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Thursday, June 20, 2024

ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION SURFACE IN BOAKAI GOVERNMENT’S INFRASTRUCTURE EQUIPMENT DEAL

Date:

MONROVIA – A staunch supporter of President Joseph Nyuma Boakai has taken to Facebook to express concerns about the procurement of 285 earth-moving machines, a deal allegedly marred by corruption. Martin K.N. Kollie, in a detailed write-up on Monday, May 27, 2024, asserted that the main partner in the procurement, South African businessman Robert Gumede of Guma Group, is notorious for corruption and shady deals.

Kollie declared, “Investigation Concluded: The main partner of the ‘285 yellow machines’, South Africa businessman Robert Gumede of Guma Group, is notorious for CORRUPTION and shady deals. We will prove this. Doing business with the devil has consequences.”

This controversial statement comes in the wake of the recently concluded 3-day Cabinet Retreat at the EJS Ministerial Complex in Monrovia. During the retreat, Minister of State Without Portfolio Madam Mamaka Bility announced that the Unity Party government had procured the equipment for infrastructure development. Each county is set to receive 19 machines.

However, the announcement has been met with significant criticism. Questions have been raised about the transparency and integrity of the procurement process under President Boakai’s administration. Prominent political figures, including Senator Amara Konneh of Gbarpolu County, Senator Augustine Chea of Sinoe County, and Representative Frank Saah Foko of District #9 Montserrado County, have openly condemned the deal.

Senator Amara Konneh voiced his concerns, stating, “The procurement process lacks transparency, and engaging with a partner with a questionable reputation undermines the integrity of our administration.” Senator Augustine Chea echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the need for accountability and due diligence in government dealings.

Representative Frank Saah Foko also criticized the Executive Branch, highlighting the potential repercussions of partnering with a businessman alleged to be involved in corrupt activities. “Our people deserve better. This deal raises serious concerns about the priorities and ethical standards of our government,” Foko remarked.

The backlash on social media and among political leaders has put the Unity Party government in a defensive position. The administration must now address these allegations and provide clarity on the procurement process to regain public trust.

The equipment, intended for infrastructure development across the country’s counties, is crucial for improving local infrastructure. However, the controversy surrounding the deal threatens to overshadow the potential benefits. Critics argue that the government must prioritize ethical partnerships and transparency to ensure that such development projects are genuinely beneficial to the public.

Meanwhile, the government has yet to issue a statement on the controversy surrounding the deal. The refusal to address the criticism has only fueled further condemnation. As the debate continues, the Unity Party government faces mounting pressure to investigate the allegations and ensure that future procurement processes adhere to the highest standards of integrity.

Socrates Smythe Saywon
Socrates Smythe Saywon is a Liberian journalist. You can contact me at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or reach out via email at saywonsocrates@smartnewsliberia.com or saywonsocrates3@gmail.com.

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