Sheriff Mahmud Ismail
*Freetown – 17 November, 2017*
There have been several claims by the National Grand Coalition leader, Kande Yumkella, that the Bankasoka, Makali and Charlotte hydro dams projects were spareheaded and funded by UNIDO while he served there as Director General.
While President Ernest Bai Koroma has been quoted to have acknowledged the facilitation role UNIDO played, the public and some members of the international community have become very condematory of Kande Yumkella for outrightly trying to score political capital by grabbing unto himself all the credit for such projects.
Political observes have also expressed indignation over what now appears a pattern of dishonesty and deception associated with the former SLPP flag bearer aspirant, now NGC leader.
Many people are concerned that first, there were allegations of untruths about his membership of SLPP which led him to eventually register in various chapters of that party. And now, there is this huge controversy surrounding his claim over development projects which the following data tend to contradict.
Below are facts from an official tracker of Chinese Development Finance, which emphatically and clearly states the amount of money the Chinese provided for the construction of the Bankasoka, the Makali and Charlotte Dams.
The tracker on the china.aiddata.org website says:
“China provides 30 million USD to Sierra Leone for construction of Bankasoka dam”.
It goes on to give the project details as seen below:
$40,712,963.63 to Sierra Leone in 2009 | ID: 2259
Sierra Leone (Port Loko)
Commitment Year: 2009
Total Amount (USD-2014): $40,712,963.63
CRS Sector: Energy Generation and Supply
As one critique puts it: “If someone who is campaigning on a platform of change is going around claiming that it was he that brought these projects to Sierra Leone, even in the face of such overwhelming evidence of Chinese financing, then this should be enough reason why Sierra Leoneans should not treat him and his recycled gang of politicians seriously”.
Clearly, the truth is like a cork, you push it down the water, it comes up again. What keeps up in the last few weeks is the truth that the Chinese are the real financiers of the Bankasoka, Makali and Charlotte hydro Dam projects. Period!