Sierra Leone: Youth Ministry Clarifies Corruption Allegations

Senior officials of the Ministry of Youth Affairs including the Director of Communication and Director of Livelihood have clarified issues surrounding the alleged purchase of a tractor and the establishment of E-governance platform.

On July 22nd, Concord Times ran a story in which several allegations were levied against the Minister of Youth Affairs, Mohamed Orman Bangura. Prior to publication, Concord Times made several effort to reach the minister for him respond to the allegations, but he refused. He neither responded to mobile phone calls nor replied text message sent to him.

Sources at the ministry had claimed that the Youth Minister, Mohamed O. Bangura, allegedly withdrew over two hundred and fifty million Leones (Le. 205,000,000) for the construction and establishment of an electronic governance platform, but the facility was never provided.

It was also alleged that the Minister diverted over four hundred million Leones (Le.400, 000,000) to buy a blue tractor that was displayed and paraded during the 2019 International Youth Day celebration at Miatta Conference, Youyi building in Freetown.

However, Director of Livelihood at the Ministry, Victor Muana told Concord Times that they had plan to buy tractors for the Youth Farm Project, but that the Ministry of Finance prevented them from doing so, because the government had wanted to purchase over two hundred tractors for onward distribution across the country.

He said the tractor that was displayed during the celebration of the International Youth Day in 2019 was never bought, and that it was displayed to motivate youth across the country to see reason in practising agriculture.

With regards the E-governance platform, he said the process has already been completed and that their donor partner, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) requested that they test it potential before it goes public.

He said all the claims made against the minister were not true and that the ministry has designed several projects to engage the minds of youth across the country and make them meaningful in society.

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