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In Sierra Leone, President Warns Against Misuse of State Vehicles
May 18, 2009, 16:14
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President Ernest Bai Koroma last Thursday 14th May 2009, has strongly warned against those misusing Government vehicles and other Government properties, urging all Sierra Leoneans to have respect for government property. In a very somber mood, the President who was addressing Government employees at State House, said the period of warning and appealing must come to an end, as it was now time for action. He also stated that appropriate action will be taken, especially on Departmental Heads, if they fail to live by example.

State vehicle in fornt of Shekitos Torch Light Newspaper office

The Head of State urged all Government employees to work in the interest of the country and ensure progress or face the consequences. He said there is no more time to waste and so he expects them to change their attitudes or pay the price by getting axed from their jobs.

The President recalled that this was his third meeting with Government Employees and that they were the first group of people he formally addressed after he assumed office, adding that Government can only function when its employees were disciplined and professional. President Koroma warned all Government Employees to stay out of mainstream politics and be focused on their work.

It will be recalled that recent investigative reports by journalists revealed that right at the Presidents Office, Government employees like the State House Press Secretary, Sheka Tarawalie, were misusing Government equipment. Tarawalie openly used an official State House white van as a utility vehicle which was actually being driven by his wife, the Rwandan-born Rose Tarawalie at his private newspaper house.

Despite repeated publications about this gross abuse of State-owned property, Rose and Sheka Tarawalie continued to use the vehicle to produce their private newspaper with the State-owned vehicle severally being parked all night long in front of the Standard Times Printing Press at Kingtom Roundabout. In-fact, in an open act of defiance that shocked the diplomatic community, Tarawalie even published that it was acceptable practice for him to mis-use Government vehicles in such manner as he claimed that the Minister of Information, I.B. Kargbo and others also used their official vehicles in like manner.

However, sources close to the President have revealed to Awareness Times that the President was not at all pleased with such repeated mis-use of State property by his Press Secretary.

The same sources indicate that the public warning issued generally to all Government employees was actually a repeat of a private strict warning that has now been issued to Sheka Tarawalie for him and his wife Rose to cease the mis-use of State-owned Property. Local journalists are meanwhile closely monitoring the usage of that particular State-owned vehicle with tag number ADK 873 to see if Sheka Tarawalie will heed to the warning of President Koroma.

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