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NEWS : Local News  

SLPP's Kailahun Councilor Cleared of Alleged Subversion: Faces Possible Fraud Charges in Sierra Leone
By Awareness Times
Mar 27, 2009, 17:17
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Kailahun Councilor Ndamawa Ndomawa of Constituency 1 Ward 6 and a member of the opposition Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) is no longer suspected of being engaged in any act of subversion but might get to be charged to court for Fraud. This was revealed to journalists yesterday by the Assistant Inspector General of Police in Charge of Crime Services (AIG) Francis Munu at the Government's Ministry of Information and Communication conference room.

Munu's assurance came after extensive indepth police investigations into the reasons why the Councillor had been travelling with 17 youths (Not 70!) from his Ward in Kailahun heading for Freetown. It has now been proven that indeed the Councilor had been taking the 17 youths to Freetown to take part in a German sponsored GTZ project aimed at repatriating hundreds of Kailahun youths displaced to Freetown during the war.

However, it now appears that the Councilor allegedly fraudulently took already resettled youths from his ward in Kailahun and misrepresented their names to the GTZ Project as being resided in Freetown and desiring to be repatriated back to Kailahun. The reason for this is because the GTZ Repatriation Package is very good and included huge cash allowance and new houses. The SLPP Councilor, it appears was trying to help the youths in his Ward to make quick cash.

In an attempt to explain why the Councilor was detained for 72 hours at the Kenema Police Station, AIG Munu explained that the Councilor was an ex-combatant and the current prevailing times in Sierra Leone meant nothing was to be overlooked. He however reiterated that the Councilor was now completely cleared of any subversive activity.

Meanwhile, Awareness Times reporters in Kenema have confirmed that the SLPP Councilor has been released on bail pending the matter of Fraud being possibly charged to court. However, indications are that the Councilor was not acting alone but in concert with certain officials of the German Technical Cooperation Project (GTZ). This has prompted the following Press Release from GTZ's Repatriation Programme Manager in Sierra Leone, Karlheinz Eyrich:

PRESS RELEASE (for immediate release)
GTZ Employment Promotion Programme / Youth Resettlement & Reintegration Project (German Technical Cooperation in Sierra Leone)

GTZ has temporarily suspended its Youth Resettlement and Reintegration Project from Freetown and Koidu to rural communities in Kono and Kailahun Districts, pending on an official investigation into the unfortunate hoax perpetrated by some unscrupulous individuals posing as GTZ returnees. This hoax was uncovered because of the diligent work of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces, who discovered the group heading to Freetown. When asked who they were and what their mission was, they falsely declared that they were part of GTZs resettlement program.

First, the Project does not move any individuals or groups from Kailahun District to Freetown or from rural communities in Kono District to Koidu. Rather, the GTZ Youth Resettlement and Reintegration Project helps disenfranchised youth and their dependents trapped in poverty in Freetown and Koidu and wanting to return from Freetown and Koidu to their native rural communities to engage in productive agricultural and other income-generating activities. GTZ has a clear and accurate record of all those registered with the Project, both those who have already been resettled and those who are registered for resettlement and reintegration. The local authorities in their communities of origin are also provided with a list of all those who are registered to return to the communities.

GTZ is grateful that the Government of Sierra Leone, District Councils, the local authorities, and the Sierra Leonean police have been co-operative and helpful partners in this project, and would like to express gratitude to all those who have offered their time, expertise and support for this important effort to combat youth poverty, unemployment and food insecurity in Sierra Leone.

The GTZ Youth Resettlement and Reintegration project will resume once the official investigation into the apparent hoax is completed. GTZ is working with the Sierra Leonean authorities to try to uncover the perpetrators of this unfortunate incident.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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