From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

APC’s Rebranding affected by SALPOST’s Ineptitude
Jun 3, 2010, 17:12

Management Authorities of the Sierra Leone Postal Services (SALPOST) have had to grapple with being plagued for years now with reports of bare-faced thievery by SALPOST workers of valuable items of valued customers but the latest scandal to hit the management has left many citizens furious at the level of complicit recklessness with which the entity has been handling its sacred national duties and in the process affecting the ruling APC’s efforts to rebrand the country as investor-friendly. One Mr. Murana Janneh of 12 Bai Bureh Road in Freetown is the latest victim of the shenanigans that SALPOST has relentlessly been engaged in with impunity and for which the country’s authorities whilst claiming to be rebranding the land as ‘investor-friendly’, seem not to understand the implications of regular reports of missing postal items hence the continuous practise of the shameful act of looting customers valuables posted through the country’s postal services.

On 26th April this year, Mr. Murana Janneh’s wife in United States of America thought she was using a reliable means of air-couriering with express costs, when she paid a large sum of money in US dollars to send on to her husband in Freetown, a package containing important documents, wearings, books, medicines, a technological gadget known as an I-Phone and other valuables running into several thousands of dollars through a dispatch No. 31 that is reported to have arrived at Lungi Airport onboard SN Brussels Airlines on the 30th April this year with track No. CP 487033164 US, but that out of the five different parcels sent on that flight, the one containing Mrs. Murana’s important posted items has simply disappeared off the face of the earth with absolutely no credible explanation emanating from the SALPOST Management.

According to Mr. Murana Janneh, "when I contacted the head of operations one Mr. Abdul Rahman Munu, he denied having seen that particular parcel in the packages as his staff did not receive it," adding that he claimed SN Brussels might have delivered the item to the wrong destination and not Lungi Airport when the tracking of the posted items by Mrs. Murana out there in America clearly shows the items landed in Freetown and were collected by SALPOST.

To ascertain the veracity of that allegation, Awareness Times contacted Mr. Munu who said they only receive items from Lungi Airport handling agents as they give to them. He disclosed that on the 30th April a consignment onboard SN Brussels Airline SN 237 was discharged at the Lungi International Airport and later transferred to SALPOST staff for distribution. Thereafter, he said it is always the responsibility of his men to prepare a tick list of items received from the Airport agents, and that the consignment in question was received by one Mr. Mohamed Kabia in charge of parcels on Saturday and cross checked on Monday 3rd May 2010.

Awareness Times then contacted the said Mr. Kabia who he admitted that Bag 2 of Dispatch No. 31 from the United States of America was indeed outstanding.

"I received bags 1, 3, 4 and 5 but bag 2 was not among," he alleged, adding that on that same Monday he sent verification notice to the office of origin (US postal Service). Both Mr. Munu and Kabia however confirmed that notice was only taken of the missing bag at the Post Office in Freetown, not at Lungi.

They however admitted that the US Postal Services has sent an enquiry to them in Freetown and that a declaration of non- receipt of item had already been signed by Mr. Murana Janueh.

When Awareness Times contacted SN Brussels Airlines, their spokesman denied handling of mails as according to them it is the responsibility of Airport Agents and SALPOST and all what their airline does is to hand over a bulk package as one and not as separate individual packages.

"It is a fact that one of the ways to boost investor confidence in a developing country like Sierra Leone is to ensure that the country’s postal services are branded as being reliable but with the continuous reports of stealing and looting of posted items with ridiculous lackadaisical reactions by the authorities to such thievery, we are doomed to attract any sober investor," said Mallam Kamara-Taylor, a businessman whom Awareness Times also met at SALPOST yesterday.

Meanwhile, Citizens and Potential and Current Investors continue to suffer at the hands of a country whose authorities do not seem to understand the importance of a safe and reliable postal service.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.