From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Deputy Energy Minister Rebukes False Allegations
By Aruna Turay
Sep 22, 2010, 17:17

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Hon. Martin Alex Bash Kamara has said his ministry is not responsible for the compensation of any informant of illegal connection but such issues should be handled by the National Power Authority.

 

The minister made this confirmation on Tuesday 21st September 2010 while responding to allegations levied on him and his ministry for the payment of compensation of some ten percent of an alleged Le 64,000,000 (sixty-four million Leones) being payment of fines from an illegal connection of electricity in a hotel in Freetown some months ago.


It could be recalled that on Tuesday 21st September 2010 some local tabloids in Sierra Leone reported that a certain gentleman is roaming various press houses distributing complaint letters accusing the deputy minister of refusing to pay compensation to him for top information he once disclosed to the minister dealing with some illegal hotel electricity connections.


The newspaper reports alleged that in a letter sent to distributed to press houses by the informant, the informant said the latter had a gentlemans agreement with the deputy minister wherein the deputy minister promised to compensate him ten percent of the amount that will be paid as fine for the illegal connection that had been going on for long in the hotel.


In response, Hon. Martin Alex Bash Kamara, in an exclusive chat with Awareness Times, wasted no time in refuting the allegation, adding that there has never been a single moment he could remember when he engaged in a gentlemans agreement with any body with reference to the payment compensation of ten percent to anyone for anything.

 

The Minister said when the informant approached him in his office with reference to this matter, he informed the National Power Authority of it and a swift investigation was successfully executed and arrests made, of which a huge fine was levied on the offenders, but that he never went into any agreement with the informant especially when he know that whatever fine would be levied on the accuse, a cent of it will not be benefitting the ministry but NPA alone.  


However, Hon. Bash Kamara said he does see the need for the informant to be compensated for his good and patriotic work and to this he went on, he had held several meeting with those responsible for this including the General Manager of the National Power Authority and other top staff to let them see the need for the informant to be compensate. He said in all his meetings with them, they have been telling him that the idea of compensation is not in the policy of the NPA.


Hon. Bash Kamara said the idea of rewarding such people for their patriotism is in place and for him, he personally believes that, by doing so, it will encourage more informants to help NPA catch illegal connectors in the municipality as they are making the company lose more money.


The Minister further states that he had taken the informant to the Managing Director of the NPA, Dr Zubairu Kalokoh for further action but express sadness that nothing has come out of the issue in terms of financial remuneration for the informant.

 

It can be recalled that the Anti Corruption Commission has a policy of granting 10% of all funds recovered to informants.



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