From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Politics
Bank Governor Samura Kamara has a Lot of Confessions for the Commission of Enquiry
By
Oct 16, 2008, 17:26

The Chairman and Commissioners of the new investigative Commission of Enquiry appointed by the APC Government have on 14th October 2008, been sworn in during a ceremony held at State House. Meanwhile, the country’s current Bank Governor by the name of Samura Kamara, from all indications, is going to be playing a star role and also be a major pivot as the new Commission of Enquiry seeks to carry out its mandate of "looking into any irregularities or malpractices in the expenditure of Government and Donor Funds during the erstwhile years of Governance in Sierra Leone".

Samura Kamara: many questions to answer

Apart from the AFRC of Johnny Paul Koroma who virtually received no donor funds, the NPRC and SLPP preceding governments saw this very same Bank Governor Samura Kamara serving as the key Financial Adviser to the Ministers of Finance and by extension, the various Heads of State.

Ernest Koroma: trying to score political points

Samura Kamara has served all the various Governments in Sierra Leone since Valentine Strasser’s NPRC 1 and he has served them in very high financial decision making positions. He has been the lynchpin in virtually all the financial decisions taken for a significant part of NPRC-1, NPRC-2, SLPP-1(pre-AFRC) and SLPP-2(post-AFRC). This lynchpin role he has even carried on in this APC regime as evidenced by his participation in the unholy 75 Billion Leones Wanza Wheeler Deal signed recently in Nigeria.

Tejan Kabbah

Samura Kamara was the Financial Secretary to Valentine Strasser and Dr. John Karimu for many years. The Financial Secretary is the highest position of Financial Management in the Civil Service. After Strasser was overthrown by Maada Bio in 1996, Samura Kamara was appointed to be Maada Bio’s Minister of Finance and co-acted as Financial Secretary for NPRC-2.

Julius Maada Bio

When Tejan Kabbah’s SLPP took over office, the lucky Samura was again appointed as Financial Secretary advising Finance Minister Thaimu Bangura. He did not serve Johnny Paul Koroma’s AFRC regime but was to later come back to serve Tejan Kabbah’s SLPP as Financial Secretary. This position he held for many years serving Finance Ministers James Jonah, J.B. Dauda and John Oponjo Benjamin as their Principal Assistant/Adviser. He was in this position serving Tejan Kabbah’s SLPP for some good eleven years (he served the NPRC’s Finance Minister John Karimu as Principal Assistant and Principal Adviser for several years earlier).

Valentine Strasser

It was until less than a year to the APC taking office that he left the SLPP in early 2007 to be seconded to the IMF as Alternate Director from Sierra Leone. It was from that position that he was brought in by the APC of Ernest Koroma in the very same 2007 to become the current Bank Governor.

It is thus very clear that the new Commission of Enquiry will have to require a lot of cooperation from him as they look into how the donor and government funds were spent during those past regimes. Taking the oath of office, the four Commissioners (Gibril Semega-Janneh (Chairman); Augustus Wachuku-King, Johannes Ebenezer Elliot and Sadiq Mahmoud Kapuwa (Secretary) vowed to work in the interest of the State in carrying out their duties. Presenting the team to President Koroma, Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abdul F. Serry Kamal said "they are all experienced people" who are expected to do their work expeditiously.

Addressing the commissioners, President Koroma said the commission is not a witch-hunt; but that government has the responsibility to make public what happened to public funds, and to send a signal that people in public positions given a mandate by the people should do their work with diligence.

The Head of State said there are so many issues that need some answers, and he believes at the end of the day the commissioners will provide these answers. He urged them to do their work with transparency and without fear or favour.

"You are doing this for posterity. Those who should give account must give account," the President maintained.

It is now left to the Commission of Inquiry to determine without fear or favour just how diligently the APC’s Bank Governor Samura Kamara served all those past regimes. It is expected that Samura Kamara might have a lot of submissions and confessions to make to the Commission if he is called upon.

The whole country is now watching to see how Samura Kamara will contribute to the Commission achieving its mandate which is to inquire:

(i) into any irregularities or malpractices in the expenditure of Government and Donor Funds;
(ii) whether or not any malpractices or irregularities were committed by any person with respect to those funds;
(iii) the nature and extent of the malpractices and irregularities
(iv) the sums of money and identities of persons involved in such malpractices and irregularities, and to make recommendations.



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