By Paul Kargbo
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) boss on Monday addressed media practitioners at their Gloucester Street office in Freetown on the 2020 Auditor General’s Report concerning the huge misappropriation of public funds.
The Commissioner of the ACC, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. informed the media that with regards to the Auditor General’s Report 2020 which highlighted huge misappropriation of public funds, he added that the handlers of those state funds should provide proper explanations to his office but that if they fail, they stand the risk of spending Christmas in detention.
“Over the years we have forged a very friendly relationship with some of these Ministries, Departments and Agencies and we have built on mutual trust with them, and they understand that we are merely doing our work as the Parliament delegated to us to fight corruption, but this does not stop us from doing what we have to do to achieve the same goal to ensure that we control corruption, So we appreciate our counterparts the Public Accounts Committees, but more generally, we salute Parliament for their support to our work,” the ACC Commissioner told journalists.
According to Lawyer Kaifala, from the 2019 report, the issues where not as plenty as compared to the 2020 report where thousands of issues have been highlighted.
According to him, it takes a year before the audit report comes out the same way the audit report for 2020 is only coming out.
“If we start with the presidency, it does not mean an issue in the local councils will not be looked into, and the fact that we take our work very seriously and so even now, which is the Christmas season, we have been combing through the most recent audit reports identifying issues that need to be activated,” he said.
He continued to state that, issues that have to do with councils and payment that were supposed to be paid will be looked into and those that have paid will be returned into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) and that actions have been taken on the Audit Report and that the ACC will continue to take action as “we are not saying all the reports that have been brought out do not mean somebody has stolen, we have quite a number of non-disclosures of loan agreements, but somebody has to explain to us what is happening and we want people particularly if they are listening to this report, to prepare themselves to give us a quick explanation if not, the Christmas celebration will not be spent well,” he warned.
According to him, for Embassies and High Commissions, 51 issues were found; while for ministries, department and agencies – 281 issues were found, whereas for public enterprises, commissions and donors of hundreds of projects – 635 issues were found. He added that all these departments need investigation and if found guilty will face the full penalty of the law. He assured the media that as a Commissioner, he is going to take strong action on the Auditor General’s report.
He went on to state that, the constitution gives the President certain immunities which exclude him from any form of investigation while serving as president and that the president has been robust in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone but that all those that are around him are not prone to such immunity.
James Baggie Bio: Fittest Candidate for SLRSA DG
Since his appointment by the Board of Directors, Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) to serve in the capacity of SLRSA Acting Director, James Baggie Bio has been up to the task and is demonstrating to the admiration of the Board, management and staff at SLRSA that he is indeed cut-out for the job.
Since he assumed office in an acting capacity, James Baggie Bio is ensuring that he manages the business of the Authority with the support and consultation of Board members, management and staff which our sources say has been the best thing that ever happened to the SLRSA because consultation and team work had been lacking.
James Baggie Bio’s style of leadership they say has brought a lot of dividends to the SLRSA and the Authority is more united and work is going on at a perfect pace with everyone satisfied that at last, the correct and fittest man is now in charge.
They are calling on President Bio to make James Baggie Bio the substantive DG taking into consideration the monumental changes he has put in place at the Authority which in turn has allowed the Authority to see and experience the major transformation and development it had been lacking.
Mr. James Bio has been serving the institution for over a decade and has been relentlessly behind the scenes of the SLRSA ensuring that the entity thrives and reaches the pinnacle of of development and revenue generation that would make any proud of working at the SLRSA. =COMMENTARY=
Where is Emerson Amidu Bockarie?
In Sierra Leone, many people can recall how Emerson Bockarie a political song writer gained momentum and added value to the country’s development and music industry.
Emerson Bockarie started his music career decades ago and most of his songs were focused mainly on corruption and mismanagement of the country’s resources by government officials especially past and present ruling governments.
In Africa, musicians who always sing against political leaders/government face several challenges such as harassment, intimidation by some government officials who may want to personalize the issues.
But over the years, this artist passively ignored all the harassment intimidation and criticism and forged ahead with his career without any divided mind.
But the question the general populace of Sierra Leoneans may want to ask is: whether Emmerson Bockarie is missing in action?
It is almost a year since the people of Sierra Leone are waiting for new songs he may come out with.
Over the years there where different reports published including the Audit Reports that pointed out massive corruption of the Sierra Leone People’s Party government beginning from 2018.
Mr. Bockarie has produced several albums of songs which opposed every government that comes in power in Sierra Leone.
This has led to thousands of Sierra Leoneans to always rely on what idea he may compose to feed the people and sensitize them on what is happening in the country. Mostly, the layman can’t understand what the government is about except through Mr. Bockarie’s songs.
Mr. Bockarie started his musical career at the time he was a student at Njala University and one of his first songs was (U GO SI Am) meaning “You will see it” and his second album was Borbor Bele and was the best-selling album in Sierra Leone’s music recording history. An unsuccessful attempt was made to ban the title track, ’Borbor Bele’ from the airwaves in Sierra Leone because it depicts “a corrupt politician, civil servant or non-governmental organization employee who basks in corrupt practices.
Many young Sierra Leoneans believe that Emerson writes and sings intelligent songs that deal with corruption both formal and non-formal in Sierra Leone which obviously sets him apart from all other Sierra Leonean musicians as the people’s favorite.
Emmerson’s new “Tu Fut Arata” has now replaced “Borbor Bele” as another best-selling album in Sierra Leone done by a Sierra Leonean.
Mr. Bockarie has also produced several songs that hav also hit the nation and gain more momentum for the people of Sierra Leone.
As It Introduces E-Shopping….
Orange Partners with Koidu & Kenema City Council
By Feima Sesay
A week after Orange Sierra Leone partnered with Bo City Council in digital revenue collection, the company has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kenema City Council to collect the council’s revenue.
Orange Money, according to the MoU, will collect licenses and property rate via digital means, and transfer same to the council’s account within a period of two weeks.
A demand notice will be issued to tax-payers to help them understand the new mode of payment.
The signing ceremony took place in Kenema where Orange staff and council officials including the Chief Administrative officer were in attendance.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, head of marketing and strategy at Orange Money, Abibatu Baxter said the main thrust was to strengthen “financial inclusion.”
The Orange Money marketing strategist saw the partnership between her organization and council as the best way to go.
“It is a dream come true as Kenema District Council has given Orange Money the green light to collect tax for them,” Baxter said.
In his address, Chief Executive Officer, Orange Money, David Mansaray assured the Kenema District Council of Orange Money’s support at all times.
“With the company’s support, the council will achieve its objectives,” he assured. Tax collection, communication and engagement with council are key areas identified by Mansaray for support. Orange Money, he said, had agents that would be deployed to collect tax for council.
Transparency is also assured in the revenue collection drive especially how much is collected and who is involved.
Communication support is key to the entire process. “We will enhance communication so that the people can know about the new partnership,” Orange Money CEO promised the council.
Orange Money will stop not only stop at communication support but council will be engaged to know what is best for them.
Mansaray also informed the audience that Orange has gone a long way in digitising administrative disbursements for several organizations. It is Mansaray’s hope that Orange’s partnership with the council would reach a point where it would digitise such disbursement.
“Kenema District Council is right on track owing to the new partnership. Tax payers can now pay their taxes anywhere, anytime,” Orange Money CEO said.
In his address, the Chief Administrator, Kenema District Council, Joseph Gando saw a great need for the new partnership between the council and Orange Money.
Paying through Orange Money, he said, would go a long way in reducing fraud and corruption among council staff.
“In the past, some staff in the council used to pay tax for customers. Most times, the money does not reflect in the council,” the chief administrator recounted.
Under the partnership, Mr. Gando hopes to see a sharp increase in council’s revenue. “We usually collect about Le 3, 000, 000, 0000 (three billion Leones) but, with the new partnership, we expect to raise Le 7, 000, 000, 000 (seven billion Leones) a year,” he expressed hope.
With Orange Money, he went on, the council was sure to maximize huge revenue potentials, and give back to the community.
“The council gives back 85% of what it takes from the community as it embarks in infrastructural improvement through local revenue,” he pointed out.
The Chief Administrator’s project of transforming Kenema city calls for a sustained revenue mobilization, thus necessitating the zest and zeal for the Orange Money partnership.
He however called on the people of Kenema to pay their taxes through 0range Money for development in Kenema through delivery of quality services.
Orange Money, he said, would make it possible for tax payers who stay outside Kenema to pay their taxes adding that a demand notice would help them with the procedures of payment.
Gando assured the council staff and people of Kenema of their money’s safety.
“The number that is linked to the council’s account will be private and secure. It will be accessed only by the three signatories: the mayor, chief administrator and the finance officer,” he assured.
Orange Money’s move to digitize councils across Sierra Leone continues.
It is part of the e-governance system to which Sierra Leone aspires. In another development the company has also introduces E-Shopping.
Orange Introduces E-Shopping
Orange SL the leading mobile company in Sierra Leone on Monday 20th December, 2021 launched a new device which is called “E SHOP” which took place at their office at Rawdon Street in Freetown.
E SHOP is a device of an online shopping and this is a developing and application system used to makes lives easy for their customers as Orange Sierra Leone strive on a daily basis to ensure that life is easy for their customers.
E SHOP solutions is one of Orange simple solution that enable customers to buy their devices and products in a very comfort zone as the customer can be seated anywhere not only in Freetown but also up country and do their shopping online and there will be free delivery service.
They are also partnering with other organizations and so this solution is unique and customers should make sure that they go to the platform and make sure that they do their online shopping.
This is an added service that will be convenient and effective for customers and this service can be access through the internet where customers can sit at home or their offices and buy online different products they needed without going out and there will be free delivery services for customers after purchasing their product.
Betty Milton Head of Shop during the launching said E SHOP is a pre element of drafting of services wanted online which is highly potential.
She said launching the E SHOP makes them happy to have a great experience in it and they wants their customers to be able to buy their products online so with this they decided to bring their digitalization on board which will help them to make sure that their customers are satisfied even when they are at their offices or at home.
The Chief Commercial Officer Madam Alematou Mbaye in her statement said this is the first step they have taken in digitalization and also the first time they are helping customers without having additional cost bordering on the customer.
She said E SHOP creates a real opportunity for their customers especially in this period and that she will like workers to encourage their customers to access this facility and also to access this new customer services so that they can be at their houses or anywhere and get their services easier and simple.
She said Orange is in place to sell this dream world to customers as they have the platform and the devices that will come closer to the customers and brings peoples closer.
She said that she wants customers to enjoy the device and they as Orange will mobilized to do more to put smiles on the faces of their customers.
Naomi Kabia Sales Analyst Orange Sierra Leone E SHOP is actually taken them digital as they wants customers to buy online their products.
She said E SHOP is actually make life easy for their customers as the customer is sitting home conveniently having access to their phones and do their shopping online .
She said E SHOP will be very easy for their customers especially customers who are actually busy in the office and customers who are students that cannot be able to reached at the shop they can just go online and do their shopping.
Naomi furthered that as a company the reason why they create this device is that they have a platform which actually tells them and given a clear background that their customers are comfortable with the integral solution and that their customers will feel relax and confortable that their cash will be safe.
She said this is going to be done in two funds and one is through their Orange Money in which everybody is accessible to now and customers have to go through the app and follows the steps and customers will have access to the devices and order for what they wants.
She said they are also trying to reintegrate with the banks to make life easy for their customers and if an Orange customer has bank account they can do transfer to their phones and do their online shopping.
Joseph Hindolo Momoh who is part of the technical team in his presentation said the steps they used to access this devices is a very simple platform that can be access through the internet and once a customer have an internet connectivity the customer will not go through the website but will move straight to the E SHOP platform and the website is WWW. Orange-SL.
He said one click will takes the customer to the platform and when the customer get the platform the customer will see the E SHOP sign that is there and the customer will just click on the E SHOP and will see the product and if the customer wants mobile phones he or she will click on it and if the customer wants other devices like speed box and gear boxes the customer will choose.
He said on the purchase of mobile phones the customer will click on the mobile phones and it will take the person to different pictures or description of mobile phones which has a two mega feet size camera, a very long lasting battery, has dual sim and also 4G compactable.
He said the description of the phone is that they have different types of mobiles phones with different colors and the mobile phones has different types of storage facility and different sizes and it will also shows the customers the different prices and also delivery is free.
He said they have two types of delivery which is delivery at home and pick up at store and delivery at home is when a customer will sit at comfort zone and receives the device either at his or her office or at home.
And pick up store delivery is that if the customer wants to pick up the goods in any of their stores as they are having different stores around the country.
He said if a customer wants to buy a mobile phone the steps involved is that a customer on his or her mobile phone will choose buy now on their mobile app and this will place the customer to two pages and one page say continue shopping and the customer will see all the devices but if the customer did not wants to buy the customer will just go to view chart and will see the product.
He said if the customer wants to buy, he or she will see the items and specifically their prices and the customer will therefore go to payment terms and accept the payment and then place an order.
He said after placing an order the customer will place his or her identity like their names and click on continue which ask for the customer address and also the customer will write his or her telephone number and email address which has to be confirmed and once it has been confirmed next the device will takes the customer to the delivery process either for it to be deliver at home or the person can pick it up at the store and that the customer will decide on either the two. Next, she added that the device will take the customer through the method of payment in which the customer needs to put his or her telephone number by using the short code which is #144*3*12# and then the customer will put his or her Orange Money pass-word and the customer will then send the payment code to 552203 and