Our mayor is missing in action
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) could not give details, but they were surprised how soon we got the hint. And when Sierra Express Media attempted to solicit information about the pending trial of the infamous mayor of the Freetown City Council, the ACC officials could only dabble around for an explanation.
The same reception we got from council itself where both the Public Relations man and the chief administration were constrained to reveal the truth.
The fact of the matter is our elusive mayor is on the run after learning that a 42-count charge had been preferred against him by the no-nonsense anti-graft commission.
Details of the charges were not immediately disclosed but those who have been following the sad development in council will recall stories that did the rounds relating not just to his extravagant life style but the reckless manner the mayor has been using council’s money in the name of executing projects, most which never took off the ground.
These include the Pick-a-Plastic project where the launching was transformed into an APC party carnival.
The project was intended to rid the city of the unsightly presence of plastic sheets in every nook and cranny of the city, transforming the capital into an eyesore.
So much money went into that launching but nothing was heard about it after that day-long carnival.
In fact, like one observer said, it was after that launching thatFreetownbecame nastier than ever with plastic sheets strewn everywhere in the city.
This state of affairs angered residents so much that they defied the payment of 2011 local tax, arguing that tax money has not been judiciously utilized by council. This serves council right as tax payers of this city ignored whatever threats or pleas council had been making.
Apparently, people suspected that the mayor and his administration have been pilfering the tax money. Most times the monies were not being put into productive use. Take the case of the Morgan Heritage show. Instead of yielding profit, the poorly organized show only ended up plunging council into a huge loss.
The Sewa Ground market project has remained in limbo, and nobody has offered an acceptable explanation about fate of those unfinished structures.
Again, nobody can explain the whereabouts of Le 880 million donated to council for the construction of an ultra modern market for city traders by a private enterprise, the Milestone Trading Company in March 2009.
The donation was made through His Excellency, the President at State House inFreetown.
Neither the then Trade Minister, Alimamy Koroma, nor the mayor could account for the money, two years after the donation. And no market has been constructed with that money.
It did not therefore come as a surprise when we heard, though yet unconfirmed, that the ACC has indicted the mayor on 42 count charges of corruption related offences.
When council was first quizzed on the whereabouts of Mayor George Herbert Williams, this press was told he was on a private tour of several countries, starting withSouth Africa.
But our own investigation indicates that the mayor is trying to escape from the hands of the law. We are pretty sure the law will catch him. He should not go scot-free!
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