Sierra Leone: Alleged Conflict of Interest At MBSSE Minister Accused of Manipulating Recruitment of His in Law

The Executive Director of Heal Sierra Leone (HSL), Joseph Abass Sannoh, has in a press conference held at the headquarters of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) described the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary School Education (MBSSE), David Moinina Sengeh as "morally and ethically bankrupt".

Sannoh claimed that Ambrose T. Sesay who is the brother-in-law to David Sengeh was allegedly fraudulently recruited as the National Project Coordinator of the Sierra Leone Free Quality Education Project.

He said the credentials and experience of Ambrose fell far below the requirement stipulated in the job advert.

The act, he claimed, went against Civil Service Code of Conduct (page20) and the November 17th,2017, World Bank Procurement Procedure Guidelines (page 10).

But the minister denied all the allegations, stating that he never had a hand in the recruitment of the coordinator, although he admitted having a relationship with him.

He said the recruitment was entirely handled by an independent panel and that the process was certified by World Bank, reiterating that "there was no part in the process that I was involved. The man is more than qualified for the job. Is it that Mr.Sannoh is the person who has the barometer to determine qualification?

He challenged Sannoh to take to the Ant-Corruption all the evidences he has to substantiate his allegations.

However, in a letter dated 26th January,2021 written by the World Bank to the Ministry of Education in relation to the above allegations, the institution withdrew the earlier 'no objection' to the recruitment of Ambrose Sesay on the grounds that out of seven interview panelist, only four among them appended their signatures.

Sannoh also alleged that there is a high spate of tribalism and nepotism in government offices under the Bio administration, claiming that undue procedures, unqualified and inexperienced friends and family members are becoming prevalent in the recruitment of people by the current regime.

Sannoh said the call by President Bio before and during his presidency was to fight against corruption, but that some government officials were constantly doing things contrary to the call of the president.

"Since January to date, I have met with so many government and organisations in order to correct the anomalies and fraudulent recruitment of government officials especially in the education sector, but most of the MDAs have snubbed me," he claimed.

He said one of the primary aims of his course was to protect and ensure a judicious use of the 70 million USSD provided by the World Bank of which 20 million USSD was provided by FCDO/DIFID and Arish Aid.

He charged that most of the recently employed Quality Assurance Monitors were also fraudulently recruited into the system.

Also, Sannoh made strong allegations against ministers and government officials who are engaged in and endorsing corrupt practices, promising to disclose evidences of videos and voice mails showcasing ministers and other government officials validating corruption.

Top Headlines: Sierra Leone

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