCOM and Slone Telecom Limited).
When the Sierra Leone Government was sued in London by Philip Brothers for failing to pay a legitimate debt, properties belonging to SLPMB (a subsidiary of the Sierra Leone Government) were seized in London.
The Sierra Leone High Commission in London had all its bank accounts frozen. Remittances for the payment of salaries and wages to staff of the High Commission in London were done through the bank accounts of private individuals in London.
On a visit to London, an APC MP at the time almost had his £2000 cheque seized by HSBC Bank, on information that, he was an agent for the Government of Sierra Leone.
Some of us have repeatedly warned this government to stop behaving like a gangster.
Yesterday, yours truly warned NATCOM to avoid any costly litigation in the UK by entering into negotiations with Slone Telecom Limited.
This idea of bullying foreign based companies operating in Sierra Leone is totally unacceptable in modern day democracy.
Once again, yours truly is calling on President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to quickly intervene and get this matter between NATCOM and Slone Telecom Limited sorted out, once and for all.
It will be foolish for the Government to undertake any legal battle in the UK at this point in time. It will be costly and even unnecessary.
Thankfully, Slone Telecom Limited are willing to enter into negotiations with the Government to end this senseless stalemate.
May common sense prevail!
On 28th December, 2015 a statement from State House confirmed the sacking of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Franklyn Bai Kargbo and the transfer of Dr. Sam Sesay from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security to State House as Presidential Adviser.
The statement from State House ended thus: “Other Changes Will Be Announced Shortly”. Exactly forty-nine days today, after that announcement, no further changes from State House have been forthcoming.
Many people up and down this country have been asking one simple question: What is really happening at State House?
What has really delayed the announcement of other changes in the Cabinet? Is it because the President has exhausted the use of all the good people in his party? Or is the President still looking outside his party circles to appoint people with credibility and administrative experience to handle certain positions, both in the Cabinet and outside the Cabinet?
It is unfortunate that, some Deputy Ministers who took over the running of their ministries when the substantive Ministers were sacked have still not been officially asked to even act as Ministers.
Some of them are even afraid to sign some documents, because, they need to be authorised by State House to do so.
Some of these so-called caretaker Ministers are now ashamed of even introducing themselves at public gatherings. One of them has served as caretaker Minister for almost three years without confirmation.
For goodness sake, what is really stopping the President from filling the several vacancies in his Cabinet? The following Ministries have been without substantive Ministers for some time now: Works, Housing and Infrastructure, Trade and Industry, Tourism and Cultural Affairs and Lands, Country Planning and the Environment.
Babagaleh Barrie has been the longest serving caretaker Minister since Ernest Bai Koroma came to power in 2007. He has been the caretaker Minister since Alimamy Petito Koroma was removed as Works, Housing and Infrastructure Minister in December 2013.
We call on President Ernest Bai Koroma to speedily fill in the vacancies in his Cabinet to end this unending accusation that, he has run out of ideas to govern the country.
And the appointment of several Special Advisers in the Office of Vice President is becoming a cause for concern. Most of these new Special Advisers are expired APC Politicians brought from retirement by the appointed Vice President, Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh.
It is frightening that, fifty one percent of domestic revenue is spent on the payment of salaries and wages of government employees especially Special Advisers in both the Office of the President and Office of the Vice President.
At a time when other countries like Liberia are busy cutting down their monthly wage bill, we in Sierra Leone are busy inflating it by the appointment of Special Advisers for this, that and the other.
More than anyone else, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma knows that the economy is in a mess, total mess. He has to find a way to address the issue of youth employment instead of creating lucrative advisory jobs for expired APC Politicians in his office and in the office of his unelected Vice President.
This talk about “New APC” has become a damp squib. The APC of Ernest Bai Koroma is slowly becoming a new wine in old bottles.