Anders Nordstrom, WHO country representative to Sierra Leone will heading for Marrakech in Morocco this week after coming under the spotlight on corruption allegations and mistreatment of local staff at the UN agency.
In a leaked email address to staff members across the Country the UN Representative informed them that during the week, “some of you may have been aware of hand bills that were distributed along the streets of Freetown as well as media publications with misleading information aimed at me with the intent to defame my character and the good image of the Organization. I want to let you know that all that was said in both hand bills and newspapers is not correct but my communication to you today is not the forum to go into further detail”.
Trying to unsuccessfully divert their intention, but the UN Representative to Sierra Leone looked defeated and showed some level of remorse which was not appreciated. He talked about plans to restructure the transport system and the whooping sum that the agency is spending on hired vehicles and the discontentment he observed among members of staff.
“Meanwhile, my attention has been brought to some silent discontentment among staff in the office with regards to management and administrative issues. I take this very seriously” And he added. “As I have stated in my previous communications to you, my vision is to manage this office with an open door policy. I am encouraging everyone to be open and put forward issues affecting them directly to me but also through the staff Association” “We are a team” He said in a very compromising tone, but never revealed the truthfulness about the allegations levied against and the accusation of being corrupt.
It is no secret that the present head of the agency is one of the most corrupt individuals put in charge of the Country’s foreign agency.
Many diplomats aufait with the past record of Anders are beginning to raise serious concerns as what would be the fate of the agency now that this individual who is suffering from the disease known as kleptomaniac is at the apex of administrative power.
He claimed that what affects the ordinary staff member affects others, but how true is that? “What affects one staff member has an equal effect on all of us. Let us therefore discuss issues affecting us and let us find ways and means to solve our challenges together as a team” He said.
His dismissal of the various publications is psychologically telling on him, but has pretended not to. He was quick to point out that there is a growing problem among members of staff mainly discontentment.
The aspect of discontentment among local staff is just one, what is more disturbing is the aspect of funds the UN agency received un-behalf of the people of Sierra Leone for the fight against the Ebola outbreak that devastated the country for almost eighteen months, which he has not been able to give a proper account of all throughout the period
“WHO needs to tell the people of this country how much they received and how much was dispensed thereby giving a clear picture as to how they dispensed the funds received” A local staff remarked.
Anders is expected to be away for the next six months and will spend most his time in Morocco, Barcelona and Spain.
Another serious concern among staff is the delay in receiving their salary something Ander agreed to in his email to staff, but was quick to say that the processing is in progress and very soon they would receive their salaries for the month of January. Up to last week, staffs are yet to receive their pay for the month of January 2016.
“Some of you have expressed concerns about delays in receiving your salaries for the month of January as well as the status of your contracts. Firstly, I should apologize for the salary delay which was due to administrative challenges that have now been resolved and your salaries are being processed and should be paid within a week. In relation to the contracts, we are working to ensure that we regularize consultants and SSA’s contracts to staff contracts when that would have to be decided. The process has already commenced as some of you are aware and will be completed in the next few weeks.”
It is still not clear how Anders ended up been the Country representative after he was disgracefully removed from the position of Acting Director General.