The Army rice saga – President’s brother jubilates
Posted By Ibrahim Samura - SEM On September 27, 2010
The contract for the supply of rice to soldiers which was awarded to African Sunshine has been cancelled by NPPA. The cancellation, according NPPA, came as a result of what they say is gross violation of procurement process.
Sources say President Koroma’s younger brother, Junior Koroma aka ‘What A Man’ was spotted as boasting being the man behind the cancellation of the Army rice contract.
It could be recalled that the Sierra Commodities Limited and others bidded for the contract to supply rice to the Army.
Of the rest, the African Sunshine was awarded the contract by team of procurement officers attached to the Ministry of Defense.
Sources say officials of Sierra Commodities felt marginalized and therefore tendered a letter to the NPPA appealing on the decision of Defense Ministry, in the Award of the Army rice contract to African Sunshine.
The appeal was later looked into by officials of NPPA and a ruling calling for a redo of the bidding process was published.
In the ruling, it is stated that the contract to have African Sunshine supply rice to the military was invalid and there should be the conduct of a proper bidding process.
It is also mentioned that the process should be conducted within 10 days; as from date of issuance of ruling.
It must be understood that Sierra Commodities Company is owned by President Koroma’s younger brother, Junior Koroma.
Sources say the cancellation of the contract was due to the influence of Junior Koroma on persons charged with such responsibility.
It could be recalled also that the African Sunshine which was awarded the contract to supply rice to the Army, is owned by a sacked Minister formerly of the office of the Vice President.
Facts reaching this press say the President’s brother is desperate to win the contract to supply 8.500 bags of rice to the military.
The decision to have soldiers receives a bag of rice every month came as a result of President Koroma’s declaration while unveiling monument of military heroes at state house.
According to the ruling of NPPA, it is stated that the process used by officials of Defense Ministry in the award of such a contract to African Sunshine was wrong and has no valid contractual signatures at all.
A source has told this press that the nullification of contract was influenced by President Koroma’s brother.
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And the Sierra Herald adds:
Foreign Minister Zainab Bangura has yet to explain to the people of Sierra Leone the deal with the government of India over that rice scandal. She still has to explain how the President's brother became a millionaire and rice trader overnight and more importantly why that waiver of customs duties of over one million US dollars in a deal which snatched rice from the mouth of the poor and enriched the President and his associates.
The Sierra Herald is once again reminding the international community whose representatives are in Freetown to heed the lessons of the past.
It was this reckless display of corruption and trampling on the rights of the people that led to the troubles of the past - a past Sierra Leoneans would rather now treat as a non-recurring nightmare as they try to rebuild their lives.
Kindly recall this item below and also this report in an investigative journal based in India