President Ellen Johnson Sirleafis said to have summoned her former trusted Finance, Development and Planning Minister AmaraKonneh to help international auditors give account of how a US13 million European Union or EU money for the Health Sector was spent, this paper has learned.
The reports say, the EU have allegedly put a hold on further assistance until a proper account of the US13m is given. This news comes amidst speculations that former Central Bank Governor Dr. J. Mills Jones, now a Presidential hopeful for the Movement for Economic Empowerment party or MOVEE is also facing auditors from the International Monetary Fund or IMF to account for US21 million shortfall in CBL’s budget over the last three years prior to his departure.
Dr. Jones has dismissed such speculation, saying if he were before any auditor the auditor will know and that he will know that he is before one. He declined to answer further questions. “I don’t answer such questions,” Dr. Jones said when asked if he could comment on reports that he was facing auditors.
Dr. Jones, one of President Sirleaf’s longest serving official during both her first and second terms, initiated a micro loan scheme aimed at empowering market women and indigenous businesses.
He was cited several times by Legislators after being publicly criticized over the loan scheme, amidst fears that he was dishing out public funds as a means of gaining political popularity ahead of 2017.
Former MFDP Minister Konneh, who is expected here for Christmas break could not be reached for comment. Efforts to contact his former aides here also prove futile. However, Konneh now a World Bank official had once told a Senate hearing here that the amount in question was used to improve facilities at the Government run John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, the Redemption Hospital on the Bushrod Island and several other health facilities within the health sector.
The Senate decision to summon Konneh at the time follows comments by then Health Minister Dr. Walter Gwanegale that he had no knowledge of the US13million EU money which was meant for the Health Sector.
Dr. Gwanegale, when pushed by Senators during a hearing meant to give account of the EU’s 13million which was allotted to his ministry said he had no knowledge of the amount and requested that the senate directs its inquiries to Konneh.
-Othello B. Garblah