Sacked Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Alhaji Moijueh Kaikai, has reacted to a litany of allegations made against him by his successor, Dr Sylvia Blyden, averring that the latter was on a vendetta mission to tarnish his character because she bears personal gripe against him.
Dr. Blyden, during last Thursday’s government press briefing, highlighted series of allegations against Alhaji Kaikai, including that she inherited a corrupt and dysfunctional ministry with no handing over document from her predecessor.
She alleged that Kaikai single handedly hired a contractor to construct a NACWAC building in Bo, costing hundreds of millions without any documentation.
Reacting to the allegations, Kaikai stated that “She is aggrieved that I never recognised her as an outstanding woman in Sierra Leone while I was the Minister of Social Welfare. She texted me on several occasions complaining that I never featured her in some of my programmes at the ministry.”
Alhaji, who was sacked by President Ernest Bai Koroma in March after an audio in which he and his deputy exchanged expletives, went viral, added: “She also has personal grievance for me because she never believed I would move from SLPP, PMDC to APC and hold a prominent Cabinet position.”
On the issue of not leaving a handing over document, he said: “I was sacked on the 7th March and on that same date Hon. Isata Kabia was appointed Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs. She went to the United States, where she attended the UN 60th session of the Commission on the status of Women (CSW). The Permanent Secretary prepared a full report about the ministry.”
“Sylvia Blyden was appointed on the 7th of April, a month after I was sacked. Hon. Isata Kabia was the one who was supposed to have handed over documents to her and not me. I have no handing over issue with her and all the directors in the ministry prepared full reports and handed them over to her,” he said.
Reacting to allegation that he single handedly hired a contractor for the Bo project and expended millions of Leones without any documentation, Alhaji Kaikai told Concord Times that what he supervised was not a construction but refurbishment of a NACWAC centre, which was directly funded by Child Fund.
“I know she came with a mindset that she would afford a fight with me, but I care less about her. There was no construction project taking place in Bo, but a refurbishment of the NACWAC centre and the project was directly paid for by Child Fund. I was not directly involved,” he maintained.
Dilating on the issue of a dysfunctional ministry inherited by Blyden, Kaikai noted that “Every Sierra Leonean knows how the ministry was prior to my appointment, and I fought hard to make it enviable. I went all out to provide vehicles for all the directors in the ministry, a development which no minister had done before. It was the ‘dysfunctional ministry’ that provided solar lights for all sub-offices in the provinces.”
He said even the project to extend the ministry’s edifice in Freetown was championed by him and that Blyden has done nothing new since she took office.
“I have seen nothing new that she has done since she took up office and all projects in the ministry were championed by me. I have not seen any functional aspect of Sylvia since she was appointed as minister,” he charged.
He added that he was very proud of the ministry he left and that he holds no grudge for being sacked by President Koroma.
He also spoke about the US$200 million Afcom project, stating that although he was directly involved in hiring of the Sudanese contractor, all payments regarding implementation of the project was being done by UNICEF.
He explained after the end of the Ebola outbreak in 2015, series of child protection issues came to the fore, and that ministry under his leadership decided to set up a case management system to monitor cases of child abuse across the country through an electronic database. He said they first contacted a locally owned internet service provider, FBTS, which declined taking up the project because they lacked the capacity.
He said FBTS then recommended AFCOM, which according to him, has the requisite capacity to undertake the project, adding that all monetary transaction regarding the project was being handled by UNICEF and that not a single cent came to the ministry.