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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

SLPP Govt. Mortgages Fiber Optic To Iranian Mafia

It could be recalled that one of the reasons for the suspension of the vociferous Member of Parliament, Hon Tawa Conteh was because of his refusal to join the line of the Minister of Information and Communication to mortgage the national asset of Sierra Leone to an unknown company.

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Some say the Minister of Information and Communication Mohamed Rahman Swaray is doing the bidding of the first lady of Sierra Leone whose name has been coming up in the media for corruption related issues while others believed that it is actual President Bio’s bidding that the Minister of Information is doing.
It could be recalled that one of the reasons for the suspension of the vociferous Member of Parliament, Hon Tawa Conteh was because of his refusal to join the line of the Minister of Information and Communication to mortgage the national asset of Sierra Leone to an unknown company.
He (Hon Tawa) said on local TV that the government recently received money from the Chinese Exim Bank as loan for Sierra Leone Cable Network Ltd (SALCAB) only for the minister of information to deceive cabinet and by extension the President into privatizing SALCAB.
As if he has won a jackpot, Iranian born, Davar Fazeli who is believed to have been given the contract took to twitter to say this, “Ryan I’m and American working in Sierra Leone. You want to see opportunity? Come here!”
“Davar what is zoodlabs? What are you working on in Sierra Leone?” someone asked him (Davar) but he responded, “we just took over the only marine landing station in the country. Basically the only provider of data. Looking to connect all schools and medical facilities in the country in the next 3-4years. Internet penetration is only 13%. We’re rushing to transform this landscape.”
From the above twitter conversation, one will safely deduce that zoodlabs is a company with no experience in managing such infrastructure and does not even have the capital to run it.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance has pointed out serious flaws in the contract awarded to Zoodlabs (SL) Limited for the operation, maintenance and commercialization management services of the Africa Coast to Europe Submarine Fibre Optic Cable Landing Station and Ancillary Infrastructure.
An official correspondence to the Ministry of Information and Communications, dated 14th December 2020 highlighted eight grey areas of fundamental financial transactions in the contract that require review to save Government from being exposed to liabilities, and to enhance revenue generation.
When SALONE TIMES contacted the Minister of Information and Communication to cross-check, he said he was in Conakry and he will call later.
Details on this in subsequent editions.

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