In what many would say is an obvious embarrassment for a fellow party supporter and by extension their party, Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs yesterday said at a presser that she inherited a dysfunctional office that was so corroded by endemic corruption.
Dr. Slyvia Olayinka Blyden accused her predecessor, Alhaji Moijueh Kaikai, of conniving with a Sudanese businessman to misappropriate a colossal amount of USD$200 million donor fund meant to install internet service across the country for Child Protection Information Management System.
“When I took office in March, my predecessor did not leave any scrap of paper as handling over note. In fact the office shelves were bare, they removed everything from the office,” she said, adding “I met a lot of corrupt practices in that ministry but I cannot go about chasing them. My conscience will however not allow me to see US$200m dollars project for the children of Sierra Leone go down the drain as a result of a former government minister conniving with a Sudanese to rob the children of this nation.”
She said report that the Social Welfare Ministry under Kaikai performed very well in the performance tracking was “farce’, falsified’ and a misnomer” simply because of the huge corrupt practices in the said administration.
“I met a dysfunctional ministry, where media reports stated that internet facilities have been installed across the country. Big fat lies!” she said.
Sudanese contactor Adel Sulaiman had said on Monologue programme that he collected US$80,000 from the project fund, which he expressed willingness to refund. But Blyden said the amount collected was an important component of the project and that they were not interested in any refund.
“We are not interested in refund. I want this man to be brought to justice. I know he has very powerful friends in Sierra Leone and attempting to bring him to the police will bring me up against many corrupt people in this country. But I have never been shy away from controversies as long as I know I am on the right part,” She said in a furious tune.
She vowed that nothing would distract the police investigation, even though the Sudanese claims to be an American, adding that she would do all in her power to pursue what she described as “the biggest misappropriation of donor funds” in the country yet.
She claimed that Radio Democracy FM 98.1 and ‘Wae Wus’ programme on Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) have directly attacked her personality, in a calculated attempt to insight tribal hate among the largest tribe in Sierra Leone.
“Both media houses have been attacking me but I kept silence because I have my focus. But what they have been doing is to insight possibly the largest tribe in Sierra Leone,” Blyden, who is no stranger to controversy said.
She said she was not in a fight with Mendes as her current confidential secretary is a Mende from the eastern region.
“It is just a cock and bull story to distract my attention. I can assure that the Sierra Leone Police is investigating probably what will come out to be the biggest ever donor misappropriation in this country,” she said. We could not get Alhaji Kaikai for his comment as at press time.