By Foday Turay
In 2001, the SLPP Government under the leadership of the Late President Ahmed Tejan Kabba secured a mining grant of 25 million Euro from an European Bank to rehabilitate the Sierra Rutile Limited in order to enable it resume generating the much needed foreign exchange and create jobs for the population.
As part of the grant agreement, the Government waived tax payment to acquire 30% shares in Sierra Rutile. Experts at the time valued the Government shares at $45 million US dollars, if it was competitively auctioned.
Fradulently, in 2012, the APC undervalued Sierra Leone’s shares at US $12,272,636. The APC government of President Ernest Bai Koroma then authorised the sale of Sierra Leone’s shares to Sierra Rutile Limited Company incorporated in Sierra Leone with John Sesay as CEO in violation of the laws of Sierra Leone.
On Monday, 30th April 2012, the Minister of Finance, Dr Samura Kamara, after receiving huge bribes from the Sierra Rutile Company for undervaluing the shares, signed two agreements with the Management of Sierra Rutile Limited (SRL) in violation of our laws.
Nevertheless, the method adopted to dispose of the shares was completely inconsistent with laid-down procedures. For all disposals of Government assets, it must have been done through public auction. For instance, the disposal of Government shares in Rokel Commercial Bank or SALCAB-the fabric optic company was done through public auction. This was never the case with the Sierra Leone shares in Sierra Rutile. Everything was done in strict secrecy and fraudulently orchestrated with kickbacks and bribes.
Additionally, the disposal of the shares was never laid before Parliament. Sec 38(1) of the Government Budgeting and Accountability Act clearly stipulates that Parliament may authorize the Minister to provide for, acquire by agreement, or purchase all or part of the equity capital of any company or other organization on grounds of public policy from the Consolidated Fund; and Section 38(3) further states that “the amounts issued for provision, acquisition or purchase of equity investments from the Consolidated Fund shall each be shown in the public accounts as an asset of the Consolidated Fund until the asset has been sold or otherwise disposed of by authority of Parliament.
It is clearly evident that “Dr” Samura Kamara did sign bad agreements in the selling of the country’s shares in Sierra Rutile and failed to seek parliamentary approval, thereby breaching the law.
Samura was afraid of Parliament, as many MPs fail to raise questions on the manipulation of the shares from $45 million US dollars into $12, 272, 636.
Samura Kamara, who intends to be the next president of Sierra leone,should now tell the voters about the total sum of million dollars he took in bribes for the signing of the two agreements with the said management of the Sierra Rutile Company