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NEWS : Local News  

Sierra Leone Media Misinforms on AFCON & Afsatu Kabba
By Jerry Cole Turay
Aug 31, 2009, 23:39
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In the Tuesday August 25th edition of a local newspaper, it was reported that the Honourable Minister of Marine Resources & Fisheries had recently registered AFCON, an alleged brand new company, to enable alleged extortion by her and her sons. Subsequently, this unsubstantiated wild allegation has been variously repeated in several local media.

The published allegation claimed that, as a result of the Director of Marine Resources failure to comply with illegal and unprofessional instructions, the Minister of Marine Resources has reportedly registered a company known as AFCON LIMITED . The article went on to give the impression that the allegedly newly registered company was being operated from within the Ministry by her sons.

Earlier, in the same article, it was stated, again without evidence, that the Minister had sent her Director at the Ministry to go and extort thousands of dollars in cash for her personal use, from various Fishing Companies. It then went on to quote what the Director allegedly told that newspaper about the issue.

However, on Thursday August 27th 2009, the Director himself, Alhaji Fuad Mohamed Sheriff, strenuously denied to a team of investigative journalists from newspapers like Premier News, Peep and Awareness Times newspapers, that he ever gave an interview to the newspaper in question or that he ever uttered what he termed as wicked and very false allegations against my Honourable hardworking Minister, Afsatu Kabba.

At the ministry, local journalists were also shown the schedule of duties for the Deputy Minister, Oya Sankoh, which also dispelled the reported claim that all the schedule of duties had been removed from Oya Sankoh leaving her with nothing to do.

Further in the said article under review, the newspaper quoted Okeky Fishing Agency officials who supposedly claimed that they were forced to part away with $2,000 (Two Thousand Dollars) to two sons of the Minister. However, in exclusive interviews conducted by this newspaper with senior officials of the Okeky Fishing Company, they also denied ever granting such an interview to any local journalist.

Meanwhile, independent investigations by this newspaper at the Roxy Building Offices of the Administrator & Registrar-Generals office, reveals that AFCON was set up in May 2000 (Ten Years Ago) by Hon. Afsatu Kabba, who was by then a Parliamentarian, together with her two eldest adult sons.

Furthermore, in October 2000, the Office of the President (Tejan Kabbah at that time) wrote a beautiful letter to Afsatu Kabba promising her the fullest support in AFCONs proposed undertakings. AFCON was itself launched by Dr. James Jonah, the then Finance Minister in 2000, at a two day event chaired by Hon. Justice Laura Marcus-Jones.
Documents at Roxy Building clearly show that upon being made a Cabinet Minister when the APC took over the reigns of power in 2007, the Company Secretary of AFCON, wrote to inform the Administrator and Registrar General that Afsatu Kabba had totally relinquished her shares in AFCON to all her sons and the business was now taken over completely by her sons who are now running the business together with their Board of Directors from 18 Siaka Stevens Street offices. The turning-over of her shares to her sons was done long before she was made Fisheries Minister at the time when she was still Energy & Power Minister.

The current Managing Director of AFCON, Mr. Nfajie Kabba, who is the thirty-five year old son of Haja Afsatu Kabba, only just returned from London a few days ago to meet his name splattered on the pages of newspapers wherein he was portrayed like a little boy going to work with his mother.

Speaking to Awareness Times at his 18 Siaka Stevens Street offices, the business executive expressed dismay with what he was being subjected to. He however said that as a devout Muslim, he would not fight back but leave the matter in the hands of Allah. He said although people had been urging him to take the journalists to court, he would not do so.

To debunk the alleged presence of a newly built Cold Room in his mothers residence, Mr. Nfaji Kabba took this newspaper on a conducted tour of the entire said residence and no cold room was seen in the entire compound. Two Freezers; a small one and a medium sized one were seen inside the house itself. None of the numerous neighbours who spoke to this writer had ever seen Fish women going to the house to buy fish as was falsely reported.

Meanwhile, an advertising brochure about the ten year old AFCON Limited is on Page 11 of this edition. On this current page, are copies of other documents on this issue, which all speak for themselves. A Speech as delivered by Hon. Afsatu Kabbah at a well attended seminar organised by AFCON five years ago in the year 2004, is also reproduced on Pages 12 and 14 of this edition. At that same seminar, the current President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, who was back then, the Opposition Leader, had also made a Speech at the AFCON event which was held at the Miatta Conference Center under the chairmanship of the Finance Minister in 2004, Mr. J.B. Dauda and the then Speaker of Parliament Justice Edmund Cowan.

This writer hopes that in light of all the foregoing, detractors of the Honourable Minister will now see fit to lay these dispelled allegations to rest.

Document at Roxy Building shows 31st May 2000 as Date of Incorporation of AFCON by the Shareholders

Document at Roxy Building shows 22nd August 2000 as Date of AFCON's Final Certification by Administrator & Registrar General

2nd October 2000 Letter from Office of President Kabbah during the erstwhile SLPP Government

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

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