The Marginalization of Parliament – Proving Kamarainba Right
Now that it has come out crystal clear that our parliamentarians were marginalized in the procurement of our 100 new buses, this press is slowly being convinced that the Chairman and Leader of the Alliance Democratic Party (ADP), Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray’s allegation that the procurement of the 100 new buses was characterized by gross anomalies and massive fraud is not far from the truth, especially when, in his explanation to Parliament, the Transport Minister, Leonard Balogun Koroma, has agreed with Kamarainba that the total cost of the buses is $12 million.
We strongly believe that the Transport Minister has begun to prove Kamarainba right and if the true unit cost of the buses is disclosed, Kamarainba will be proven 100% correct in all his allegations of massive fraud in the widely-condemned procurement process of our 100 buses.
But what is of graver concern to this press is the contemptuous marginalization of parliament in the whole procurement process, a marginalization that has rendered illicit the entire process. We view this as a blatant disregard for the representatives of the people on whose behalf the loan was secured and the buses were procured.
In the name of transparency and accountability, why should government negotiate such a fabulous national loan on behalf of the people without the involvement of Parliament? According to the Transport Minister, the loan agreement is on the way to Parliament for a very belated approval; it is like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. Is the belated approval of the loan necessary when the buses have already been purchased? We opine that the Transport Ministry and the Finance Ministry did not treat our honorable Members of Parliament with deserved seriousness.
Possibly, Balogun and his procurement team smelt the rat that Parliament would never have approved such a big loan on such huge interest. We are suggesting that Parliament digs further into the alleged procurement fraud as we have started to get some elements of truth. We believe that if Parliament thoroughly probes into the alleged massive procurement fraud, especially regarding the unit cost of the buses, more shocking revelations will come out.
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