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That Samura Kamara indictment!

That Samura Kamara indictment!

After a long-drawn humiliating investigative process, the Anti-graft commission has finally indicted Dr Samura Matthew Wilson Kamara, the 2018 presidential flag-bearer of the main opposition All Peoples Congress party (APC) on two count charges of deceiving a principal and misappropriation of public funds to the tune of two million five hundred and sixty thousand US dollars. Dr Samura is charged with four others on various corruption charges in relation to the reconstruction of the Sierra Leone United Nations Permanent Representative Chancery Building in New York. He has been indicted in his capacity as former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation under the presidency of former President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma. Dr Kamara will appear in court on 10th December, 2021.

The indictment of Dr Samura has been a thorny process full of suspicion and rancour by his supporters who labeled it as a political witch hunt and a calculated plot to disable the main opposition and against former ministers of the previous administration. In a couple of instances, his invitation to the Commission sparked tension between his supporters and the police.

The Bio-led administration claims to put the fight against corruption high on the agenda, and the ACC has made so much noise as a crusader of corruption amidst a barrage of skepticism and accusations from various quarters including a US diplomat and opposition members of Parliament, who believe that the fight against graft is skewed and selective by turning a blind eye on members of the regime indulged in unprecedented corrupt practices.  

The indictment of Dr Samura is yet another testimony of cherry-picking in the fight against corruption. In as much as every well-meaning Sierra Leonean frowns at corruption at all levels, and that Dr Kamara is not above the law, there has to be a level playing field for the war against the menace to be fought with integrity and all fairness.

Following his service in the ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, two Minsters under President Bio served after him, namely, Dr Ali Kabba and Mrs Nabeela Tunis both of whom were suddenly removed and sent to other postings without a clear indication of what would have prompted the President’s decision except that it “pleased Mr President”. Thinking aloud, one would be tempted to believe that the two successors of Dr Samura at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would have been part of a corrupt enterprise that the regime is keeping close to their chest and the ACC is failing to investigate and prosecute, using Dr Kamara as a sacrificial lamb that suffers for the wicked.  

It can be argued that if the investigation of misappropriation of funds meant for the reconstruction of the Chancery Building spans 2013 to date, it smacks of a dubious ill-intention to rope only Dr Samura, leaving out of the net the two other ministers of Government who also had their hands on the disbursement of the funds.

Other instances abound that point to the biased method employed by this regime in fighting corruption. The case of the current Minister of Finance Dennis Vandi and the former Minister of Lands, another Denis, this time Sandi, not to talk about the miraculous disappearance of thousands of bags of Chinese donated rice, for which the Anti-Corruption simply conducted an artificial investigation and exonerated the culprits. The indictment of Dr Samura is no doubt a deliberate attempt at not only denting his political career, but also a clear move to cripple the opposition.

Over electoral malpractice…

By Abdul Kuyateh

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