The former Minister of Finance and flag bearer of the All People’s Congress has said in Freetown that Sierra Leone at no time had 30% shares with the Sierra Rutile Company Limited as indicated by the Governance Transition Team Report of 2018.
He told the 98.1 Radio Good Morning Salone program that Government, in the ‘Amended Agreement of the Sierra Rutile,’ titled 1st Amendment in May 2004, had agreed, in principle, for the PAYE tax of employees of Sierra Rutile, which was unreported to Government, to be used by Sierra Rutile in order to recapitalize their company, which was in a bad shape. Both parties, according to him, agreed that the PAYE tax be continuously translated into shares in the company as a way of securing them.
Government, he further disclosed, was able to increase shares up to 7.09%, which was equivalent to US$13.125, with 10% interest by April, 2012. He noted that it was the intention of Government to accrue the PAYE tax at the company. It will reach a limit wherein Government will eventually accrue 30% shares at Sierra Rutile. This, he continued, was how the issue of 30% shares was put on the table.
The 2018 APC flag bearer clearly indicated that it was never a policy of government to buy shares at Sierra Rutile, but it was just a way of securing the PAYE Tax of the employees and also helping towards the recapitalization of Sierra Rutile, which was the only company at the time to venture into the country in 2004.
The former Finance Minister stated that, in 2012, when it was very difficult for the Government in managing the economy, they finally requested for the 7.09 shares they have already accrued from Sierra Rutile.
Dr. Samura noted that, the process for acquiring these monies from Sierra Rutile was done through an Executive Clearance. He further noted that documents for the said transactions, between Sierra Rutile and Government, are available at the National Authorizing Office, the Office of the President, the EU office in Sierra Leone and the Central Bank of Sierra Leone.
The APC flag bearer has even stated that he has, in his possession, all the documents relating to the transaction between the Government of Sierra Leone and Sierra Rutile Company.
Dr. Samura Kamara is expected to either appear or send a legal representation at the ongoing Commissions of Enquiry today; as the State will be leading the current Financial Secretary and former Head of Debt Management under the previous Government, who had earlier started making testimonies to the Commission regarding the alleged sale of the 30% shares by the Sierra Leone Government
Dr. Kamara is a revered economist in Sierra Leone and has served the National Provisional Ruling Council, the Sierra Leone People’s Party and the All People’s Congress Party as Financial Secretary, Minister of Finance and Foreign Affairs, respectively. His clean and unblemished record was exhibited very clearly throughout the March,2018 elections campaign when his supporters had openly boasted about his proven integrity in the management of the country’s finances for a period spanning over two decades.