By Samuel Ibrahim Koroma
Friday’s oversight inspection on Sierra Leone Housing Corporation’s (SALHOC’s) Villas at Hill Station, within by the Committee on Works, Housing and Maintenance in Parliament had revealed that Hon. Augustine Bockarie Torto representing Constituency 25 in the Kono District owes SALHOC a rent fee of Two Million Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Leones (Le2, 750, 000,).
The inspection exercise was conducted as part of the Committee’s mandate to look into the complaints forwarded to them by the tenants occupying these villas over increment in rent and the failure of the Sierra Leone Housing Corporation (SALHOC) to meet the basic social needs including but not limited to lack of pipe born water facilities, poor roofing standards, among others, of the said villas.
Hon. Torto resides at Villa 27 and during the inspection process the Chairman, Committee on Works, Housing and Maintenance in Parliament, Hon. Komboh Kamara expressed dissatisfaction over what he referred to as a “half worn out structure” that is being occupied by his colleague Honorable, noting that the Honorable must have been a clear example to other residence regarding standards.
“It is true that SALHOC must meet their own part of the agreement by providing adequate maintenance and water facility on the Villas,” he said, adding that they as occupants of the Villas must in the same vein keep the villas in a livelier and conducive manner.
“It is rather incredible and unfortunate for a Honorable Member to reside in a Villa with damaged windows, licking roof and an open ceiling,” stated one Member of Parliament.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Committee on Works in Parliament, Hon. Komboh has assured the tenants that their concerns have been noted, but however reiterated that he was really shocked to notice that top governmental officials in those villas owe SALHOC huge sums of money in terms of rent, which according to him, has rendered the company useless, adding that SHALOC is not receiving funds from the government as its relies on the rents paid for its sustenance.