From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Zainab Bangura Named in Corruption
By Momoja Lappia
May 19, 2010, 11:51

The name of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zainab Hawa Bangura who is no stranger to controversies connected with corruption and political maneuverings has yet been named in another scam with the Minister keeping sealed lips on the allegations.

According to various newspaper reports, the Foreign Affairs Minister has come under serious criticisms at home and abroad for breaching civil service procedures in making her Son, Ibrahim Bangura alias Beloze as Director General in charge of Sierra Leone’s Delegation to the China Expo 2010. In order to pave way for her son, Zainab Hawa Bangura is alleged to have applied her usual sinister moves to first ensure the unceremonious axing of the substantive Director of Trade, Mr. Christian Macauley from leading the delegation.

The illegal inclusion of Ibrahim Bangura on the list did not reportedly go down well with employees of the Sierra Leone Embassy in China and as a way of protest, the embassy staff lobbied other Sierra Leoneans residing in China to boycott the exhibition which caused great embarrassment to President Koroma as Sierra Leone’s Pavilion remained empty. Despite the international ridicule President Koroma is said to have suffered as a result of her nefarious action, Zainab Hawa Bangura seems to remain very complacent on the issue with her office declining to comment on the matter when contacted.

However the opposition SLPP’s mouthpiece Unity Newspaper has this week strongly called for the Anti Corruption Commission to investigate the inclusion of Zainab Bangura’s son on the delegates’ list as Director General to the China Expo.

"If the Marine Minister has been relieved of her duty and charged for similar allegations Zainab Hawa Bangura should not get off the hook this time," the SLPP is insisting. It will be recalled that the former ACC Boss Abdul Tejan-Cole reportedly told a journalist that he would not investigate corruption claims brought to his attention by the opposition SLPP so much so that he never bothered to investigate the India Rice corruption that the SLPP brought to his notice as well as the illegal employment of one Abdulai Bayraytay at the Foreign Ministry. It could be recalled that sometime in 2009 the Foreign Minister’s name surfaced in an Indian Rice deal where she begged the Indian Government for rice that was to be sold at concessionary costs to hungry Sierra Leoneans. The ship loads of rice for which freight concessions were granted was later sold in ambiguous circumstances that the Anti Corruption Commission declined to investigate despite loud calls for this to be done.

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