CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE¬†WANZA DEBACLESierra Leone Peopleís Party (SLPP) Honourable Member of Parliament, Monina Conteh, yesterday Tuesday 23rd June 2009, out rightly condemned the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Momodu Kargbo, over the payment of a whopping sum of $2.5 Million to the controversial international business tycoon, Mohamed Wanza. Hon. Monina Conteh dismissed the payment as nonsensical, saying he does not understand why the government decided to effect it in the first place, when it has scores of other debts and internal problems like youth unemployment and poor health delivery to contend with, and which need far more urgent attention.
ďWhy should the government prioritize the payment of Wanza alone and forget about other areas that should have come firstĒ, the angry looking Hon. Monina Conteh said, adding that the said payment is suspicious and deserves probing.
The Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Momodu Kargbo, in his response, said in 2008, out of the estimated amount of Le 9,669,000,000.00 budgeted for commercial creditors, Le 6,000,000,000.00 was paid to Wanza in 2008, which is equivalent to $2 Million Dollars. In 2009, Mr. Momodu Kargbo went on, the government has decided to pay an additional $2.5 Million Dollars to Mr. Wanza, in what he said was part of a move aimed at saving the name of the country.
Mr. Momodu Kargbo pointed out that the Government and the People of Sierra Leone were taken to court by Mr. Mohamed Wanza on claims of $117 Million Dollars, furthering that in an out of court settlement that ensued, the government agreed to pay the sum of $25 Million Dollars, an amount he said the government is trying to offset.
According to Mr. Momodu Kargbo, the said debt was incurred during the junta regime of the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC), but the issue of payment came up in 2004 and 2006.
He ended by stating that the government is under obligation to fulfill its side to the out of court settlement with Mr. Mohamed Wanza, in order to avoid embarrassment.
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