By: Joseph Titus Yekeryan (Bong County Correspondent)
It is still challenging to understand as to whether or not Bong County Superintendent Esther Walker paid US$9,950, a development fund to Moses Manston a local Vendor as the situation keeps sparking controversies in the County.
The said amount was meant to obtain a mower for the Presidential Palace in Gbarnga and the Superintendent’s compound from a US$75,000 which was allotted as “administrative budget” during the last 2018 County Council sitting. Unfortunately, the money has reportedly gone missing as some officials involved have already started a blame game.
Documents in the possession of the Bong County media clearly show that the amount was paid to the Hin-Dweh business center on January 31, 2020, but the business’s Manager Manston recently told Journalists that he has no knowledge about the money even though he (Manston) has over the past transacted business with the County’s administration.
“It is true that I have transacted with the County’s leadership but not in such amount of money,” Mantson said.
Bong County Superintendent Esther Walker has joined the local businessman to deny transacting business in such a huge amount as she promised to set up an investigative team to probe the matter.
Supt. Walker has been over the past accused of corruption by her Assistant Superintendent for Fiscal Affairs Paul A. Sulonteh.
Madam Walker barely talks to Journalists when she is questioned about the money as she has on several occasions been heard describing the situation as a non-issue.
Some Insiders from the County Administration who prefer not to be named alleged that Superintendent Walker went in a “criminal deal” with the Gbarnga local businessman to redirect the money to the Superintendent’s account and later deny receiving anything.
Our source says the businessman reportedly accepted one thousand United States Dollars ($1,000) from the Superintendent in appreciation of his effort to have lied that his entity didn’t receive money from the County.
Why the Assistant Superintendent for Development and Assistant Superintendent for Fiscal Affairs are Involved?
For Bong County Assistant Superintendent for Development, Anthony Boakai Sheriff, there has never been a good working relationship between him and Superintendent Walker since the George Weah government came to power.
Mr. Sheriff is the longest severing Assistant Superintendent for Development in Liberia (over a decade).
He has over the past accused Madam Walker of being corrupt and that she runs the County without consultation.
Mr. Sheriff recently told journalists that Madam Walker had earlier ordered the payment to Mr. Moses Manston, but the Superintendent later collected the money back from the businessman.
He confirmed that the money was meant for the grass cuter but since the payment, the machine is yet to be available.
For his part, Paul A. Sulonteh Bong County Assistant Superintendent for Fiscal Affairs in a recent interview with KMTV said the County’s administration, on the order of Superintendent Walker, paid the money to Mr. Manston.
“I am telling you that the money was paid for that machine but Manston and the “corrupt” superintendent can better explain what happened,” he said.
Mr. Sulunteh who is also a signatory to the account said that he has documents to prove that the money was paid to Mr. Manston on the instructions of the Superintendent but because the Superintendent has said that she does not know whiter the County paid the money to the local business center simply implies that the duo might have allegedly shared the money.
Bong County Project Management Committee Chair Stephen J. Mulbah has not spoken to the media as he is currently bereaved.
This is not the first time that Superintendent Walker has been caught in the web of corruption.
It can be recalled in 2018, Mining Company MNG Gold provided four thousand United States Dollars out of their concession agreement as a development contribution but Madam Walker failed to give an account of the money and later said that she used it to buy a plane ticket to attend Women conference in Ghana an amount that is far enough for Liberia to Ghana plane ticket.