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Ex-MRU workers indict Finance Ministry

Ex-MRU workers indict Finance Ministry

Four former employees of the Mano River Union (MRU) Secretariat in Sierra Leone on 14th September 2013 informed the popular Monologue Program on Citizen Radio FM 103.7 that after working for over twenty-five years and retired in 2006 and 2007, they are yet to receive their end of service benefits.

They informed that Heads of States of MRU countries met in Guinea to discuss the issue and that Liberia, Guinea and Ivory Coast have paid their contributions while Sierra Leone has not and that documents for the payment are still with the Accountant General’s Department in the Ministry of Finance.

One of the retirees, a seamstress, said she was fortunate to visit President Ernest Bai Koroma at State House after the November 2012 elections during which the President informed her that their benefits have been paid to which  she responded that they have not received it and that the President promised to investigate the matter.

They further asserted that President Koroma and the former Finance Minister, Dr. Samura Kamara had since ordered that they be paid but that the Accountant General’s Department is delaying the issue.

According to the retirees, a meeting of accountants of MRU member countries and representatives from the Finance Ministry, Accountant General’s Department, the Deputy MRU Secretary General, Linda Koroma, met in 2011 and demanded that they forfeit 20% of their benefits which they accepted but lamented that they are in dire need of the money to take care of themselves and families and that even some of the colleagues have died in the process.

One of them recalled that injustice was one of the factors for the civil war in Sierra Leone and underscored that they have explored all avenues to seek redress.

By Abdul R. Bedor Kamara

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