Some employees (Whistleblowers) of DON BOSCO Fambul in Sierra Leone are calling on the leadership of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), to institute an investigation on the director Lothar Wagner a German national for an alleged misappropriation of donor funds and abuse of office.
According to News Watch Newspaper, The Whistleblowers accused the director for allegedly conspiring with his deputy Samuel Thomas Bojohn in defrauding the staffs by converting to their own use and benefit monies meant for certain projects within the organization.
They claimed that DON BOSCO has no Program officer, no procurement plans and no Human Resources Management, adding that despite the facts that these position does not exist, salaries are allegedly paid by the donors for the said invisible positions.
The further claimed that a huge sum of dollars is allocated for the welfare of the beneficiaries comprising; street kids, rape victims and prisoners/inmates, these monies, they said are been diverted to personal use by Lothar Wagner.
The emphasized that the conditions of service for the beneficiaries are in a very big mess. They pointed out that the overwhelming health care scheme trumpeted by the organization is extremely poor as compared to the amount of money spent for health.
They claimed that the sleeping environment of the victims is miserable and has nothing good to write home about.
Some 12 employees who preferred anonymity, stated that they have been tirelessly working under DON BOSCO for nearly eight consecutive years now but had not been made permanent staffs.
“Some of us are paid Le300,000 some less as monthly salary which is below the minimum wage prescribed by government”, they chatted.
It could be recalled that in October 2014, a Statutory Instrucment No.6 of 2014 which was created out of the 1997 minimum wage Act, got parliamentary approval that the minimum wage for every worker, both private and public should not be below five hundred thousand Leones.
The employees had also claimed that the Director of DON BOSCO is not implementing its project concept as prescribed in their work plans. The disclosed that the director early last year was reported to have been be cautioned by the ministry of Labour in respect of the welfare of their beneficiaries including also the qualifications of some of their workers but proved to be fruitless.
The Deputy director, DON BOSCO Samuel Thomas Bojohn refused to let the director himself to respond to the allegations, but has responded on his behalf by vehemently denying some of the allegations.
He explained that DON BOSCO is a charitable Christian organization with International fundings. He maintained that the organization has a Board of Trustees who takes care of the running of the Human Resources Management which is why it’s not necessary to employee anyone for that position.
On the issue of the minimum wage authorized by government – Le500,000 per month, Mr. Bojohn has this to say “It is not the business of government to dictate to us how much we pay our workers, they are working for us and not government”.
Adding: “Most of the workers here are volunteers some of whom are pupils and Students and the organization is helping in the finance of their education, therefore we cannot be paying fees for these people at the same time paying minimum wage salary to them. Its impossible”.
Mr. Bojohn pointed out that one Mr. E. K Lansana who works in the ministry of labour is often hired as consultant who advice on the project planning and management including procurement and thus saw no good to employee a worker to carry out such task.
He concluded that their projects are soundly implemented though there are challenge. “We are also not bothered about the qualifications of our workers in as much as they have the humanitarian feelings in serving the organization, we are ok” he stressed.