Sierra Leone Government’s Director of Public Debts Management, Sahr Lahai Jusu of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has been defended against charges he is duplicitously implanted within the current ruling APC led Government to undertake nasty measures aimed at undermining APC. Jusu is accused in some quarters as being source of malicious leaks of government documents especially with respect to the 100 buses recently purchased by Finance Ministry as a Public Debt on behalf of Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation. The leaks are selective, malicious and aim at creating a wicked atmosphere of impropriety around purchase of the buses which Government officials insist were done legitimately.
All efforts to reach Jusu on his mobile number of 076-61***5 were futile. We were however able to reach many of his friends and associates who chatted with us over the past few days.
Sahr Lahai Jusu is known as having noted links to major stakeholders of the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) including defeated presidential candidate Julius Maada Bio and former SLPP Chairman John Oponjo Benjamin both of whom alongside another opposition stalwart Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, all faithfully served defunct military junta of the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC).
Despite links to SLPP, friends of Sahr Lahai Jusu tell this writer that Jusu cannot, in their words, be “a big fat SLPP Mole” as he was “the very same man” who advised that the government could enter into such a debt financing arrangement with the Chinese company Polygroup.
“If Sahr Lahai Jusu is indeed the one who is leaking those documents in a selective manner so as to needlessly embarrass APC government, then it means the situation is even more sinister and the plot to bring down His Excellency President Ernest Koroma’s government is even deeper,” said a Finance Ministry source who declined to be identified.
Our source continues: “I say this because it is Sahr Lahai Jusu who travelled to China with Finance Minister to carry out each and every single financial debt negotiation with the Chinese. All the amounts you see being floated around as the cost of each unit of bus were negotiated not by the Transport Ministry or Logus Koroma but with blessings of the Public Debt Management Unit of the Finance Ministry, headed by Sahr Jusu”.
What is quite clear from our investigations so far is that Sahr Jusu advised APC-led government to go ahead and buy the buses and services at those prices which some now claim as exorbitant but which the government is saying is reasonable when everything is looked at holistically.
What is also very clear is that as outlined by State House researcher Sheriff Ismail Mahmud, the people of Sierra Leone especially in the capital city were in dire and urgent need of public buses at time a decision was taken to acquire those buses last May. The purchase of the buses at those prices were made upon advise of Department of Public Debt Management headed by Sahr Jusu. Further, the delegation which travelled to China to negotiate and later again to inspect, included Sahr Jusu.
The allegations therefore that Sahr Lahai Jusu is the mole leaking documents have been defended by his associates who say that if indeed Jusu is the mole leaking the documents then it means he is someone evil & negatively manipulating the system from within.
His friends insist: “Sahr Jusu though an ally of Julius Maada Bio, John Benjamin, Andrew Keili and other SLPP chiefs, is too professional to turn into a big fat SLPP mole”.
Sahr Lahai Jusu has worked in civil service since Benjamin and Co. ran the government under previous regime that can be loosely described as the SLPP-NPRC regime.
It is a fact that between April 29th 1992 and September 17th 2007, a period spanning over 15 years of extra-judicial murders, evil dictatorship, civil strife & States of Emergencies in Sierra Leone, the NPRC-SLPP alloyed government infested the civil service and other public services with their sympathisers and die-hard believers in the NPRC-SLPP analogy.
Many analysts believe that the APC led government of Ernest Bai Koroma has made a very serious mistake of blindly trusting many of these die-hard idealogues of NPRC-SLPP to continue to mann sensitive positions in government.
A very sensitive government position is Director of Public Debts Management Division of the Finance Ministry. It has been manned by Sahr Lahai Jusu for several years now.
Some observers have opined leaks might have been done in a ventriloquist like manner by the SLPP agents to circumvent attention away from SLPP on to a newly registered political party known as ADP. This, our sources allege further, is to deflect attention from Sahr Jusu as the source of the leaks since he was so intimately involved with bus negotiations.
“If you listen carefully to ADP Mohamed Kamarainba, who some allege might be SLPP’s ventriloquist dummy, as he makes unsubstantiated claims of inflated prices, he keeps on saying his source of leaks is Transport Ministry. He never mentions Finance Ministry which did the negotiations on the pricing. This is deliberate. Kamarainba wants to divert attention as Logus Koroma is their target for defamation. The real source of leaks is Sahr Jusu of Finance Ministry and it was leaked to his SLPP handlers who then passed it on to the ADP,” said one of the accusers of Jusu.
However, defenders of Sahr Jusu have stated that he is too fine a gentleman and too much of a professional to engage in such terrible, nasty act against President Koroma or APC.
APC Government meanwhile continues to insist that all the transactions were legitimate and done as advised by likes of Sahr Lahai Jusu of Finance Ministry. The saga continues and this newspaper is closely observing as things unfold.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.